sustainable forest

 

“People need to live in nature… and this is a way they can.”

-Molly Ferguson


Forest Lot

The 369-acre forest lot on Ferguson Properties is a SmartWood-certified forest. But what does this qualification offer, besides bragging rights?

Some benefits include:

    • Long-term strategy for cyclical regeneration of the forest (every 120 years)
    • Reduction of carbon: Molly’s forest will remove an estimated 13,539 tonnes of carbon from the air over one life-cycle
    • Protection of biodiversity, ensuring an abundance of wildlife
    • Sustainable options for harvesting timber
    • Qualifies for a 75% tax reduction under the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program

Sustainable Forest Management

Sustainable forest management (SFM) is the management of forests according to the principles of sustainable development.

The concept of sustainable forest management has become an international commitment, derived from the increasing need to attain a balance between society's demands for forest products and benefits, and the preservation of forest health and diversity. This balance is critical to the survival of forests, and to the prosperity of forest-dependent communities worldwide. For forest managers, sustainably managing a particular forest tract means determining, in a tangible way, how to use it today to ensure similar benefits, health and productivity in the future. Forest managers must assess and integrate a wide array of factors—commercial and non-commercial values, environmental considerations, community needs, and even global impact—to produce sound forest plans.

SmartWood Certification

The practice of third-party forest certification emerged in the 1990s as a credible tool for communicating the environmental and social performance of forest operations. Today, there are over 50 independent certification standards. According to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), SmartWood is the world’s leading forest management certifier.

In order to ensure the long-term conservation of its timber quality and biodiversity, the Ferguson Properties’ forest has undergone regular audits to ensure compliance with SmartWood guidelines. These evaluations are conducted by registered foresters, who assess the forest and make recommendations on improving its management. A summary of the evaluations from 1997 to the present is available here.

Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program

The Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP) is an initiative developed by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

Landowners who apply and qualify for the program have their property classified and assessed as managed forest under the managed forest property class. The land is taxed at 25% of the municipal tax rate set for residential properties. Provisions in the MFTIP do allow for building. In such cases, the area cleared is subtracted from the total acreage and the remaining land still qualifies for the tax reduction.

 

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