Domtar (Fort Mill, South Carolina) has successfully completed a surveillance audit of the Wabigoon Forest in northwestern Ontario near Dryden, for the new Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) National Standard for Canada. The audit took place the week of July 13th, ending with the auditor’s recommendation for certification to be maintained under the new Canadian standard. This new standard replaced the previous FSC Boreal standard and has set the bar high for demonstrating sustainable forest management. The Wabigoon Forest was first certified to the FSC standard in 2008.
“Our on-the-ground management practices, coupled with a rigorous provincially-mandated forest management planning process, helps to hit the mark with FSC,” said Marie Cyr, General Manager of the Dryden Pulp Mill. “We are proud of our record of sustainable forest management. The fact that the Dryden Mill has been operating in this forest area for over 100 years, demonstrates that we are managing our forests sustainably.”
The new FSC National Standard for Canada requires a comprehensive audit of legal compliance, protection of high conservation values, environmental impacts, management planning, and community relations – including free prior and informed consent. The audit process, which is designed to identify opportunities for improvement, found 4 minor non-conformance issues, all of which have been addressed with action plans and approved by the auditing body. “The success of this audit demonstrates progress towards our sustainability goals,” said Paige Goff, Domtar’s Vice President of Sustainability. “Independent third-party forest certification like FSC is important to our customers and reflects our commitment to sustainability.”
Domtar is also licensed to manage Ontario’s Trout Lake Forest that’s on target to undergo an FSC pre-assessment audit later this year. The Trout Lake Forest is located in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s Northwest Region and in the Red Lake District. The Trout Lake Forest includes over 815,000 hectares of Crown land located in the Boreal Forest. Tree species common to the forest include jack pine, black spruce, trembling aspen, white spruce, balsam poplar and white birch – with lesser quantities of red pine, white pine, tamarack, black ash and eastern white cedar. The forest is currently used by the mining industry, tourism operators, bait harvesters, trappers, hunters and anglers. Many communities in northwestern Ontario depend on wood flow from the Trout Lake Forest – including Red Lake, Kenora, Dryden, Ear Falls, Fort Frances and Hudson.