Forestry Management
March 14, 2017 - Wood pellet manufacturers in both the U.S. and Canada are increasingly diversifying their feedstock to reduce fibre costs and take advantage of less utilized fibre sources, according to analysis by Wood Resources International.

The key fibre furnish in both countries are sawmill byproducts and forest residues, together accounting for over 80 per cent of the total feedstock in British Columbia and almost 50 per cent in the U.S. South.

Over the past 10 years, there has been a clear shift in fibre-sourcing for pellet manufacturers in the U.S. South from logs to residues. In 2008, when the first large pellet plant was built, practically all fibre consumed by this plant was low-quality small-diameter logs from adjacent forests. This fibre source is a high-cost fibre furnish since it needs to be chipped, hammered and dried before it can be processed to pellets, which adds substantial cost to the manufacturing of pellets.

Increasingly, pellet plants throughout the southern states have turned to sawmill by-products and forest residues that in the past have been left at the harvesting sites. The North American Wood Fiber Review (NAWFR) has for the past five years tracked the fibre sources for the pellet industry each quarter in the two major producing regions of North America – British Columbia and the U.S. South. There have been two clear trends:

In British Columbia, pellet companies have moved from entirely relying on inexpensive sawdust from the local sawmills for its fibre furnish to increasingly supplementing its dominant fibre source with forest residues in the form of tree tops and branches left after harvest operations.

In the U.S. South, there has been an increase in the usage of residuals at the expense of roundwood.

In the 1Q/17, pellet plants in B.C. consumed just over 82 per cent sawmill residues, while forest residues accounted for about 17 per cent. With the expected reduction in lumber production in the province in the coming years, pellet plants will increasingly have to rely on forest residues and low-cost logs for their furnish since the available supply of sawmill by-products will diminish.

In the US South, the fibre sourcing trend is the opposite of British Columbia with expected increases in the usage of sawmill residues as the lumber production is likely to expand in the future. From the 1Q/13 to the 1Q/17, the usage of industry and forest residues increased from 33 per cent to 47 per cent of the total fibre furnish for the pellet industry, according to the NAWFR. This upward trend is expected to continue, especially in regards to the usage of sawdust and microchips (chips manufactured from tree tops, tree branches and small-diameter trees from forest thinnings). 

The North American Wood Fiber Review (NAWFR) has tracked wood fiber markets in the US and Canada for over 30 years and it is the only publication that includes prices for sawlogs, pulpwood, wood chips and biomass in North America. The 36-page quarterly report includes wood market updates for 15 regions on the continent in addition to the latest export statistics for sawlogs, lumber, wood pellets and wood chips.

March 14, 2017 – The Government of B.C. is investing $3.6 billion in rural communities in the next year, with some funding also being allocated to forestry. The government says the goal is to strengthen and diversify B.C.’s rural communities with specific attention going into improving local economies, working with youth and partnering with Indigenous communities.

Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson made the announcement, saying the initiative reflects the importance the province places on people living and working in rural areas of B.C. “Creating the conditions for rural British Columbia to grow and thrive is a key priority for our government,” Thomson said in a statement.

A $500,000 investment is going into the Regional District of Mount Waddington to create more forestry jobs there. “The creation of this rural economic development blueprint helps guide strategic investments which connect people, improve the health of our communities and environment, and stimulate business activity,” Rural Advisory Council member Jonathan Lok said in a statement. “These are meaningful initiatives that will make a difference for all of us in rural B.C.”

A $150 million investment is being placed in the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia which will be used to save the environment via tree-planting. It will also create more than 3,000 jobs in rural British Columbia, according to a government statement.

“B.C.’s rural economies and natural resource industries are at the backbone of our economy, and are shouldering the risk posed by the global downturn in commodity prices,” Premier Christy Clark said. “These challenges require immediate action to support our rural communities and a long-term plan that builds on our rural advantages to create jobs and diversify our economy.”

The province of B.C. provides more than $2.2 billion every year to help rural areas with education and skills training.
March 7, 2017 - Resolute Forest Products is filing a lawsuit against Greenpeace, stating the environment conservation group has been slanderous in its claims against the forestry company.

Since 2012, Greenpeace has stated that Resolute has not carried out environmentally friendly logging practices, thus harming animals and ecosystems, and disregarding Indigenous people and their lands. 

Resolute has denied the claims and is now suing Greenpeace after the latter recently admitted that its claims against Resolute were not fact-based.

Greenpeace is currently trying to toss out the lawsuit without a hearing.

Resolute vice-president Seth Kursman told the Canadian Press, “This is the most significant development in the four-plus years of this saga. Greenpeace has admitted that they were lying about our forestry practices. Their campaign has been peddling falsehoods.”

Read more here.
March 3, 2017 - An audit of Husby Forest Products Ltd.’s activities on Forest Licence A16869, in the Haida Gwaii Natural Resource District, found compliance with almost all of the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, according to a report released Thursday.

“Our auditors found that Husby complied with most requirements of the legislation, but found fire-hazard assessments were not completed on time,” said Tim Ryan, board chair. “However, Husby had abated fire hazards in an effective and timely manner and now has a system in place to conduct hazard assessments in the future.”

“Auditors also noted that Husby located, marked and mapped culturally significant features in its planning, such as yew, crabapple and monumental cedar trees, to protect them. Husby also covers all road approaches to fish stream crossings with gravel and shot rock to prevent sediment from getting into the streams”, said Ryan. “These are good practices in a challenging operating area.”

The audit area is located north of Masset Inlet in the Collison Point and Eden Lake areas. All forestry activities carried out between Aug 1, 2014, and Aug. 23, 2016, were subject to audit, including harvesting, roads, silviculture, wildfire protection and associated planning.

The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board audits forest and range practices on public lands and appropriateness of government enforcement. It can also make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.
Feb. 27, 2017 - Resolute Forest Products has signed a five-year commercial agreement with the Red Rock Indian Band, an Ojibwe First Nation in northwestern Ontario. The agreement is a formal commitment between the company and the band to identify and pursue new economic opportunities and commercial investments, as well as to establish a collaborative forest management planning process for the woodlands Resolute manages. Northern Ontario Business reports. | READ MORE.
Feb. 27, 2017 - Traditional methods for reforestation use seeds from local tree populations. With the climate quickly changing, these local trees will be poorly adapted to new environments that not only have warmer temperatures, but also more disease pressures. And climate change isn't just bad for trees. It's also bad for the economic and environmental benefits they provide to Canada -- benefits like wood, jobs, habitat protection and carbon sequestration.

Foresters have three options for dealing with this problem: reforest with the same species, but with trees that are better adapted to warmer climates; move species further north or to higher elevations; or select and breed trees that can better withstand climatic stresses or disease. All of these strategies can be successful, but only if we have scientific knowledge about which trees can better withstand a changing climate and the stresses that accompany it.

Dr. Sally Aitken of the University of British Columbia (UBC) is leading a team, including Sam Yeaman of the University of Calgary and Richard Hamelin of UBC and Université Laval, that will use genomics to test the ability of trees from different populations to resist heat, cold, drought and disease, and identify the genes and genetic variation involved in climate adaptation. The ultimate goal of the project, valued at $5.8 million, is to develop better reforestation strategies for economically important tree species such as Douglas-fir and lodgepole pine, as well as western larch and jack pine.

"Better matching trees with new climates will improve the health and productivity of planted forests. To understand the adaptation of trees to both climate and diseases, we will use genomic tools along with climate modeling and seedling experiments," says Dr. Aitken, a Professor in the Faculty of Forestry. "Our previous research has shown these approaches will give us these answers in a few years rather than in a few decades. The success of this research is dependent on our close collaboration with provincial tree breeders and forest managers."

"Our ministry is pleased to be a major partner in the CoAdapTree research project, in collaboration with Dr. Aitken's team at UBC," said Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson. "Together, we are developing important tools to implement climate-based seed transfer. The B.C. government is committed to using the results of this research to improve forest management practices that will benefit all British Columbians."

The project, CoAdapTree: Healthy trees for future climates, will provide recommendations for climate-based seed transfer policy to guide foresters in planting trees that will be healthy in new climates in western Canada. Climate-based seed transfer can result in up to 30% greater timber yields, with a proportional impact on the economy and employment, and will also sustain ecological and environmental benefits of forests.

"The forestry industry contributed more than $20 billion to Canada's GDP in 2014, and directly and indirectly employed 288,000 people," says Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa, Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President, Sector Development at Genome BC. "We have been investing in forest research since 2001 and have funded an earlier phase of Dr. Aitken's genomics and climate-change research because this industry is critical to BC's economy and this work will make a major difference to future forest outcomes."

The project was awarded through Genome Canada's 2015 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition Natural Resources and the Environment: Sector Challenges -- Genomic Solutions. Funders of this work include Genome Canada, Genome BC, Genome Alberta, Genome Quebec, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the Forest Genetics Council of BC, and Natural Resources Canada. It is also funded by forest companies including West Fraser, CanFor, and the Sinclair Group, partners in the Vernon Seed Orchard Company, as well as Western Forest Products Inc., and TimberWest Forest Corp.
Feb. 14, 2017 - A logger killed in the Woods Lagoon area of B.C. on Feb. 4 was the first harvesting fatality of 2017, according to the BC Forest Safety Council.

The faller was struck by a tree, uphill from where he was working.

"Our condolences go out to the family and co-workers of the deceased," BC Forest Safety said in a statement.

The council released the following safety information as a precaution to others:

  1. Red and yellow cedars in rocky areas with shallow or wet soils are likely to be unstable. Cedars naturally have shallow roots and other characteristic hazards. A list of hazards for the common tree species is below or on page 2 of this alert.
  2. Weather conditions can cause significant changes in ground conditions. Heavy rainfall can reduce soil strength which causes landslides and tree instability. Frequent freeze and thaw cycles can create ground instability and rockfall.
  3. Overhead hazards are difficult to see and are often a cause of falling incidents. Take the time to assess the tree and look for hazards like limb tied trees and dead tops or branches.
  4. Many falling incidents are the result of chain reactions. The tree being felled can cause unexpected movement in nearby trees, logs, rootwads or rocks. As part of the hazard assessment, anticipate what chain reactions may occur.
The fatality is currently under investigation by WorkSafeBC and the Coroners Service.
Feb. 13, 2017 - A recent study aimed at identifying untapped biomass hotspots in Canadian forests has produced findings that could help Canada to mobilize its wood-based bioenergy supply chain.

The study – a collaboration between researchers with the Canadian Forest Service’s (CFS) Laurentian Forestry Centre and Université Laval’s Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics – used remote sensing technologies to estimate the spatial distribution and theoretical availability of biomass sourced from harvest residues and fire-killed trees nationwide.

“We were trying to quantify, estimate, and locate where the potential for bioenergy existed from harvest residue and fire-damaged stands,” explains Nicolas Mansuy, a forest landscape researcher and the principal author of the study. “We wanted to see if you could use these resources, and gain an idea of the variability and volume available each year.”

Using maps detailing Canada’s forest attributes, as well as annual fire and harvest data between 2002 and 2011, Mansuy and his fellow researchers were able to calculate annual estimates of biomass availability for both harvest residues and fire-damaged trees – no small feat given the unpredictable nature of forest fires.

“The harvest residue is pretty stable year over year,” he acknowledges, “but the fire is more volatile, because we don’t know where the fires will hit the forests each year.”

What the researchers found was an abundance of untapped and potentially viable biomass material.

“We have a lot of clearcuts in Canada, and a lot of fires, and based on those disturbances we have a lot of residues that are not being used by traditional forestry.”

The study’s findings, which were first published in the scientific journal Biomass and Bioenergy, could have a significant impact on the provincial, national, and international outlook for the biomass supply chain in Canada. First, though, researchers will have to work with regional and provincial stakeholders to validate their findings on the ground and assess the viability of establishing cost-effective supply chains.

For his part, Mansuy is hopeful that the study, which is the first of its kind to attempt a nationwide biomass inventory using a remote sensing approach, will ultimately facilitate comprehensive assessment of biomass location, costs and logistics, support decision making in the bioenergy sector, and help to establish consistent national biomass metrics in the years to come.

“It’s really hard to knock on the door of each province and ask about their biomass inventory,” he explains. “The benefit of the remote sensing is that we can work nationally, and use the same method to collect new information and reach our calculations each year. Besides, the quality and the resolution of the product are going to improve in the near future.”

While the study’s findings could prove a real boon for biomass stakeholders in Canada – where they could help spur BioFuelNet Canada’s vision of a sustainable and globally competitive Canadian bioeconomy – they will likely also be well-received in Europe, which depends on bioenergy to a much greater degree than Canada due to government policy and its relative dearth of oil and natural gas reserves.

“The demand for renewable energy is very high in Europe,” says Mansuy. “The European market is already very robust, so they require a lot of imported biomass both from the U.S. and Canada.”

Mansuy stresses, however, that the key in any future development – whether it’s the establishment of regional supply chains, or more significant export agreements – will lie in developing practices that are environmentally sustainable, an important facet of supply chain development that other nations have overlooked in the past.

“In Canada, the sustainability of biomass harvesting is very important. It’s a great advantage for us to have so much biomass here in our country, but we want to ensure that we’re managing it properly to maintain healthy ecosystem resilience. It’s important to leave an appropriate amount of residue in the forest to maintain the ecosystem there, so we have sustainability constraints that we have to take into consideration.”
Feb. 13, 2017 - “It’s a different mentality to harvest trees in partial sections,” says Raymond Frappier, a forest contractor in Estrie, Que. “I find it beautiful and it allows us to return to the same area after 15 or 20 years.”
Feb. 10, 2017 - As the landscape of logging operations changes in British Columbia – with an increase in the availability of new harvesting equipment from overseas manufacturers – employers, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and importers must understand the requirements in the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupation Health and Safety Regulation before using the equipment in B.C.
Feb. 3, 2017 - National tree planting charity Tree Canada announced a more than $1-million investment to restore the forests destroyed by the devastating Fort McMurray wildfires last year. Following overwhelming support from corporate partners and everyday Canadians, Tree Canada announced that plantings will begin this spring.

Tree Canada's "Operation ReLeaf - Fort McMurray" program will begin planting trees in publically-owned natural, forested areas to facilitate forest regrowth according to Fire Smart standards. Discussions are also underway to replace trees lost in adjacent First Nation communities. The restoration project will continue at least into 2018, and possibly into 2019 with a focus on residential trees and street trees scheduled to be planted. A planned 2018 project will aim to restore the tree canopy in Beacon Hill, one of the neighbourhoods hardest hit by the blaze that consumed an area approximately the size of the province of P.E.I.

"We are deeply grateful to Tree Canada and all of its partners for this very generous donation," said Melissa Blake, mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. "This support will undoubtedly lift the spirits of the entire community and help us restore so much of the natural beauty that was impacted by the wildfire."

"We're dedicated to returning this community to its former beauty and would like to thank our corporate partners and individual Canadians for making it possible," said Michael Rosen, president of Tree Canada, who personally visited the region last year to assess the damage and prioritize areas for reforestation. "We deeply sympathize with residents who lost their homes and have had their lives so disrupted by the fire. It is my sincere hope that this initiative will help to bring back a sense of normalcy."

To support the Operation ReLeaf Fort McMurray program, Tree Canada's long-time partner CN generously donated $1 million.

"Fort McMurray is an important community for CN, and our own employees were personally affected by the disaster. We are proud to support an initiative that will not only help restore the tree canopy but will also contribute to the wellbeing of this community with lasting benefits," said Mike Cory, CN executive vice-president and chief operating officer.  "We encourage other Canadian businesses to join CN in support of Fort McMurray's reforestation."

In addition to CN, Tree Canada has collected generous donations from TELUS, IKEA Canada, FedEx Express Canada, U-Haul, BP Canada Energy Group and Unilever Canada, as well as many individual Canadians.

If you wish to continue the support for Tree Canada's efforts to replenish Fort McMurray's forests, please donate online at To learn more about Operation ReLeaf - Fort McMurray, visit  

About Tree Canada

Tree Canada is a not-for-profit charitable organization established to encourage Canadians to plant and care for trees in urban and rural environments.  Tree Canada engages Canadian companies, government agencies and individuals to support the planting of trees, the greening of schoolyards, and other efforts to sensitize Canadians to the benefits of planting and maintaining trees. Since 1992, more than 80 million trees have been planted, over 580 schoolyards have been greened, and Tree Canada has helped organize twelve national urban forest conferences. The next Canadian Urban Forest Conference will take place in Vancouver, BC in 2018. More information about Tree Canada is available at

About Operation ReLeaf

Tree Canada's Operation ReLeaf programs have been helping communities recover from natural disasters and pests since 1996 when the organization responded to the tragedy of Québec's Saguenay floods. ReLeaf programs are already well entrenched in Alberta, where Tree Canada helped replace urban forests damaged by the 2014 September snowstorm in Calgary, trees lost to the massive floods that devastated southern Alberta in 2013, and since 2010, has helped residents and land owners replace trees lost to the mountain pine beetle.
Feb. 3, 2017 - Outbreaks of insects and plant pathogens are threatening Canada’s capacity to provide long-term fibre supply, which is vital to our annual $33-billion forest export industry: Canadian wood products could be rejected on the global market if severe outbreaks were to occur. These invasive alien species also menace the important ecosystem services provided by forests that including carbon storage, nutrient cycling, water and air purification, soil preservation and maintenance of wildlife habitat. 

As people gather today at the Premier’s Natural Resource Forum in Prince George, Forestry was a major topic of discussion at the premier's Natural Resource forum in Prince George. B.C. contains vast and diverse forests and rangelands and almost 60 per cent (55 million hectares) of B.C.′s 95 million hectares is classified as forest land. Forest products also account for 30 per cent of B.C.′s total exports. The number of new introductions and interceptions of Forest Invasive Alien Species is escalating at an alarming rate and the key to reducing this risk is via vigilant biosurveillance to increase preparedness and facilitate early interventions. Biosurveillance is a process of gathering, integrating, interpreting and communicating essential information that might relate to disease activity and threats to plant, animal or human health. 

Funded in part by Genome BC, Dr. Richard Hamelin of the University of British Columbia, Cameron Duff of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Dr. Ilga Porth of Laval University will lead a team of scientists to harness the power of biosurveillance by decoding the genomes of some of the most threatening invasive species and developing a new suite of tools to rapidly and accurately detect these detrimental forest enemies and assess the risk they pose. Their BioSurveillance of Alien Forest Enemies (BioSAFE) project, valued at $8.6-million, will enable forest health professionals to track and identify the source of these threats and use a decision-support tool to predict the risk of an outbreak and weigh management and mitigation options. Their work will be directly translated by partnering with the three most important national organizations mandated to protect Canada’s forests: the CFIA, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and FPInnovations. This will ensure that the tools developed will be implemented and deployed operationally. 

“One of the challenges is that invasive species can arrive by various pathways including on wood products and live plants, through global transport pathways and by natural dispersal across borders. Asian long horned beetle, Asian gypsy moth, Dutch elm disease and sudden oak death are examples of threats that are not native to Canada, but can cause irreversible damage to both the natural and urban forests and environments,” says Dr. Hamelin, Professor, Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences. “The best way to fight them is through early detection via biosurveillance so they can be eliminated before they become established.” 

There are numerous challenges facing professionals who work on preventing the introduction of invasive species. Real-time assessment presents a significant challenge because of the diversity of pests and pathogens that professionals have to contend with and the lack of knowledge about the origin and history of traded goods. 

"The integration of this technology to complement our diagnostic toolbox will not only lead to more rapid and accurate species identification, but also improved risk assessment and targeted biosurveillance activities for us and our partners," says Cameron Duff, executive director of plant health science at CFIA. "By joining forces with experts from academia and our federal, provincial and territorial government counterparts on the design and implementation of this technology, we are also developing an integrated network to better protect Canada's forests and natural environment." 

“This pioneering approach takes full advantage of the remarkable technological advances in genomics and data science to speed up and improve decision-making to inform mitigation and management of invasive species, says Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa, chief scientific officer and vice-president of sector development at Genome BC. “The partnership with CFIA, NRCan and FPInnovations means that this research will move out of the laboratory to where it is most needed.” 

This project, which builds on past investments by Genome Canada, Genome BC and Genome Quebec will generate benefits by enabling the maintenance of our export market access and by cost avoidance or cost minimization of up to hundreds of millions of dollars annually arising from direct and indirect economic, social and ecological impacts of protecting our national assets against invasive alien species. 

This research will enhance Canada’s capacity and preparedness in prevention and mitigation of forest invasive species incursions by better informing pest risk assessment and management options. The project was awarded through Genome Canada’s 2015 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition Natural Resources and the Environment: Sector Challenges – Genomic Solutions. Funders of this work include Genome Canada, Genome BC, Genome Quebec, CFIA and NRCan. 

Genome British Columbia leads genomics innovation on Canada’s West Coast and facilitates the integration of genomics into society. A recognized catalyst for government and industry, Genome BC invests in research, entrepreneurship and commercialization in life sciences to address challenges in key sectors such as health, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture, agri-food, energy, mining and environment. Genome BC partners with many national and international public and private funding organizations to drive BC’s bioeconomy. In addition to research, entrepreneurship and commercialization programs, Genome BC is committed to fostering an understanding and appreciation of the life sciences among teachers, students and the general public. 
Feb. 1, 2017 - With the mountain pine beetle population now being brought down to manageable levels, the Annual Allowable Cut (AAC) has also been decreased significantly for British Columbia. The outcome? Mill closures. And less mills means less jobs.

Hakan Ekstrom is the president of forest industry consulting firm Wood Resources International. “More sawmills will be shut down in British Columbia. The question is, will it be three, four, five or six sawmills? And will it be in the next three, four or five years?” he said to Business Vancouver.

The massive beetle outbreak began in 1999 and peaked in 2004 before being brought under control in 2015.

In B.C. alone, the beetle outbreak resulted in more than 16 million hectares of trees being destroyed, according to the B.C. government.

Read the full story by Business Vancouver's Gordon Hamilton.
Jan. 31, 2017 - Spruce trees are Canada's most significant forest resource because they grow in almost every region across the country and are the largest species by the number. Spruce trees also produce high quality wood and fibre that is widely used in the industry. With roughly 400 million seedlings planted per year, spruce are the most reforested trees in Canada. Climate change and unpredictable forest product markets require innovative new tools and technologies for tree breeding programs to deliver reliable spruce stock for future seed and seedling production.

A $10.5-million research project, Spruce-Up: Advanced spruce genomics for productive and resilient forests (Spruce-Up) is estimated to more than double the net economic output value of spruce forests, increasing the value of new trees and reducing losses due to environmental disturbances. This investment, made in part by Genome BC, is being led by Dr. Joerg Bohlmann at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Dr. Jean Bousquet from l'Université Laval. The team will accelerate the development and deployment of genomics-improved spruce seedlings that could be more resistant to insects and drought, has enhanced nutrient use efficiency and results in improved wood quality and productivity.

"Spruce-Up capitalizes on our long-standing successful collaborations with industry and government," says Dr. Joerg Bohlmann, Professor and Distinguished University Scholar, Michael Smith Laboratories, UBC. "We are building on over a decade of ground breaking forest genomics research enabled by Genome Canada, Genome BC and other partners."

Another research project, Synbiomics, valued at $9.5-million, is being co-led by UBC's Dr. Harry Brumer and led by Dr. Emma Master of the University of Toronto. They are focused on harnessing the genetic potential of microorganisms to identify and develop new biocatalysts that can be used to create materials from trees, such as resins, coatings, bioplastics and adhesives. The project will also foster small and medium-sized enterprises that will work together synergistically with nearby pulp mills, creating lasting knowledge-based economic opportunities for Canada's forest sector and rural communities.

"The application of genomics technology to forestry challenges is a direct link from laboratory to product support," says Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa, chief scientific officer and vice-president of sector development, at Genome BC. "We are investing in this innovative work because there is a real opportunity to ensure the continuing success of a major Canadian economic sector and find cost efficiencies in the process."

These projects were awarded through Genome Canada's 2015 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition Natural Resources and the Environment: Sector Challenges - Genomic Solutions. Funders of this work include Genome Canada, Genome BC, Genome Quebec, Ontario Genomics, the BC Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations, Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec, Natural Resources Canada, Forest Products Innovations, and the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre and other partners.

Genome British Columbia leads genomics innovation on Canada's West Coast and facilitates the integration of genomics into society. A recognized catalyst for government and industry, Genome BC invests in research, entrepreneurship and commercialization in life sciences to address challenges in key sectors such as health, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture, agri-food, energy, mining and environment. Genome BC partners with many national and international public and private funding organizations to drive BC's bioeconomy. In addition to research, entrepreneurship and commercialization programs, Genome BC is committed to fostering an understanding and appreciation of the life sciences among teachers, students and the general public.
Jan. 12, 2017 - William Angus and Thomas Logan chose Windsor, Que., as the site of Canada’s first wood-based pulp mill in 1864. Today, with more than 150 years of continuous operation, the site now known as Domtar’s Windsor mill is the city’s largest employer.

Advances in technology and sustainable forestry over the past 152 years have dramatically changed the landscape of the industry and environment in Windsor. In fact, today’s high-tech tree-harvesting techniques would be nearly unrecognizable to those who brought papermaking to the area.

Because few people outside of the industry actually get to witness sustainable forest management practices in action, the Windsor mill created its Harvesting with Precision video to demonstrate how tree harvesting techniques that mimic the forest’s natural cycle can actually benefit the land.

“Here, we’re doing a partial cut in a young hardwood stand, where some of the trees will die in the next 20 years or are not in good shape,” Domtar forester Patrick Cartier says in the tree harvesting video. “So we’ll do a partial cut to bring in more sunlight and promote new growth.”

Cartier explains how Domtar selects which trees to harvest using a specialized tree harvesting machine that can cut with extreme precision, removing a tree without damaging another one growing just inches away. The goal for such partial cuts, notes Cartier, is to promote growth for future harvests. “So next year and the year after, there will be new growth that will start the next group of trees that will eventually replace the ones that are here now after we harvest them in about 20 years,” he says.

Since Domtar obtained Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification of its privately-owned forests in the Eastern Townships region of Quebec in 2005, a number of practices and partnerships have been developed to meet the FSC’s rigorous criteria while pursuing our forestry management operations in Windsor.

The FSC requires forest-products companies to make special efforts to protect the environment. The organizations must, among other things, take the necessary measures to preserve the habitat of rare or threatened species. They must also identify and preserve forests with high conservation values.

“There is much more to the forest than wood, and the certification aims at a balance between the environment, social responsibility and the economy,” said André Gravel, fiber manager at Windsor Mill. “Domtar is active in all stages, that is to say from the tree to the sheet of paper.”

The mill realizes that responsible forest management and careful tree harvesting is essential for healthy and thriving ecosystems. Its conservation efforts have earned the facility multiple awards, including a recent award at the Fondation Estrienne en Environnement gala and a Gold Award at a trade show celebrating best business practices organized by the Quebec Quality Movement in Montréal.

Over the past decade, Domtar and the Windsor Mill have helped preserve 12,000 acres of Quebec’s most prized forestlands in permanent conservation, ensuring these unique ecosystems remain well-preserved for future generations.
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