A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bureaucratic Bullshit.

In these days of frugality and energy saving each of us should try and do thing to be “sustainable” which in most cases will automatically reduce expenses. As a small landowner with 15 acres of reforested white pine that needs the larger trees removed to facilitate regrowth as proposed in our Managed Forest plan I want to make good use of this wood.

Frankly I would like to sell some pine logs to provide a little income however the amount one would receive for a full load of pine logs is so miniscule as to barely pay for the time, effort and fuel needed to remove it. A better option is to bring in a portable saw mill and cut it into lumber on site and either sell it, or use this it for building garden sheds, lawn furniture or other similar projects. Having use large quantities to finish my house in board and batten siding I now would like to put up a garage / workshop to have room to assemble such projects in the winter months. Naturally I would like to use my own wood to do so, mostly to save money but also with energy savings in the back of my mind.

In Ontario, and so far as I know elsewhere in Canada if you are a “farmer” i.e zoned agricultural, you can obtain a building permit to put up anything from a small shed to a major equipment storage barn using “ungraded” lumber for the structure, in other words lumber cut and sawn on site from your own trees may be used (as it should be). However for those of us with smaller bush lots on our residential properties we MUST use “graded” lumber in order to get a permit. Now please understand we are NOT talking about a residence here but just a simple shed / garage being built by the owner. Whats with this? My neighbour on the farm can erect the self same shed that I wish to construct using his own lumber (or for that matter MY lumber) and it is deemed perfectly acceptable, whilst on my property it is not?

Surely if its safe on the farm, its safe a mile away on a residential property, if the inspector can approve and examine the former and pass it then he can do the same for the latter. What difference does it make WHERE the building is constructed in determining as to what materials are acceptable and what are not. I will not even get into at any length the quality of that “graded” lumber I would have to purchase at the store, or the fact that my lumber would be FULL 2 x 4 or 2 x 10 or whatever and not 1.5 x 3.5. I will only briefly mention the energy wasted in trucking that lumber from the bush to a distant mill and then probably half way across the country to my local lumber store. I will say little about the employee “grading” the lumber at the mill blindly stamping anything that is not totally and obviously a load of crap. I just cannot understand why my superior lumber is unacceptable for a project on my own property and built by myself with specifications exceeding that required for a barn on agricultural property (or for that mater on a residential property)

Once again bureaucratic red tape and blindly following the “rules” set out by “governments” screws the little guy trying to save both a buck and the environment.

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