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Fourth Quarter Edition

October to December 2007




 
   



General Manager’s Message

The continued struggles for the Ontario (and indeed the Canadian) forest industry this year have made it abundantly clear that new science available needs to be implemented immediately. For the last several years, the timely integration of cutting-edge science into forest management and practice has been very much hindered by red tape and outdated rules.

I would like to suggest we take another view of this need from the perspective of a project manager. Project management theory highlights the three main aspects of running a project: time, cost, and scope. I believe many people would suggest that the cost of the project is the most important component of project management but I would like to challenge this and suggest that perhaps timing and opportunity cost are more critical.

In most cases, a project is not a stand-alone entity; rather it is linked to many other projects that depend on its results and timely completion. An example could be refurbishing a dry kiln at an existing sawmill during the Christmas holiday shut down to save on overtime expenditures. If this task took longer than planned, a backlog of rough lumber in the yard could cause the mill startup to be delayed, ratcheting up the overall costs for the operation. Suddenly, the extra overtime cost you should have paid looks very small.

At the FRP, I see our emerging science in the same capacity. For example, we currently have new information regarding marten core management and also more accurate growth rates for improved seed. If these and other pertinent results aren’t implemented in management plans in a timely fashion, we are not meeting our commitment to produce them with the most up to date science, which may negatively affect habitat and industrial potential. We can no longer afford the pace of integration that we have been accustomed to of late as these delays are too costly for all involved.

Industry struggles aside, I would like to welcome everyone back from the holidays and extend the FRP’s wishes to all for a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Sincerely,

Alan Thorne, RPF, P.Eng
General Manager
Forestry Research Partnership




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Timber Pricing Workshop a Success!

By Amanda Clouthier

On November 7th and 8th 2007, a short course in forestry economics entitled “Timber Pricing and the Competitiveness of Forest Industry” was held at the Canadian Ecology Centre, the purpose of which was to discuss basic economic concepts, Ontario’s timber pricing system, and research results relating to the competitiveness of the Canadian forest industry. The day and a half long event was hosted by Dr. Shashi Kant, a forestry economics professor at the University of Toronto, in conjunction with the FRP, the Sustainable Forest Management Network, and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Dr. Kant was the recipient of the Canadian Institute of Forestry’s award for Canadian Forestry Scientific Achievement this year. The award recognizes unique and outstanding achievement in forestry research in Canada. We were honoured to have the opportunity to work with him on this workshop.

The small group of about twelve participants (who shirked hunting to join us!) represented a wide variety of affiliations including the MNR, CFS, Tembec, Domtar, FedNor, Nipissing Forest Resources Management and private forestry consulting firms. This cross section of forestry professionals allowed for some very in-depth, productive discussions of the issues surrounding forestry economics today. One hot topic in particular was that of Ontario’s stumpage system and Dr. Kant shared his analysis of the system with the group. Paul Krabbe, a speaker at the workshop, had this to say: “It is always good to have an objective third party such as Dr. Kant look at this type of issue, particularly when they use analytical techniques that are based on data and not opinion. This analysis verified concepts presented at a similar conference in Michigan where representatives from those regions indicated they are hoping to get a system which would also be based on fairness, relevant data and the simplicity to implement relative to their current system - traits that Ontario's stumpage system has."

The workshop proved to be highly informative, positive experience for all involved. While the soaring Canadian dollar is hurting an already suffering forestry sector, all hope is not lost. The current state of the industry will put Ontario in a good position to take advantage of some key opportunities in the future: the decline of BC timber supplies post Mountain Pine Beetle, the biomass economy, reconstituted products, and engineered wood products to name a few. Needless to say, the atmosphere at the end of the event was much more enlightened – even relieved - than at the beginning!

Neil Stocker, a participant at the workshop, felt that “it was an excellent refresher and extension to my knowledge of forest economics. It would have been really beneficial to forest management decision-making if senior managers in both the ministry and industry were to attend this or other, similar workshops on forest economics in the future. My respects and congratulations to Prof. Shashi Kant in making an apparently dry and boring subject, so much more alive, interesting, and relevant. It was money and time well-spent for me.”

In photo from left to right: Amanda Clouthier, workshop facilitator, Dr. Shashi Kant, Workshop Coordinator, Paul Krabbe, speaker, and Fiona Yang, speaker.

For more information or for a copy of the presentations or papers presented at this forum, please contact Amanda Clouthier (clouthier@canadianecology.ca).

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Can Forestry Help in Afghanistan?

By Nancy Young

Following the Algonquin Section’s annual general meeting on November 8th, CIF members and the public were treated to a memorable cultural experience including an Afghani dinner and a very engaging presentation. The presentation was given by someone with first-hand knowledge of the front lines including the rebuilding of vital infrastructure for civilians such as providing medical services and protection to primary schools for girls. Medical facilities are routinely destroyed by the Taliban and medical personnel kidnapped for ransom or killed. Schools for girls often have grenades lobbed into the playgrounds killing and wounding playing children.

For this International Night (the section’s 52nd event of this kind), Captain Neil Stocker, a boreal silviculturalist with the OMNR who volunteered for a 6 month tour of duty in 2006, provided an in-depth look into the situation in Afghanistan. He provided a great deal of insight into the real issues and how forests and forestry may be a solution to many of the problems. “All these people are really looking for is a stable income to support their families,” said Stocker, “if citizens are educated and paid to plant and maintain forests, and the warlords paid to protect these forests instead of drug crops it would benefit the Afghani citizens, reduce the need for illegal drug trade, help to rehabilitate the landscape, filter the water supply, and even sequester carbon!” What is there to lose? Afghanistan has a population of 30 million people, 50% of whom are under the age of 15. There are only two community colleges for the whole country, one of which did have a forest technician program. Afghanistan used to have forest cover over 20% of its land area, but during the long war with the Soviet Union and their local government much of this forest cover was destroyed by napalm or herbicides to facilitate military operations. Perhaps Canada could consider restoring Afghanistan’s forests and local forest knowledge as a means to rebuild the nation and restore some order and stability to this ravaged country.

Photos taken by Neil Stocker from the turret of a G-Wagon when on patrol in Kandahar district: A typical Afghanistan landscape: a field of marijuana to the right.

Most of the information from Neil’s talk can be found in his article in the September/October 2007 issue of the Forestry Chronicle – it is definitely worth the read for those who are looking to be inspired! This article has certainly made its way around in search of support for an afforestation program in Afghanistan: it has been sent by the CIF National Executive to several federal MPs, Senator Romeo Dallaire John Manley (commissioned by the Prime Minister to report on the future of Canada’s mission to Afghanistan), and the Ambassador to Afghanistan in Canada.

Also of note, three of the CIF members who helped to organize the very first International Night were in attendance: Kit and Norma Yeatman, and Karen Haddon. “52 years ago, a few of The Forestry (local name for the Petawawa National Forestry Institute) wives just got together, w ent to the library and learned how to make a traditional Italian meal,” said NormaYeatman, “Then someone who had been to Italy came to speak about it.” Thanks to Draper’s Catering for providing the fantastic Afghani cuisine of chicken tikka, bruyani, and samosas for this event and saving us from a lot of extra studying, cooking and cleaning up!

As Afghanistan is a very timely and controversial topic it was greatly appreciated by the group that Neil took the time to share his perspective with us. Hopefully the CIF and its members will be able to help lead the way in the future afforestation of Afghanistan!


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World Wildlife Fund and FRP host a tour of Ontario Forestry for Russian Delegates

By Nancy Young

In response to a request by the Russian Forest Stewardship Council to see FSC certified forests and the forest management process in Canada, the World Wildlife Fund worked together with the Forestry Research Partnership to develop a comprehensive tour of a selection of Ontario’s FSC certified forests in mid-November. The purpose of this tour was to provide a base for comparing FSC certification schemes and management processes in Russia and Canada and to share some ideas about how both can be improved. This partnership is especially beneficial because Russia and Canada share the largest proportion of the world’s boreal forests, so, though some of the principle species differ slightly, the ecology, silvics, and hence forestry practices are very similar.

The seven participants in this event represented a broad range of expertise in Russia – from FSC/WWF coordinators to certification specialists to owners/directors of mills and timber associations. Members were primarily from the Moscow, Arkhangelsky, and Kirovskaya regions which have a similar climate and landscape to Northern Ontario.

The tour began with a visit to the FSC head office in Toronto, then off to Sault Ste. Marie where they saw Clergue’s operations in the Algoma Forest as well as tours and presentations at the Canadian Forest Service’s Great Lakes Forestry Centre, and the Ministry of Natural Resources’ Ontario Forest Research Institute. The next few days were comprised of field tours of the Vermilion Forest in Sudbury, the Nipissing Forest in North Bay, and a number of the Forestry Research Partnership’s study sites in the Mattawa area. There was also a special opportunity to see Tembec’s Temcell, Temboard, and specialty cellulose mills in Temiskaming – much to the delight of the mill owners in the group! Many thanks to all of the forest managers, practitioners, foresters, and translators who took time out of their busy schedules to share their views, experience, and knowledge of Canadian forestry with an international audience.

During the tour many conversations ensued amongst the participants regarding the opportunities to change/improve the forestry practices in their home operations in Russia. One example of this would be to adopt the practice of tree marking, as their standard is still equivalent to high grading. Also discussed was the idea to foster further relationships between the countries’ forestry and certification bodies through more international exchanges/tours of this type.

Despite the jet lag (10 hours time difference), language barrier, and hectic schedule, all seemed to learn a lot and have a great time! Thanks to the WWF for providing this very worthwhile international opportunity.


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New High Skills Curriculum Helping Students to see the Forest for the Trees

By Nancy Young

In response to the increasing demand for skilled workers and natural resources professionals, the Ontario government made a commitment in 2005 to create new ‘specialist high skills majors’ in high schools in the province, starting in 2006. The high skills major program is an initiative to provide students with opportunities to tailor their high school education to their specific skills and interests with more hands-on training as well as a new way to obtain the credits required to graduate. The majors offered in 2006 included construction, hospitality and tourism, manufacturing, arts and culture, and primary industry (agriculture, landscaping, mining, and forestry). Health and wellness, business, transportation, and the environment were added to the roster in 2007.

Students in these programs will have courses that are tailored to their sector of choice i.e. students enrolled in forestry will take math and other regular courses that are delivered in the context of the trade by focusing on measurement skills, forestry economics, etc. Also built into the program are opportunities to complete certifications (from health and safety to chainsaw training, etc.), work placements, and apprenticeships that will greatly help to develop their skills and help them to find work after graduation. Local communities will also benefit from these arrangements by developing stronger partnerships between business and schools, and by having students working within the communities and organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. For more information on these programs, check out www.edu.gov.on.ca.

This shift in curriculum, while being very forward-thinking and necessary, will also mean a steep learning curve ahead for the teachers selected to administer the programs. This is where the Canadian Ecology Centre and Forestry Research Partnership came in: to give the new forestry program teachers a crash course in the basics of forestry, operations, management, tool use, and GPS certification. This third instalment of the 2007 annual Forestry Teachers’ Tours took place in late November with approximately 20 teachers from school boards across Ontario participating. During their stay, these educators were able to partake in tours of the Tembec sawmill in Mattawa as well as local field sites and active logging operations – some even got the chance to drive a skidder! The tour was a great success, leaving the teachers with practical tools, experience, and knowledge to pass on in their courses starting in the new year. Many thanks to Melanie Alkins and Guylaine Thauvette of the North Bay Ministry of Natural Resources for their technical expertise, as well as Janveaux Forest Products of Mattawa for showing their logging operation and equipment.

This new program is a huge step in the right direction at a time when recruitment into skilled trades and other professional programs is very low with a large staffing turnover on the horizon. The public education that will occur as a result of this change will also give a much more accurate perception of these large misunderstood sectors and encourage innovation in the dramatically changing business climate of late.

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Coming Soon: FRP Projects Library & Improved Website

Stay tuned folks! Within the next couple of months the FRP will be launching their newly improved website. It will be easier to navigate, all the links and pages will work, it will be updated on a more regular basis, and it will be more aesthetically pleasing! You will easily be able to peruse our latest newsletters and stay up-to-date on our exciting upcoming events.

Also, you will be able to access any products relating to FRP projects, past or present. The FRP projects library has been in the works for some time now, and is very near completion. It includes a comprehensive inventory of all outputs from all FRP projects, as well as individual folders for each project containing those outputs, be it a paper, presentation or tech note.

If any of you have files (reports, tech notes, or presentations) relating to an FRP project or if you have any questions about the library, please forward them to Amanda Clouthier at clouthier@canadianecology.ca.


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FVS Interactive Workshop

A training opportunity is just around the corner! The FRP is hosting a facilitated workshop experience using FVS software to model silvicultural systems in complex stand structures.

The workshop will be held February 5th and 6th at the Canadian Ecology Center in Mattawa, and February 12th and 13th at the Ontario Government Complex in South Porcupine. Cost is $75 plus accomodations, meals are included.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Data) and learn how to:

- Create tree list input files for FVSOntario
- Simulate various silvicultural treatment options and compare results
- Simulate various planting densities
- Create tabular and graphical outputs
- Create visualization models of created scenarios for transfer activities
- Explore the full potential of keyword controls

Don’t miss your opportunity to evaluate and provide input on the beta version of this model to make it even more powerful and user-friendly in the future!

To register please contact hospitality services at 1-888-747-7577 ext. 0 Space is limited so register now! For additional information please contact Amanda Clouthier at clouthier@canadianecology.caOr check out the FVS website: www.fvsontario.ca/home_index.htm

Click here to view event poster.

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SFMN Biomass Workshop

Are you interested in Biomass harvesting, scientific research and the input of new knowledge into guideline development and policies?

If so, the SFMN has just the workshop for you!

"The Scientific Foundation for Sustainable Forest Biomass Harvesting Guidelines and Policy"

The workshop will be held in Toronto on February 18th to 21st, 2008, and provides an opportunity for scientists, government regulators, industry and environmental non-government organizations to come together to:
o share what is known about the impacts of biomass removals on forest ecosystems;
o identify research priorities for the scientific knowledge required for guidelines and policies; and
o create synergies and reduce duplication among different agencies across Canada as they conduct work relevant to their own ecosystems and circumstances.

The workshop will consist of presentations by invited national and international experts, summaries of current scientific knowledge and policy contexts in the different provinces in Canada, a volunteer poster session, and facilitated discussion amongst participants.

Click Here for more information about this exciting opportunity!

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Regional Science Seminars

Are you looking for a way to increase the productivity or better model the succession of your forest in Central Ontario? Do you want to learn about new tools that are being developed to ease the pain of forest management? For all those looking for an update on the cutting-edge science which has bearing on forest management in the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence region, the FRP has something coming for you! Mark your calendars: the FRP will be hosting their annual Great Lakes – St. Lawrence seminars on February 25 & 26 in North Bay (location TBA), and March 6 & 7 at the Great Lakes Forestry Centre in Sault Ste. Marie. This is your opportunity to get the highlights of ongoing research and the results of completed projects as well as the time to give us your input on future projects or events. This session will feature a wide variety of speakers and topics ranging from the status of Patchworks implementation to the final results of a study on logging damage.

We are also hoping to run a Boreal Seminar in the Timmins area in the late winter to provide updates on projects specific to the region. Please keep an eye on www.forestresearch.ca/Workshops/coming_events.htm to get the full details for these events as they become available.

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SprayAdvisor DSS Workshop and Training Session

For anyone interested in learning how to improve both silviculture effectiveness monitoring and environmental protection together with the benefits of the aerial application of pesticides, come to this session put on by Dr. Dean Thompson of Natural Resources Canada’s Canadian Forest Service, Sault Ste. Marie. This will be a very thorough event with presentations by an international contingent of speakers and the primary focus of hands-on training with the SprayAdvisor DSS system. This very unique opportunity will be taking place at the Canadian Ecology Centre in Mattawa, ON from May 19th-23rd, 2008, and is open to all – foresters, pesticide applicators, etc. Please watch the Forestry Research Partnership website for upcoming details! (www.forestresearch.ca/Workshops/coming_events.htm)


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Tembec Silvicultural Tour


The second annual Tembec Silviculture Tour in the Gordon Cosens Forest is just around the corner!

May 28th and 29th, 2008

The purpose of this tour is to discuss the following items in a field situation:
1) Silviculture Effectiveness Monitoring Tracking Mechanisms - from pre-harvest to FTG using GIS, GPS, satellite imagery etc.
2) Silviculture Intensity Matrix - current best silviculture management practices, spacing, microsite determination, SIP, CSIP, density, ingress, species mixtures, cost effectiveness, future forest conditions, end products, etc.
3) Slash Management, Bio-Mass & Commercial Thinning results to date
4) Aerial seeding, microsite determination, success, delay of spacing, etc.
5) Herbicide usage and our current FSC philosophy, etc.
6) Follow-up items from the 2007 Timmins Silviculture Tour
7) All other topics are fair game!

For more information contact Jeff Leach.

Also, stay tuned to our website for updates, www.forestresearch.ca/Workshops/coming_events.htm


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9th IUFRO Extension Working Party Symposium

Evolving Challenges and Changing Expectations for Forestry Extension and Technology Transfer:

Meeting needs of people and forests around the globe

21st – 26th September 2008
Ottawa River Valley
Mattawa and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

This international symposium is intended to attract presenters and participants from around the world to bring perspectives from their home countries.

For more information visit www.iufroextension.org

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Paludification: Are we not rutting enough?

Over the last few decades, long term forest productivity decline has been studied at length because of its potential to affect both global net carbon fluxes and sustainable forest management. In northern forest ecosystems, such as the Clay Belt which straddles northern Ontario and Quebec, one likely cause of decreasing productivity is the build up of a thick layer of organic matter or humus which creates a cold, wet environment that restricts nutrient uptake, reduces tree growth, and ultimately leads to the conversion of forest stands into low productivity forested peat lands. The process is known as paludification. While high severity forest fires can reverse paludification, low severity fires that kill trees but leave organic matter behind only accelerate the problem. There is a concern held by industry and academics that fire suppression and current harvesting techniques that minimize disturbance to the soil may be mimicking these low severity fires and thus decreasing the productivity of the site because they don’t disturb the underlying organic layer of soil.

Born out of this concern was a collaborative research project between an assortment of Ontario and Quebec organizations including Tembec Québec and Ontario, the Forestry Research Partnership, the Lake Abitibi Model Forest, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Canadian Forest Service, l’Université du Québec à Montréal, and l’Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue .

The objectives of the study are to:
-develop a tool to identify sites with potential for higher productivity if properly managed;
-estimate actual productivity losses due to paludification;
-evaluate retrospectively how prescribed fires and clear cuts with narrow tires in winter or in summer affected the paludification process and tree growth compared to Ontario’s CLAAG (Careful Logging Around Advanced Growth) and Quebec’s CPRS (Cutting with Protection of Regeneration and Soils) systems and;
-establish a network of experimental sites to test the effects of prescribed burns on the paludification process

The results of this research will not only permit a more accurate determination of the impact of paludification on the landscape and on forest productivity, carbon budgeting (source vs sink) and future harvest potential, but will also be able to provide suggestions as to which forestry techniques may best counteract paludification.

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Forestry Research Partnership to be featured in Special Issue of Forestry Chronicle

By F.W. Bell and L.J.Buse

The Forestry Research Partnership (FRP) will be profiled in a fall 2008 special issue of the Forestry Chronicle coedited by members of the FRP science advisory team. The intent is to document the objectives, development, and many accomplishments of the partnership during its first seven years. Topics that will be covered in papers include:

• Developing the partnership: Provides information about why the partnership was formed, the partners, the goals and objectives, and how it functions including the adaptive management framework established at the outset.

• Partnership forests: Provides an overview of the eight Tembec Sustainable Forest Licenses involved in the FRP, their forest types, inventory status, access, silviculture systems and protection efforts, and management opportunities and challenges.

• Forestry Research Partnership research strategy/framework: Introduces the FRP science strategy, how it fits within the adaptive management framework established by the partnership, and provides an overview of work completed to date including why a science strategy was necessary, approach used to decide which projects to fund, and where to get more information about funded projects and related products.

• Productivity and yield framework: Introduces the NEBIE (natural, extensive, basic, intensive, and elite silviculture) framework and definitions and how it is being applied in the FRP.

• Stand-level modeling: Provides an overview of growth and yield modeling in Ontario and outlines how FRP work is contributing to model improvements as well as identifying gaps and next steps for growth and yield in Ontario.

• Stand-level modeling: Outlines the development, validation, and application of new growth and yield curves for the forests.

• Landscape-level modeling: Outlines results of applying Patchworks model approach to Marten core area design in FRP forests for consideration in FSC certification.

• Landscape-level modeling – Romeo Malette analysis: Describes the Patchwork landscape model used in FRP modeling, both for forest planning and economic analysis, illustrates its advantages (and limitations) through application to forest level analysis for the Romeo-Malette forest, and outlines next steps for landscape modeling in other forests.

• Sustainability of natural resources in boreal and temperate forest ecosystems: Highlights the sustainability studies accomplished under FRP projects in relation to biodiversity, wildlife habitat, and indicators.

• FRP transfer and extension: Introduces the FRP’s transfer goals and core clients, and outlines the core team approach adopted and applied to transfer efforts, its advantages and disadvantages, key transfer successes and how efforts were evaluated for success.

• Synthesis and next steps: Introduces the implementation phase of the FRP with discussions of whether the partnership has met its goal of increasing the fibre supply to Tembec mills by 10% in 10 years while sustaining ecological and social values, the level of adaptive management recommended for the eight FRP forests, what challenges need to be overcome to fully implement adaptive management as proposed, and next steps.

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The CIF is Moving to Mattawa

The Canadian Institute of Forestry has announced that it will be moving it's national headquarters to the Canadian Ecology Center in Mattawa, ON. The Ecology Center offers many advantages to the CIF, including a state of the art high-tech facility within a forested location, and visits by several hundred Institute members from across Canada annually as well as up to 25,000 students, teachers, professors and the environmentally conscious public. The move is a mutually beneficial venture as both organizations are striving to promote a better understanding of forests and their wise-use.

Click Here to read a media release about the move.


CEC General manager Bill Steer with CIF Executive Director John Pineau

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