FORT KENT – Over 140 J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI) foresters and contractors in woodlands operations in Maine, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are involved in an extensive environmental training program this summer. The companyâ€™s full time naturalist Kelly Honeyman and Manager of Fish & Wildlife John Gilbert team up to coordinate over 800 hours of training every year in every region where JDI operates. The environmental training includes:
â€˘ Operating near watercourses, including vernal pools and wetlands
â€˘ Stick Nest Identification and Protection Policy
â€˘ Rare Plant Habitat Identification and Training
â€˘ Unique Areas Program
â€˘ Review of Species of Concern Guide
â€˘ Review of Forest Certification Process and Successes
â€śOur environmental training program continues to receive top marks by third party auditors,â€ť said Scott MacDougall, JDI Forest Certification Manager. MacDougall works with JDI woodlands staff and contractors throughout the year through training and internal audits.
Auditors have recognized JDIâ€™s strong processes for training staff and contractors as well as the high level of awareness of environmental and operational issues with forest workers in the field.
The KPMG Performance Registrar Inc. (KPMG PRI) audit team leader Chris Ridley-Thomas, CEA (SFM), EMS LA, said a number of exemplary JDI practices were identified during the most recent field audit. â€śWe took note of some good examples of brook protection measures during road construction projects,â€ť said Ridley-Thomas. â€śThese measures included armoured culvert intakes and outlets, grass seedling and hay bales, cross-drain culverts, road dips and off-takes. All good practices to protect water quality and fish in brooks,â€ť Ridley-Thomas said.
â€śWe are very pleased that all of Irving owned and managed woodlands are certified to the standards of the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) (6 million acres). In addition, 100% of Irving woodlands in Maine were certified in 2009 by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) (1,255,000 acres),â€ť said MacDougall.
â€śJ.D. Irving LLC â€“ Maine Woodlands has demonstrated that their system of management is capable of ensuring that all of the requirements of the Northeast Region of the U.S.A. Forest Stewardship Standard are met over the forest area covered by the scope of the evaluation. J.D. Irving LLC â€“ Maine Woodlands has also demonstrated that the described system of management is being implemented consistently over the forest area covered by the scope of the certificate.â€ť said Dr. Robert J. Hrubes, Senior Vice-President, Scientific Certification Systems, the lead auditor for the FSC.
All forest lands that JDI owns or manages (Maine, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) have also been independently audited and are fully certified under the ISO 14001 environmental management system.
These certifications are recognized as rigorous standards for sustainable forest management. Every year, JDI’s policies and practices, including its wildlife policies and training, are independently audited by KPMG – a respected international auditor of responsible forest management practices. The auditors have always found JDI’s wildlife policies and practices, and its training on wildlife issues, to be completely appropriate and in keeping with all applicable standards.
â€śWeâ€™re actively working with our employees and contractors to continuously improve our environmental performance,â€ť said John Gilbert, Manager of Fish & Wildlife. â€śOur company commits over $1.5 million in scientific research every year to help us identify and understand potential environmental impacts on water, soil, and forest ecosystems.â€ť
Part of that research has led to the training in the identification of rare plant habitat, and each JDI district has a habitat guide developed specifically for the eco-regions they operate in. The guide book along with the production of “Risk Maps” and field training makes the Rare Plant Habitat Program one of the most comprehensive in today’s forest industry.
JDI has also maintained and updated “Standard Operating Procedures” (SOP) which provide clear guidelines to all field staff and contractors regarding special wildlife habitats including, for example, the identification and protection of stick nests.
More than twenty per cent of the JDI land base throughout New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Maine (USA) has a primary use that is non-timber. JDI recognizes ecologically significant sites across the freehold and crown land that the company manages including 668 Unique Areas that conserving over 190,024 acres. Many of those sites are significant for birds, rare/uncommon plants or invertebrates. â€śIn all but a few of these sites there is no legal requirement for their protection, but we do it because weâ€™re committed to the maintenance of forest biodiversity,â€ť said Kelly Honeyman, Company Naturalist.
JDIâ€™s biological staff has also produced an identification guide of all Provincial, State or Federally listed rare and endangered species and their habitats in Nova Scotia, Maine and New Brunswick. Any critical habitat pertaining to these and other rare species are surveyed by knowledgeable staff and appropriate management plans are prescribed to protect the species and their habitats at that particular location.
For many years, JDI has actively contributed to Atlantic salmon and Sea-run Brook trout conservation programs. By partnering with organizations such as the Miramichi Salmon Association, the Canadian Rivers Institute and the University of New Brunswick, JDI is developing new approaches to protect and enhance salmon and trout habitat in the rivers and streams that run through our woodlands operations. Fishery biologists and forest workers work collaboratively to ensure their operations have minimal impact on fish habitat.
JDIâ€™s forestry professionals take enormous pride in these achievements, many of which have been nationally and internationally recognized by organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, Miramichi Salmon Association, New Brunswick Salmon Council and the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. â€śWe recognize that a science-based approach is the best way to ensure the continued health, biodiversity and sustainability of New Brunswick’s forests,â€ť said Gilbert.
To that end, JDI continues to invest over $1.5 million a year in scientific research in collaboration with a range of research partners including:
â€˘ Canadian Forest Service (regional and national)
â€˘ University of New Brunswick
â€˘ Carleton University
â€˘ UniversitĂ© de Moncton
â€˘ University of Maine, School of Forest Resources
â€˘ Nova Scotia tree Improvement Working Group
â€˘ New Brunswick Tree Improvement Council
â€˘ Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
â€˘ Manomet Centre for Conservation Sciences, Brunswick, Maine
â€˘ New Brunswick Department of Environment
â€˘ Collaborative Research Partnership for Sustainable Forest Management
â€˘ Sustainable Forest Management Network
â€˘ National Sciences and Engineering Research Council
The lessons learned from research and applied science lead to the development of best practices that are shared each year with JDI staff and contractors helping to ensure a balanced and sustainable approach to forest management – now and for the future.
For more information on the companyâ€™s environmental stewardship of air, water, and wildlife habitat, visit www.jdirving.com.
Contact Name: Geoff Britt
Telephone Number: (506)333-2300