Benoit Beausoleil, the woodlands manager at Domtar’s (now EACOM’s) Elk Lake sawmill says he “can focus on the fibre supply and operational side of the business as all of the planning and silviculture functions in the Timiskaming forest are handled by First Resource Management Group Inc.” according to Canadian Forest Industries Magazine. “While many Canadian sawmills have reduced production levels due to the economic downturn and low demand for wood products, Domtar’s Elk Lake Sawmill in the small town of Elk Lake, Ont. has been operating on three shifts. That has been keeping Beausoleil busy,” according to the magazine.
The FRMG team knows that maintaining open communications with local band councils and community members is a key to developing and maintaining long term relationships.
Maintaining good aboriginal community relations is one of the most important aspects of managing a forest. We have successfully fostered an active silvicultural program with three First Nation service providers and have assisted members of the forest industry when they negotiated forest harvesting contracts with local aboriginal harvesting companies.
“Over 135,000 hectares of forest re-entered the … landbase. This represents over 20% of the total … forest. Recapturing that area is a significant positive event in confirming the economic and ecological viability of this forest,” according to the Independent Forest Audit report.
FRMG was formed by the forestry team from the Timiskaming Forest Alliance Inc. who joined forces with two independent entrepreneurs. For 13 years the staff of FRMG have worked as a cohesive team and have shown that they can deliver impressive benefits to forest tenure holders. We have described some of these accomplishments below.
Every forest management plan we have written since the establishment of our predecessor company has been an initiative focused on reducing costs while sustaining the diversity of benefits from forests, including timber production. Through careful and diligent sustainable forest modeling, we increased the availability of softwood volumes and softened the downward trend in hardwood supplies. These successes have significantly increased the economic value of forest tenure. With our expertise in forest modeling and conflict resolution, we have reversed downward trends in available timber supplies on the forests we manage. We improved harvest levels in the face of significant area losses due to the Province’s Ontario’s Living Legacy initiative in 1999.
Out of five Forest Management Plans in north eastern Ontario that were due for implementation in 2006, the plan we wrote for the Timiskaming Forest was the only plan approved on time and without any environmental assessment “bump-up” delays.
One of our more notable successes over the last decade is the reduction in delivered wood costs we’ve achieved for the benefit our first forest tenure holder. Total cost savings have been near $5 m3.
The FRMG team has an extensive history of managing multiple dedicated forestry Trust accounts while planning and implementing a cost-effective silviculture program. Our silvicultural expertise, structure and management system have contributed significantly to the consistent maintenance of low renewal rates and we can offer these same attributes for managing renewal Trust accounts on behalf of any other forest tenure holder.