A Scientific Approach to Forest Management - Video

April 2010


My name is Jan Volney. I’m a Research Scientist with the Canadian Forest Service of Natural Resources Canada. And I’m very proud of that.

My training is in entomology and forestry, but I’ve taken a larger view of things, looking at boreal forest sustainability and integrity in my research.

EMEND is a really large scale forest experiment. The acronym EMEND stands for ecosystem management emulating natural disturbance. And in this part of the world the natural disturbance is fire. What we’ve done in this experiment is to burn some areas and compare that to the areas that we’ve harvested in different intensities. So for instance, we’ve left in some stands 75% of the trees standing. In some 50%. We went all the way down and left 2%, which is essentially a clear cut. And what we’ve done since then is to monitor the response of the forest to see if in fact this really is sustainable. So we have areas that weren’t burnt, and not harvested, areas that were burnt and then areas that were harvested. And the comparison would tell us whether this process of harvesting trees at the various retention levels would be sustainable.

So this is an example where we try to bring science to bear on policy issues. And so by doing this scientific work, we can see what effect we’re having on the system.