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Petawawa Research Forest Named Forest Capital of Canada 2017-2019

By Pembroke Daily Observer

Submitted photo
The Petawawa Research Forest has been named the Forest Capital of Canada for 2017-19. Taking part in the announcement, from left, Megan Smith, CIF-IFC past president, Lise Caron, director general of the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Natural Resources Canada, and Dave Lemkay, general manager, Canadian Forestry Association.

Submitted photo The Petawawa Research Forest has been named the Forest Capital of Canada for 2017-19. Taking part in the announcement, from left, Megan Smith, CIF-IFC past president, Lise Caron, director general of the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Natural Resources Canada, and Dave Lemkay, general manager, Canadian Forestry Association.

OTTAWA – The Canadian Institute of Forestry/Institut forestier du Canada (CIF-IFC) is pleased to announce the Petawawa Research Forest (PRF), located in Chalk River, Ontario as the Forest Capital of Canada (FCC) for 2017-2019. The FCC Award was presented at the 2017 CIF-IFC Annual Awards Banquet held on Sept. 27 at The Westin Ottawa.  
“The FCC designation was established in 1979 and celebrates a community or a region for its connectivity to the forest,” noted Dana Collins, executive director, CIF-IFC.
According to a press release, the FCC program focuses on the valuable role forests play in the socio-economic and environmental health of our communities – past, present and future, while also recognizing and celebrating the rich forest heritage and commitment to sustainable forest management practices across Canada. Originally delivered by the Canadian Forestry Association, the CIF-IFC now administers the legacy program. General manager of the Canadian Forestry Association, Dave Lemkay, presented the award. Lise Caron, director general of the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Natural Resources Canada was in attendance to accept the award.
The PRF was selected for this special designation due to its strong forest history and scientific legacy, and continued dedication to long-term studies in fire, genetics and silviculture research, undertaken by the Canadian Forest Service (CFS), in collaboration with various partners. As Canada’s oldest and continuously run research forest, this designation coincides with the PRF 100th anniversary in 2018. Open to the public for educational programs or for recreational purposes, it promotes the importance of healthy, thriving forests and the role of proper forest management.
“The national nature of this designation encompasses the PRF community, including the researchers, scientists and government employees from all over the country,” explains Collins. “Through the ongoing studies and research installations in this living laboratory, the PRF remains at the forefront of Canadian and global forest research.”
Formed in 1908, the CIF/IFC is the national voice of forest practitioners and many others with a professional interest in forestry. The Institute’s 19 sections strive to provide national leadership in forestry, promote competency among forestry professionals, and foster public awareness of Canadian and international forestry issues.
The Petawawa Research Forest (PRF) is located along Highway 17, just east of Chalk River, and is  nestled between Garrison Petawawa and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories. Originally known as the Petawawa Research Experiment Station (PFES) and then the Petawawa National Forest Institute (PNFI), the Petawawa Research Forest was established in 1918 by the then Forestry Branch of the federal Department of the Interior. Due to government funding cuts in 1996, facilities were closed and researchers working there moved to other forestry centres. However, the forest itself remained intact. Today numerous studies remain ongoing throughout the forest.