Tree Marking to Tourist: My Illuminating Month at Algonquin
Prince of Wales Leadership Award Winner Keira Tedd reccounts the highlights from her second month on placement at the Algonquin provincial park in Canada, where it seems orange is the new green…
Hello again! Thank you for taking the time and having the interest to read about my time with the Algonquin Forestry Authority over here in Ontario, Canada. It’s been another busy four weeks and I’m amazed (and slightly concerned) at how quickly this summer has gone!
I found the two weeks of tree marking to be both physically and mentally challenging. My first week was spent with the Huntsville team in the broadleaves of the east side of the park. I was amazed at the level of concentration required in the process of deciding which trees should be marked for removal. You’re considering species priority, spacing, tree form, tree health, will this tree last another rotation?, how will the surrounding trees react if I remove this tree?….
These decisions ensure that a healthy and vigorous forest is retained for the future. Added to the difficulty of walking through the bush, avoiding bees nests/bears/other wildlife and trying not to spray yourself with luminous orange paint (something I failed to achieve hence the title for this blog) it’s not an easy task. Week two also posed its own set of challenges. With the change from broadleaf to pine forest I moved from orange to blue paint and from marking trees for removal to marking tree for retention which certainly took my head a day or two to wrap around.
I’ve also had the opportunity to explore more of the silvicultural side of things which was a great follow on from the road and logging operations I saw in June/July. This has included ground preparation, planting and auditing.
Audits for tree marking and brush cutting were a great experience not only for learning how to set out the plots and determine what data to record but also for navigation and tree identification. I have found navigating the expansive forests of Algonquin Park one of the major challenges since coming out here (it’s quite frustrating and unnerving since my sense of direction is usually very good). This is definitely not a forest you can walk in a day!
Left: Prism swings to assess basal area and determine what trees are in/outside of the plot. Right: Selfie without a front camera results in awkward expression!
Loggers’ Day and Meeting the Board of Directors
Brilliant to see so many people attending the Loggers’ Day!
Mementoes to take home from Loggers day.
The board of directors meeting was another day of meeting new people from the wider forest sector over here in Ontario. It was a great opportunity to see the problem solving minds tackling forestry issues! The Loggers’ Day was good fun (and also a good chance to test my ability to put names and faces together…). It was really nice to see so many people enjoying their day at the logging museum, and the questions and queries posed provided a great opportunity to educate the general public on sustainable forestry.
CIF Teachers’ Tour
CIF Teachers Tour
I was also lucky enough to be invited along for a day at the Petawawa Research Forest as part of the CIF’s teachers’ tour. This was another opportunity to hear the public perceptions of forestry and attempt to educate in order to ensure these influential individuals left with a basic understanding of sustainable forest management. The PRF is one of the oldest research forests in Canada, so I got to see some big old trees and ongoing silvicultural trials!
Exploring Outside the Park
On a non-forestry note, I took advantage of a long weekend and hopped on the bus to Ottawa in order to indulge in some cultural exploration. After a somewhat rocky start (Note to future Prince of Wales FLA recipients…make sure you have a credit card!) I had a great weekend exploring this lovely city. Byward market was a hive of activity and entertainment, the nature museum was full of interesting exhibits and the changing of the guard and light show at Parliament Hill was definitely worth the early start/late night.
The impressive skeleton of a Blue whale!
These mountain goats were a lot bigger than I expected them to be!
The Inside Out exhibit at the Nature Museum in Ottawa.
Beautiful weather down by the canal in Ottawa.
Changing of the guard….I was having flashbacks to London.
The light show on the Parliament building is a good way to improve your knowledge of Canadian history.