By David F. Rooney
Revelstoke is losing its status as a Forestry District and its manager, David Raven, who is also the longest serving forestry manager in BC, has been given just two weeks to finish up and leave office.
“I’m being terminated,” he said in an interview Monday afternoon. “Six of us are going here. It’s the budget. That’s the reason but who knows what’s behind it.”
Raven has worked for the Ministry of Forests and Range for 39 years — 22 of them as manager of the Columbia Forest District.
His sacking is one of 204 that took place this week across the province. Five other people were also terminated in the Revelstoke office, which until now had about 50 employees. Raven would not identify the other employees who were terminated.
Raven said that while there are a number of unknowns at play, the Revelstoke office will become a sub-district reporting to Nelson, which will become the hub for a West Kootenays District. Those employees remaining here will now report to Nelson.
The decision to sack Raven and the other ministry employees was a surprise.
Forestry Ministry Pat Bell was just in Revelstoke a month ago when he told an audience that forestry was making a comeback in BC.
If that’s the case, why close an office in one of the regions where there is actual logging activity? Even more puzzling is the fact that Columbia Forest District employees will now report to nelson where there is very little or no logging going on.
Minister Bell, unfortunately, was not immediately available to comment.
His comments will be posted as soon as they are available.
Raven said that while he is unsure about his immediate future and may take some time off, he wanted to end this 22-year posting on a high note.
He lauded his staff for their diligence and hard work on a variety of important issues.
“We were like a family,” he said.