Unit 2 - Modern Forest Research Network

Lesson 7: Non-government Organizations

Non-government organizations also contribute to forestry research across Canada; Canada's "model forests" fit into this category.

 In 1992, the Canadian government announced the creation of ten "model forests" across the country. Model forests are essentially living laboratories where leading-edge forestry practices are researched, applied, and monitored. These are large-scale experiments that cover a land base of significant size. Local industries, environmental groups, community associations, Indigenous peoples, landowners, governments, and others all work together to achieve sustainable forest management within these model forests.

The initial 10 model forests have now grown to more than 60 Model Forests in 37 countries on five continents, encompassing over 65 million hectares of diverse forest ecosystems and landscapes; it is now known as the International Model Forest Network.



One of Canada's 10 original model forests was called the Foothills Model Forest; comprised of 2.75 million hectares it included all of Jasper National Park, Weldwood of Canada Limited, Hinton Division's working forest, Willmore Wilderness Park and other public lands.  The sponsoring partners of the Foothills Model Forest made five year commitments to each of 3 phases, the last phase being from 2002 - 2007.

Also located in Hinton is the office of fRI Research, a non-profit organization that is building on the legacy of the Foothills Model Forest. fRI Research has a mission to "develop understandable scientific knowledge and useful land management tools based on strong peer-reviewed science."

fRI Research is involved in a number of programs and projects, including:

  • Caribou Program
  • Forest History Program
  • GIS Program
  • Grizzly Bear Program
  • Water Program
  • Landscapes in Motion
  • The Columbia Trail


 Image Source: Pexels

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