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CIF responds to Boreal Forest report

July 29, 2013, Mattawa, Ont. – The Canadian Institute of Forestry says the argument that forestry as practiced in jurisdictions across Canada is threatening boreal forest ecosystems is false.

Canadian interdisciplinary forestry - which includes excluding operations from areas of high conservation and cultural value - ensures that biodiversity, wildlife habitat, water quality and cultural values are well integrated and effectively managed in policy and practice. Many species benefit from efforts to emulate the natural disturbances, which boreal forest ecosystems are based on.

"Forest management and the sustainable harvesting of wood should not be implied to be a negative extraction activity," said Michel Vallée, president of the CIF/IFC. "We are concerned that this report is misleading the public in terms of the very high standards that Canadian forestry achieves."

Forest practitioners and professionals are highly trained and live and work in the boreal forest of Canada or regularly visit it to conduct forest management activity, to perform audits, to do research, or for a variety of other reasons.

They are also involved in working with local residents and citizens from across their provinces to ensure Canadians have opportunities influence forestry operations.   These individuals are responsible for ensuring publically owned forests are managed sustainably as is required under provincial legislation, and a wide variety of science-based publicly reviewed forest management guides and manuals that follow from this legislation.

"Our members, many of whom are registered professional foresters and forest technologists across Canada work well within the complex, comprehensive forest management planning, implementation, and auditing processes, in full support of sustainable forest management," said John Pineau, CEO of the CIF/IFC.

Provincial and federal governments in co-operation with the forest industry also maintain a number of research programs to test the effectiveness and efficiency of forest management direction as applied through audited forest management plans that are approved for implementation on public land. An increasing number of First Nations communities and aboriginal Canadians are becoming directly involved in both forest management planning, and in managing operational forest businesses.

"All the forest management plans, the guides used to develop them, and information on how forest management planning, implementation, monitoring, and auditing are undertaken can be found on-line in the public domain," said Matt Meade, executive director of the CIF/IFC. "Input is on these plans are vigorously solicited, and it is an open and transparent process."

The CIF/IFC contends that the balance of available scientific information suggests that Canadian forest management is conserving the biological diversity of boreal forest ecosystems. There are many other sources of information, including research papers published by independent scientists that support this conclusion. The Institute believes that the message in the report, though well intentioned, misleads the public with respect to Canada's rigorous and interdisciplinary science-based forestry practices.

The Canadian Institute of Forestry has more than 2300 members and is the national voice of forest practitioners, promoting public awareness and a better understanding of good forest stewardship.

July 29, 2013  By Woodbusiness

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