Norfolk County Proclaimed Forest Capital of Canada 2008/09
Oakville, January 9, 2008
On Tuesday, January 8, 2008, MP Diane Finley was pleased to participate in the proclamation of Norfolk County as the Forest Capital of Canada 2008.
To recognize achievements in forestry in Norfolk, the Canadian Forestry Association has seen fit to award the title of “Forest Capital of Canada“ to Norfolk County this year. A coalition of more than 20 local organisations has been preparing for this event for several months now.
Forests have always played an important role in the daily lives of the residents of the County of Norfolk. MP Diane Finley congratulates Norfolk County on being a most worthy recipient of this award and she thanks all of the volunteers who worked so hard to make this day possible!
2008/9 Forest Capital of Canada: Norfolk County ON
Norfolk County hugs Lake Erie along Canada’s southern border and is in the heart of the Carolinian Forest. We might think of this part of our country as being mainly agricultural, or even a manufacturing region. In fact, forests occupy more than 25 percent of the landscape and the resource continues to grow in size and importance, both environmentally and economically.
Norfolk County was designated as the 2008-2009 Forest Capital of Canada
(FCC) by the Canadian Forestry Association to help observe the 100th anniversary of the St. Williams Forestry Station-the genesis in 1908 of the scientific approach to tree seedling production and Ontario’s forest renewal programs. The two-year long FCC campaign also recognizes the early contribution to the forest industry of the iconic Alligator Steam Warping Tug Boat, built in Simcoe from 1889 until the 1930s.
In today’s terms, Norfolk County can boast a robust approach to forestry and the environment. At Port Rowan, the Long Point Bird Observatory under the aegis of Bird Studies Canada monitors and conducts research into local breeding and migratory bird populations. The Long Point Region Conservation Authority is instrumental in designating significant portions of the landscape as Natural Heritage Woodlands. The Backus Heritage Conservation Area is recognized as a National Historic Site based on the Backus mill dating back to 1798. On the manufacturing side, Townsend Lumber of Courtland is the largest sawmill in Southern Ontario, producing and exporting a wide variety of premium Norfolk County hardwood products.
Norfolk County has the largest woodlot owners association in the Province with more than 300 members. Woodlots on average contain 25 or more different tree species. In addition to hundreds of species of shrubs and herbaceous plants, Norfolk County is also home to the greatest number that are rare or endangered in Canada. It is fitting to celebrate Norfolk County’s forest biodiversity with the theme of this year’s National Forest Week: Canada’s Forests – Biodiversity in a Changing World.