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First Quarter Edition

January-March 2007




  Forestry Education at the CEC
13. University of Toronto field camp
14. Bioenergy Forum to be held at CEC

Points of Interest
15. Updating the Canadian Forest Ecosystem
     Classification system
16. CIF conference series
17. Hearst BES Conference
18. The Power of Sun

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General Manager’s Message

At the end of January 2007, the three major research institutes connected to the Canadian Forest Sector (Forintek, FERIC, and Paprican) announced that plans had been finalized to merge and become a single institute called FPInnovations.

Commenting on the creation of FPInnovations, Frank Dottori, Chairman of the Board of Paprican, stated “In addition to spearheading the activities of FERIC, Forintek and Paprican, FPInnovations will also provide technical direction for the Canadian Forest Service’s newly created Fibre Centre. This means that researchers along the entire value chain will be better positioned to support industry in developing the next generation of value-added products. Understanding the unique qualities of Canadian forests and determining how to maximize the value of that resource is key to the industry’s future success. FPInnovations will play a significant role in assisting industry with this challenge.”

These are now exciting times for Forest Sector research in Canada. The group of people from industry and government that created the Forestry Research Partnership had a vision that we can do better than what was originally defined as effective forest research. Those of us that continue to build on this vision can only be encouraged by the national framework that is emerging.

We now have an opportunity in front of us to take our solid understanding of forest productivity and integrate this knowledge into a well-connected value chain. The interaction of a broader group of researchers and practitioners will drive and further refine our comprehension of the forest ecosystem. As we keep a close eye on the work of those charged with designing the National Fibre Centre, it will be interesting to look at the effectiveness of the FRP from a different lens.

The approaches and vehicles for collaboration within the Forestry Research Partnership have been developed with a great deal of effort and cannot be taken for granted. Let’s continue to challenge each other to ensure this standard of successful application of research remains at a high level.

Bill Snell
General Manager
The Forestry Research Partnership

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LiDAR Project Update Meeting
By Paul Courville

On February 6th, 2007, a group of scientists and program managers met at the Canadian Ecology Centre to learn more about the new discoveries from the Forestry Research Partnership’s (FRP) Great Lakes - St. Lawrence inventory project. In total, the event attracted 15 eager listeners representing Tembec, the Ministry of Natural Resources, and the Canadian Forest Service.

Murray Woods, Project co-lead, presented first as a part of an integrated presentation with Paul Courville and Dave Nesbitt, showing the unity of the different tangents that the project has explored. The presentation began with Mr. Woods’ statement that LiDAR is “more than just a better DEM”. The proof begins to build in the next few slides with images of Ontario derived Canopy Height Models (CHM) and Murray’s explanation that simple things like tree heights and Crown diameters are invaluable forest metrics to foresters and planners as a site productivity and silvicultural tool. The possibility of providing a measured (versus an estimated) inventory height was highlighted.

Paul Courville offered some preliminary findings of the FRP’s LiDAR for Hydrologic Mapping project, strayed back to the better Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and explained some of the possible products that can be derived with the benefit of existing freeware. He talked about predictive hydrology and stream completeness, as well as predictive wetlands and the possibility of typing those wetlands using the LiDAR DEM. The potential of a LiDAR DEM to be used as an aid in planning skid trails and avoiding potential site disturbance issues was also discussed.

Images of some very preliminary work with Francois Gougeon’s Individual Tree Classification (ITC) Suite, using imagery only, were shown to the group. On the LiDAR side, Murray presented some exciting early results from Dr. Kevin Lim’s part of the project which introduces the possibility of deriving forest metrics (density, basal area, volume) at a stand level.. In addition, a LiDAR-based inventory methodology was introduced as a method to automate the prediction of these metrics for each stand polygon. To finish the presentation, Dave Nesbitt provided his procedures and excellent results in the automation of the measurement of crown closure from the CHM. The meeting concluded after a large number of questions and discussions on the exciting potential of this technology. Comments from participants indicated that they were very impressed with the rapid pace of the developments from this project and look forward to the final workshops planned for the middle of May.

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Red Oak Research Workshop
By Nancy Young

On March 2nd, from 1 – 8:30pm Nipissing University will be hosting a free workshop focusing on current red oak (Quercus rubra L.) research and management practices. This event will include presentations from a variety of perspectives: local red oak management experts, Nipissing University students, and the keynote speaker from the United States Department of Agriculture – Forestry Service. The intent of the workshop is to provide forestry professionals, students, and the interested public with current information on the management, research, and value of red oak.

If you are interested in learning about this valuable species and its place in Canadian forestry, please RSVP to Nancy Young at nancy@canadianecology.ca or (705) 744-1715 ext 595. A pizza dinner will be provided for those staying for the full session. Attendees are also invited to join the forestry field session with the University of Toronto on Saturday March 3rd to see forest operations and the application of ecological theory in white pine and maple-dominated forests. If you would like to partake in this event, please let me know, and meet us at 9am at the Canadian Ecology Centre.

Click here to view poster.
Click here to view the agenda.

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Farewell and good luck to John Wright
By Samantha Turcotte

In late January the Canadian Ecology Centre – Forestry Research Partnership (CEC-FRP) was saddened to hear of the resignation of a valued employee: John Wright. John started working for the FRP as a GIS intern in May 2005, and in that time has worked on a variety of projects including: the FRP’s 2020 project, coordinating the Sir Sandford Fleming Geomatics Camps, developing and maintaining the ArcIMS services for Tembec Forest Resource Management sections in Manitoba and Ontario, and developing secure websites for clients such as the Lake Abitibi Model Forest. For much of his time here, John also (thankfully!) took on many of the CEC-FRP’s network administration and other technical difficulties, provided GIS training to a number of groups, and helped Paul Courville with the creation of new GIS map products using LiDAR. On January 23rd, 2007, John started his new position as a GIS specialist with the Grey-Sauble and Saugeen Valley Conservation Authorities based in Owen Sound. The CEC-FRP staff would like to wish John and his family the best of luck in their new location! John’s skills and positive attitude will be greatly missed.

To view a pdf of this article with photos click here.

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Timmins Area FRP Research Project Update

Click here to view a pdf of the project update by Scott McPherson.


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Watch for FRP website updates

To better facilitate the extension of knowledge from researchers to practitioners, the FRP website is being upgraded and updated. The website is in the process of getting a facelift while also undergoing a reorganization process. The reorganiztion of the website will improve the accessibility of information as well as the overall navigability of the site. The new site is expected to be up and running by the beginning of April 2007.

Click here to view a sample of what our new website will look like.

If you have any comments and suggestions concerning the FRP website please contact Amanda DesJardine.

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FRP projects with the OCE

Two of three FRP projects with the OCE have been approved as follows:

"Evaluation and Development of Lidar Data Acquisition Standards for Forest Inventory Applications and Predictive Forest Ecosite Classification" (Treitz, Van Ewijk, Durst, Woods). The startup meeting for this project was held on February 19, 20 in North Bay and covered a range of topics including;
  • Identification of eFRI variables/inputs for which lidar can contribute.
  • Standards (i.e., accuracy and precision) required for eFRI variables.
  • Lidar data acquisition specifications to meet accuracy and precision standards.
  • Forest ecosite classification research.
  • Timetable for field and research activities (2007-2008).

The objectives of this project are to provide comprehensive and practical LiDAR data standards to support the measurement or derivation of eFRI variables and to develop a software module that will assist in ecosite classification.

“Multi-Cohort Classification Using LiDAR” (Malcolm, Kuttner, Rudy, Bidwell, Woods, Durst) was approved February 9, 2007 and will examine the capacity of the LiDAR point cloud to help identify forest structure. The objective of the project will be to develop a modular software application that automates the classification as a component part of an enhanced forest inventory management system.

Click here to download presentation.


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Employment Opportunity – Internship

There is a new job posting for the position of Forestry Technologist Intern with the Canadian Ecology Centre - Forestry Research Partnership. Please pass it along to anyone you can think of who may be interested in this type of employment. We will be accepting resumes until March 9th, and are hoping to hire someone to start shortly after March 14th.

Click here to view job description.

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Developing a Closer Link to the Petawawa Research Forest

Established in 1918, the Petawawa Research Forest in Chalk River, ON has turned out to be one of the Canadian Forest Service’s most prolific forest research sites, giving rise to an incredible number of valuable scientific studies. The research at this site has generally focused on silviculture, forest and fire ecology, and tree improvement.

In early February a meeting took place between the Forestry Research Partnership (FRP) and the Petawawa Research Forest (PRF) to discuss how the two organizations can work together more effectively to promote their common goal of extending the results of scientific research to practitioners. In the near future the FRP is hoping to have more links, Tree Tips, Tech Notes, and event listings available to better promote this notable partner: please keep an eye on the our website (www.forestresearch.ca) for updates on our progress! At this time we would like to provide the links to the current PRF and other related sites for background and information about upcoming events, etc.:

Canadian Forest Service:
http://www.glfc.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/petawawa/index_e.html.

Friends of the Petawawa Research Forest:
http://www.magma.ca/~frndsprf/index.htm.

Deep River Science Academy:
http://www.drsa.ca/framepage.html.

Be sure to watch the Friends’ page for updates on the Maple Syrup Festival (mid-late April), and the Science Academy page for researcher and high school student employment opportunities!

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Core Team Activities

Both the Nipissing and the Northeast Core Teams have met within the past month to discuss the extension of FRP projects. The main topic of both meetings was the prospective integration of Patchworks into the current Romeo Malette and Nipissing Forest Management Plans. All partners appear to firmly support this project and hope to see it become operational through these planning processes. The need for an enhanced inventory to increase the accuracy of any forest management model was also emphasized. Finally, Dr. Jeff Dech, NSERC fellow with the FRP and Nipissing University, was introduced to the teams with the hopes of expanding his research from red oak to Boreal forest issues.

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Management and Science Advisory Committees

On March 5th and 6th, the FRP’s Management and Science Advisory Committees will be meeting at Cedar Meadows in Timmins to discuss the current strategic plans of the partnership. This meeting will function as a platform to update the high-level managers of the FRP on the status of projects, budgets, and other key areas.

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Enhanced Forest Productivity Reports

The FRP is now eagerly awaiting the arrival of all of the EFPS reports from our lead researchers with the help of Andy Mutchmor, in order to secure funding for the next year of the projects. These reports are due to Nancy Young by no later than March 7th, 2007.

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University of Toronto Forestry field camp headed to the CEC
By Nancy Young

The Masters of Forest Conservation students and other graduate students from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Forestry will be attending the 11th annual Canadian Institute of Forestry/ Nipissing University conference and field tour session at the Canadian Ecology Centre on the weekend of March 2nd. During this visit the students will meet many of the people that work in the forest, participate in the red oak research workshop, go on a field tour of forestry operations and the application of ecological theory in white pine and maple-dominated forests, as well as tours of other local attractions. This is the 4th time that this group has come to the Canadian Ecology Centre for this field session and we hope to continue the tradition!

Members of the Canadian Institute of Forestry and the Nipissing Naturalists club are invited to participate in the field tour on Saturday: everyone will meet at the Canadian Ecology Centre at 9am. An outdoor lunch of vegetarian chili will be provided – please dress appropriately to be outside all day and do not forget to bring your snowshoes along with you. Please contact nancy@canadianecology.ca if you are interested in participating.

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Bioenergy Forum to be held at CEC

On March 7th and 8th, the CEC will be hosting a forum entitled ‘Bioenergy Focus Ontario’, the objective of which will be to develop a network of Bioenergy Associations and to determine the actions this network will take.

Attendance at this event is by invitation only. If you are interested in participating please contact Chris Rees at (705) 724-1600 or crees1@bellnet.ca.

Click here to view the agenda.
Click here for a registration form.

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Canadian Forest Ecosystem Classification:
a component of the Canadian National Vegetation Classification

Ken Baldwin, NRCan-CFS, GLFC February 16, 2007

The Canadian Forest Service, in the context of a broad partnership of provincial/territorial and non-governmental agencies, is coordinating the development of a nationally standardized classification of forest/woodland plant communities for Canada. The “Canadian Forest Ecosystem Classification (CFEC)” constitutes the forest/woodland component of the more comprehensive “Canadian National Vegetation Classification (CNVC)”, which seeks to classify all natural and semi-natural vegetation communities in Canada. Although each province has an existing classification for at least part of its forest diversity, individual provincial classifications do not presently relate to each other across jurisdictional boundaries. The CFEC/CNVC work will develop nationally standardized “plant associations” using data from over 70,000 plots established by the provincial ecological classification programs. CFEC/CNVC associations will be cross-referenced to new or existing provincial plant community-scale units, so users of each provincial classification can find equivalencies with classifications of neighbouring jurisdictions. Eventually, CFEC/CNVC associations will be aggregated into more generalized units in a vegetation classification hierarchy.

A nationally standardized forest classification permits answering the question, “How many forest types are there in Canada?”, and provides a framework for describing individual forest conditions in terms of floristic composition, stand structure and ecological context. Potential applications include:
  • National reporting framework (e.g., Criteria & Indicators of Sustainable Development) – certain
  • attributes are reported by “forest type”;
  • Standardized ecological reference framework for information exchange between jurisdictions;
  • Nationally standardized classification for protected areas (e.g., Parks Canada);
  • Nationally standardized habitat classification for species at risk;
  • Component of eco-certification schemes (identify globally threatened ecosystems for resource
  • management adaptation);
  • Baseline for monitoring change impacts on biodiversity, ecological process relationships, etc.


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CIF conference series

The Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF) has recently started hosting a monthly lecture series covering a variety of topics related to forestry research. These presentations are available in-person at the Great Lakes Forestry Centre in Sault Ste Marie and also via web broadcast. Admission is free for CIF members and $25 for non-members; contact John Pineau at jpineau@cif-ifc.org to sign up!

This month’s lecture will take place on Wednesday February 28th at 1:30pm; Dr. Doug Pitt will be discussing the importance of vegetation management in forestry.

For more information click here.

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Hearst BES Conference

Check out the following link to see an ad for the upcoming Bio/Eco/Socio conference in Hearst on April 13th and 14th. The deadline for registration is April 1st, and the cut-off date for cancellation with full reimbursement is March 15th. Learn how forestry-dependent communities such as Hearst can adapt to economic changes and come out on top - and meet David Suzuki!

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The Power of Sun

Thinking of adopting solar energy into your life? Check out this link from our partners at Natural Resources Canada to find out the photovoltaic power potential for your community! https://glfc.cfsnet.nfis.org/mapserver/pv/index_e.php

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