Monitoring

BMFC submits between 60-80 compliance inspection reports per year as part of our ongoing monitoring responsibilities and technicians are on site inspecting operations 1-2 times bi-weekly.  The Company employs highly trained “Certified Compliance Inspectors” who conduct the inspections, prepare and submit reports to MNRF, and lead a comprehensive training program. The training program includes annual workshop(s), preparation and maintenance of an “Operations Manual”, and individual one on one “tailgate” training sessions with Crown Licensees, operators, and contractors. 

 

Compliance Inspections

The Bancroft Minden Forest Company has the primary responsibility for all forest operations compliance monitoring and reporting on Crown Lands on our Sustainable Forest Licence area. MNRF is responsible for auditing and enforcement.

BMFC prepares Forest Compliance plans, conducts inspections, and submits reports as part of their responsibilities under a provincial “Forest Compliance Strategy“. Key statements under the strategy include:

Compliance is adherence to a set of rules, standards or requirements. The compliance program will be delivered through a broad range of education, encouragement, monitoring, and enforcement efforts that ensure users take appropriate action.

The goal for the Forest Compliance Strategy is to establish an approach that ensures compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements, which contribute to the sustainable management of Ontario’s Crown Forests.

Regulatory Requirements

Operations and associated activities are monitored via ground inspections to ensure they adhere to provincial legislation and regulatory requirements. These activities include: tree marking, harvesting, tree planting, pre commercial tending, site preparation, road and water crossing construction, installation and maintenance.

Inspection data is recorded online in the Government maintained “Forest Operations Information Program (FOIP)”.

Silviculture Effectiveness Monitoring

BMFC engages in a rigorous monitoring program to assess whether harvested areas are regenerating in expected and desired ways. Our Silviculture Effectiveness Monitoring (SEM) program determines whether we have met the standards that were applied to a given area through the establishment of silviculture ground rules (SGRs). SGRs state the criteria that we use to measure whether our silviculture treatments will result in a desirable future forest. BMFC carries out several different surveys before and after a harvest has taken place to ensure that forests will regenerate effectively. These surveys include tree marking audits, post-cut assessments, survival assessments, tending assessments and free to grow surveys. 

Tree Marking Audits: Tree marking audits are conducted before harvest operations commence. These audits ensure that tree markers followed the directions given in the forest operations prescription and it describes the residual forest. 
 
Post-Cut Assessment: This assessment occurs throughout the compliance inspection process and is finalized after the harvest operation is complete. It determines whether the residual forest that was forecasted during the tree marking audit matches the conditions after the harvest is complete. 
 
Survival Assessment: This survey takes place within 1-2 years of tree planting projects. It assesses the rate of seedling survival, how planted seedlings have responded to their new environment, and determines whether fill planting is required. 
 
Tending Assessments: This assessment determines the need for tending operations, most often in recently planted areas. It measures the density of crop species and the amount of competition present. When competition is limiting the growth and survival of crop species, tending operations are prescribed. 
 
Free to Grow Surveys: This is the final step in the SEM program and, most often, occurs 10 years after a harvest operation has taken place. This survey measures the stocking of crop species, the amount of competition present, the height of regeneration and the species composition of the future forest. The results of this survey are compared with the standards listed in the SGR and if the standards are met, then the area is declared ‘Free to Grow’.