Workshop planned on community forests

Press Release

The Northern Ontario Sustainable Communities Partnership will host a workshop on “Community Forests: A Tenure Reform Option for Community Sustainability in Northern Ontario” on March 4-5 at the Prince Arthur Hotel in Thunder Bay.
NOSCP was formed in November, 2006 in response to the forest industry crisis in Northern Ontario.
Participants in the ad hoc group are a wide range of individuals and organizations, including northern municipalities, non-governmental organizations, unions, academics, and aboriginal organizations.
NOSCP sees the current crisis in the industry as an opportunity to re-evaluate the structure of the current forest sector in Ontario, especially forest tenures.
NOSCP released its Northern Ontario Community Forest Charter in September, 2007, which spells out the rights and responsibilities of Northern Ontario residents and communities, including aboriginal peoples and communities, to exercise shared control over—and stewardship of—northern forests.
The workshop on March 4-5 will explore models of local governance for Crown forests that build on the NOSCP’s charter and develop a vision for how community forests could become a reality in Northern Ontario.
Participants will be guided by the expertise of community forest researchers and practitioners from across Canada, and the perspectives of key stakeholders and First Nations.
Organizers hope to attract a wide range of participants to the workshop, including those who are affected by and/or have influence on the forest sector in Northern Ontario.
“As a researcher of local citizens’ advisory committees, this is the next step in giving Northern Ontarians a real say in how the forests they live, work, and play in are managed,” said Dr. Mark Robson of Lakehead University’s School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism, who also is co-chair of the NOSCP.
“It’s time that we join the 50-plus other countries that are moving towards greater community control over forests for sustainability,” he added.
The workshop is sponsored by the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Ecosuperior, Environment North, First Nations Forestry Program, Forest Renewal Co-op, Geraldton Community Forest, Lakehead University, Matawa Tribal Council, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp., Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and Thunder Bay Ventures.
For further information, contact Peggy Smith at or by calling 1-807-343-8672, or Robson at or 1-807-343-8057.
Registration info is available at