Tembec receives FSC certification for first Manitoba forest, reaches habitat protection accord with CPAWS
PINE FALLS, MAN-Tembec has received Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for its forestry practices on its Forest Management Licence 1 (FML 1), a 900,000-hectare section of public forest in eastern Manitoba. This is the first Manitoba forest to be audited and certified in accordance with the FSC National Boreal Standard. It also brings to 9.7 million hectares the total area of FSC-certified forests under management by Tembec and its partners in Canada. Tembec received its certification from the Rainforest Alliance's SmartWood program, an FSC-accredited certifier, following an in-depth audit process that found the company's forest management practices to be in compliance with FSC's rigorous standards for environmentally and socially responsible forestry practices. In other activities, Tembec and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) recently negotiated a 50-year halt to logging in woodland caribou habitats on the east side of Lake Winnipeg. The agreement covers a 26,000-hectare area that provides winter habitat for the Owl Lake woodland caribou, Manitoba's southernmost-dwelling herd. A long-term halt to forestry operations in the area will preserve the herd's habitat while allowing further research on the survival needs of the woodland caribou, which is considered an indicator species of boreal forest health. When the caribou are gone, it's a clear sign the ecology of that forest has been severely damaged, said Conservation Minister Stan Struthers. Manitoba's woodland caribou population is estimated at between 1,800 and 3,100 animals, and the province last year listed the species as threatened under its Endangered Species Act.