Largest crowd to date at Forest NB 60th annual general meeting and industry forum

Nearly 140 forestry professionals and industry stakeholders gathered at the Crowne Plaza March 1 for Forest NB’s 60th Annual General Meeting and Industry Forum.

The event included networking opportunities, industry related discussions and topical presentations on the status of New Brunswick’s forest industry.

Presentations addressed a number of sector-related topics including a workplace safety discussion by Tim Petersen of Worksafe NB, an analysis of the recent budget by NB minister of finance, Cathy Rogers, and a forest sector economic update from Robert Meyer-Robinson of the Conference Board of Canada.

Chris Hennigar from the Department of Energy and Resource Development (DERD) and Dr. David MacLean from the University of New Brunswick provided insight into the health of our province’s forests with presentations on advancements in stand development forecasting within the province and Spruce Budworm research updates respectively. Joe Kennedy, provincial deer biologist, wrapped up the research and development session with a discussion of New Brunswick’s deer population.

Patrick Strauch of the Maine Forest Products Council spoke about the state of the forest industry below the border. Jerome Pelletier from the New Brunswick Lumber Producers Group provided the latest details in the softwood lumber trade dispute with the United States to cap off the event.

“Definitely our expectations were met with regard to participation, early figures show about a 15% increase over last year,” said Forest NB executive director Mike Legere. “But what is more encouraging is the diversity of attendees from all aspects of the sector including environmental NGO’s, varied businesses in the supply chain, marketing boards, all levels of government and industry of course.”

Legere is optimistic about first-time attendees, noting that a diverse crowd at industry related events like these build the basis of a strong forest sector in New Brunswick.

“What was very encouraging was the presence of wood producers and contractors, something that has been absent previously but now our efforts to reach out to them and have them participate has bore some fruit,” he said. “I believe we need to bring them into the Forest NB fold in some capacity since they are so vital to the industry and I was very pleased to see them respond with a great showing at event.”

Presentations from our key speakers are listed in PDF format below:

Elaine Marchand, Forest Stewardship Council of Canada, Review of FSC Canadian Standard Development

Dr. David MacLean, University of New Brunswick, Spruce Budworm Update

Chris Hennigar, DERD, Recent Advancements in Stand Development Forescasting for New Brunswick

Joe Kennedy, DERD, New Brunswick Deer Population Update

Robert Meyer-Robinson, The Conference Board of Canada, Forest Sector Economic Update

Pat Strauch, Maine Forest Products Council, Maine’s Perspective on the Future of Forestry