Forestry Management
May 25, 2018 - The government of British Columbia is making changes to give rural communities additional economic and land management opportunities, by allowing them to increase the size of their community forest.

Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, made the announcement today at the BC Community Forest Association AGM in Burns Lake.

“We want to make sure we’re providing a strong economic base for rural communities,” said Donaldson. “This change will help to give community forest operators more options to create local employment opportunities, and also benefit First Nations.”

A community forest is a long-term agreement to manage Crown land that may be held by a local government, community group, First Nation or community-held corporation. Rural communities and First Nations see community forests as a tool to manage the local Crown land base, to provide benefits to the residents and help support their local economies and provide long-term employment opportunities. There are 57 community forests in the province.

“We have been actively working with the provincial government to strengthen the role of people and communities in decisions around the resources they depend on for jobs and community well-being,” said Erik Leslie, president of the BC Community Forest Association. “These are welcome amendments, and are being implemented after full consultation with those affected.”

The change is as a result of amendments to the Forest Act and Community Tenures Regulation. With the change, the expansion of a community forest will be allowed, provided there is available area. Expansions of less than 100 hectares will follow a simplified process, whereas expansions of greater than 100 hectares will require a thorough process, including a management plan and community engagement.
May 24, 2018 - For the 22nd consecutive year, IKEA Canada co-workers will join Tree Canada to plant over 2,000 trees and shrubs in 17 communities across Canada as part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability and support for local communities.
May 24, 2018 - The government of British Columbia is starting a discussion on improving wildlife management and habitat conservation, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has announced.

“The diversity of wildlife in British Columbia is one of our province’s greatest treasures,” said Donaldson. “Working with Indigenous peoples, wildlife stakeholders and the public, we want to build a strategy that more effectively manages our wildlife for future generations. We’ve dedicated $14 million over three years to do so.”

The province's unique landscapes and climate is home to one of the richest wildlife resources in North America. Three-quarters of Canada's mammal species are found in B.C., with 24 of those species exclusive to B.C. In recent decades, alteration of habitat due to expanded human populations, expanded natural resource development and impacts from climate change have placed increasing pressure on certain wildlife populations, some of which are now in decline.

As part of the government’s commitment to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, collaboration with Indigenous peoples is an integral part of developing a new provincial wildlife strategy.

The discussion paper, Improving Wildlife Management and Habitat Conservation in British Columbia, poses eight questions for discussion. Engagement is the first step in a four-step process to develop the strategy:

  1. Hold online engagement and face-to-face sessions with Indigenous communities and key stakeholders.
  2. Develop policy options to address priority concerns emerging from the engagement.
  3. Release a policy intentions paper for public engagement.
  4. Implement a new wildlife management and conservation strategy in 2020.
The comment period will end on July 31, 2018. The public is invited to provide input by visiting: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/wildlifeandhabitat
May 18, 2018 - Alberta is protecting more than 6.7 million hectares of boreal forest in the northern part of the province.
May 10, 2018 - Manitoba's Pineland Forest Nursery is no longer viable as a provincially operated entity and will shut down operations on Dec. 31.
May 8, 2018 - Bruce Larson, Tara Marsden and Rick Monchak have been appointed to the Forest Practices Board for two-year terms, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has announced.

Larson, who will also serve as vice-chair, has been a professor at the University of British Columbia’s faculty of forestry since 2002. He has a PhD in forestry from the University of Washington and a masters degree in forestry from Yale University. Larson is a member of the Canadian Institute of Forestry and an honorary member of the Association of BC Forest Professionals. He was awarded the Canadian Institute of Foresters, Forestry Achievement Award in 2015.

Marsden has a master of arts degree in political science from the University of Northern British Columbia, and has worked with First Nations governments across northern B.C. on land and resource governance and management issues. Marsden is the sustainability director with the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs Office in Gitanyow. She also served as the BC Leadership Chair for Aboriginal Environmental Health at the University of Northern British Columbia and has been an instructor at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. Marsden is a member of the Gitanyow First Nation.

Monchak is a professional forester with a long history of working on the B.C. coast. Monchak, who retired from TimberWest in 2017, holds degrees in biology and forestry from the University of British Columbia. A member of the Coast Region Implementation Team and Silviculture Sub-Committee, Monchak has experience in every aspect of forestry operations and administration. He was awarded the Association of BC Forest Professionals Distinguished Forest Professional in 2013, and was the Coastal Silviculture Committee Silviculturalist of the Year in 2016.

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 and appropriateness of government enforcement on public lands, investigates public complaints and current forestry issues, participates in administrative appeals, and makes recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.

More information on the Forest Practices Board is available online: http://www.bcfpb.ca
April 5, 2018 - The CEO of the BC Forest Safety Council (BCFSC), Rob Moonen, and the president and CEO of FPInnovations, Stéphane Renou, are pleased to announce that the two organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work collaboratively on enhancing safety performance in the forest industry by sharing leading, innovative scientific and technical applications.

Under the MOU, individual projects and financial support agreements for specific activities will be identified through consultation between the two parties, with FPInnovations providing research expertise and non-proprietary technical resources or materials to assist the BCFSC in improving or expanding the support it provides to the forest industry to reduce serious injuries and fatalities.

“This MOU supports some of our key strategic objectives, namely to link safety and business success in a meaningful way and to improve the distribution and awareness of industry current best practices, guidelines and standards, while improving collaboration with government agencies and other stakeholders," said Rob Moonen, BC Forest Safety Council CEO. "Promoting innovation, science and technical solutions in support of improving safety in the forestry industry is key to long-term success.” 

Examples that are currently underway include a steep slope harvesting calculator, feller buncher rollover analysis, fatigue and distraction technologies, a winch-assist harvester best practice manual and body cams for fallers.

“This MOU reflects the importance for the forest sector of increasing safety as a key metric of industrial performance and demonstrates the industry’s commitment to seek innovative solutions to managing risks. FPInnovations values this partnership as an opportunity to drive its research and expertise to field practitioners and achieve safer operations for forest workers,” said Stéphane Renou, president and CEO, FPInnovations.
April 3, 2018 - Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada) will be placing 1,600 youth in green jobs through partnerships with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Canadian Parks Council (CPC).

PLT Canada has received approximately $11 million in funding from the Canadian federal government to provide the youth with jobs in the summers of 2018 and 2019.

“We’re just trying to give youth some professional experience so that they might consider a green job in the future, and hopefully this is just one step in the right direction to be a sustainable leader in the future,” Jessica Kaknevicius, PLT Canada’s project lead on the Green Jobs Initiative tells CFI.

Kaknevicius, who also got introduced to forestry through tree-planting in her youth says the passion of the people who work in the sector is what drew her in, combined with being given the chance to explore.

“I wasn’t really an outdoors person growing up; I wasn’t really exposed to a lot of nature, but it was because of being given opportunities in green jobs that I ended up pursuing a career in it,” she says. “I think everyone’s dedicated and committed and really loves their job, and that’s something that’s contagious and something that has inspired me to continue in this field.”

Kaknevicius encourages interested youth to spend time interacting with those who are working in the field to find out about opportunities that are available. At the end of April, PLT Canada will have a website available with job postings for positions in the program that haven’t been filled yet.

Kaknevicius says the goal is to grow forest and conservation leaders by providing students with opportunities and careers in conservation and forest management across the country, as well as provide wage-matching to employers to provide more opportunities for youth to enter into green jobs.

Eligible organizations can access the federal funding for a 50 per cent wage-match. Working periods run from May through August and must be for a minimum of eight weeks to a maximum of 16 weeks. Canadian youth aged 15–30 are eligible and must be registered students returning to school, either secondary or post-secondary, according to PLT Canada.

The forest sector is being encouraged to participate by applying for green jobs that are applicable in different organizations.

“We’ve had lots of organizations across Canada already apply for funding to support positions like silvicultural technicians, forest technicians, wildlife researchers, so there are lots of opportunities for the forest sector that can be supported by this wage-matching program,” Kaknevicius says. “That’s the benefit of working with Project Learning Tree Canada and through SFI is that we’re really reaching out to our network members to provide this opportunity.”

Employers can find out if they’re eligible on PLT Canada’s website at pltcanada.org.
March 29, 2018 - On August 24, 1943, the Globe and Mail announced, “the formation of the Ontario Forest Industries Association by a widely representative group of lumber, pulp and paper and associated industries, with the objective of securing better utilization of the great forest resources of Ontario.”
March 29, 2018 - Did you know it is possible to grow trees to maturity in 15 years in Quebec? This impressive feat was achieved by Domtar with the hybrid poplar production program it launched in 1997 to increase its wood supply. A seven-fold increase in the wood yield of the natural forest has meant the paper giant is now able to add to its conservation efforts while maintaining its wood supply.
March 26, 2018 - About eight years ago post secondary forestry programs in Alberta faced critically low student enrolment. Some semesters had so few people enrolled the programs were in jeopardy of closing. Today those same programs are at or over capacity.
March 26, 2018 - On Oct. 18, 2017, a logger was killed in a tragic incident near Mackenzie in northern B.C. While using a feller buncher to cut timber on a slope, the machine tipped over backwards leaving the operator no escape route when the machine caught fire. His death was devastating for his family, his community and his coworkers.
March 21, 2018 - Spring is a time for renewal and growth. In Canada, this means tree planting.
March 15, 2018 – Healthy, vibrant and sustainable Canadian forests is the theme of a new youth-focused initiative announced today by Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and Earth Rangers, the kids’ conservation organization.

Announced on the sidelines of the GLOBE Forum, the largest and longest-running leadership summit for sustainable business in North America, the joint Living Forests Initiative will focus on educating youth about the many benefits healthy, living forests provide — and what needs to be done to ensure they continue to thrive for generations to come.    

To help raise awareness of the central role forests play for all life in Canada, the initiative kicks off on May 1, 2018 with the launch the first ever Earth Rangers Living Forests Photo Competition, which is open to aspiring photographers aged 12 and under across Canada. Categories include “best wildlife photo,” “best forest landscape” and “best tree photo.” A panel of expert judges will review all entries, and prizes will be awarded for the top photos in each category after the competition wraps up on June 18, 2018. 

“As future stewards of some of the world’s most vibrant forests, kids in Canada need to have a direct stake in the health of this incredible natural resource. Earth Rangers is looking forward to working with FPAC on this exciting new initiative to help educate and inspire the next generation of conservation leaders,” says Tovah Barocas, vice-president of external relations at Earth Rangers.

Canadian forests provide huge environmental, economic, and social benefits. Home to almost 70 per cent of Canada’s terrestrial species, healthy forests provide us with the air we breathe and help reduce the impacts of climate change. They also play a crucial role in Canada’s economy, with the forestry sector acting as one of the largest sources of employment in the country while also supplying important products like lumber and newsprint.  

“We view this partnership with Earth Rangers as an important part of FPAC’s continuing efforts to engage and communicate to the public the important work our sector plays in sustainable resource management and putting Canadians to work,” says Derek Nighbor, chief executive officer of the Forest Products Association of Canada.
March 13, 2018 - The Board of Directors of the BC Forest Safety Council (BCFSC) is pleased to announce that Dave Lehane has been appointed chair of the BCFSC, effective March 22, 2018. Dave takes over from Ken Higginbotham, who retired at the end of 2017.
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