Detailed Forest Management Plans
DMI’s goal is to manage the forests that have been entrusted to our care using sustainable forest management practices. DMI is guided in its forest management at all levels of the organization by its Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) principles. These principles are considered to be the essential elements to manage the forest responsibly for today and for the future and reflect the six principles identified by the government of Alberta:
- Maintenance Biological Diversity
- Maintenance of Ecosystem Productivity
- Soil and Water Conservation
- Consideration of Global Ecological Cycles
- Providing Multiple Benefits to Society
- Accepting Society’s Responsibility for involvement of Aboriginal Communities and the Public in Sustainable Development.
To assist us in ensuring that we are on the right track with regard to our forest management, DMI has certified all of its operations on the lands in which we operate to the Sustainable Forest Initiatives. The requirement for annual audits of our systems and on-the-ground practices as part of our certification helps to ensure that we are meeting or exceeding the requirements for SFM.
Boreal forests like those found in the Eastside FMA are the result of natural disturbances such as fires and outbreaks of insects and disease. It is these natural disturbances that have shaped the structure and makeup of the forest that Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) is focused on. With EBM, we attempt to use harvesting and reforestation techniques to produce new forest that comes very close to what one would find following a natural process.
DMI was one of the first companies in Alberta, as well as North America, to adopt an EBM approach to forest management. While the normal approach in the 1990’s was to harvest in a checkerboard pattern across the landscape, DMI began changing to EBM as early as 1999.
Our recipe for Ecosystem-Based Management approach includes the following:
- Maintain some area of all the different types and ages of forest that we have today,
- Make harvest block sizes and shapes vary in size and shape as you would see in natural disturbances (e.g. fires),
- Leave lots of standing trees (“retention”) in a variety of ways within harvest blocks, and
- Protect special features when encountered (e.g. bear dens, bird of prey nests, etc.).