A new model for allocating Crown timber supply along the northeastern shore of Lake Superior went into effect in April.
In March, Marathon's Daryl Skworchinski was appointed chairman of the Nawiinginokiima Forest Management Corporation. Serving with him on the board is Grant Goodwin, Donald Fry, Raymond Boudreau, Tina Forsyth, and Gaétan Malette.
The provincially-created corporation will manage and oversee the sale of timber on four forest management units; Nagagami Forest, White River Forest, Big Pic Forest, and the Pic River Forest.
Skworchinski, who works for Confederation College, is the former economic development officer for Marathon, one of the communities in the corporation's coverage area.
Skworchinski expressed confidence that the corporation will have full autonomy to make decisions on allocating fibre while respecting commitments that have made to area mills.
He said a great catch for the corporation is the ability to retain stumpage fees on harvesting from the management units that it oversees.
“Traditionally that would have gone into consolidated revenue for the province, now we retain that as revenue for the corporation to reinvest.”
Skworchinski said that could eventually prove to be in the tens of millions of dollars with the rebound in the forestry industry.
He said that money could be earmarked to assist companies in studying ways to cut their operating costs through industry-focussed post-secondary research or possibly supply chain development similar to what supports the mining industry.
Skworchinski, who works as a north shore campus director at Confederation College, would like to “bring the cool back to forestry” by inspiring local youth to consider careers as foresters and forest techs.
“There’s a real depth of diversity that we have the ability to reinvest those funds into. It’s really going to be at the discretion of the corporation and board on what they choose to do.”
The corporation will have an interim general manager in place – on loan from the Ministry of Natural Resources – until a permanent hire is named in October.
The board, which meets every two weeks, will spend the next few months putting together its organizational framework on paper and outlining its goals and visions in a strategic plan.