April 4, 2013 Workshop – Results

 Spray Lake Sawmills

August 2, 2013

Participation in Sustainable Forest Management, Conservation and Protection Areas

Public meeting at the Cochrane RancheHouse – April 4th 2013 Meeting Notes (Follow-up)

On April 4th, 2013 SLS hosted a facilitated workshop to share information about its forest certification efforts and present the Protected Area Gap Analysis and High Conservation Value Forest Assessment reports with stakeholders. SLS asked stakeholders to answer 3 questions at the session to generate discussion and gather feedback. SLS also stated it was soliciting HCVF and gap analysis comments through May 17, 2013 to incorporate into the second versions of the reports.

SLS promised stakeholders that: 1) it will carefully consider public comment and follow-up with a response addressing stakeholder comments and; 2) SLS will inform stakeholders of any changes made to a plan or operation as a result of public input.

SLS has recently completed version 2 of the Protected Areas Gap Analysis. This version includes stakeholder and peer review feedback. This report is available on the SLS website at:
http://www.spraylakesawmills.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Final-Draft-Version-2-PAGA-July-26-2013.pdf.

Version 2, of the HCVF report is currently being written and will be posted on the SLS website later this month.

Below, we have listed the comments received from stakeholders at the April 4th workshop and we have given them careful consideration. SLS has addressed the comments in italics.

After carefully considering workshop comments, we believe some of our stakeholders would like to work with SLS, to address gaps identified in the version 2 gap analysis. SLS is hosting a Protected Areas Design Workshop to discuss the version 2 gap analysis and the process outlined for filling gaps. SLS would like to identify interested parties to work with in creating a protected areas network. The workshop will be held on November 14, 2013 from 9:00 am till noon.

If the Protected Areas Design Workshop is of interest to you, please email woodlands@spraylakesawmills.com your RSVP by October 1, 2013.

Participant Expectations

(Note: Asterisks indicate number of people)

*****  Information gathering, what has happened before, issues of forest management
*****  Hear what people have to say, increase my understanding, learn about what is going on, who is here
***  Watershed watching, maintaining watershed integrity, riparian health
***  Better public process, meaningful consultation with stakeholders
**  Learning more about documents
*  See the functionality of the whole system
*  Get answers to the questions I have
*  Protecting biodiversity in the current and future
*  See healthy grassland as well as forest

Question 1 – What are the most important conservation values you place on the FMA forest and what are your thoughts on Spray Lake Sawmills proposed strategies?
What, if anything, is missing?

Stakeholder Responses: (SLS responses follow in italics)

 Water storage, water quality, water production, maintain seasonal flows. SLS agrees that forest management plans should not diminish natural hydrologic function or degrade water quality.  SLS’s forestry plan (DFMP) has been analyzed by professional forest hydrologists to ensure timber harvests are compatible with maintaining healthy watersheds. More information has been added to the HCVF version 2 report regarding watershed management. 

 Wildlife habitat. Maintaining wildlife habitat is an objective of the SLS’s forest plan. Responsible timber harvesting creates important forest habitats for multiple forest species that emulate important natural disturbance events. More information has been added to the HCVF version 2 regarding precautionary approaches to managing biodiversity, wildlife habitat, and species at risk.

 Bio-diversity. Maintaining biodiversity is an objective of the SLS forest plan. Responsible timber harvesting creates important forest habitats emulating natural disturbances that renew the forest. Carefully planned timber harvests and reforestation increases biodiversity on the landscape. More information has been added to the HCVF version 2 regarding precautionary approaches to managing biodiversity, wildlife habitat, and species at risk.

 Emulating natural disturbances. SLS operations are designed to emulate natural disturbances through harvest pattern design and structural retention.

 Wilderness & wilderness as recreation. SLS acknowledges the importance of biodiversity and having Wilderness areas on the landscape and that biodiversity can be enhanced and protected in a working forest; SLS acknowledges that society’s demand for: wood products and; protecting communities and watersheds from catastrophic wildfires requires that some areas be available for forest management. 

 Recreational values. SLS’s harvest program is compatible with recreation.

 Spiritual values. SLS acknowledges spiritual values and complies with the requirements of Alberta Culture in assessing historical resources.

 Resilience & adaption to climate change. SLS forest management practices are compatible with forests evolving overtime. Forest Inventory and strategic planning occurs every 10 years.

 Non-disruptive recreation. SLS is not sure what this means, let us know and we will respond.

 Meeting the human need to be with nature “need nature for health”. SLS acknowledges that some forest users are very passionate about the forest trails and that hiking is a healthy activity. SLS works collaboratively with trail users to ensure trail are maintained or improved in the FMA. SLS believes forest management and recreation are compatible. In addition the majority of K country (62%) is outside the FMA.

 Species at risk. SLS is concerned with species at risk and has trained its employees and contractors to identify species at risk. SLS management plans create a shifting mosaic of forest habitats on the landscape consistent with pre-industrial conditions. SLS harvesting creates important habitat on the landscape. To learn more about SLS’s management practices visit: http://www.spraylakesawmills.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/5_year_Stewardship_Report_wMaps.pdf. More information has been added to the HCVF version 2 regarding precautionary approaches to managing biodiversity, wildlife habitat, and species at risk.

 Biodiversity on the landscape level, -Wilderness, separate from human interaction as well as areas for recreation and human enjoyment. SLS acknowledges the importance of biodiversity and having Wilderness areas on the landscape and that biodiversity can be enhanced and protected in a working forest; SLS acknowledges that society’s demand for: wood products and; protecting communities and watersheds from catastrophic wildfires requires that some areas must be available for forest management. More information has been added to the HCVF version 2 regarding precautionary approaches to managing biodiversity, wildlife habitat, and species at risk.

 Other forest values like existence, aesthetic.  Having a forest that looks and feels like what we think a forest should be like. Aesthetics are also important to SLS. To learn more details regarding aesthetics visit: http://www.spraylakesawmills.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/5_year_Stewardship_Report_wMaps.pdf

 Forest with fire, disease and insect outbreaks allowed to occur in the landscape, looking at logging that emulates natural disturbance. SLS operations are designed to emulate natural disturbances.

 Air quality. SLS is concerned with air quality. SLS completes stumpside processing that protects forest soils and provides for nutrient cycling. This approach reduces roadside slash loading without creating smoke caused from burning.

 Mixedwood forest Retention. SLS is actively involved in mixedwood forest retention.

 Ground water filtration; water temperature and tributaries and their effect on downstream water courses. These are important values and SLS’s operations are compatible with maintaining high quality water supplies and protecting watersheds. SLS’s stream buffers are some of the largest in North America and the research monitoring demonstrates the waters leaving the forest reserves are of good to excellent quality.

 Desire for spray lakes to go above and beyond provincial standards, on issues such as grizzly bear recovery plan, protected area targets. Local Grizzly bear recovery data shows grizzly bear populations are increasing. SLS reclaims virtually all of its harvest roads and road densities are within targets of the Grizzly bear recovery plan. That said, SLS follows the same polices and ground rules throughout all of its operations. SLS has increased its protected area targets in the version 2 gap analysis.

 Desire to see FSC style strategies, practices and management philosophies in C5 area as well. SLS does not have an FMA tenure in C5, ruling out FSC certification at this time. This could change if SLS’s C5 disposition changed into a Forest Management Agreement.

 Need Better definitions of terminology that is used to describe actions and standards in FSC, the reports to date and management practices and objectives. SLS is available to answer specific questions-send us an email at woodlands@spraylakesawmills.com or make a comment on our BLOG: http://www.spraylakesawmills.com/category/blog/.

 Include fish with species richness maps. This will be included in version 2 of the HCVF.

 Ask more questions, more research on stream buffers and how far from stream bed that actions can affect the stream bed. SLS’s stream buffers are some of the largest in North America.

SLS has completed extensive water quality monitoring and watershed analysis (6 streams measured for 9 years).  The sub watersheds studied had varying levels of use, ranging from virtually no activity (the control) to high use, including forestry, riparian grazing and heavy ATV, recreational use. This information is being summarized and will be incorporated into the second version of the stewardship report to be posted on our company website in August 2013.

 Protect landscape instead of specific areas. SLS is hosting a Protected Areas Design Workshop to discuss the version 2 gap analysis and the process for filling gaps.

 The protected areas are too small, are somewhat like “token” areas. SLS protected area targets have increased in the version 2 gap analysis. To learn more visit:http://www.spraylakesawmills.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Final-Draft-Version-2-PAGA-July-26-2013.pdf. It’s important to look at protected areas within the broader landscape. There are large protected areas adjacent to the FMA including provincial parks, wildland parks and national parks.

 Protect areas through management that consider different values of different areas.
Agreed.

Question 2 – If stakeholders and SLS were to work together to assess additional protected

areas, what would the relationship with SLS need to look like?

Stakeholders Responses:

 Move above and beyond provincial requirements. SLS protected area targets have increased in the version 2 gap analysis. To learn more visit: http://www.spraylakesawmills.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Final-Draft-Version-2-PAGA-July-26-2013.pdf. More information has been added to the HCVF version 2 regarding precautionary approaches to managing biodiversity, wildlife  habitat, and  species at risk that exceed provincial requirements.

 Apply the FSC standards to all areas that SLS manages (i.e. include the C5 area to the south). SLS does not have an FMA tenure in C5, ruling out FSC certification at this time. SLS follows the same polices and ground rules throughout all of its operations.

 Provide a clarification of terminology for protected areas (i.e. what is an outstanding area defined as). SLS is available to answer specific questions-send us an email woodlands@spraylakesawmills.com or make a comment on our BLOG: http://www.spraylakesawmills.com/category/blog/.

 Including more values in forest management, more than just traditional timber production. SLS’s forest plan (DFMP) addresses 18 issues and values. To learn more visit: http://www.spraylakesawmills.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/5_year_Stewardship_Report_wMaps.pdf.There are 10 FSC principals that detail certification requirements. To learn more visit: https://ca.fsc.org/

 Better monitoring of upstream water quality and quantity. SLS has completed extensive water quality monitoring and watershed analysis (6 streams measured for 9 years).  The sub watersheds studied had varying levels of use, ranging from virtually no activity (the control) to high use, including forestry, riparian grazing and heavy ATV, recreational use. This information is being summarized and will be incorporated into the second version of the stewardship report to be posted on our company website in August 2013.

 Improve ability to enforce access management issues (e.g. prevent recreationist from accessing old logging roads and turning them into trail) SLS takes access management plans very seriously and fully reclaims its roads within three years of construction. Typically, SLS reclaimed roads are not passible with any vehicle and not converted into recreational trails. To learn more visit: http://www.spraylakesawmills.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/5_year_Stewardship_Report_wMaps.pdf.

 Use of a feedback loop; stakeholder want to see that their input is being put into action.
Agreed.

 Start including an assessment of cumulative effects on the landbase.  In 2006, SLS organized a cumulative effects group to discuss options for developing a collaborative water quality monitoring program. The group included ENGO’s, oil and gas, and government interests. Unfortunately, an agreement was not reached on how to proceed with a joint program. SLS continues to be interested in a joint, cumulative impact water quality monitoring program. SLS is in communication with other industries operating on the forest and integrates road use to minimize linear disturbance on the landscape. SLS reclaims virtually every road it builds within 3 years of construction. To learn more about SLS’s road management plans visit: http://www.spraylakesawmills.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/5_year_Stewardship_Report_wMaps.pdf

 Protection through management. Agreed.

 Public education. Agreed.

 Needs to be a paradigm shift in forestry moving towards a broader focus for forest companies.  Looking at more values then just timber and managing for them. SLS’s forest plan addresses 18 issues and values. To learn more visit:http://www.spraylakesawmills.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/5_year_Stewardship_Report_wMaps.pdf.There are 10 FSC  principals that detail certification requirements. To learn more visit: https://ca.fsc.org/

 Need Clarification of interaction with SRD.  What the roles of Government, SLS, stakeholders are so to best achieve the goals and objectives. SLS’s FMA is administered by the Alberta government AESRD.  SLS is responsible for completing the public consultation. SLS developed its Detailed Forest Management Plan in collaboration with the Alberta government and stakeholder consultation. Provincial legislation and policy including the Alberta Forest Management Planning Standard. The Alberta forest planning standard outlines the requirements of the planning process, including public involvement and defining and addressing environmental issues required for plan approval. The Alberta Forest Planning Standard is approved by the national organization of the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers which satisfies the Canadian Standard Association forest certification program for sustainable forestry. To learn more visit: http://srd.alberta.ca/LandsForests/ForestManagement/ForestManagementPlanning/documents/Alberta_Forest_Management_Planning_Standard_Version_4_1_April_2006_Final_2.pdf. SLS must also obtain annual written approvals, from the Alberta government,prior to any timber harvesting or road building on the FMA.

 More consideration on cumulative effects of forest management. Eg; Old logging roads being used by ATVs. SLS is committed to reclaiming all of its block roads to manage road densities below thresholds identified in the Alberta Grizzly Recovery Plan. See CE comments above.

 No net increase of roads in land base. SLS totally reclaims virtually all of its roads after planting operations, typically within 3 years. To learn more about SLS’s road management plans visit: http://www.spraylakesawmills.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/5_year_Stewardship_Report_wMaps.pdf

Question 3: – If you were to consider Spray Lake Sawmills to be a sustainable supplier of forest products, what kinds of actions would Spray Lake Sawmills have to take.

Stakeholder Responses:

 Did not discuss question b/c it was 10 p.m. -Work with Government to change policies for better management of the landscape.  For example; restricted access on logging roads. SLS totally reclaims all of its roads after planting operations, typically within 3 years. To learn more about SLS’s road management plans visit: http://www.spraylakesawmills.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/5_year_Stewardship_Report_wMaps.pdf

 Demonstrate how stakeholder input is implemented, this can lead to increase public confidence in SLS. Agreed

 Consider Calgary as SLS’ community. Agreed, over half of the participants at this workshop are from Calgary. Several of SLS’s Public Advisory Council members live in Calgary as do SLS employees. SLS advertises its workshops in the Calgary Herald and has been actively involved with public outreach in Calgary. 

 


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