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NATIONAL FOREST WEEK 2002
LESSON PLAN K-7
Adapt for primary grades
Topic: Caring for you and our forests
- Cruising vest (flagging tape, first aid kit, others such as: increment borer,
prism, GPS unit)
- Large display board with 8 “puzzle pieces”
- Set of 8 overheads that cover managing for forest values: water, fish and
wildlife, habitat and biodiversity, range, recreation, archaeology and First
Nations, aesthetics, and timber
- One overhead for environmental initiatives in manufacturing
- Waste product samples: wood chips, bark, shavings, fingerjoint sample
- 11x17 photos: electrostatic precipitator, cogeneration plant, vats and
storm filtration ponds (back-to-back), forklift
- Activity sheet
- Wooden puzzle
We have requested that each class have the following:
- Overhead/screen/large table at front of room by a chalk ledge (to prop up
National Forest Week 2002
Theme: Taking Care of You and Our Forests
(About 3 minutes)
- Dress for the bush (cruising vest with flagging tape, first aid kit, measuring
tool: weed whacker)
- Introduce yourself
1) In my job, I work in the bush. I wear this cruising
vest and carry some equipment with me (show them what you have in pockets)
2) Why do we cut down or harvest trees? (Take 3-4 answers
and then ask what items are made from wood?)
3) Define environment. The environment is everything around
you. (air, land, water)
Raise your hands if you think it is important to think about the environment
when cutting down trees. Why? (Take 3-4 answers)
Part 1: Managing Our Forests
The forest industry (loggers, foresters, technicians and mill workers, etc.)
has to think about how their work affects the environment. This is the law.
Lets look at ways in which we (forest industry companies) try to protect our
There are a number of steps that must happen when forest companies are planning
to harvest (cut down trees) trees from our forests. This is much like completing
#1 – Pre-Harvest Planning
- The forests belong to us, the people of BC. Before any company can cut down
trees they must prepare a set of plans that the Ministry of Forests (gov’t)
- These plans must include the needs of other users of the forest….
people, animals, etc. We will talk about this more a little later.
- The planning stage can take up to 5 years before approval to harvest or
cut down the trees is given by the Ministry of Forests.
- Gr. 6/7: Sometimes, events in nature change the planning schedule. Explain
this. Eg. If a fire occurs or if there is a major bug infestation. (explain
#2 – Harvest
- Harvesting may involve different kinds of machinery depending on the site.
Sometimes horses or helicopters are used.
- In some cases, large areas are cut, other times, single trees will be cut.
There are different types of machinery used for harvesting. Sometimes, chainsaws
will be used; other times a machine called a fellerbuncher will be used.
- Gr. 5-7: It is important today to make use of new technology and work towards
leaving as little impact on the environment as possible.
- Gr. 5-7: Science plays a major role in determining what silviculture system
(how the trees will be cut) will be used. The planning for cutting also sets
social, economic and environmental objectives.
#3 – Site Preparation
- Preparing a site for planting is like preparing your garden for planting.
You want to make the conditions as good as possible. You might turn the soil
over or add fertilizer or change the type of soil in your garden if it is
too wet or dry or has too much clay. In the forests, the same things are looked
at. Sometimes mounds will be formed to keep the seedling up out of wetter
areas or scarifying (like rotor-tilling) might be done to help loosen the
soil and expose the nutrients. You want to create the best growing conditions
possible so that the new seedling has the best chance of surviving/living.
#4 – Reforestation (Making sure we have new trees.)
- Seedlings used for reforestation are generally 1-2 years old.
- The “5 Billionth Tree” will be planted this summer.
- Seedlings planted on a site come from seed stock or seed orchards from the
area. This is important because seedlings grow best in the area where they
came from. They can better handle the weather. eg. In Hawaii you can grow
pineapples but in BC, your pineapple plant can’t survive/live.
- Planning for reforestation has been happening for more than 70 years.
- Gr.5-7: Reforestation takes place during the spring and into the summer,
which makes tree planting an excellent job for university students. The work
is hard but the pay can be quite good.
#5 – Brushing and Weeding
- Just as your garden needs care and attention, planted sites must be looked
- Any plants growing up around a new seedling might be robbing the seedling
of food, water or sunlight so they are removed using a special instrument.
(Demo the weed whacker)
#6 – Spacing and thinning
- Trees need to have space to grow. Just as you would thin a carrot patch
so that the carrots can grow large and straight, the new plantations are planted
to allow trees to grow large and tall. If several trees are growing too close
together they will be fighting each other for food, water and sunlight. By
removing or thinning out the weaker trees and leaving the healthiest tree,
it will have an opportunity (can) to grow big and tall. (For younger ones,
you might want to demonstrate using fingers how carrots will intertwine when
#7 – Protection
- Forest companies manage (look after) and protect a new plantation until
it reaches the “Free to Grow” stage. Free to grow means the trees
are bigger and stronger than the surrounding bushes. This can take approximately
7-15 years. (you can equate this to the time when they are grown up and are
ready to leave home)
- During the time that a company is managing a forest, it will be responsible
for protection against fire, bug infestation and disease.
- Once a plantation reaches the “Free to Grow” stage, Ministry
of Forests is responsible for protection.
#8 – Nursery
- By law, companies must replant a harvested site or be certain that the
area will naturally re-establish itself to meet today’s standards. (K-4:
- Seed for the province is kept at the Ministry of Forests seed center until
- Seeds are planted and cared for in nurseries until it is time to plant
the young tree.
- Gr 5-7:: A company that planted an area may not be the company that gets
to harvest the area when it reaches maturity.
Part 2 – Harvesting and the Environment
Overhead #1 – Water
1. Who or what uses the forest? (take up to 6 responses)
2. What concerns for the environment might the different users of the forest
have when it comes to logging? (have teacher record on board 4-5 responses)
- Community watersheds (areas where we get our drinking water) must be protected
- that means that foresters are responsible for keeping track of water quality
- Care must be taken that streams are not damaged.
- There are areas along lakes, streams and rivers where logging will not
Overhead #2 - Fish & Wildlife
- Some trees will be left to offer animals protection from roadside hunters.
- Habitat, food and migration corridors are protected. (explain Habitat/
- The concerns of all users of the land, who make their living from the forests,
must be taken into account. For example, the concerns of the trappers.
- Some animals like the moose, eat young new plants in an area that’s
Overhead #3 – Habitat & Biodiversity
- Many different organisms live in the forest together, often relying on
one another to survive/live. Harvesting plans must include provision for these
species to continue to live in the area or provide areas for them to relocate
- Wildlife trees or tree patches are left for animals to live in. (explain
Overhead #4 – Range
- Ranchers and loggers may share an area. At times, cattle will freely roam
in the forest. The concerns of the ranchers are accounted for within development
Overhead #5 – Recreation
- Ask the students to name as many recreational uses for the forest as they
can. Be sure to include hunters. Their needs and wishes are part of the development
- Logging roads provide access to recreation sites.
Overhead #6 – Archaeology & First Nations
- Some historical areas of the First Nations are protected.
- Sites used to gather herbs for medicine or food are often protected.
Overhead #7 – Aesthetics
- Consideration is given to how a site will look after logging. If it is
a site that will have a large visual impact on tourism or the community, then
the method of logging (silvicultural system used) may be determined by the
visuals or what you see and not what is scientifically the best choice.
Overhead # 8 – Timber
- Young trees growing up under the canopy of mature/older trees (advanced
regen.) are protected and allowed to grow. They will be harvested at a later
- Gr. 5-7: Leaving behind some “old” trees to help protect a
site’s biodiversity is called “Vet” protection.
If time, elaborate on the following.
- There are a number of different ways to log an area. Silvicultural Systems
refers to the process used. (Clearcut, Seed Tree, Shelterwood, Selection)
- The harvesting method to be used (chainsaw, feller buncher, types of machines,
use of horses, etc.) is determined by the site.
Part 3 – Manufacturing & Environment
Let’s take a look at what local mills are doing to help protect your
Today, no part of the tree is wasted. Waste wood is used to produce new products
and to produce electricity. Other waste is used for landscaping and sewage
Let’s take a look at a few examples of these waste products: (samples
- Wood chips – for paper
- Bark (hog fuel) – steam for heating/drying: electricity
- Shavings – wood pellets and animal bedding
- Fingerjoint sample
Place overhead on projector
Companies are taking responsibility to protect the air, land and water and
Refer to large photos or include other photos of your choice. You will want
to limit the amount of detail here – stick to what you feel is most
important You may end up showing only 1-2 photos.
#1. Electrostatic Precipitator (Riverside, Armstrong)
· What looks like smoke in the background of this photo is actually steam
or pure water – it is not polluting the air.
· The steam uses bark and waste materials in boilers (like a kettle on
the stove) and is used to heat the buildings and for lumber drying.
· Uses electricity to remove ashes from the air
· The precipitator in Armstrong reduced emissions by 99.3%.
#2. Cogeneration Plant (with precipitators-Armstrong, Riverside)
· Show sample of hog fuel (bark and sawdust) used in cogen plant
· Waste products are used to make electricity and the waste steam is
re-used to dry wood and heat buildings.
· This is called “green power” because it doesn’t contribute
to greenhouse gases.
· Process is like multi-tasking – turbine and boiler
#3. Vats and Storm Filtration Ponds (front and back of picture)
· Show sample of plywood
· Before logs are cut in the plywood plant, they must be soaked for several
hours. This makes the logs softer so they can be peeled very thin like this
piece of veneer (sample). Explain briefly how sheets of veneer are glued together
to make plywood.
· The recycled water used in these vats comes from the steam plant
· When the vats are cleaned out, the sludge and fiber is used again as
fuel in the steam boilers.
· These ponds help take storm water (rain) and filter it.
· They use two different systems for this
· The photo with the bullrushes uses gravel, grass and bullrushes to
clean the water runoff. We call it the “Mickey Mouse” system because
it’s like the one used in Disney World in Florida to take care of the
parking lot runoff. It is similar to the system that exists naturally in the
forest, with plants and their natural bacteria to filter and clean the water
while using the nutrients to grow plants.
· The other system uses big blenders called aerators to mix the water
and let the normal bacteria in the water eat the debris. After, it is filtered
through the ground similar to a septic field that might be at your home.
#4. Forklift - an example of recycling
(Perhaps read actual list of things that can be recycled (in bold) –
there won’t be time to elaborate but you could take one or two if time
You’d be surprised to learn about all of the different ways that parts
of the forklift can be recycled
o Acid-filled Batteries – lead and acid refined and sold back to battery
manufacturers and plastics refined into pellets/beads and sold to plastic brokers
o Waste Glycol Antifreeze – recycled back into antifreeze
o Tires – recycled into rubber matting
o Waste Solvents – recycled into new solvents – used for parts cleaning
o Waste/Used Oil –recycled into new lubricating oil and burner fuel
o Used Oil Filters – shredded then oil recycled to burner fuel and metal
sent to a smelter
o Paint Containers – unused paint recycled to non-profit organizations
(eg. Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, etc.) while metal is sent to smelters for recycling
o Steel – recycled into grinding rod/balls for mining, reinforcing steel
for concrete and smelters for recycling into steel
If time: have students give you some new information they learned from your
: have them tell you some good environmental news that they learned
:more information on clothing
Handouts: Activity sheet/Wooden puzzle
Solving this wooden puzzle can take many different paths. Planning environmentally
for forestry and manufacturing can also take many different paths to reach the
end goal. We will continue to make protecting “our” environment
one of our goals.