Forest management operations are guided by an MNRF-approved Forest Management Plan. Each year, an Annual Work Schedule of forest management activities is prepared and is made available to the public. GFI is also responsible for preparing an Annual Report for all its completed activities and submitting it to the MNRF, which is also made available to the public. All planning and reporting actitivities are conducted as per the Crown Forest Sustainability Act and other Ontario policies, including the Forest Management Planning Manual for Ontario’s Crown Forests.
Opportunities for Public Involvement
The forest management planning process provides opportunities for government, Indigenous Communities, public, and other interested parties to review, comment on and/or express any concerns with planned forest operations.
There are public information centres and opportunities for customized consultation during the planning process.
The Lakehead Forest is a very public forest, as it immediately surrounds the City of Thunder Bay, the Towns of Nipigon and Red Rock, and several organized rural municipalities. There are dozens of cottage lakes, and popular tourism and recreation areas within this forest.
Addressing the variety of socio-economic considerations and public concerns, and balancing forest management plan objectives can be very challenging.
With the preparation of a forest management plan, and during its implementation, identified values are regularly reviewed. Values include:
- Species at Risk habitats; fish and wildlife habitats; streams and waterbodies; cottage and recreation areas; trapper cabins and trails; and other identified cultural and heritage features.
Prescriptions for forest operations are implemented according to MNRF policy and the forest management plan, to mitigate negative effects of forest operations on identified values. These prescriptions can range from no forest operations, to modified operations, and/or limitations on the timing/season of operations.
As part of the sustainable forest management planning process, Greenmantle Forest Inc. selects candidate harvest areas from the inventory of eligible forest types across the Lakehead Forest. Only a certain area of forest types can be harvested sustainably over time. Depending on the MNRF-approved management objectives, certain forest types must be regenerated after harvesting to achieve desired future goals such as those for long-term wood supply, wildlife habitat, and forest condition.
The Lakehead Forest – Forest Management Plan
The current ten year forest management plan is in effect from April 1, 2020 until March 31, 2030.
Where to find the FMP
The approved Forest Management Plan text, supporting maps and documentation, as well as subsequent plan amendments are available online on the Natural Resources Information Portal.
An Annual Work Schedule (AWS) is prepared each year to outline planned annual operations. Once the AWS is approved by the District Manager it is posted on the Natural Resources Information Portal.
An Annual Report (AR) is prepared each year to report on the previous years operations and is posted on the Natural Resources Information Portal.