Planning for the 2021-2031 Forest Management Plan commenced in August 2017.
The FMP took approximately four years to complete. During this time, five formal opportunities for public consultation and First Nation and Métis community involvement and consultation were provided. Please refer to this Invitation to Participate and Stage 2 Notification and Stage 3 Notification and Stage 4 Notification and Stage 5 Inspection Notice for further details.
The final 2021 – 2031 FMP is available for inspection on the Natural Resources Information Portal (NRIP) at the following link: NRIP
Planning for Forest Management Operations in Algonquin Park is conducted under theCrown Forest Sustainability Act (1995) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s Forest Management Planning Manual for Ontario’s Crown Forests (2017). Forest Management Plans (FMP) are prepared over a two year period prior to commencement of operations. AFA is currently operating under the approved 2010-2020 FMP for Algonquin Park. This Plan will cover operations for ten year period, at which time a new Plan will be prepared.
The planning process is a detailed process that entails ongoing opportunities for public input and includes two sessions of Open Houses in a variety of locations. A detailed Forest Resource Inventory (FRI) of Algonquin Park has been prepared using aerial photography and ground sampling. This FRI is maintained by the AFA using a Geographic Information System (GIS), which is a spatial mapping system that allows for detailed area-based management of all of the values within the Park.
Extensive computer modeling is conducted with the Forest Resource Inventory (FRI) Database and the GIS to assess all elements of forest sustainability. Computer modeling allows managers to forecast the future forest condition based on today’s management activities.
The protection of all values within Algonquin Park is an integral part of the forest management program. Values such as fish and wildlife habitat, canoe routes and portages, campsites, hiking/skiing trails, archeological sites and cultural heritage sites are all tracked on the AFA GIS system. This information is updated on a regular basis as new values are discovered. The FMP contains a set of Area of Concern (AOC) prescriptions that are implemented during forest management operations to protect all of these values. MNRF’s approved implementation manuals, guidelines, resource manuals and other planning tools are the basis for the AOC prescriptions.
These areas of concern are detailed on maps within the FMP and prescribe restrictions to operations that are followed during plan implementation. Trained and certified Tree Markers identify AOC boundaries in the forest prior to operations, so that they are clearly visible as either no-cut areas (reserves) or areas where modified operations are required. Annual reports and compliance audits are also conducted on a regular basis in order to ensure that operations are being conducted as they have been prescribed, and that all values in the forest are being protected.
The annual work schedule identifies operations that are scheduled for implementation during the year.
Public participation is a vital component of sustainable forest management. It provides an opportunity for stakeholders and interested parties to be involved proactively in the management of the Forest and to enhance their knowledge of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) and of other interests and values related to the forest.
Forest Management Planning Process
The public consultation process for the development of a Phase 1 Forest Management Plan consists of 5 stages. These stages include:
Stage 1: Invitation to Participate
Stage 2: Review of Proposed Long-term Management Direction
Stage 3: Information Centre – Review of Proposed Operations
Stage 4: Information Centre – Review of Draft Forest Management Plan
Stage 5: Inspection of MNR Approved Plan
For each stage listed significant effort is made to notify the public of the ongoing forest management planning activities and to solicit comments based on the products developed. The public is notified of these consultation summaries through a combination of EBR postings, newspaper ads, mail-outs and postings to the AFA website. The FMP planning team and the LCC provide direction throughout the process to maximize the quality of public consultation.
For the second phase of the forest management plan (Phase II 2015 – 2020 FMP), formal public consultation was also completed at three stages during the preparation, review and approval of this plan.
Local Citizens Committee
The Local Citizens Committee (LCC) for Algonquin Park has been established to assist in the preparation and implementation of the forest management plan for the Algonquin Park Forest. The LCC was established by the Park Superintendent /MNRF District Manager in accordance with the requirements of the Crown Forest Sustainability Act as per the direction the Ontario Forest Management Planning Manual (FMPM).
Representing a broad spectrum and balance of interests, the LCC is a standing advisory committee which assists in the preparation and implementation of the Forest Management Plan (FMP) and ensures that forest management proceeds in a manner that integrates the interests of all users.
The LCC for the 2010-2020 FMP includes 14 members representing local naturalist and outdoors clubs, environmental groups, residents, local Algonquins of Ontario communities, and the forest industry. The chairperson of the group is Tom Ballantine of Haliburton, ON. Tom is also the LCC representative on the Forest Management Planning Team.
CSA Certification Advisory Group
AFA has developed and will maintain a public participation process that meets the requirements of the CAN/CSA-Z809 standard. A stakeholder analysis formed the basis for the public involvement process and was used to ensure representation from a broad range of interested parties.
Implementation of the Public Participation Plan began with an invitation to participate in the Advisory Group being sent to Aboriginal communities and the selection of Advisory Group members from the list of identified stakeholders. AFA selected twenty one key individuals from the list of identified stakeholders to serve as the Advisory Group. The resulting group represented all of the key stakeholders on the Forest and has been highly effective in providing balanced representation across the forest.
Indigenous involvement plays a key role in the production of Algonquin Park Forest Management Plans. The primary means of consultation is through the representative of each Algonquin community on the FMP planning team. Nine of ten communities have historically participated on the planning team which meet on a regular basis during the development of a Forest Management Plan.
In addition, the CSA-Z809 standard recognizes: that Canadian forests have special significance to Indigenous peoples, that the legal status of Indigenous peoples is unique and that they possess special knowledge and insights concerning SFM derived from their traditional practices and experience. The standard concludes that Indigenous forest users and communities require unique consideration in the public participation process and should be given an opportunity to contribute their special knowledge to the process of setting values, objectives, indicators, and targets. Refer to the CSA Sustainable Forest Management Plan for complete details regarding Indigenous involvement in the Algonquin Park Sustainable Forest Management Plan.