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n Third Quarter Edition

July to September 2007




 

Upcoming Events
13. Timber Pricing and the Competitiveness of the Forest Industry
14. FVS and MOSSY Training Sessions
15. GLSL and Boreal Seminars

Points of Interest
16. OFRI Tree Seed Workshop
17. Tembec Receives Award!

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General Manager’s Message

As the forest industry struggles with record low markets, high dollar values relative to the United States, pressure from ENGO’s, and a glut of housing available for sale, the need for effective research in forestry has never been greater. The Forestry Research Partnership (FRP) is positioned very well to fill this need.

Building on the excellent research completed over the last several years, we are now in a position to influence forest policy that will lead to better forest management decisions, improved conservation of all forest values, as well as lower costs for the forest industry. This will be one of the main focus areas for the FRP going forward as we need to implement the findings from this valuable research into everyday practice. Examples of this excellent work include Patchworks modeling, new yield curves for improved seed, and new marten core findings.

All of us involved in forest management from MNR, industry and the research community need to collaborate like never before to implement new science. The public is demanding this.

As the new General Manager at the FRP, I am excited about the opportunities that are directly in front of us. We can continue to demonstrate our commitment to sound science and its application in practical everyday solutions. Our forest management practices are second to no one and we can be proud of our dedication.

Let’s have the courage to manage and be truly innovative in our approach.

Sincerely,

Alan Thorne, RPF, P.Eng

General Manager

Forestry Research Partnership

 

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Algonquin Park Group Selection Study Sites Field Tour

By Amanda Clouthier

On June 19th, the FRP's Nancy Young and I, took part in a partners tour of group selection study sites in Algonquin Park. The study we observed aims to determine the effect of selection system disturbances on forest stand structure, composition and regeneration and to relate the changes to effects on bird and insect communities. The study has both retrospective and experimental components. The retrospective component compares single-tree selection stands at various intervals since harvest to uncut stands of similar composition and conditions to evaluate the stand development and habitat recovery over time. The experimental component assesses the value of two different group selection methods as tools for improving the regeneration of hardwood tree species with lower shade tolerances and the related effects on wildlife by comparing pre and post-harvest data. The study comprises 22 sites within the southern and central areas of Algonquin Park, and looks at vegetation, downed wood, nest habitat, bird population dynamics, insects and some economic data. We visited two of the harvested sites: the regular group selection treatment site at Madawaska Lake site and the intensive group selection site at Crossbar Lake. It was interesting to see the strong germination of the heavy sugar maple seed crop but also that yellow birch and black cherry could be seen responding in the newly opened gaps. The post-harvest disturbance levels could be clearly observed giving everyone a chance to reference the starting point for these openings, which are expected to quickly fill in with dense woody and herbaceous cover over the next few growing seasons. As well, participants could be heard commenting on the excellent harvesting job that was completed by the Algonquin Forestry Authority’s operator in August 2006. Click here to view a more detailed synopsis of this research project.

Some of the avian biologists working on the project were available to show the tour participants examples of bird nests that were being studied. The biologists showed us a number of birds and nests that could be divided into two groups: the cup nesters and the cavity nesters. Cup nesters use the stereotypical birds nests made from twigs, grass, moss and whatever other material they might find useful. The ovenbird and the hermit thrush make their nests on the ground, and unless you knew what to look for you would likely never notice them - especially those of the ovenbird, which build dome-like structures over the top of their nests. We also saw the nests of the black-throated blue warbler and the rose-breasted grosbeak. The warbler makes its nest about waist high in shrubs; while the grosbeak makes a very flimsy nest high up in the trees, so flimsy in fact that you can often see through the bottom of it and count the eggs or the young that are present.

The cavity nesters either make or use cavities in dead or living trees. We observed the nests of three different cavity nesters: the yellow-bellied sap sucker, the hairy woodpecker, and the pileated woodpecker. The yellow-bellied sap sucker uses the smallest cavity of these three types of birds. The nest we observed was active, and we got the opportunity to peek inside using a tree-top peeper, a very cool device consisting of a camera mounted on a telescopic pole that can be raised to the cavity, and the video output shows up on a small screen. The hairy woodpecker nest we observed was in the same tree as the sapsucker nest, but was inactive either because it was an old nest, or the young had already fledged. The pileated woodpecker uses the largest cavity of these three birds, and we got the rare chance to see an active nest, where the young were so close to fledging that they were perched on the edge of the nest. Overall, the tour was a big success, and all participants learned a lot and got to see some very interesting things. Data collection for the study continues, and we are all anxious to learn the final results of this very intriguing study.

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ON/QC Hybrid Poplar Tour

By Amanda Clouthier

On July 11th, 2007, the FRP’s Al Stinson, Nancy Young and I participated in a Hybrid poplar (PoH) site trial field tour in New Liskeard and surrounding areas. The tour was led primarily by Annie DesRochers and her team from L’Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT).

The tour visited various hybrid poplar, larch, white, and Norway spruce planting trials. The stops included an operational trial established in 2005 by Grant Forest Products in Englehart, the University of Guelph’s Agricultural Research Station in New Liskeard, and Duhamel-Ouest, St-Eugène-de-Guigues, Angliers and Nédelec in Quebec.

Each of the studies visited looked at various aspects of hybrid plantations. Some of the objectives of the studies were to: Examine which clones are suitable for planting in particular regions, compare the growth and productivity of the different clones, evaluate the cultural methods and nutritional needs of PoH, examine inter and intra-specific competition, fertilization and site maintenance. The end goal of this type of research is to see if fast-growing species, managed intensively, would have a place in the production of bioenergy or as an easily accessible wood supply for such products as Oriented Strand Board (OSB).

This project presented a wonderful opportunity for the Forestry Research Partnership to work with and foster some new partners in both Ontario and Québec. Some of these include UQAT, the University of Guelph, Northern College, Grant Forest Products, and the government of Québec. Hybrid plantations may also have a significant impact on the FRP’s ability to reach its goal of ‘10 in 10’ (10% more harvestable volume in 10 years).

The tour was a definite success and all of the participants were pleased to see the early positive results of the studies. It would seem that hybrid poplar is likely to have not only a place in Canadian forestry but perhaps even a significant impact on it.


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Ontario Stewardship Rangers Help the FRP at Gurd

By Amanda Clouthier

The Ontario Stewardship Rangers is one of many valuable youth programs offered by the Ministry of Natural Resources. Students participating in the OSR program have the opportunity to work on a variety of community-based natural resource management projects, and in doing so provide free labour to many important organizations, as well as gain a wealth of practical knowledge and experience. Youth programs of this type are crucial in exposing students to the field of natural resources management at a time when they will be deciding their futures in education and beyond; the declining enrolment in such programs at universities and colleges is a testament to the fact that we need more youth programs such as this to increase awareness.

This year’s North Bay crew came to help out the FRP with some much needed pruning in the Gurd Research and Tree Improvement Area near Trout Creek, ON. This 200 ha research site was established in 1963 by the Department of Lands and Forests. The FRP has been managing this site since 2000.

The Rangers spent July 10th and 11th, pruning mature red pine that had been planted as part of a frozen seed stock study started approximately 43 years ago. The trees are thriving, so much so that pruning is required to prevent knotting of the stems caused by branching, so that they can eventually be used as hydro poles. The five crew members made short order of what would surely be a time consuming and labour intensive job for one person. The FRP is very grateful for the help provided by the rangers, and we look forward to working with them again in the future!

The North Bay OSR crew: Brittany Arthur, Sarah Schamerhorn, Brendan Cote, Lucas Beaver, and crew leader Michelle Allard.

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IUFRO Conference

A number of FRP scientists had the opportunity to present their research to a global audience at the meeting of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations’ growth models for tree and stand simulation unit held in Sault Ste. Marie in July. The FRP was proudly represented at the event by Al Stinson, Nancy Young, and the traveling display, along with a large contingent from our advisory committees and partners. Check out the full article here or click on the following link for pictures and further information: http://www.iufrosault.org/index.html.


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CIF AGM and Conference

The Forests in Settled Landscapes conference hosted by the Canadian Institute of Forestry and the 100 year old University of Toronto Faculty of Forestry was a great success. The topic and location were very different from the usual forestry conferences; promoting urban forestry and stewardship in highly populated and oftentimes fragmented areas. Exhibitors ranged from arboriculture companies to entrepreneurial tree-growers, Universities, government organizations, to (you guessed it!) the FRP. This event also included a ceremonial tree planting to celebrate the faculty’s centenary, a trip to Drysdale’s Tree Farm, a cruise aboard a tallship in Toronto’s harbour, and field tours to rural woodlots and stewardship areas, and Oakville’s urban forest. Click here to read one of the news releases about this event.
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Patchworks Update

Patchworks is a new spatial modeling system that is being integrated with the old Strategic Forest Management Model (SFMM) in a hierarchical decision support system for planning. Two planning teams have embraced the challenge of integrating the two systems which is bringing together a collaborative network of partners including the planning teams, the FRP core teams, MNR organizational units, and Spatial Planning Systems.

Click Here to read an update on the FRP's Patchworks modeling project.

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NEBIE News

The NEBIE plot network is a study designed to compare the effects of natural forest disturbance with those of a range of intensities of silvicultural practices (Natural, Extensive, Basic, Intensive or Elite) throughout the boreal and GLSL forests of Ontario.

Click Here to read an article about how the forest industry is adopting the NEBIE intensive forest management framework.

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MNR Regional Director's Tour

By Al Stinson and Nancy Young

On September 13th, after a meeting with North Bay district staff, Eric Doidge, the MNR’s brand-new northeast regional director took part in a tour arranged by Nipissing Forest Resource Management (NFRM) and the Forestry Research Partnership. It was a great opportunity to introduce the director to the work being done by the MNR, researchers, and forest industry in the region and it even turned out to be a beautiful field day – complete with the blazing fall colours well-known to the area.

The tour participants included representatives from North Bay district MNR and Science and Information Branch, Nipissing SFL, and Tembec. The convoy traveled to various research and operational sites in the Mattawa area throughout the day with the FRP’s usual contingent of knowledgeable and engaging field guides from the MNR, NFRM, and Nipissing University. The director and crew stopped in at the following research sites: the Phelps red oak research area, a yellow birch pre-commercial thinning and Canada yew harvesting study site, and one of the NEBIE silvicultural research installations. The operational blocks visited on the Klock’s Road included a uniform shelterwood seeding harvest operation and a block that was being salvaged as a result of the wind storm that wreaked havoc upon Central Ontario in July 2006.

After the field visit the party enjoyed a fancy BBQ dinner at the Canadian Ecology Centre and some evening presentations about the Forestry Research Partnership and LiDAR research. The tour was a great presentation of collaborative research projects that demonstrated the utility of applied science projects as well as a pleasant introduction to the southern end of the region for which the director is now responsible.

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FRP Staff Transitions

By Nancy Young

As always, things are changing rapidly at the FRP! From loss, however, springs new beginnings and opportunities. The departure of Acting Extension Manager Ken Durst in the springtime created a void that will be filled by Tembec’s Divisional Forester, Sue Pickering in September. She will be Program Manager for the FRP along with her other Tembec duties. Sue brings with her a vast knowledge and experience base in forest operations, forest vegetation management research, management planning, and certification requirements. Al Thorne, Chief Forester for Tembec Ontario, will also be hitting the ground running with us as General Manger since Bill Snell, our Acting General Manager, has been called off to meet the heightening demands of his primary job as Technical Manager for Tembec.

Samantha Turcotte’s departure from her role as IT guru for the CEC/FRP has been filled very competently by Lee Robidas, a computer systems technician from right here in Mattawa! Lee will be looking after the information infrastructure at the Ecology Centre and keeping the websites, networks, and all other tech devices on track. Please help us welcome all of the new staff members, and feel free to check out their profiles on our website in the coming weeks!

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CLA 2007 Forestry Teacher's Tours

By Amanda Clouthier and Nancy Young

This year’s Teachers’ Tours, run by the Canadian Ecology Centre welcomed over sixty educators from across Ontario to learn the straight facts about forest management and its importance to Canada in terms of economics, environment, and society. The English tour ran from August 7th to the 10th, and the new bilingual tour took place from August 14th to 17th. Typically, there is an English tour and a French tour, this year, however, the bilingual tour was introduced due to an overflow of interest from English speaking teachers. Both tours were a huge success once again with a lot of positive feedback resulting.

During each four day tour, participants learned about the history of forestry from the time of logging camps and river drives through to multi-use management and the cutting-edge research of today. The replica logging camp at Marten River Provincial Park was the perfect place to provide ‘experiential education’ about the lifestyles and forest management practices in the lumber baron days. The teachers also got to visit a few forest fire and research sites, an ‘old growth’ forest, and the Tembec sawmill in Mattawa. These sites were selected in order to provoke discussion and challenge personal opinions formed by popular media and the lack of awareness of the reasoning behind forest management practices. The Fur Harvesters’ Auction in North Bay, for example, is always controversial, but nearly everyone leaves with a different opinion than that with which they started.

With the many hands-on activities and practical exercises focused on applying this new knowledge in a classroom setting, the teachers came away with many great new ideas for the upcoming school year as well as a greater understanding of forestry practices which they can share with future generations. In the struggle to increase enrollment in natural resources programs at the post-secondary level, this type of event is crucial – and gaining in popularity as evidenced by the increasing numbers of Teachers’ Tours being run throughout the country. Many thanks to the sponsors of this event and to the FRP’s partners who generously gave their time to speak to these groups!



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Field School Frenzy

By Nancy Young

Well, it’s that time of year again: the leaves are changing colour, kids are heading back to class, and forestry students are coming to the Canadian Ecology Centre for field school. So far in August and early September we’ve hosted the second year Sir Sandford Fleming Forestry Technology students and Lakehead University’s fourth year Forestry students. These annual field schools are a very effective way to make students aware of the current practices, research, and challenges that they will face head-on in their careers as foresters, as well as to show them a new area that many of them have never experienced. During each of their two weeks in Mattawa, the eighty or so Fleming students get very hands-on field experience: obtaining their chainsaw and brushsaw certifications and learning about GPS, forest mensuration and treemarking as well as touring some of the FRP’s research sites.

Based primarily out of Deep River this year, Lakehead students had the opportunity to learn about forestry in the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence forest region by touring Algonquin Park, the Petawawa Research Forest, John Stuart’s red pine and eastern white cedar woodlots, an old growth tolerant hardwood forest, and the red oak and yellow birch research sites in Phelps Twp. This trip allowed students to put their textbook knowledge into context and to learn about the need for different management regimes and practices in this region as compared to the Boreal Forest. Thanks so much to the staff at the North Bay MNR Southern Science and Information Branch, the Petawawa Research Forest, Algonquin Forestry Authority, Spatial Planning Systems, Nipissing Forest Resources Management, and Tembec, as well as John Stuart and Tom Boudreau for their outstanding help with these annual events: they could not take place here without the help of these dedicated professionals! Later on this fall the Canadore College Environmental Protection Technicians, the Sir Sandford Fleming Geomatics students, and the Northern College Forest Technicians will get their chance at bat!

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Timber Pricing and the Competitiveness of the Forest Industry

The University of Toronto in collaboration with the FRP, the MNR and the SFMN are offering an excellent continuing education opportunity for foresters and others interested in forestry economics. The session will take place on November 7th and 8th at the Canadian Ecology Centre. Click Here to view the information package and agenda for this session.

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FVS and MOSSY Training Sessions

Are you looking for a way to import your field data into some useful stand modeling programs to help you make some key decisions in the management of your forest? Keep an eye on the FRP website over the next few months, because we will be offering a few very practical hands-on sessions to teach you step-by-step how to use both the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) and the Modeling Stand Succession and Yield (MOSSY) programs. www.forestresearch.ca/Workshops/coming_events.htm.

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Great Lakes-St.Lawrence and Boreal Seminars

Never fear, these long-awaited events are on the books for this year. Keep an eye on the FRP website as these events may be coming your way in the winter! They will provide key updates on the cutting-edge research that has been done this past year, and will give opportunities to network and share ideas on how to implement the results into Forest Management Plans near you!

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OFRI Tree Seed Workshop

Click Here to view a poster for OFRI's upcoming "Adapting to Change: Managing Tree Seed in an Uncertain Climate" Workshop in Sault Ste. Marie.


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Tembec Receives Award!

On September 28th, Tembec will receive the FSC Winds of Change Award. The award recognizes exceptional contributions to safeguarding the future of our forests and all who depend upon them.

Click Here to read an article from "The Working Forest" about Tembec's receipt of an award from the FSC for being leaders in forest management.


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