THUNDER BAY, ON - November 10, 2009 - Ontario Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry announced yesterday that the province will be injecting the necessary funds to purchase approximately 13. 5 million tree seedlings for planting this coming summer.
This 1-year supplemental renewal program will make it possible for local greenhouses to return to the seedling business with this commitment to forest renewal. These seedlings are destined to be planted in areas that have been hit with natural disturbances such as fire, insect and wind damage.
The recent harvesting curtailments due to the forest product market collapse has created a void for greenhouses that were mostly originally developed to supply seedlings to the various forest management firms and Forests across the northwest. The lack of harvesting has meant there is less intensive forest renewal required, however our forests continue to be hit with natural disturbances and this announcement will make it possible to keep our local tree seedling greenhouses in place until there is a return to normal harvesting activity which will require normal silvicultural practices, including seedling production.
The job impact equates to approximately 70 jobs created in the production of seedlings, while another 420 jobs will be developed to prepare the proposed planting areas through various soil preparation methods, as well as the actual planting employment required.
"Our government is focused on strengthening the economy, creating jobs and building for the future. This supplemental forest renewal program will stimulate job creation in forest renewal and is an investment in the future of the forest," Minister Gravelle stated at the announcement.
The 13.5 million seedlings will be planted on 6,700 hectares, or approximately 17,000 acres. The investment by the province to our public forests equals $6 million dollars. This investment also boosts the province’s forest renewal plans by an additional 20%.
Ministry of Natural Resource Minister, Donna Cansfield stated, “Our ministries are working cooperatively to support the forest services sector and ensure our forest resources are managed in a sustainable way. By providing a boost to forest renewal, we are helping to ensure our forests remain healthy for the benefit of all Ontarians."
It is so important to keep our mechanisms in place while we slowly move out of the bottom of this forest product down-cycle. We need the services of forest management firms, and forest seedling greenhouses as much as we need to have a forest harvesting industry available for the future once we return to supplying the world with our highly valued forest products. Announcements such as these remind us that we will have a forest industry in place well into the future. Investments in our forests give our forestry dependant communities hope at a time that there is little to go around.
The province has opportunities to turn these forestry related communities around through the release of new fibre allocations to new and re-started facilities, and we expect soon to see these take place. Through the coordination of the Green Energy opportunities, we will see a new future and a sustainable forest to return to, through continued investments in our Forests.
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