When you hear the word community, what comes to mind first? Is it the community in which you live or work, or the ecological community that surrounds you? Perhaps it is the sense of community that allows one to feel like they are a part of something, whether big or small. Community encompasses structure, people and the environment. Our forests are not just a part of our community, they also are one in themselves. Forests are not disconnected from people and the realization of this is essential in sustainability. Our decisions inevitably have an effect on forests just as the forests are important in contributing to our own communities.
The Ontario Forestry Association’s 65th annual conference will be an exploration of communities in Ontario - the forests and people, and how they work together to adapt to change and thrive. We will explore the landowner and forest practitioner communities, and how an enhanced and reinvigorated sense of community will help increase the resilience needed to make the most of future challenges and opportunities. It being the 65th anniversary of this event and the OFA, we will also explore intergenerational issues and how to sustain the resource for future generations. Session topics will include taxation, business planning and accounting for woodlots, and gaining access to local wood markets.
The OFA annual conference is Ontario’s largest forest stewardship event, bringing together upwards of 300 attendees from across Ontario. For 65 years this event has provided a great networking opportunity for landowners, forestry professionals, students and the general public. Working with volunteers from several colleges and universities, the OFA aims to bridge the gap between those entering the forestry sector and established forestry professionals, and bring together landowners to learn from each other’s experiences.
With the recent changes in the management of forests in southern Ontario, it seems that the OFA must stand up to be the voice of Ontario’s forests, now more than ever. Join us on Friday, February 21st, 2014 at the Nottawasaga Inn, Alliston. For more details about the conference including registration and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.oforest.ca.
The conference also features the White Pine Silent Auction, which raises funds for popular education programs including the Ontario Envirothon, Focus on Forests and Forestry Connects. If you are interested in making a contribution to the auction, do not hesitate to contact the Ontario Forestry Association. Donations of forest related items including equipments, tools, experiences and resources are welcome. Support the next generation of those who will care for our forests – donate today.