Richard Z. Donovan, director and chief of forestry of the Rainforest Alliance's worldwide Smartwood program, was in the Sault yesterday to present an internationally recognized forest management certificate to Clergue Forest Management Inc. of Sault Ste. Marie and Wawa.
Donovan is shown congratulating Clergue's Jim Miller in a ceremony at the Civic Centre.
The recognition also drew applause from Ontario Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay.
The following is from a news release:
******************** The certification comes from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a world-wide accreditation organization that has certified over 50 million hectares in more than 60 countries to date.
It is the most highly regarded forest and wood product certification system in the world.
Certification provides international recognition for well-managed forests that do not put the forest's natural heritage at risk.
"I congratulate Clergue Forest Management Inc. on obtaining independent forest certification," said Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay.
"Clergue’s accomplishment brings us a step closer to my goal of seeing all sustainable forest licence holders certified by the end of 2007. This certification will also help Clergue members maintain and gain preference in export markets, which will contribute to a more innovative and thriving Ontario economy."
Rainforest Alliance's SmartWood program carried out a rigorous evaluation of forest management practices on the Algoma Forest in the fall of 2004 that resulted in the issuance of a FSC certificate.
This audit demonstrated that Clergue had accomplished a strict set of principles that address environmental, social and community economic requirements.
The Algoma Forest managed by Clergue covers approximately one million hectares of temperate and boreal forest on Crown land near the shores of Lake Superior in Northeastern Ontario.
"Clergue Forest Management, and the partner companies involved, have really set a high standard for forest stewardship. James Miller and the rest of the Clergue team are to be congratulated for their hard work and achievements. This certification is a real feather in the cap for the region and for Clergue as a forest industry leader," according to SmartWood Director Richard Z. Donovan.
James Miller, R.P.F. General Manager of Clergue is proud of the achievement of FSC certification.
"Our FSC certification achievement demonstrates that the forests of Algoma are well managed when compared to international standards. Our shareholder companies recognize the value of certification in marketing forest products. This is a major achievement for our forestry staff and reflects their professionalism and commitment to good forest practices. Annual reviews will ensure that our practices are maintained at a high standard."
Clergue Forest Management was issued a Sustainable Forest License covering the Algoma Forest on December, 1997.
Since then, Clergue has worked closely with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Sault Ste. Marie and Wawa District Local Citizens' Committees, tourism operators, recreational and environmental groups in developing and implementing forest management plans.
Clergue has six partner companies: Boniferro Mill Works Inc. (Sault Ste. Marie); St. Marys Paper Ltd. (Sault Ste. Marie); Domtar Inc. (Espanola); Levesque Plywood Limited (Columbia Forest Products) (Hearst); Midway Lumber Mills Limited (Thessalon); and, Weyerhaeuser Company Limited (Wawa).