Innovative EMEND project prepares to demonstrate research results in forest management – March 12, 2003

News Release
March 12, 2003

Edmonton – A long-term, large scale forestry management project that is examining how to maintain and protect biodiversity in Boreal Forest stands will unveil some of its most recent findings during the Fifth Annual EMEND Research Workshop, held March 12 and 13 in Edmonton.

EMEND (Ecosystem Management by Emulating Natural Disturbances) is a joint industry, government and academia research initiative. Launched in 1995 by Canadian Forest Products Ltd., Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd., researchers from the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary, together with more than a dozen other partners, the 100 year long project will attempt to track the impact of fire on numerous forest variables. The entire project is based on the concept of voluntary participation and relies on the financial and resource support of its many partners.

The EMEND site, located close to the town of Peace River, currently supports 33 research projects, involving 46 researchers and 28 graduate students who are participating in projects dealing with such research disciplines as forest management systems, silviculture, forest primary productivity, soils and nutrient cycling, forest and fire ecology, forest pathology and entomology, arthropod and avian diversity, hydrology and microclimate, and tree genetics. While many of the projects are intended to gather data over long-term rotations, many others are already yielding valuable data that industry and researchers can apply within their current operations.

“We’ve already begun to see some tremendous results from the research taking place at the EMEND site,” explains Wayne Thorp, General Manager of Woodlands Operations at DMI’s Peace River Pulp Division. “In fact the information gathered through EMEND holds a great deal of promise for helping to make Alberta’s forest industry more competitive while protecting the ecosystems within the Boreal forest.”

The two-day EMEND Research Workshop will begin Wednesday, March 12 at 7 p.m. with a dinner at the University of Alberta’s Faculty Club at 11435 Saskatchewan Drive. The Honorable Mike Cardinal, Minister of Sustainable Resources Development will be the after dinner speaker. The event continues the next day with a workshop to be held at the Northern Forestry Centre, located at 5320-122 Street. Many EMEND partners and researchers will be in attendance to share their findings and discuss the benefits of being involved in EMEND.