Kenora billboard highlights importance of wood products and Ontario’s forest sector
By Forests Ontario
Nov. 12, 2018 – Government, private sector and not-for-profit stakeholders gathered in Northwestern Ontario on Nov. 9 to promote a recent billboard developed under the province-wide It Takes A Forest public awareness initiative.
By Forests Ontario
Greg Rickford, MPP Kenora-Rainy River, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, and Dave Canfield, Mayor of Kenora, joined Erik Holmstrom, Ontario Timberlands Manager of Weyerhaeuser Company Ltd. and Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario, in front of the billboard to acknowledge the pivotal role that the forest sector and sustainably managed forests play in the economic, social, and environmental well-being of local communities.
Representing a collaborative effort of over 40 organizations, the It Takes A Forest initiative is designed to increase public awareness of the management of Ontario’s forests through the dissemination of fact-based information. The initiative aims to reach Ontarians across the province with the message that forests are central to our lives.
Located just west of the city of Kenora along Highway 17, the billboard recognizes the important environmental benefits of wood products, including their ability to sequester carbon and fight climate change. To date, a dozen billboards have been erected across the province highlighting the importance of the forest sector.
“Forestry is an integral industry in Ontario, one that is especially important in Northwestern Ontario,” said Minister Rickford. “This billboard is a terrific way to boost public awareness about the importance of forestry for our local economy and community, but also the essential role forest products play in our day to day lives. I applaud the work of the It Takes a Forest initiative, and be assured that the Ontario’s government for the people will always support Ontario’s forestry and forest products industries.”
“The answer to climate change is in the forest, harvest when mature and replant,” said Mayor Canfield. “Our sustainably managed forests promote a healthy environment and a healthy economy in communities such as Kenora, it’s a win-win.”
“A well-managed sustainable forest creates numerous environmental benefits,” added Holmstrom. “One of those is the positive impact on carbon sequestration and climate change. The use of wood and stored carbon in long-lived wood products, followed by regenerating the forest, is beneficial as young, healthy, growing forests continue to sequester more carbon as they grow. We thought it was fitting to install this billboard just outside of Kenora, a community that has supported forestry and sustainable forest management for more than 100 years.”
These billboards are one of the many methods used by It Takes A Forest to connect with Ontarians on a variety of forestry-related topics. Since its establishment in 2016, It Takes A Forest has actively participated in local events and used social media platforms to engage the public and stimulate dialogue on sustainable forest management, wildlife, recreation and human health, climate change, and the benefits of wood and wood-based products.
“Ontario is recognized as having the most sustainable forest management standards in the world and that’s something all Ontarians should be proud of,” explained Keen. “By managing this important resource in a responsible manner, we’re able to provide for a variety of social, ecological and economic values over the long-term. It’s a good news story and one that needs to be told.”
For more information on It Takes A Forest, visit www.ittakesaforest.ca or follow activities on Twitter and Facebook @ittakesaforest.