The Forest Company 

I have not found the original letter but here is a copy of a missive to the Forest Company.
Helmut Godau - Small Drinks - Nanaimo

Addendum 5.9.2001.

The Bloody Old Men’s Brigade. B.O.M.B. Squad.

In 1987 three retired men decided to help the Powell River hiking fraternity to clear a few older trails and make it possible for a large,

enthusiastic outdoor loving population to find easy wandering along safe trails. This group soon grew into a seven-man crew, most of the men in their late sixties and early seventies. They became known to most outdoor people on the Upper Sunshine Coast. Every Thursday, rain or shine, the men worked on trails and when it came to streams, bridges. People in the community used to whisper; ‘and there they go again, the bloody old men’. It wasn’t long after when someone termed it the BOMB squad and nearly 180 Kilometers and over 60 structures later they are still at it. The group has now grown into a sizable force, 27 men, all retired from work, from age of sixty-five to a senior of eighty. No project has baffled this enterprising group. From a 220-meter boardwalk over a swamp to a mighty 37-meter span over Lang Creek. One of the most outstanding structure is a covered bridge over the Sweetwater Creek. All trails built by the group have been marked and extremely well signed. At the end of the last century local businesses donated funds to place a plaque in commemoration. This plaque was fastened to a massive boulder on the so-called Marathon Trail.

All their efforts have been freely given and if it had not been for the helpful attitude of one enthusiastic Forest Service Recreation officer many project may never have been undertaken. Material for the bridges, boardwalks and culverts came from the forest floor; with ancient cedars supplying the majority of the structural material. The BC Forest Service has been extremely helpful supplying the hardware. Of late some local organizations have taken note and supplied funding for the worn out equipment the men have been using but this is truly a minimal involvement. Under some circumstances it has been necessary to use one or two standing trees, in all cases the Forest Service has been helpful and allowed the felling. It has been estimated that the structures on the Powell River Trail system would last for a long time. In the case of the Lang Creek crossing concrete was used for abutments and every bit of concrete was carried in buckets from a nearby Forest Service Road.

As another inclement season approaches the 27 bombers are ready to continue their efforts. Last but not least it has to be mentioned, most men have at one time worked in the local pulp-mill. The group counts engineers, surveyor, tradesmen and a medical doctor in their ranks. Their strength lies in the nearly anarchistic organization; they have rarely seen disagreement and over the fourteen years had to deal with two accidents. To reach construction sites sometimes takes hours and that with heavy packs and equipment. For anyone to see what has been done please check with the local Forest Service or better yet take a trip to the great “Squirrel Crossing” bridge over Lang Creek about 200 meter down stream from the Haslam Lake Weir.


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