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Forest History Ontario hosted a very well received panel of expert speakers on aspects of Ontario’s forest history


On February 17th, in conjunction with the annual Forests Ontario conference ‘Growing a Healthy Tomorrow’, in Alliston, Ontario, Forest History Ontario hosted a very well received panel of expert speakers on aspects of Ontario’s forest history.

First up was Patricia Baldwin a UofT graduate forester and long standing FHO member who provided a very well researched retrospective of indigenous use and relationship with forests and lands across southern Ontario and some impacts that be observed today. Her presentation is titled ‘ Effects of Aboriginal Land Use on Forest Development’ (in southern Ontario). This was followed by Danijella Puric-Mladenovic, Assistant Professor of forestry at UofT whose expertise is on the planning, conservation and monitoring of settled landscapes. Danijela offered a very well described historical perspective on the nature and extent of forest cover across southern Ontario, pre-settlement as compared to today and some insights as to how these can be identified and perhaps re-established in future with careful research and management. Her presentation is titled ‘ Changing Southern Ontario Landscapes from Pre-settlement to Today’. Our final speaker was Andrew Gordon, Professor Emeritus at UofG School of Environmental Sciences and expert in agroforestry and forest ecology. Andy presented a fulsome and entertaining picture of the history, ecology, morphology, distribution and uses of red spruce in Ontario and beyond. He had the personal benefit of many insights on Red Spruce given that as a youngster he worked with his father, Dr Al Gordon, on researching red spruce across North America and Europe. His talk was titled ‘ Red Spruce in Ontario: A tree of Unusual Qualities’. All of these presentations can be found on our website.

Our session was ‘competing’ against 2 other excellent concurrent sessions but we were very pleased with the turnout of about 40 participants and delighted that about ¼ of these were Sir Sandford Fleming College forest technology students who were very attentive and engaged with all of the speakers after the formal presentations. As a token of our appreciation all speakers received a hand dedicated copy of Dr Mark Kuhlberg’s most recent book ‘Killing Bugs for Business and Beauty....Canada’s Aerial War Against Forest Pests 1913-1930’.

Mark your calendars now for our next FHO event, a forest history tour of the St William’s area on June 9th, 2023. More information will be posted on our website as the date approaches.