Logging in Algonquin Park provides a locally harvested, renewable resource, while sustainable forest management protects ecological and social-cultural values. This ensures the maintenance of natural forest conditions for current and future generations.
The silvicultural systems used in the Park, such as single-tree selection and shelterwood, aim to maintain natural forest conditions and create diversity in forest age and structure. A variety of old-growth, middle-aged, and young forest stands are needed to benefit the abundant and diverse wildlife that relies on the forests within the Park. The majority of pine management relies largely on the shelterwood silvicultural system employed, in which residual trees are left to provide partial shade and a seed source for natural regeneration to occur. Since this system emulates low-intensity fires, logging provides the disturbance mechanism needed to regenerate pine in a landscape where fire suppression takes place.
Forestry practiced in Algonquin Park, is science-based, subject to meaningful public consultation, and ensures that the forest is managed sustainably as required under provincial legislation. Forest management objectives are about balancing environmental, social, and economic criteria, with high consideration for a variety of ecological indicators. AFA forest operations are enabled by rigorous Forest Management Plans that place extensive consideration on wildlife values, biodiversity, recreation, ecosystem management, and social-cultural values.
The sustainability of the Algonquin Park Forest is confirmed regularly through the development of Forest Management Plans and reports by Registered Professional Foresters, Independent Forest Audits every 5 years and annual certification audits to Canada’s National Forest Management Standard CSA‐Z809 and the international environmental standard ISO 14001.
The preservation of Algonquin’s forest that was envisioned in 1893 when the park was formed has been successful, and Algonquin proudly supplies approximately 40 per cent of the Crown timber in Ontario’s southern region on a sustainable basis. Forest operations in Algonquin Park support the livelihoods of many communities in the area and have been maintained within the park for generations; currently over 300 people are employed by the Park’s forestry operations, while another 2,500 people are employed by the mills to which the wood is supplied.
The Algonquin Forestry Authority is the recipient of the Canadian Forest Management Group Achievement Award, presented to AFA at the 2012 Canadian Institute of Forestry’s Annual Conference in Quebec City.