Thinking and acting differently for a sustainable management of the boreal forest.
Christian Messier, Daniel Kneeshaw.
Sustainable forest management has replaced sustained yield as the new management strategy for most countries and forest companies. This concept has generated a lot of interest and discussion, and a great deal of effort is being made to modify current forestry practices to be sustainable. In this paper, we argue that the still somewhat vague concept of sustainable forest management calls for a substantial modification in our way of thinking about and practising forestry. To move toward that goal, we recognize important social and economic challenges to sustainable management and suggest nine essential notions: 1) manage the forest ecosystem as a whole and not in parts nor only for the crop species; 2) conserve a significant proportion of the boreal forest (i.e,, at least 12%); 3) practice intensive forestry on a small portion of the land to recover the fibre lost from notions 1 and 2; 4) strive for innovation in thinking and acting; 5) foster research and development to support notion 4; 6) balance regional needs with that of the global community; 7) encourage public participation; 8) consider the impact of substantial change in climate over the next 100 years (or next rotation); and 9) substitute regulations that are adaptive for those that are restrictive, An example of the kind of silviculture that could be used in ecosystem management for the black spruce forest is also discussed.