Dec 7 Meeting: Forestry in Bruce County
Friday, Dec 9, 2016
Dec 7 Meeting: Forestry in Bruce County
We had an engaging meeting last night with Kevin Predon, Bruce County Forestry Technician on "Balancing Ecology and Economics: Finding Opportunity Within Good Forestry Practices". Thanks to Rod, we have our first audio recording of the meeting! So, if you weren't able to make it, you can listen to it or download it here!

   Kevin Predon is a Registered Professional Forester working at Bruce County Planning dept. overseeing permitting and forestry practices.   As a professional he works according to sound management practices based on sustainability and stewardship, and abides by the professional code of ethics.   Our forest conservation by-law (4071) regulates all cutting for commercial purposes on any woodlot greater than one hectare.  The regulation requires a permit for such cutting, and requires maintaining a basal area for healthy regeneration.  This means that clearcutting is not allowed. According to schedule C of the by-law calling for good forestry practices. Circumference cutting, while still allowed, will take an area capable of regular cutting of forestry products including firewood out of production for many decades or centuries. The benefits of  good forestry practices include:  Increased volumes  of harvest, faster cutting cycles, higher quality fibre, as well as improved aesthetics and wildlife habitat.  Those who can do tree marking to these standards are specially trained and certified.  In short, there is good economic potential for our area from those forests that have been properly managed. 

   Kevin went on to present some examples of success stories.   Gildane Farms in St. Mary set up a fuel pellets production in 2006 and currently produces 10, 000 metric tons from forestry and agricultural waste.  This can be delivered for as little as 

$30/ton as far up as NBP to industrial facilities such as hospitals which have set up the right furnaces and silos.  An organization call Quest  (quality urban energy systems for tomorrow) will help communities to choose and integrate local energy sources to best advantage, including bio-fuels.  Recent changes to the building code now allow up to 6 story structures to be wood framed.  In B.C. it is possible to go up 18 stories. 

  Kevin’s favorite success story is from the Whitesand first nation NE of Thunder Bay.  The community was impoverished with no hope of growing by being stuck on diesel for electricity with no hope of connecting to the grid.  The crash in demand for 

forestry products with the 2008 economic crisis helped them to set up a sustainable forestry operation with a co-generation of electricity from waste products which created 60 full time jobs and breathed new hope into the community while knocking 

a million liters of fossil fuel per year off-line.  

   For those who wish to do some research,  the tool Google Earth Engine – Time Lapse shows aerial photos spanning decades where you can examine recently cut areas and regrowth.   Like most foresters, Kevin hold out hope that some of the ash trees will survive the Emerald Ash Borer infestation to provide seed for future forests.  He also mentioned some major differences in the way to cut deciduous versus boreal forests for sustainability. 

  BPEG’s next meeting on Feb. 1 will feature Jenna McGuire speaking about “Underwater Worlds:  Exploring the Aquatic Like of the Bruce.” 

Written by Jim Kuellmer 

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