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Wabigoon Forest gets FSC seal of approval

Domtar passes the sustainable forest management test under new certification process
Domtar forest photo
(Domtar photo)

The Wabigoon Forest in northwestern Ontario has been re-certified to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) national standard for Canada.

Domtar announced the successful completion of a surveillance audit on the Wabigoon Forest during the week of July 13. The company is the sustainable forest licence holder for the 677,000-hectare Crown forest near Dryden.

The auditor’s recommendation was for certification to be maintained under the new Canadian standard.

In an Aug. 24 news release, Domtar said the new standard replaces the previous FSC Boreal standard "and has set the bar high for demonstrating sustainable forest management."

The Wabigoon Forest was first certified to the FSC standard in 2008.

Domtar passes the sustainable forest management test under new certification process 

The audit process found four minor non-conformance issues, all of which have been addressed with action plans and approved by the auditing body, said the company.

South Carolina-headquartered Domtar runs a pulp mill in Dryden and a pulp and specialty paper plant in Espanola.

The Forest Stewardship Council is an international non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization in Bonn, Germany that promotes responsible management of the world's forests.

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The new FSC standard requires a comprehensive audit of legal compliance, protection of high conservation values, environmental impacts, management planning and community relations including free prior and informed consent with area First Nations, according to Domtar.

“The success of this audit demonstrates progress towards our sustainability goals,” said Paige Goff, Domtar's vice-president of sustainability.

“Independent third-party forest certification like FSC is important to our customers and reflects our commitment to sustainability.”

“Our on-the-ground management practices, coupled with a rigorous provincially mandated forest management planning process, helps to hit the mark with FSC,” said Marie Cyr, general manager of the Dryden pulp mill, in a statement.

“We are proud of our record of sustainable forest management. The fact that the Dryden mill has been operating in this forest area for over 100 years demonstrates that we are managing our forests sustainably.”

Domtar is also licensed to manage the Trout Lake forest in the Red Lake district of northwestern Ontario, which is on target to undergo an FSC pre-assessment audit later this year.