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  • Silva21 and Quesnel's future of forestry think tank

    The Quesnel and Area Future of Forestry Think Tank held on May 2-3, 2023, was an exciting event that brought together representatives of the forestry industry to discuss the future of forestry in BC. As the scientific coordinator of Silva21, I was there to represent the ongoing research projects surrounding adaptive silviculture in Canada’s changing climate. and contribute to discussions on behalf of Silva21's large-scale collaborative efforts across the country. This includes research in the fields of adaptive silviculture, remote sensing sensing, forest inventory, dendrochronology and growth and yield modelling. And of course for climate change projections and impacts on future forests - my role as a postdoctoral fellow at UBC. The Future of Forestry Think Tank (FFTT) event was hosted by the City of Quesnel and the Three Rivers Community Forest. It is part of the Forestry Initiatives Program (run by Erin Robinson) which was created to address the challenges faced by the city and to protect the community from wildfire. The FFTT has a clear vision of making the City of Quesnel and the surrounding area a hub of innovation in forest and land management, manufacturing of forest products, and workforce development. The event revisited past recommendations and progress from the first and second events that took place in 2018 and 2019 respectively. After a hiatus due to COVID, the Think Tank event was back with the objectives to align with new government policies, and identify opportunities for collaboration, investment, and action. A huge thank you to Erin Robinson for the invitation to attend and organizing such a great event and to Mike Simpson who did an excellent job facilitating. Be sure to check out these links: The City of Quesnel's Forestry Initiatives Program: includes all presentations of the event and the final report of the event (coming soon). Biographies of people mentioned in this post, as well as those who presented at the event here. Press coverage: Forestry think tank in Quesnel explores the possibilitrees (best article title ever) The final report of the event Click on the links below to jump to the particular sections in this article Topic #1: Land management policy today and in the future Topic #2: manufacturing facilities and products Topic #3: The Workforce Topic #4: The Forestry Cluster Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023 Topic #1: Land management policy today and in the future The Future of Forestry Think Tank event began with an appropriate presentation looking at BC’s land management policy today and into the future by Josh Pressey from the Cariboo Regional Executive Director from the Ministry of Forests. Discussing how we can modernize forest policy in BC, Josh discussed the components of the plan which included meaningful reconciliation, considering resilient landscapes, competitive markets, fair returns on assets and sustainability and stewardship. The forest operations plan was also discussed and the importance of making it consistent with the forest landscape planning and the importance of maintaining a platform for communication for all stakeholders. Ongoing questions relating to BC’s forest policy were then discussed in a World Café style discussion - this was my first time participating in this kind of discussion and I could not believe how much more engaging it was and a great way to encourage collaborative discussions. A World Café is a structured conversational process that facilitates collaborative dialogue and sharing of knowledge and ideas among participants. It is designed to create an open and creative conversation that fosters collective exploration of complex issues. In this type of discussion, participants are divided into smaller groups and sit around tables or in a circle, and each table has a facilitator. The facilitators are responsible for guiding the conversation and ensuring that everyone has a chance to speak and be heard. After a set amount of time, participants move to a different table, and a new conversation begins based on the previous one. This allows for a diversity of perspectives and ideas to emerge, and for the group to build on the collective knowledge that is generated through the process. Across 8 tables there were 4 questions up for discussion: What does DRIPA mean, what does it look like, how do we make it work? How do we engage “stakeholders” constructively without having a fight? What does the outcome of a forest landscape plan look like? What do we mean by ecological resilience or landscape resiliency? Facilitators and scribes at each table helped the flow of conversation and recorded main ideas that could be turned into action items. These were later presented to the group as a whole - a great way to gather input from various perspectives and to produce action items in a short amount of time - perfect for this kind of “Think Tank” event. Topic #2: manufacturing facilities and products Later in the day, the topic shifted towards manufacturing facilities and products. Quesnel and surrounding area was one of the hardest hit areas during the mountain pine beetle outbreak and as a result took a huge long-term hit to its annual allowable cut. Prior to the pine beetle, AAC was around 4 million cubic metres, which then sky rocketed to 7 million to account for salvage and rescue logging. But now, a few years after the fact, the AAC sits below 2 million cubic metres. For this reason, BC's forestry industry is seeing a decline in sawlog availability and other forest fibres. However, there is potential in the rising demand for innovative products in the forest bioeconomy sector with the decline of single use plastics. The need for housing in BC also offers an opportunity for mass timber housing, a market unique to the province. To tell us more about these potential new markets and where BC is currently at at meeting this demands, a panel of experts were asked for their expertise and thoughts on the subject, as well as the opportunity for Quesnel in the forest bioeconomy and solid wood sector. The panel consisted of: Sandy Ferguson, the Director Forest Bioeconomy at Foresight Canada; Alex Boston, the Executive Director of Renewable Cities and Fellow at the MJ Wosk Centre for Dialogue at SFU; Tim Caldecott, the Director of Carbon and Market Economics at FP Innovations; and Gustavo Oliveira, the Director of Innovation, Bioeconomy and Indigenous Opportunities Branch at MOF. A common theme amongst the panelists was the way in which ecosystem values and challenges have evolved within the province in the way the market has shifted from volume to value. Sandy highlighted the limited collaboration with innovation and challenges to invest (with the exception of industry partners like West Fraser and Resolute). However, this isn't stopping BC interests in fibre flows, value-added products, mill asset repurposing First Nations collaborations, end-user markets and supply chain optimization. As Alex discussed, there is also the unique market in utilizing in timber housing, not only to promote renewable materials but also as a way to stabilize the labour force by focusing on offsite construction to promote affordability and supply, climate change mitigation and an economic transition to a different market. Echoed by Tim and Gustavo was the emphasis to produce more value with less fibre while providing more jobs. Can we also just highlight (personal opinion): forestry in BC, which is unusually close to large cities like Vancouver has a bad rep. A lot of people look at forestry as a destructive practice and harmful to the environment. Meanwhile they utilize resources taken from precisely these forests every day and still declare war on single use plastics - an industry that can only be replaced by the forestry industry. So in addition to action items specifically for the forestry sector, I found the discussion on highlighting the truth, practicality and benefits of forestry particularly interesting and worthwhile. Part of encouraging this portion of the industry is the positive language used for “bioeconomy” and - as it has been used in other provinces and countries - over “residue”, “by-products”, etc. which make them seem much less appealing. Ending Day 1 with SLIDO: Another great interactive aspect of the day was how we wrapped using using SLIDO - a web app where participants were given the opportunity to answer questions and input their thoughts as to their most and least favourite parts of the day, as well as their opinions on which items were the most feasible and possible for the city of Quesnel. It was a great way to gather immediate feedback and for participants to share their final thoughts for the day. I'll definitely be incorporating this the next time I organize a large event. Wednesday, May 3rd Topic #3: The Workforce The second day shifted to focus on the forestry workforce. Given the large labour shortage in trades as a whole, the lack of labour in the forestry sector is being felt throughout the industry, from contractors and carpenters all the way to harvest operators. The main focus of the day's discussion was to prioritize action items that would help to recruit workforce to the forestry industry, retain them for the long-term and encourage migration towards rural communities such as Quesnel. We began with presentations from a panel of those involved in attracting, training and educating the forest industry workforce: Amy Reid, the Manager of Economic Development and Tourism at the City of Quesnel; Emily Colombo, the Regional Manager at JEDI; Dominik Roeser, the Associate Professor of Forest Operations at the University of British Columbia; and Douglas Jamieson, the Director of Regional Education at the College of New Caledonia. Panelists were asked questions as to whether the vision of the forestry industry in Quesnel can be achieved without retraining the workforce, how to address the challenges with retooling a workforce, and what a community needs to do to attract a workforce. It was great to hear from Amy and Emily about what specifically the City of Quesnel and the province of BC are doing to attract and retain workers in smaller, remote communities. This includes not only relating to making the city more attractive and self-sufficient but also the number of government grants available to industry partners. Hearing from Dominik and Douglas shed light as to what needed to be at both the university and college levels, respectively. Both agreed that in order to train the next generation of workforce in Quesnel, a forestry-focused curriculum was imperative, as well as training programs, experiential learning, focus on sustainability and providing attractive incentives. While we’re currently rushing towards digitalization and human-machine collaboration, Dominik Roeser reiterated the importance that at the key of workforce retention needs to be integrated values and perspectives with the common value being the land and not just products that it gives us. While focusing on the importance of the forestry labour force, we also had the great opportunity to hear from the Honourable Harry Bains, the Minister of Labour, on the direction of the BC government on forestry workforce to hear his perspective on recruitment, retention and ensuring the safest work environments. Workplace injury or death in the field of forestry (including operations, fire fighting, silviculture, etc.) is higher than the provincial averages so it was great to hear about the consideration and prioritization for worker safety. To read the media coverage about his visit to the event click here. Topic #4: The Forestry Cluster To bring all the contents of the event together, we shifted our conversation towards The Forestry Cluster and how we can bring innovation that is already being demonstrated in other parts of the world and into Quesnel and the surrounding area. To kick off the discussion we heard from: Jukka Matikainen, the Managing Director of Nordic Trading House Matyas Kosa, the Bioproducts Lead at West Fraser Mills Ltd. Bob Simpson, former mayor of Quesnel and Independent Insights Consulting Hearing from Jukka, we saw the potential of the forest bioeconomy in other countries such as Sweden and Finland. Such countries are the benchmark for climate-smart forestry in action to provide solutions in the full value chain including logging operator training. Some of this innovation was already in practice in local industries, such as West Fraser. Examples of different biomaterials and potential for lignin and cellulose-based products were presented by Matyas including cellulose-based fully biodegradable material that can be used in regular plastic processing equipment like 3D printers. While these products show potential for the forestry industry, there still remains a missing link from aspiration to action by the rest of the province. Bob Simpson pointed this out by highlighting our current unprecedented challenges that call for unprecedented response. As Bob said, this link is often missing in branches of government that need to call for proper regulation, incentives and policy; which is common in a province that is run by politics instead of government. The event concluded with another World Café-style discussion, where the focus was on turning ideas into action. We explored what may be stopping the City of Quesnel and the surrounding area from stepping up and enabling and fast-tracking innovation. The topics at the tables were what actions can we take in the following sectors: The forest and land resource, Manufacturing facilities and products, The workforce and training Centre, and What else is missing? What synergies or multiple wins align with the mornings forestry cluster Concluding thoughts Events like the Quesnel and Area Future of Forestry Think Tank are essential for moving any industry or project beyond the planning stage into the action stage. This collaborative discussion with participants from academic, research, local and provincial government, industry, Indigenous peoples, and the community is crucial in identifying opportunities for innovation and growth in the forestry industry. Though my area of expertise was slightly removed from the specifics of the forestry industry, it was inspiring to see the motivation behind those involved and the drive to lead in innovation through sustainability and community values. It is clear that Quesnel is on the right track to being an excellent working example for other regions of BC and to be a leader in the industry. I look forward to seeing what comes out of the Quesnel area - which is Silva21's main research hubs in western Canada. This event took place on the unceded traditional territory of the Lktako Dene Nation and was supported by the City of Quesnel and the Three Rivers Community Forest, with financial contributions from the North Cariboo Community Futures. This blog post has not been peer reviewed or fact checked and is an independent article. Any comments, questions or corrections can be sent to

  • Broad-scale wood degradation dynamics in the face of climate change

    In the context of global change, a better understanding of the dynamics of wood degradation, and how they relate to tree attributes and climatic conditions, is necessary to improve broad-scale assessments of the contributions of deadwood to various ecological processes and ultimately for the development of adaptive post-disturbance management strategies. This post is a summary of the scientific article "Broad-scale wood dynamics in the face of climate change: a meta-analysis" by Catherine Chagnon, Guillaume Moreau, Christine-Bombardier-Cauffope, Julie Barrette, Filip Havreljuk and Alexis Achim, published in GCB Bioenergy, Volume 14, Issue 9, p 941-958 (, and has been approved by the corresponding author. A harmonized classification system for visual criteria of deadwood of both standing dead and downed wood debris A harmonized three-class system was created to describe the state of decomposition of both downed and standing woody debris (Fig 1) to simplify data collected within the meta-analysis. This classification is then useful for its use to facilitate comparison with future studies. Both climatic conditions and tree-level variables are important indicators of time since death (TSD) of woody debris Using climatic conditions and tree-level variables obtained using a meta-analysis, linear regression models showed that TSD was best explained using interactions between decay class and the following four variables: Maximum summer temperature; higher temperatures decreased TSD Total annual precipitation; greater precipitation increased TSD Wood density; greater wood density increased TSD Tree phylogeny; TSD was 4.4 years higher in softwoods compared to hardwoods The above four variables accounted for 84% of the variance between observations, which were classified into three main clusters using a PCA-analysis. A decay-class transition rate model was included to account for mean residence time of 75% of the trees being 'out of the system' and classified beyond DC #3 (Fig. 2). Projected warming is likely to accelerate wood decomposition and decrease residence time in the decay stages Using baseline climate data across Europe, mean TSD of deadwood in the first decay class was, on average, ~10 years. Lower values were observed around the Mediterranean and higher values in the Alps, Scotland and southwestern coast of Norway (Fig. 3). Future climate projections show that mean TSD could decrease from 10 years to 6 and 4 years by 2100, according to SSP2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5 scenarios, respectively (Fig. 3). A shorter residence time will change deadwood dynamics, thereby impacting diversity and salvage logging practices Saproxylic biodiversity may be altered due a reduced availability of deadwood of different decomposition stages over time, reducing the amount of available of habitat. This is likely to worsen with rising temperatures. Shorter residence times of deadwood suggests a reduced "shelf life" of dead trees that are used as value-added products. This is especially true for hardwoods in warmer regions where salvage harvesting needs to occur in a shorter period after a disturbance. Climate change and faster decaying wood is likely to affect the carbon footprint, sequestration rate, timing and quantity emissions related to the decomposition of dead trees. A copy of this blog post is available as an Extension Note in PDF format, available in English and French. Corresponding author of article: Catherine Chagnon, M.Sc. Summary and design by Amy Wotherspoon, PhD.

  • Les dernières nouvelles d’'Adapt'

    Pour la troisième semaine consécutive, nous rattrapons notre personnel de haute qualité (PHQ) pour un mis à jours des projets de recherche sous le thème 'Adapt'! Dans le cadre d’ADAPTER, la recherche des traitements sylvicoles novateurs et des stratégies de gestion forestière adaptées à la nouvelle réalité socio-environnementale, afin d’assurer la durabilité de l’approvisionnement en fibres partout au Canada. Le mardi 29 novembre, nous avons entendu les PHQ suivants avec des projets sous le thème ADAPT : Cliquez sur un nom pour lire leur résumé Si vous êtes membre de l’équipe Silva21 et vous souhaitez recevoir une copie de toutes les diapositives, veuillez contacter notre coordinateur scientifique( Nos prochaines réunions de mise à jour auront lieu au printemps 2023! Restez à l'affût de toutes les nouvelles Silva21 en vous abonnant à notre infolettre au bas de cette page.

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Autres pages (74)

  • Bienvenue | Silva21

    Programme de recherche en sylviculture financé par les subventions Alliance du CRSNG Dirigé par Alexis Achim Objectif 38 Projets de recherche 5.5M$ de 2021 à 2026 5 Universités 50 collaborateurs OBJECTIF Le programme de recherche vise à fournir des données, des outils et des solutions pratiques pour améliorer la résistance des forêts canadiennes à diverses perturbations et sources de stress, contribuant ainsi à la santé de ces écosystèmes et au bien-être des communautés qui en dépendent. Lire la suite Thèmes de recherche THÈMES DE RECHERCHE Observer Recueillir les données grâce à des outils novateurs en vue d'évaluer la croissance et la vigueur des arbres, et permettre ainsi des stratégies de gestion plus flexibles et adaptatives en cas de perturbations et de stress climatiques. Anticiper Améliorer les modèles de croissance et les méthodes de prédiction pour tenir compte de la réalité climatique et synthétiser les multiples risques de perturbation auxquels les forêts sont confrontées. ​ Adapter Tester des traitements sylvicoles novateurs et des stratégies de gestion forestière adaptés à la nouvelle réalité socio-environnementale, travaillant ainsi à assurer la durabilité de l'approvisionnement en fibres à travers le Canada. Voir les projets Nous contacter Envoyer Merci pour votre envoi ! Nous contacter

  • Silva21 AGM 2023

    Assemblée Générale Annuelle Cet événement de trois jours vise à : ​ Donner l’occasion aux chercheurs, aux PHQ et aux partenaires de se rencontrer et à se connaître Présenter les projets et les résultats élaborés pour chaque hub Partager les résultats entre les universités, les gouvernements et les partenaires industriels Donner un aperçu du programme de travail en cours à chaque carrefour Permettre aux partenaires de fournir des commentaires sur la façon dont les projets peuvent aider à adapter la sylviculture aux réalités changeantes Inscription à l'AGA 2023 L’inscription en ligne est maintenant terminée. Pour les inscriptions tardives, envoyez un courriel à pour voir si nous pouvons vous accommoder. Assistez virtuellement (ouvert à tous) 26 - 30 juin, 2023 Oak Island Resort & Conference Centre Cliquez l'image pour lire le document d'événement. ​ Pour la version de l'agenda tentative le plus récent, cliquez ici . Formulaires importants Inscription à l'AGA 2023 Réservation d'hôtel Covoiturage Inscription à la participation virtuelle PHOTOS Voir les photos de l'Assemblée Générale Annuelle des années précédents AGA 2022 Pour toute question concernant l’AGA, veuillez communiquer avec notre coordonnatrice scientifique, Amy Wotherspoon .

  • Projects

    PROJETS Revisiting existing trials AD 1 Hub: All Year: 2021-2024 Ethan Ramsfield See the project Silvicultural scenarios to promote resilient stand structures AD 3a Hub: Quesnel, BC Year: 2021-2022 Rover Liu, MSc See the project Salvage harvesting of dead trees AD 4 Hub: Quesnel, BC; Lac-St-Jean, QC Year: 2024-2025 See the project Culturally important species AD 6 Hub: Eastern Townships, QC Year: 2021-2022 Laurence Boudreault, PhD See the project White papers: final project outcomes AD 8b Hub: All Year: 2024-2026 Amy Wotherspoon, RA See the project Climatic drivers of tree growth AN 1a Hub: All Year: 2021 Catherine Chagnon, RA See the project Wood properties as proxies for past climate conditions AN 1d Hub: Ontario and Quebec Year: 2023-2025 Philippe Riel, MSc See the project Stem vigour and growth of tolerant hardwoods AN 4 Hub: Haliburton, ON Year: 2022-2024 Guillaume Moreau, PDF See the project Thinning as a tool to increase resistance to stressors (AN6b) AN 6b Hub: Quesnel, BC Year: 2022-2024 See the project Viability of climate-informed, landscape-level strategies AN 8b Hub: All (West focus) Year: 2022-2025 Kirk Johnson, PhD See the project Optimization of the characterization of burning patterns OB 1b Hub: Lac-St-Jean, QC Year: 2021-2022 Gabrielle Thibault, MSc See the project Early alert system for forest management OB 3b Hub: Estrie, QC; Montmorency forest, QC; Lac-St-Jean, QC; Romeo Malette, ON Year: 2021-2025 Alexandre Morin-Bernard, PhD See the project Continuous forest inventory framework OB 5a Hub: All Year: 2021-2022 Chris Mulverhill, PDF See the project Metrics for silvicultural prescription OB 5d Hub: Black Brook & Acadia, NB Year: 2023 - 2025 See the project Adaptive silviculture for climate change (ASCC) trial AD 10 Hub: Petawawa research forest, ON Year: 2023-2026 Lisa Han See the project Re-establishment after 2017 fires AD 3b Hub: Quesnel, BC Year: 2022-2025 See the project Deliberative-analytic framework to engage publics and stakeholders AD 5a Hub: Quesnel, BC Year: 2022-2025 Dane Pedersen, PhD See the project Visualisation techniques for social commentary AD 7 Hub: All Year: 2021-2022 See the project Assisted migration trials: implementation AD 9a Hub: All Year: 2021-2022 James Broom, RA See the project Future climate envelopes AN 1b Hub: All Year: 2021-2022 Amy Wotherspoon, PDF See the project Integration of climate drivers into growth modelling (AN3a) AN 3a Hub: Eastern Townships, QC Year: 2022-2025 Christina Howard, PhD See the project Targeted assisted migration AN 5 Hub: All Year: 2022-2025 João Paulo Czarnecki de Liz, PhD See the project Tree-level response to thinning AN 7 Hub: Montmorency research forest, QC; Lac-St-Jean, QC Year: 2021-2023 Marilou Yargeau, MSc See the project Flexibility in forest management to preserve caribou habitat AN 9 Hub: Newfoundland, NL Year: 2021-2022 Catherine Beaulieu, MSc See the project Advanced RS: free-to-grow to thinning stage OB 2 Hub: Romeo Malette, ON; Quesnel, BC Year: 2021-2025 Liam Irwin, PhD See the project LiDAR EFI for growth projections: new approaches OB 4a Hub: Romeo Malette, ON Year: 2022-2024 José Riofrío , PDF See the project Metrics for silvicultural prescription: composition and structure OB 5b Hub: Acadia, NB; Black Brook, NB Year: 2024-2025 See the project Learning from the past: key stand attributes linked with resilience AD 2 Hub: All Year: 2021-2024 Tommaso Trotto, PhD See the project Rainfall exclusion experiment: the effect of thinning AD 3c Hub: Black Brook, NB; Nova Scotia, NS Year: 2023-2025 Chloe Larstone Hunt, MSc See the project Climate change and adaptative silviculture: playing to collaborate with a serious game AD 5b Hub: All Year: 2023-2025 Sandrine Paquin, MSc See the project Silvicultural practices at the pace of global changes: a public policy challenge AD 8a Hub: All Year: 2022-2023 Anne Bernard, PDF See the project Assisted migration trials: early response AD 9b Hub: All Year: 2022-2025 Jacob Ravn, PhD See the project Impact of climate change on growth of commercial forest species in Nova Scotia AN 1c Hub: Nova Scotia Year: 2022 - 2024 Florence Leduc, M.Sc. See the project Integration of climate drivers into growth modelling (AN3b) AN 3b Hub: Black Brook, NB; Acadia, NB; Nova Scotia Year: 2021-2023 Jamie Ring, MSc See the project Thinning as a tool to increase resistance to stressors AN 6a Hub: Quesnel, BC Year: 2022-2024 Sergio Alonso Sanchez, MSc See the project Forest management plans for resilient landscapes AN 8a Hub: All (East focus) Year: 2023-2026 Helin Dura, PhD See the project Regeneration after catastophic disturbance OB 1a Hub: Quesnel, BC; Malcolm Knapp, BC Year: 2021-2024 Sarah Smith-Tripp, PhD See the project Seasonal mosaics of forest cover OB 3a Hub: All Year: 2021-2023 Micheal Burnett, RA See the project LiDAR stem metrics for tree list models OB 4b Hub: Nova Scotia, NS; Estrie, QC Year: 2024-2025 See the project Metrics for silvicultural prescription: stand condition OB 5c Hub: Quesnel Year: 2023-2024 Madison Brown, M.Sc. See the project

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