Larose Forest Achieves Forest Stewardship Council Certification
Through the Forest Certification Program of the Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF) and with the forest management support of South Nation Conservation (SNC), the Larose Forest has recently achieved Forest Stewardship Council certification through SmartWood, an independent auditor. The Forest Stewardship Council is an international, membership-based, non-profit organization that supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests. Currently there are 76 million hectares certified in 73 countries that all follow the same framework of principles.
Brian Barkley, General Manager of the EOMF outlined the significance of the certification: “Larose Forest has a deep rooted history in eastern Ontario and is a forest that has many uses, whether it is forest products, recreation or as critical habitat for wildlife. The Larose certification will complement a strong network of certified forests forming on the landscape of this region and this achievement will continue to build solid partnerships between organizations”.
The Larose Forest is a 10,540 hectare (26,000 acre) community forest that includes wetlands, natural forest, and a network of managed plantations. In the past the area was logged and cleared for agriculture, but forest plantations began as a result of the vision of Ferdinand Larose in the 1920’s and trees continue to be planted today. The Larose Forest provides opportunities for recreation, education, and employment to the residents of eastern Ontario and is home to over 540 plant species, 123 bird species and 22 mammals including moose.
Louis Prévost, Director of Planning with the United Counties of Prescott & Russell, sees the Larose certification as an important tool to implement sustainable forest management. “Independent international standards provide credible results and the ability to ensure sound forest management activities for the residents of the UCPR. This is a positive step for one of Ontario’s oldest and largest community forests. We felt it was important to demonstrate that Larose was being managed to a world-class standard.”
The recent Larose Forest certification strengthens a network of certified forests in eastern Ontario. Last year, the forests owned by the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and South Nation Conservation became the first community forests in eastern Ontario to be FSC certified. Martin Streit, Forestry Specialist at SNC says that “FSC certification confirms that well-managed forests can provide a wealth of economic, environmental and social benefits to the community.”
Michael Otis, Planner for The United Counties of SD&G states: “we have been very pleased with the high level of professional forest management provided by South Nation Conservation while working towards FSC certification. The FSC certification of our properties will provide added assurance to the public that the County Forests are being managed in accordance with contemporary forest management principles and techniques."
The Eastern Ontario Model Forest certificate also includes a group of 51 private landowners covering over 10,600 acres. The total land base the EOMF manages within the FSC certificate is over 53,400 acres of forest and works with community forests, urban forests and private landowners. The EOMF sees this program as a template that may be transferred to other parts of Ontario with similar landscapes.
For more information on the EOMF certification program contact Scott Davis.
Forest Certification Coordinator
Eastern Ontario Model Forest