Wood Business

Next-gen leaders: Meet Ian Dunn

October 8, 2019  By Canadian Forest Industries Staff

Each year, Canadian Forest Industries is proud to highlight 10 men and women under 40 who exemplify the best of Canada’s forest industry. Our seventh annual Top 10 Under 40 consists of inspiring young men and women who represent every aspect of the forest sector, and love what they do.

To acknowledge and highlight each winner’s contributions, CFI will feature one of 2019’s winners every week for the next 10 weeks.

This week, we introduce our readers to Ian Dunn, director of forestry and environmental policy for the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA).

Ian has been in the forest industry for 10 years, and during that time, “he has evolved to a level of complete respect from all his peers on his communication skills,” says Dave Legg, Ian’s colleague and fellow Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) member.


Ian, 32, is able to speak with anyone in the industry, from CEOs to front-line workers, and all levels of government, Legg explains. His ability to understand conflict and find solutions has proven to be extremely valuable for OFIA, he adds. For example, Ian was instrumental in the proposed harmonization of Ontario’s Endangered Species Act and the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, leading a team to work with the provincial government in developing forest management prescriptions to ensure minimal loss of fibre supply.

Ian has also given presentations about the industry at events, sharing insights about how forestry professionals can work with government regulations, direction and prescriptions. At the Ontario Professional Forester Association Annual Conference this year, he gave a presentation called, “Registered Professional Foresters – Cooks or Chefs,” in which he equated following government directions to cooks following a recipe, whereas professional foresters’ training and education allows them to be innovative and creative in achieving a healthy, growing forest, like a chef, Legg shares.

“Not many people are as passionate as Ian about ensuring the forest is available for all stakeholders, while ensuring a sustainable wood supply,” Legg says. “Those who know Ian can attest to his positive attitude and desire to work with all parties.”

Up next: we showcase the achievements of winner Zachary Wagman.

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