They’re a little bit late, but the tree-planting crews have returned to Prince George and the surrounding area for the summer.
Andrew Howard is in his seventh year of tree planting in the region. He and the rest of his crew made a stop at IRL Supplies on Friday to make sure they had everything they needed.
“We usually start in Prince George,” Howard, who is from the Comox Valley area, said. “Then we fan out to places like McBride and Vanderhoof. We’ll be in Alberta for a good part of the summer.”
Howard has worked with Folklore Contracting for the past six years.
“We’ve got three months of work ahead of us. We’re a little late getting started because of the late melt. The woods will probably still be a little soggy when we get started.”
He says there are a few other people on his crew who have been in the area in previous years, but that this seems to be a turnover year for a lot of crews.
“It goes in cycles. People do it for a few years, then move on.”
IRL sales manager Steve Mayoh sees they see a fair number of the crews at the start of the season.
“We’re tied pretty strongly to the forest industry, so we’ve got just about everything they might need.”
Besides helping with reforestation efforts, the tree-planting crews provide extra eyes in the woods in the region.
“A few years ago, when Nicole Hoar went missing,” former IRL owner Tony Romeyn says, “we had posters made up for the crews that came through with her picture on them. They’re out in the woods all the time, you never know what they might come across.”
Howard says he and his crew will be keeping their eyes open again this summer.
“We’re apparently going to have our first camp between Vanderhoof and Fort St. James, close to where they found the girl who was murdered last year (Loren Leslie). If we see anything out of place, we get in touch with the authorities.”