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Companies agree to mimic natural landscapes in Boreal forest

January 20, 2016  By Cindy Macdonald

Member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) have agreed to follow an innovative approach to sustainable forest management that takes its cue from nature.

The approach, known as natural range of variation (NRV), is aimed at recreating natural landscapes by harvesting in patterns that are similar to the impact of wind, fire, insects and other natural disturbances.

FPAC members committed to follow this approach after working collaboratively with environmental groups under the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. The organization says the pledge to implement NRV is considered a major step towards the CBFA goal of making Canada a world leader in sustainable forest management.


“We reached this milestone with our environmental partners after a lot of hard work,” says Paul Lansbergen, the acting president and CEO of FPAC. “This commitment to natural landscapes in the Canadian boreal forest was only possible because of that concerted joint effort.”

A built-in evaluation process has been included in the NRV blueprint so that any new knowledge, for example around the impact of climate change, as well as social and economic considerations, will be continually incorporated into the approach.

“There is still much to do to ensure that Canada’s Boreal Forest is sustained for future generations,” said Todd Paglia, executive director of ForestEthics, “and we are pleased to see steps being taken towards timber harvesting that more closely mimics nature.”

The NRV management approach is already being implemented in some areas of Canada’s boreal forest. This commitment will significantly accelerate and broaden its use by FPAC member companies across 73 million hectares of Boreal forest.

The forestry companies who have made this commitment are: Alberta Pacific Forest Industries Inc.; AV Group; Canfor Pulp; Canfor Corp.; Cariboo Pulp & Paper Company; Conifex; DMI (Daishowa-Marubeni International); Fortress Paper Ltd.; Howe Sound Pulp and Paper; Kruger; LP Canada; Mercer International; Millar Western Forest Products; Resolute Forest Products; Tembec; Tolko Industries; West Fraser Timber Co.; and Weyerhaeuser.

Participating environmental organizations include: Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society; ForestEthics; Ivey Foundation; The Nature Conservancy; TNC Canada; International Boreal Conservation Campaign; Schad Foundation.

Details about the natural range of variation approach committed to can be found here.

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