GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK AND PRACTICES: ALGONQUIN PARK, ON

(This section was done in a collaborative group work. Other contributors are Amanda Bulmer, Kiana Bridges, and Mengjia Ding.)

The forest laws in Canada have given governments of provinces and territories the right to develop and enforce laws, regulations and policies related to local forests (Natural Resources Canada, 2015). In this case, the key decision makers of Algonquin Provincial Park are the government, and agencies and organizations within the province of Ontario. The Algonquin Forestry Authority (AFA) is the key local decision maker for forest planning in the Park. However, it is the Ontario Crown Agency that is responsible for sustainable forest management in Algonquin Provincial Park (Algonquin Provincial Park, 2015). The AFA set up the Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) policy and Forest Management Planning for Algonquin Provincial Park, and explain the harvesting operations to the public.

Because Algonquin Park is a provincial park, no international agreements exist in accordance to commercial logging in the Park area. However, the AFA highlighted on their website that the SFM policy for Algonquin Provincial Park has followed the ISO 14001 standard–the international standard for environmental management systems. The standard helps enhance environmental performance, fulfill compliance obligations and achieve environmental objectives (International Organization for Standardization, 2015).

Similar to ISO 14001, Canada also has a national standard for sustainable forest management – CSA-Z809. This standard is recognized by Standards Council of Canada (SCC), and is designed to address the need of forest environment, policy structure and stakeholder communities specific to Canada (CSA Group, 2015).

With reference to both ISO 14001 and CSA-Z809 standards, the AFA formulates its SFM policy, which is available from their website. The policy aims at maintaining park values for future generations, maintaining the long-term health of the forest, as well as producing a sustainable supply of timber products (Algonquin Forestry Authority, 2014). The policy seeks sustainable development in biodiversity, ecosystem condition and productivity, soil, water, contribution to global ecological cycles, benefits to local society, and fulfilling the social responsibility of sustainable development. The SFM policy of Algonquin Provincial Park values the health and security of its employees, the public, and the contractors. The policy pays special attention to the Algonquin First Nations by highlighting Aboriginal rights and participation, and also states the need to organize training programs and prepare emergency response plans, and provide practices for continual improvements (Algonquin Forestry Authority, 2014).

Since Algonquin Provincial Park is a regional park monitored by government agencies, there are not many non-statutory institutions (for instance, Non-Government Organizations) involved in the decision making processes of the Forest Management Plan. However, the AFA communicated with the Local Citizens Committee (LCC) during a public consultation section to hear voices outside the major decision makers. Therefore, opinions from outside the government are also used in developing policies regarding logging in Algonquin Provincial Park (Algonquin Forestry Authority, 2014).

Moreover, logging activities took place within what is now Algonquin Provincial Park long before the area was established as a park (Wilson, 2014). In other words, the tradition of logging has existed before any policies regarding logging in the provincial park were made. The AFA’s decision to continue sustainable logging in the Park, with increased vigilance towards the ecosystem and the needs of the Algonquin First Nations, shows a basic level of respect towards the biodiversity and cultural traditions practiced in the area by the Algonquin.

The Forest Management Planning (FMP) documents provided by AFA explained in detail about decision-making process with both textual and graphic data. However, the SFM policy only provides a brief framework for regulations of forest management in the park without providing actual methods and practices. Although the AFA consulted LCC for opinions from local communities, there was only one member of LCC that participated in the process. Secondly, in the management plan, the AFA uses abbreviation for forest units in its FMP reports, making it hard for the public who does not have professional knowledge in this field to understand the planning documents. These problems decrease the participation of involved groups during forest management planning. Moreover, the implementation of FMP is reflected in the certification annual reports, but the reports are generated approximately one year later (the 2013/2014 report was published on Sept 11, 2015). In other words, AFA fails to provide the public with up-to-date information about forest management implementation in the park. Furthermore, it is not clear if the process is accountable. The management plan for this particular case is fully executed by 2020 (FMP, 2010) and we have to be patient to find out whether the decision makers are trustworthy and can be counted on.

References:

Peer Review

Balint, P. J., Stewart, R. E., Desal, A. & Walters, L. C. (2012). Wicked Environmental Problems:   Managing uncertainty and Conflict. Retrieved from: https://books.google.ca/books?id=H_6XyO9rQqgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=wicked+environmental+problems&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAGoVChMI0tKt0qWRyAIV1SmICh2PFwFV#v=onepage&q&f=false

Cheever, B. M., & Simon, K. S. (2009). Seasonal influence of brook trout and mottled sculpin on lower trophic levels in an Appalachian stream. Freshwater Biology, 54, 524-535.

Creasey, M. L. (2013). Black-throated blue warbler (setophaga caerulescens ) nesting success and nest site selection in the single-tree selection harvested forests of algonquin provincial park, canada (Order No. MR93875). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1399560762). Retrieved from: http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/docview/1399560762?accountid=14656

Frank, D., Finckh, M., & With, C. (2009). Impacts of land use in habitat functions of old-growth forests and their biodiversity. In Wirth, C., Gerd, G, & Martin, H (Eds.), Old-Growth Forests: Function, Fate and Value (429 – 450). DEU: Springer. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

Jones, J. A., Achterman, G. L., Augustine, L. A., Creed, I. F., Ffolliott, P. F. MacDonald, L. & Wemple B. C. (2009). Hydrologic effects of a changing forested landscape: challenges for the hydrological sciences. Wiley InterScience, 23, 2699-2704.

Mancuso, K., Nol, E., Burke, D. & Elliot, K. (2014). Effects of selection logging on Yellow-bellied Sapsucker sap-feeding habits in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 44:10, pp.1236-1243. Retrieved from:http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/full/10.1139/cjfr-2013-0498#.VgTaE2TBzGd

Government Documents

Algonquin Forestry Authority. (2014). Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Policy. Retrieved from http://algonquinforestry.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/AFA-SFM-Policy-March-2014.pdf

Algonquin Forestry Authority. (2015). Forest Management Planning (FMP). Retrieved from http://algonquinforestry.on.ca/policy-planning-sustainable-forest-management-policy/policy-planning-forest-management-planning/

Algonquin Forestry Authority. (2015). Summary of the 2010-2020 Forest Management Plan (FMP) for the Algonquin Park Forest. Retrieved from http://algonquinforestry.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/6.1.20-FMP-Summary-w-Map1.pdf

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. (2006). Regulating Logging in Algonquin Park, Neglecting our Obligations, ECO Annual Report, 2005-06. Toronto, ON : Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. Eco Issues. Retrieved from http://www.ecoissues.ca/Regulating_Logging_in_Algonquin_Park

Government of Ontario. (2015). Class EA for Forest Management on Crown Lands in Ontario (MNR-71). Retrieved from http://www.ontario.ca/page/class-ea-forest-management-crown-lands-ontario-mnr-71

Government of Ontario. (2012). Proposed Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan. Retrieved from http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/pdf/lighteningthefootprint_2012_amendment.pdf

Mazinaw-Lanark Forest Inc. (2014). Ontario’s Crown Forest Sustainability Act. Retrieved from http://www.mlfi.org/index.php/planning/ontario-crown-forest-sustainability-act

Natural Resources Canada. (2015). Canada Forest Laws. Retrieved from http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/forests/canada/laws/17497

The Ontario Parks (OP) Board of Directors and the Algonquin Forestry Authority (AFA) Board of Directors (2009). Joint Proposal for Lightening the Ecological Footprint of Logging in Algonquin Park. Retrieved from http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/planning_pdf/algo/algo_joint_proposal.pdf

Popular Media

Ferguson, B. (2014). Algonquin Park logging, bee-killing pesticides targeted by environment watchdog. The Star. Retrieved from http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/10/07/time_to_end_logging_in_algonquin_park_environment_watchdog_says.htm

Koven, A., John, C., & Huff, D. (n.d.) Timber Management Class EA. Environmental Beginnings. Retrieved from http://environmentalbeginnings.ca/mnrs-timber-management-class-ea/

Wilson, H. (2014, December 3). Environmental Commissioner Decries Logging in Algonquin. Canadian Geographic. Retrieved from http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/blog/posting.asp?ID=1388

Zanussi, R. (2014, November 10). Environmental Commissioner Recommends Banning Algonquin Park Logging. North Bay Nipssing News. Retrieved from http://www.northbaynipissing.com/news-story/4989697-environmental-commissioner-recommends-banning-algonquin-park-logging/

Grey Literature

Algonquin Eco Watch. (2010) What Makes Algonquin Park Special?. Retrieved from http://www.algonquin-eco-watch.com/forest-management/Annex%201%20What%20Makes%20Algonquin%20Park%20Special.pdf

Algonquin Forestry Authority. (2014). Is Logging in Algonquin Sustainable?. Retrieved from http://algonquinforestry.on.ca/is-logging-in-algonquin-park-sustainable/

CSA Groups (2013). CAN/CSA-Z809-08 (R2013). Retrieved from http://shop.csa.ca/en/canada/sustainable-forest-management/cancsa-z809-08-r2013/invt/27017442008

Euler, D. (2009). Algonquin Eco Watch: Algonquin Park. Retrieved from: http://www.algonquin-eco-watch.com/Human%20Impact/Algonquin_Park_the_human_impact_web.pdf  

International Organization for Standardization (2015). ISO 14001:2015. Retrieved from http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail?csnumber=60857

Ruby, E. (2006). How Urbanization Affects the Water Cycle. California WALUB Partners. Retrieved from http://www.coastal.ca.gov/nps/watercyclefacts.pdf

Multimedia

Easto, H. (2014). Areas Where Logging Is Permitted and Prohibited in Algonquin park. Eco Issues. N.p. Retrieved from http://ecoissues.ca/File:Algonquin_Figure.jpg

Overview of old growth, logging, and protected zones in Algonquin Park. (2015, October 10). Ancient Forests. Retrieved from http://www.ancientforest.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/algonquin.jpg

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