Fred and Jane Marshall recognized for lifetime of woodlot work

This Boundary couple have owned a woodlot near Midway for nearly three decades. Their dedication and care is evident on the land.

Fred and Jane Marshall stand in their front yard surrounded by their ranch and woodlot in the Southern Interior of BC near Midway.

The October 2, 2014 print edition of this article incorrectly stated that the Marshalls have been woodlot licencees for the past two decades. In fact, they have had a woodlot for 29 years. It also stated they raised five children on their woodlot near Midway; that should have read two children. Fred’s three older children were grown up and moved away by the time the Marshalls moved to their Boundary woodlot.

 

Fred and Jane Marshall have been recognized for their commitment to stewardship and innovative marketing practices in woodlot management, an honour that comes with a $2,500 award from Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson.

The Midway pair was formally recognized at the 2014 Federation of B.C. Woodlot Associations Annual Conference in Golden on Sept. 20.

“Rural regions such as Boundary benefit from the Woodlot Licence program. Woodlots bring benefits such as job-creation, sustainable forest management and stewardship of the forests that licensees manage,” Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson said. “Congratulations, Jane and Fred, for receiving this well-deserved award.”

“We were pleasantly surprised,” said Marshall when reached by phone on Monday afternoon. “It is a very humbling honour and one that we very much appreciate.”

As well as being a woodlot owner, Fred is also a consultant and educator under the name Marshall Forestry Services. The couple have been licencees for nearly three decades, and raised two children on their woodlot near Midway.

Fred holds a master’s degree in forestry from Yale, has taught at both Malaspina and Selkirk Colleges and has developed four university-level courses accredited by the ABCFP.

He was one of the “founding fathers” of both the Federation of B.C. Woodlot Associations and the Wood Product Development Council (WPDC). He has also served as federation president and was president of the Boundary Woodlot Association more than many years. He continues to be involved with woodlots throughout B.C., in policy development, day-to-day affairs, and sharing ideas.

The Marshall’s woodlot consists of 600 hectares of Crown land and nearly 400 hectares of private land—one of B.C.’s largest private land contributions.

But the work done by Fred and Jane is, and always will be part of something larger than just 1,000 hectares of land.

Jane provided the following words: “Here is what governs our lives:

“At the beginning of time (at the end of the first Biblical chapter of Genesis) our Creator gave us a mandate. This is known as the ‘cultural mandate’. The mandate was, and continues to be, to care for creation.

“We, in all that we do, strive to carry out this mandate as far as it is possibly with us. There is, on this earth, burdened by sin, always room for improvement in our management of course. Our aim, however, is to manage in a way honouring to our Creator and we work towards this end.

“We have chosen to be very cautious in determining the projected annual growth of trees so that our annual allowable cut is on the low side. We have chosen to cut very little on our private land so that we can be an island of beautiful protected forest in the midst of an area where there has been much overcutting.

“As the earth responds to the greenhouse gases, so rapidly and in an increasingly accelerating fashion being released into the atmosphere by the fossil fuel extraction and transportation industry, healthy forests become unhealthy more quickly and amelioration is sorely needed. We hope our woodlot will be one small positive absorber of CO2.”

Fred added, “It is very appropriate that my wife of more than 30 years shares this award with me as she has been an active participant and/or strong supporter. Without her help the many activities we’ve been and continue to be involved in would not have been near as numerous or as effective; and we have always held the woodlot licence jointly so it has always been and continues to be a team effort.”

 

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