Ontario is investing $100 Million over 10 years in the process of updating the Provincial Forest Resource Inventory (FRI), which involves the province-wide acquisition of new digital ADS40 aerial imagery to serve as a consistent platform for the photo-interpretation and mapping of forest attributes.
Mining operations in the Oil Sands area can affect extensive areas of boreal forest. Those forested areas affected by mining are expected to be reclaimed by mining companies to reestablish their natural conditions after the exploitation ends. The long-term success of reclamation plans can be assessed with ecological models that simulate how different environmental factors affect tree growth and development, and how changes in forest structure through time will affect boreal wildlife.
In February 2009, the Ontario Government announced the Feed-In Tariff (FIT)Program which will play a premium for electricity that comes from renewable sources - wind, solar and biomass - to help curb fossil fuel emissions. The goal of this internship is to assess using unmerchantable wood - that which is not useful for traditional forest products such as paper and lumber - from Great Lakes - St. Lawrence forests to co-generate heat and electrical power in small gasification plants.
This project targets a major research gap of the recently proposed Sustainable Sites Initiative (SSI), which is a North American green rating system for landscapes; scheduled to be released in 2011. Our research will focus on establishing the characteristics of urban trees that affect their ability to provision habitat to urban biodiversity (insects and birds)- which is a major objective of the SSI.
Tree species composition – in particular the ratio of coniferous to deciduous trees – is likely a major evolutionary force shaping biodiversity in the boreal ‘mixedwood’ forest. There are concerns that logging practices are resulting in declines in the amount of old mixedwood stands in Canada’s western boreal forest, which may be having a negative impact on species adapted to mixedwood stands.
This research will support the development of the Eco-Industrial Park and Ontario East Wood Centre (EOWC), which is under development in the Township of Edwardsburgh/Cardinal. The EOWC is an innovative approach to revitalizing the regional economy by adding value to the under-utilized renewable forest resource in the area. A critical gap in information required by potential investors will be addressed. Sources and quantities of available forest-based biomass within a 120 kilometer radius around the EOWC will be assessed.
Interest in adopting biomass conversion technologies to produce renewable biofuels and chemicals in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) is strong, fueled by recent closers in the pulp and paper sector, and, stemmed by availability of substantial forest biomass such s lo-quality wood chips in logging and sawmill operations. The NL Department of Natural Resources recognizes that although there is a substantial feedstock and opportunities, the nature of biomass generated in NL (quality, volumes, etc…) and the optimal conversion technologies for application in NL are largely unidentified.
Climate models project that summers in the southwest Yukon will become increasingly warmer and drier, leading to more forest fires, a longer fire season and slower tree growth. This raises the question of how to manage forest resources sustainably so that they will continue to provide long-term benefits to local communities.
Starting in April 2009, six storey (mid‐rise) high wood frame buildings will be allowed in certain regions of Canada. This will be a new experience to design engineers in Canada, and research is required to support this new development which will expand the use of wood products beyond the traditional low rise, primarily residential construction market.