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Tree-planting: undoing the damage of clearcuts

The Story

For years, Canada has been logging more than it has been replanting by a three-to-one ratio. The backlog of barren land is rising at an alarming rate, and the need for reforestation is as great as ever. One man determined to plant as much as he can is Dirk Brinkman. In this CBC Television clip, The Journal sits down with Brinkman, operator of Canada's largest tree-planting company, to talk about the gargantuan task of planting trees in the tangled devastation left behind by clearcutting.

Medium: Television
Program: The Journal
Broadcast Date: Sept. 30, 1987
Guest(s): Dirk Brinkman, Herman Van Duyn
Host: Barbara Frum, Paul Griffin
Reporter: Jerry Thompson
Duration: 15:00

Did You know?

• Reforestation refers to the planting and propagation of trees -- whether by natural or artificial means -- in deforested areas that have been harvested or clearcut.

• The Willow Valley, located in north-central British Columbia, was the largest single clearcut zone in the world at the time of this report. The 22-million hectare valley, roughly half the size of Saskatchewan and double the size of Newfoundland, was so big that astronauts could see it from the space shuttle.

• Dirk Brinkman was a longhaired, bearded hippie when he planted his first tree in 1970. By 1975, he started his own tree-planting company in Burnaby, B.C., with the help of a handful of employees. In 1987 a clean-shaven Brinkman operated Brinkman & Associates Reforestation Ltd., a company that planted 37.5 million trees across Canada and took in $8 million worth of business that season.

• In 2001, Brinkman was recognized by the Canadian Institute of Forestry for his lifetime contribution to the industry in operating Canada's oldest and foremost reforestation company. He is married to Joyce Murray, former provincial cabinet minister of water, land and air protection for British Columbia.


Clearcutting and Logging: The War of the Woods more