The Edge: The Forest and Afforestation Practices Innovation Group of the CFS/CWFC completes another 25 years of novel applications aimed at addressing forest community issues

by | Feb 16, 2024 | 2024, January/February, Logging & Sawmilling Journal, The Edge

For the past 25 years, the Forest and Afforestation Practices Innovation Group of the Canadian Forest Service (CFS) and the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre (CWFC) has investigated innovations in forest operational practices.

The Group has had many partners since the program began in 1992, from the forest industry, provincial governments, and research organizations, to develop and demonstrate novel applied practices aimed at advancing forest resource production and effectiveness. Program activities have been driven by important issues of the day, both from an economic and ecological perspective, and have covered a wide range of topics from forest ecosystem management to intensive forest management and afforestation.

Projects have included such forest management practices as variable retention, mixedwood partial harvest systems, short rotation afforestation, high yield mixedwood development, bioenergy fibre production, carbon sequestration using trees to adapt to a changing climate, reforestation and pre-commercial thinning, and forest and afforestation revegetation and rehabilitation.

With most recent project activities taking place between 2000 and 2024, they include an impressive array of innovations that feature common site management ingredients throughout. Potential improved product values derived from different forest practices were an important consideration, along with related values such as diversity, risk reduction as it relates to natural impediments and hazards of the forest like wildfire, pests, and pathogens, while also taking into account the forest’s importance for human well being and natural cover.

In combination with the establishment of various applied research and demonstration sites, mainly related to mixedwoods and afforestation, numerous field tours, workshops and demonstrations were also delivered by CFS/CWFC over the past three decades.

In January 2024, Tim Keddy, a key member of the CWFC Forest and Afforestation Practices Innovation Group, who was directly involved in the establishment and follow-up research of all of these sites, retired. His work effort and enthusiasm for the challenge of forest development in the Boreal Mixedwoods is greatly appreciated by his colleagues and the organization. Keddy contributed significantly in the operational aspects of design, layout and deployment of all the various techniques, technology development, and site treatments. He also planned and collaboratively co-ordinated the delivery of tours, re-assessments, monitoring and management of the data, reporting, delivery of local and national presentations, and recently led the delivery of peer-reviewed publications produced by the Canadian Forest Service of Natural Resources Canada, focusing on short rotation woody crops.

CFS/CWFC thanks its partners from the forest industry across Canada and primarily from Alberta for all their long term contributions, commitment and collaboration, as ongoing efforts continue to advance this significant knowledge base and prepare and install ground fixtures and infrastructure to maximize the value of these legacy demonstration sites over the long term.

For more information, contact Derek Sidders at




Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Speeding up salvaging burned wood

Speeding up salvaging burned wood

In response to criticism about slow permitting for burnt wood salvage, the B.C. government has finally responded—and mills are likely to take up any salvage at a time when the B.C. industry is facing a severe fibre shortage.

Elmsdale Lumber ready for its second century

Elmsdale Lumber ready for its second century

Nova Scotia’s Elmsdale Lumber has a rich history, reaching back more than a century, but the company continues to be focused on the future, and is now in the midst of a major upgrade.

Going green with new wood room

Going green with new wood room

The Mercer Peace River pulp mill in Alberta has invested $75 million to re-activate its wood room with a focus on greener processes, and it’s fed by a massive diesel/electric hybrid Sennebogen material handler.