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The Untold Truth Of Netflix's Big Timber

If you like Canada, trees, and reality TV, then you might be a big fan of "Big Timber." It's all about a family-owned logging business operating out of Vancouver Island. The first season was originally commissioned by and premiered on History back in 2020. It apparently did well enough, ratings-wise, that Season 1 was made available on Netflix in early July and peaked at #6 on the Top 10 Trending Shows list.

"Big Timber" is one of the stealthiest reality show hits to make the transition from network TV to Netflix in a good while. Despite its strong showing when it first debuted on the streaming service, the show's presence and popularity is sparse at best. The lumber business featured on the show has its own Facebook and Instagram accounts, but beyond that, its social media presence is barely making a ripple. It has so little feedback from viewers that Rotten Tomatoes can't even give it a conclusive review. So what, exactly, is the deal with this show?

Believe it or not, there's more to "Big Timber" than meets the eye, and we've got the scoop.

It's a brutal job with hardly any time off

If you thought Americans were bad about working long hours and barely taking any time off, the employees at "Big Timber" put most of their southern neighbors to shame. The main figure in the History Channel-Netflix reality series, Kevin Wenstob, matter-of-factly stated that it's just not possible to take time off, according to a report from District Chronicles. "There's never downtime in the industry...we probably take two Fridays off in a year." And longer holidays, like a week or two of vacation that those spoiled Europeans get to enjoy? Forget about it. "There's a lot of work to get done," he reiterated when the topic of anything longer than a three-day weekend came up in conversation.

And although 16-hour days aren't uncommon for the Wenstobs and their employees, Kevin went on to say that the back-breaking work viewers see in the reality show isn't the majority of it. Apparently, it's the family sawmill that brings in the big bucks since it's the "stable employment area" of the business and the logging "is more seasonal." Those 16-hour days still sound like a lot, though.

Yes, sustainable forestry is a thing

According to the Victoria News, which ran a feature on Mr. and Mrs. Wenstob shortly before the show premiered on History, the business is sincerely dedicated to sustainable practices. They're members of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and they take their responsibility as stewards of the environment very seriously. It isn't just about wanting to avoid potentially expensive legal troubles for over-foresting in the short term, either. It's about the long-term goal of making sure the forests stay healthy and thriving so that their source of income never runs out.

Due to irresponsible deforestation running amok in places like the Amazon rainforest, the logging industry is constantly having to deal with bad press and threats from well-meaning (but sometimes under-informed) environmentalists. When performed in a sustainable manner, logging and forestry are actually a carbon sink — which means they take as much or more carbon out of the atmosphere than they put out into it. As a matter of fact, replanting forests in remote, fallow areas is not only a boon for local economies, but also helps fight global climate change when done properly. Unfortunately, the industry as a whole needs to work on its PR before the movement can really take hold.

Cutting down trees is only part of what they do

Like most reality TV shows, audiences who tune into "Big Timber" are only seeing a fraction of what helps the Wenstobs keep the lights on. The more mundane, day-to-day stuff almost always ends up on the cutting room floor when it comes time to make the show palatable for viewers. Although this is usually for the best from an entertainment perspective, the audience isn't given a complete picture of everything that goes on.

Safety meetings, for example, are a part of daily life for the loggers — especially when they're up on the hill. "The terrain is always changing every time things break and come loose — you always have new hazards to watch out for," Kevin added during an interview with Hollywood North Magazine. But those aren't the only natural hazards that the loggers have to deal with on a fairly regular basis. The local wildlife can be hazardous too. Cougars and bears are especially dangerous, with Elk being a close third, as far as threats go.

They're on the lookout for Bigfoot

But deer, elk, bears, and cougars aren't the only natural wildlife that these reality show stars have to watch out for in their daily course of business. During the previously mentioned magazine interview, the reporter asked Kevin about any Bigfoot sightings in the area. He had a very interesting answer to offer up — but probably not a very satisfying one for diehard Bigfoot aficionados.

"Well you know what," he said, laughing off the reporter's joke, "when you go around a corner, he might be there because there are ancient stories of them being out in that area, but I haven't seen anything yet." Of course, the keyword in that sentence is "yet." But who knows what the future holds? Fans may get to see a real, live Bigfoot sighting in future episodes of the show! There aren't any in Season 1, sadly, but anything could happen in Season 2.

Will Big Timber be renewed for a second season?

So far, most of the internet is unsure about whether or not "Big Timber" will even get a Season 2. Some could argue that the first season's performance — teleporting directly to Netflix and debuting in the Top 10 Trending Shows right away — is cause to remain hopeful. Furthermore, unless a show is a global, undeniable success, it's unlikely to be renewed right away. Niche markets like reality TV usually need some time to spread by word of mouth and social media before executives feel the need to make a decision. And "Big Timber" hasn't even been around for a year yet.

But there is a glimmer of hope, according to The Cinemaholic. The online publication recently announced that "In late January 2021, it was reported that the show had already been given the thumbs up for its second round." However, they failed to cite the source of that report. So is it real, or is Season 2 still under negotiation? Keep checking back with us, and we'll give you updates as we find out more.