West Fraser is pleased to be named with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) as a 2021 Leadership in Conservation Award winner. It was announced at the most recent Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) conference. SFI is an independent, non-profit organization that collaborates with a diverse network to provide solutions to local and global sustainability challenges.
The award is being given for a project originally designed by the NCC. The Other Effective Conservation Measures (OECMs) tool is used to review effective conservation in sustainably managed forestlands. The tool broadens the scope and understanding of effective conservation measures beyond traditional protected areas like national parks.
Laura Trout, West Fraser's Senior Biologist led the Company's involvement in this project. The first step was to broaden engagement within the forestry sector. Then, Laura also reviewed West Fraser's own operations and recommended four types of potential OECMs from that study, making long-term considerations in the process. Other people in the forestry industry can now use her work at West Fraser to get better results in their OECMs projects.
"We were very pleased to provide some real-world case studies within our tenure areas that demonstrate how conservation values are fully consistent with sustainable forest management. We would like to thank SFI for the recognition of this work," Laura Trout told SFI.
Her work is also an excellent example of the practice of West Fraser's ecosystem-based sustainable forest management approach.
"It was Laura's vision, passion, commitment and understanding of our business that resulted in our OECM submission," said Richard Briand, Chief Forester, Alberta Woodlands. "Many of us understand that sustainable forest management results in healthy, diverse, resilient forests that provide a wide array of ecological, social and economic values. Through the OECM process, we anticipate that others will learn more about what we do and come to share that view."
D'Arcy Henderson, V.P. Canadian Woodlands, said the group should take a great deal of pride in what they have accomplished. "This is a great example of how the team at West Fraser continues to contribute and support solutions that will help Canada achieve our conservation goals while still realizing a productive operational plan on the land base. The work done by Laura and others helps solidify that our sustainable forest management strategies are supporting conservation and enhancing the value of the resource."
Click here to read the full news release on SFI's website.