Key Facts

KEY FACT: Area 415 is part of the Greenmantle Forest Inc.’s Forest Management Plan (FMP) for the Lakehead Forest (an area that stretches from Quetico Park east to Black Bay). To view the FMP and associated maps and documents, visit the MNR’s webpage here.

KEY FACT: The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Forest Region in Northwestern Ontario, which is primarily deciduous, comprises a mere 10% of our forests in Northwestern Ontario.  The other 90% is boreal, which is primarily coniferous.

KEY FACT: Section 2.7 of the MNR’s 1993 Policy, “Strategic Directions for Management of Ontario Crown Land,” states the following:

Underlying MNR’s Crown Land management activities are the guiding principles that:

º A healthy natural environment and ecosystem integrity are essential co-
requisites to sustainable development and prosperity; they must be regarded as
overriding priorities.
º The needs of both present and future generations must be provided for.
º Land is the base for many renewable and non-renewable natural resources and
must be “managed” with due regard for all resource objectives, including those
for aquatic environments, through an ecosystem approach to stewardship.

The full document may be viewed on the Ontario MNR website here.

KEY OBJECTION: The Ontario MNR has granted Greenmantle permits to harvest a total of 396,000 cubic meters of wood.  Of this total, 144,000 cubic metres is to be coniferous, and 252,000 cubic metres is to be hardwood (aspen, birch, black ash) – harvested primarily from areas southwest of Thunder Bay, in the vicinity from Whitefish Lake westward to Northern Light Lake and from the U.S. border, north to the boreal forest.  As you can see from the numbers, almost 64% of their total allotment (the hardwood trees) will be harvested from an area that only comprises 10% of our total forests. This is destroying biodiverse habitat at an alarming rate, and is unsustainable.

KEY OBJECTION: To add insult to injury, a very high percentage of the deciduous forest clear cuts have been and continue to be replanted with conifer species, thus upsetting the natural balance of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence forest and reducing the deciduous species numbers significantly.  In turn, this eliminates essential habitat for numerous species of birds and animals.

CURIOUS DISCREPANCY: The figures provided by Greenmantle and MNR indicate a curious discrepancy between species harvesting quotas and species reforestation plans.  Greenmantle is permitted to harvest a total of 396,000 cubic meters of fibre, of which 64% is to be hardwood and 36% softwood.  However,  Greenmantle’s/MNR’s suggested planting ratios are the following, (quoted from the recent CBC interview):

“The Ministry of Natural Resources said there are specific re-generation goals for forests, including the one around Prelate Lake. It says about 40 per cent of the trees should be hardwood, about one third softwood, and less than a quarter mixed forest.”

The hardwoods in this case are mostly the aspens/birches/ashes from the deciduous and mixed forest area, and the softwoods are mostly conifers. Even if hardwood “stems” give up more fibre than softwoods when processed (a question we need to gather more info on), it certainly appears that softwoods (coniferous) species are being reforested at a greater rate than they are being harvested.

QMI-SAI Global 2011 Certification Report for Greenmantle

QMI-SAI Global 2011 Certification Report for Greenmantle – click to access

PUBLIC REPORT: You may view the 2011 Sustainable Forestry Initiative Report here. It was compiled by a third party certification body, QMI Sai Global. In this report, Greenmantle’s practices in the Lakehead Forest during the 2011 review period are recorded. The review noted two “Major Non-conformances” and one “Minor Non-conformance.” A Major Non-conformance is defined as “pervasive or critical to the achievement of the SFI objectives.” These Non-conformances had to do with audits and inspections, which are certainly essential in proving that environmental standards are upheld. What damage to our forest ensued, before these breaches were corrected?

TORONTO STAR ARTICLE: The Toronto Star published a scathing article early in 2015 describing the objections fisheries biologists raised to Ontario’s “guide to clear-cutting”, published in 2010. Their biologists’ objections, apparently, were ignored, and plans were fast-tracked. See the article here.

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6 thoughts on “Key Facts

  1. If you’re going to list “facts” then you best include the fact that white birch and aspen (which is the primary deciduous harvest in Northwestern Ontario) are Boreal forest deciduous and not Great Lakes St. Lawrence.

    Second fact, all softwoods are conifer in Canada, not mostly conifer. Just as all hardwoods are deciduous.

    And a final “fact”. The area surrounding Thunder Bay is neither truly Boreal nor is it Great Lakes St. Lawrence, though it leans most heavily to Boreal forest. This is what’s referred to a “a transition zone”. Boreal forest is generally comprised of spruce (white and black), fir, larch, aspen and white birch. Great Lakes St. Lawrence is generally comprised of Eastern white pine, red pine, eastern hemlock and white cedar, commonly mix with deciduous broad-leaved species, such as yellow birch, sugar and red maples, basswood and red oak. You can have species of either forest type occur in the other, but that doesn’t change the forest type.

    Please, do some homework on this subject before taking a position, as your lack of knowledge only harms your cause. I hope the above facts have helped somewhat.

  2. You might want to refer to the map you provided. I could be wrong but, it appears that the area is referred to as GLSLFR. I’m certain that people far more qualified than you drew the map. Who are you to question it’s validity. I smell a forester lurking behind “Pierre”.

    Nonetheless, we welcome your comments and appreciate your concern.

  3. Sorry. You’re wrong. There is no “forester lurking behind “Pierre””. I am without doubt, very proudly a professional forester and do not lurk about nor hide that fact. Not only am I a professional forester, I have been one for nearly 30 years now. So, if my Honours degree in forestry and over 25 years of hands on experience don’t make me qualified to comment, then I’m afraid you might be even less qualified to comment, but nonetheless, I welcome your viewpoint as it’s these kinds of situations that allow me to continue to develop my skills and knowledge.
    As a piece of background I practice aboriginal spiritualism which means the Creator has put me here to be a caretaker for our natural environment. As such, nature is my “church”. do you honestly think I would cavalierly allow the destruction of my church? So yes, I am a forester and my intent on this site is to do my best to provide you with sound, well based information so that you might learn (another aspect of the aboriginal culture). You can be the smart person who is open to learning or you can be the fool who believes they know all there is to know already. All I can do is provide a learning opportunity to you. And no, I don’t believe I know everything either, but on this topic, I have no doubt, I’m better informed.
    An informed and educated passion is far better than passion without sound understanding. Please know, none of these posts are intended to offend but rather, done with the intent of sharing knowledge 🙂

  4. Thank you for participating and introducing your credentials. However, I’m a bit confused with your practicing of “aboriginal spiritualism”. If you are the believer you say you are, how does one reconcile massive mechanical operations, destroying thousands upon thousands of hectares of forest and reducing forests of high biodiversity into forests not suitable for many of the species that once lived there? Really, I’m having serious issues understanding how that can be a good thing. Please educate me.

    In addition, how do you reconcile spring and summer operations that trample untold numbers of nesting birds and animal dens, senselessly killing untold number of the Creator’s creatures? I’ve got seerious problems with that and I’m certain the Creator does too.

    I’m sorry to say but in your case, the Creator may have put a fox in charge of the hen house. I am partly of aboriginal descent although I do not use that quality for influence and/or personal gain. I’ve spent almost my entire life connected with the bush and was raised to respect the forests and the creatures therein. The present day mass destruction and altering of prime habitat is a crime against nature. Unfortunately, if you cannot recognize this, and no insult intended, it would appear that you’ve been programmed to believe it’s acceptable. Comes with the trade I assume. After all, I assume the job pays well.

    As with you, I don’t want to cause hard feelings. However, much of what you say you believe in, contrasts discernibly with your occupation. Nonetheless, I’m open to hear what you have to say.

  5. The explanation you seek is one far to lengthy and in depth to do in writing unless I felt compelled to write a book. Additionally, I face the challenge that regardless of what I may say, you will instinctively discount because of my profession, which you know absolutely nothing about.
    I will leave you with this consideration. Left to nature, these forests would naturally die to create new forests as there has to be a balance in all ages of forest cover to provide full diversity of habitat on a landscape level. Now, consider the sudden destructive violence of a forest fire and the habitat it destroys, the animals is kills due to it’s speed and intensity and then compare that to the effects of a harvesting operation. Yes, some animals do get killed but many more survive than would have in a fire. And, through harvesting, you and I can have the buildings we live in, the paper we use and a variety of other things we enjoy every day. As an added bonus, it creates a new, young vibrant forest to grow up, providing different habitat for different creatures at various stages of it’s life cycle. Nature is dynamic.
    On closing, please know I am greatly offended by your assertion that I’m “a fox in charge of the hen house” and have somehow let the Creator down, especially as you know nothing about me. If this is to be a site of unjustified personal attacks then I wish to have no part in this as I thought it to be a somewhat “professional” discussion. Shame on you.

  6. I find it endlessly entertaining how belief systems can be manipulated to represent the circumstances that the believer would like them to fit. In addition, it’s particularly humourous when the believers are presented with difficult questions, they always use the old fall-back that is pretty much represented with this statement:

    “The explanation you seek is one far to lengthy and in depth to do in writing unless I felt compelled to write a book.”

    Please do indulge us!

    Shame on me?

    I’m not the one presiding over men and machines trampling innocent newly born creatures into the ground. You can bend your story any way you want. The results will always be the same. Untold numbers of the Creator’s creatures being snuffed before they have a chance to fly or run. Don’t think that’s what the Creator had in mind for them.

    If you’re offended, it’s due to the fact that you cannot reconcile nor justify your misgivings in the eyes of the “Creator” nor me. The offense isn’t my words, it’s the revelation of the truth. The “Creator” may start the fire. It’s you and your industry that bring and start the machines that cause so much harm.

    As per usual, when a person’s argument cannot be supported, they make claims of “personal attacks”, turn tail and fade into cyberspace. Never to be heard from again. I had hopes that you’d stick around long enough to make it interesting. Nonetheless, I hope you may have learned something and take steps to be a little inward looking to see that all you may think is right and fair, may not be.

    By the way, I’ll take a forest fire over a harvesting operation anytime. I’ve seen the results of both. Forests recover much more quickly after a fire. The nutrition stays with the forest. It doesn’t get taken away as it does with clear cutting, particularly today’s methods that leave virtually nothing for forest sustenance.

    Best of the season to you Pierre.

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