Well, we did it again. PFLA pulled together another informative, stimulating and lively forestry forum packed (perhaps a bit too tightly) full of interesting topics relevant to managed forest owners across the province.

Held June 21st, at the Four Points by Sheraton in stunning Langford B.C., the forestry forum covered a range of subjects presented by a host of impressively smart and engaging experts, if we do say so ourselves.

For those of you who couldn’t make it, we missed you! We’ll do our best to recap, summarize and hit the high points, but nothing beats the real thing.

As you can imagine, the highlights below offer but a fraction of the depth, nuance, detail and enthusiasm conveyed in the original presentations. We apologize for this. If you’re chomping at the bit for more, stay tuned: we’ve got big plans to post thorough accounts of each topic (including the PowerPoint presentations where possible) over the coming weeks.

Forest Carbon Market Update—Matt Walsh, NZ Carbon Farming 

Highlights: Registered voters, consumers and downstream businesses drive demand for carbon trading while a combination of political and economic factors will determine whether the carbon market survives. In effect, carbon trading acts like a hidden tax. The one thing we know for sure about taxes? Once implemented they don’t go away. Conclusion: the carbon market is here to stay.

Key point: You can have your cake and eat it too. The decisions you make about your forests today should take carbon into account. Last year Matt’s advice to the group was, “do nothing”. This year, Matt’s advice to the group is, “watch the forest market in California like a hawk”. As trends emerge from California, adapt and adopt standards to fit the California plan.

B.C. Forest Carbon Projects—Rainer Muenter, Monticola Forest

Highlights: A case study using the Texada Island Forest Reserve data to illustrate ground level implications and what forest carbon trading can mean to individual owners.

Key Points: 5 different management scenarios were presented—a mix of aggressive carbon reserves, partial carbon reserves and no carbon reserves—with a description, rationale and overview for each scenario guided by a set of strategic goals.

Update from the Private Managed Forest Land Council—Rod Davis, PMFLC Chair.

Highlights: After introducing himself as the new chair of the Private Managed Forest Land Council, Rod Davis provided an overview of the Council’s activities over the past year, along with some interesting statistics on the Managed Forest Program.

Key point: The Managed Forest Program is an exceptional model. The degree of compliance in protecting public values on private land is exemplary. Owners should be congratulated for their efforts.

Meet the Coastal Invasive Plant Committee—Ernie Sellentin, CIPC 

Highlights: Ernie provided an engaging presentation chock-full of information about managing invasive plant species in Coastal B.C., featuring detailed examples of biological, chemical and mechanical treatment measures used to control specific species.

Key points: Respond early and respond appropriately. Find out the best way to deal with each species. Reseed promptly. Weed free gravel is coming to B.C.! Gravel pits are a major contributor to the spread of invasive plants. CIPC does gravel pit inspections and certification. Contact Ernie for more information.

Firefighting Cost Sharing Agreements—Laurence Bowdige, Wildfire Management Branch 

Highlights: An update on firefighting cost sharing agreements included a summary of the provincial wildfire response for the years 2007-2011, a description of major wildfire response issues, and an outline of the provincial strategic plan for the coming five years (revising and communicating the cost-sharing agreement is part of this plan).

Key points: The length of the fire season is increasing and wildfires are becoming more severe. Expansion of public space into forested areas, human resources, smoke management, forest fuel loading, vegetative health and impacts of climate change are the biggest challenges facing the Wildfire Management Branch.

Adapting Your Forest to a Changing Climate—Cindy Pearce, Natural Resource Consultant

Highlights: A thought provoking presentation including a number of graphs, charts and other visual aids to illustrate normal climate variability within long-term climate change trends. Also, practical suggestions for how to find and consider the information necessary to integrate climate change into your forest management strategy.

Key points: Flexibility. Climate change is based on a complex set of interactions. Find information specific to your region, and use it to imagine a range of possible futures for your forest. (More information and a PowerPoint presentation coming soon!).

Canadian Association of Forest Owners (CAFO)—Domenico Iannidinardo, Chair 

Highlights: Domenico provided a lively account of the inception, objectives and purpose of the newly established Canadian Association of Forest Owners—a national organization representing associations, farmers, families and companies that own and manage forest land across Canada.

Key point: CAFO members strive to provide a positive and consistent voice on federal legislation that ensures government policy is fair, environmentally sound and consistent with stewardship and investment on private forest lands.

Thanks again to all the presenters for their time, thoughtful presentations and passionate perspectives. We’re dizzy with gratitude.

Let us know if we missed anything, and stand-by for more detailed summaries as they happen.

Check out the PFLA Facebook page for more photos of the forestry forum and the field tour.