Effective forest management requires collaboration and cooperation between First Nations, industry, and government. With this in mind, FPInnovations brought together representatives from these three groups in mid-October 2018 for a two-day field tour and discussions on the Martel Forest in Northern Ontario. In attendance were Wahkohtowin Development Group Inc., Rayonier Advanced Materials (RYAM), researchers from Natural Resources Canada’s Canadian Forest Service (CFS) and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and staff from FPInnovations. The focus of the event was the future of vegetation management, regeneration techniques, and general harvesting practices in the eastern boreal forest of Ontario. The tour was organized as part of an agreement between FPInnovations and the CFS’s Canadian Wood Fibre Centre (CWFC) to facilitate the transfer of research results to respond to needs of First Nations and industry.
The goals of the tour were to identify potential cooperation opportunities between the parties, increase knowledge sharing, and guide future research and management activities. To meet these goals, the tour visited RYAM harvest sites, Wahkohtowin’s birch syrup operation, CWFC research sites, and included CFS researchers from Quebec who discussed competition control practices in Quebec where herbicides are not used. Each part of the tour led to in-depth discussions about the cultural and economic implications for local First Nations and was enhanced by the fact that all parties brought solid technical forestry knowledge to the table.