Forest Management

Forest Cover

Forest

Limerick Forest consists of approximately 73% forest cover and 27% wetland (see Figure 1).  Approximately 50% of the forest cover has been classified as "production forest", capable of growing commercially viable timber crops, more than half of which is made up of conifer plantations.

Approximately 8.8 million trees have been planted in Limerick Forest since 1940.  A large portion of the forest cover in Limerick today is a function of the species planted under the provincial Agreement Forest Program.  Numerous plantations were established with species such as Jack, red and white pine as well as white spruce.  Further inventory-related details such as the gross total volume by working group, annual allowable cut, etc., may be found in the Twenty Year Forest Management Plan (FMP).

Picture of Mature TreesFigure 1: Graphic chart comparing forest cover types

 Figure 1.  Limerick Forest Cover Types (Limerick Forest 20 Year Forest Management Plan)

There are also many natural heritage values associated with Limerick, originating from its abundant wetlands and surrounding forests.  Much of the Limerick South block has been identified as an important aquifer recharge area.  The vegetation cover and wetland complex in this area plays an important role in controlling surface water quality and runoff and maintaining groundwater levels. The diverse resources found in Limerick also provide high quality recreational opportunities, a foundation for nature education and through utilization of the conifer plantations, an economic base which provides revenue to offset Limerick management costs.

Limerick Forest today is now a prized County asset with multiple values including diverse flora and fauna, abundant wildlife habitat, groundwater preservation, soil erosion protection and multi-use recreational opportunities, in addition to its traditional "timber" potential.

Management History

Limerick Forest, owned and managed by the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville has achieved Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® ) certification (FSC® C018800) through the Eastern Ontario Model Forest's (EOMF) Forest Certification Program.  The EOMF, certified by SmartWood to the principles and criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council® manages a FSC® certificate (SW-FM/COC 000 -232) on behalf of private woodlot and community forest owners and has developed a collaborative process to accommodate these forests.  The EOMF Forest Certification Program allows for numerous landowners and community forest owners to share the benefits and costs of FSC® certification by certifying their lands, under one certificate.

Picture of a pond

In the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Forest Region there are established standards that forest managers must follow to ensure the long term environmental, social and economic values of the forest.  FSC® forest certification provides assurances to forest owners, managers, operators and consumers that the production of wood products from a certified land base does not damage the overall health of the forest, the stability of the ecosystems, or the livelihoods of local communities.

The Forest Stewardship Council® is an international, membership-based, non-profit organization that supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests. The FSC® was founded in 1993 in Toronto, Canada by representatives from environmental groups, the timber industry, the forestry profession, Aboriginal organizations, and community forestry groups from 26 countries. Since inception, the organization's membership has grown to comprise more than 640 members from 67 countries. FSC® operates through its network of National Initiatives in 40 countries.  There are over 100 million hectares in some 80 countries certified according to FSC® standards, and thousand of products are produced using FSC® certified fibre and carrying the FSC® trademark.

Future Management

The Goal Statement of the LFLRP is, "To manage Limerick Forest on a sustainable basis for a wide variety of goods and services".  The LFLRP provides five basic objectives to achieve the goal.

Picture of a Young Forest

  1. Ensure that Limerick Forest continues to provide a source of economic activity for local people.
  2. Manage Limerick Forest effectively in order to maximize benefits to the United Counties of Leeds & Grenville.
  3. Provide a wide range of quality recreational opportunities in a safe environment.
  4. Protect the ecological features and values of Limerick Forest.
  5. Provide outdoor educational opportunities and foster a strong understanding of sustainable resource management.

The FMP recognizes those objectives and states that
".... the continued development and implementation of viable and sustainable forestry operations will be based on the following forest management goal ....To enhance the economic and social welfare of the residents of the Counties through the improvement, sustainable use, development and protection of Limerick Forest's timber, wildlife, non-timber and recreational resources ..."

 

Towards that end, the FMP has set the following "Timber Management" objectives:

Picture of a new sapling

  1. To manage the forest ecosystems of Limerick Forest on the basis of sustained yield and in a manner consistent with sound environmental practices.
  2. To manage the natural resources of Limerick Forest for the benefit of the people of the UCLG with due consideration of all forest users and resource values.
  3. To conserve and enhance biological diversity of Limerick Forest.
  4. To ensure no loss of threatened, endangered, rare or vulnerable species habitat (plant or wildlife) as a result of forest management activities.
  5. To ensure forest management interventions minimize adverse effects on soils, water, vegetation fish and wildlife and other identified values.
  6. To promote the growth of high quality timber products through the application of timely and appropriate silvicultural practices.
  7. To control damaging agents such as fire, insects and disease. 

Timber management strategies to achieve the above objectives are described in the FMP.