THUNDER BAY – A proposed new approach to forest tenure and pricing could help re-energize Ontario’s forest sector. “The proposed new system would be flexible, transparent, and responsive to changing social, economic and environmental conditions and needs. It would also be designed to increase business opportunities for new entrepreneurs and promote market competition for allocating and pricing Crown timber,” stated Michael Gravelle, the Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry.
The plan, released today for consultation, offers a framework that is focused on balancing sustainable practices with an environment where Ontario forest products businesses can succeed. The cornerstone of the framework is the introduction of new Local Forest Management Corporations (LFMCs) to manage Crown forests and oversee the competitive sale of Crown timber.
Sessions for the public and stakeholders will be held across the province to discuss the framework:
May 18 – Thunder Bay June 1 – Hearst
May 20 – Dryden June 3 – Timmins
May 26 – Marathon June 8 – Pembroke
May 28 – Toronto June 10 – North Bay
This initiative is part of the Ontario Government’s five-year Open Ontario plan to create jobs and economic opportunities in northern Ontario.
“A sustainable forest is in everyone’s interest; that’s why we’re moving towards modernizing our forest economy through a new approach to forest tenure and pricing. Our world-class forest management standards ensure that we manage this precious resource well on behalf of the people of Ontario.”
—Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Natural Resources
• A parallel series of sessions is planned with First Nations and Aboriginal organizations.
• The framework contains a proposal for five to 15 new LFMCs that would assume responsibility for management, marketing and sale of wood from Crown forests within their defined area.
This is, according to the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry, the most comprehensive overhaul of the Ontario’s wood allocation system in decades. It is designed to position Ontario’s forestry sector as an innovative, global player for the 21st century.