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Temagami Forest Management Corp. awarded sustainable forest licence

Group will manage 456,770 hectares in northeastern Ontario

The province has issued a sustainable forest licence (SFL) to the Temagami Forest Management Corporation, giving the group the green light to manage the Temagami Forest in northeastern Ontario.

Stretching across 456,770 hectares, the Temagami Forest is located north of North Bay and south of Elk Lake, and encompasses the communities of New Liskeard, Haileybury, Cobalt, Temagami, Latchford, Dymond, Harris, Hudson, and Coleman Townships.

Roughly 94 per cent of the Temagami Forest is comprised of Crown land, but only two thirds can be harvested. The rest is off limits, protected as part of provincial parks, conservation reserves, and other “no forestry” land uses.

“The establishment of the Temagami Forest Management Corporation signals the beginning of a new era,” said Faye Johnson, a registered professional forester who serves as chair of the corporation’s board of directors, in an April 5 news release.

“The board is honoured to be part of the stewardship of this forest and looks forward to working with the industry and community partners — both Indigenous and non-Indigenous — to encourage innovation and investment while ensuring the unique attributes that make the forests of Temagami so special remain intact for generations to come.”

The Temagami Forest Management Corporation is the second organization of its kind to be established by the province.

The province said creating the corporation falls in line with its Sustainable Growth: Ontario’s Forest Sector Strategy — a 10-year plan to create jobs and encourage economic growth through greater local and Indigenous community involvement in forestry — which was launched in 2020.

“Ensuring that Indigenous and community interests are represented in long-term decision-making means those most connected with local forests can benefit,” Greg Rickford, minister of Northern development, mines, natural resources and forestry, said in the release.

“With this license, we are expanding economic opportunities for Indigenous and other communities that rely on Ontario’s forests, while continuing to strengthen our partnerships across the province.”