March 21, 2014: J. D. Irving, Limited has decades of commitment to sustainable forest management. Over time, these efforts have grown to include research and conservation of a broader range of plants, animals and whole forest communities at different scales - from individual forest stands up to large landscapes. The complexity is enormous – ensuring healthy, diverse forest ecosystems as well as jobs for New Brunswickers.
Our commitment often requires research into the basic understanding of forests and how our activities affect plants and animals over the landscape and well into the future. The company’s approach to research and development (R&D) is through collaboration with many groups including federal and provincial governments, universities and industry to answer important forest science questions. The company established a voluntary Forest Research Advisory Committee (FRAC) in 1998 by inviting a number of recognized scientists from across a range of forest science fields to join the group. The FRAC’s goal is to help the company evaluate and improve our forest management practices regarding biodiversity on our private land – especially focusing on areas where intensive management has been practiced. These research commitments have involved significant investments in research efforts since 1998. Research results are published in respected journals. Dozens of graduate students under a range of university professors have been involved in this research. JDI and a number of research partners have made substantial efforts communicating science related to sustainable forest management to a wide range of audiences, from our own employees to the general public. We consider this critical to help the understanding of the many issues facing forest managers.
Research results must be transferred into best practices if the value is to be realized in sustainable forest management. This is complex because many results must be integrated. Some plants and animals respond differently to forest management actions – some positive, some negative. This is why forests of different types and ages are required across the landscape all the time. JDI historical forest information and detailed computerized geographic information (GIS) is critical to understand forest change including habitats for a range of plants and animals over the long-term. Initial research activities in the FRAC included looking at how the forest in our Black Brook forest district in northwestern New Brunswick has evolved since 1946 and how it will develop into the future. JDI also employs specialists, including a fish and wildlife biologist and naturalist to work with our professional forestry staff to help implement changes based on research results. Some specific examples of how research and development has informed and changed our forest operations are listed below:
These examples represent important science based elements of sustainable forest management of which the company is proud. The commitments we make go well beyond a sole focus on the bottom line. Several research documents are available on our JDI website including an overview of research and how it is implemented entitled Legacy of the Sustainable Forest Management Network – Outcomes of Research Collaborations Among J.D. Irving, Limited, University of New Brunswick and Université de Moncton. We welcome your feedback.
Greg Adams, RPFNB
Manager, Research and Development
Manager, Fish & Wildlife, Woodlands
Click here for a summary of our research and development partners, projects, and students.