Lake Abitibi Model Forest

Country: Canada
Location: Northeastern Ontario
Area: 1 200 000 ha (6 400 000 ha area of influence spanning the Ontario-Québec border)
Year joined IMFN: 1992

Contact information

Name: Sue Parton, General Manager
Address: P. O. Box 129
Cochrane, ON P0L 1C0
Phone: (705) 272-8449

Forest and resource profile

The Lake Abitibi Model Forest (LAMF) is located in the Claybelt section of the boreal forest. Soils are predominantly clay and silty-clay with glacial features of outwashes, eskers and moraines. Tree species are mainly black spruce and aspen with white spruce, white birch, jack pine, cedar and tamarack.
The LAMF is a 99% publicly owned forest. Of this, 93% of the landscape is forested. In Ontario, there are about 90 000 people within the area-of-influence. About the same number live in the Quebec area-of-influence.
Economic profile
The main source of income in the LAMF is forestry. However, at this time the industry is struggling with a strong Canadian dollar, the high cost of energy and globalization in the forest products marketplace. In the larger area-of-influence, mining (gold, phosphates and base metals) is a large and thriving part of the economy.
Why a Model Forest?
The LAMF was established in 1992 through a competitive process run by the Canadian Forest Service. Originally conceived as an organization that would generate new ideas and on-the-ground tools for sustainable forest management in the Boreal Claybelt Forest, the concept has expanded to include all aspects of sustainability, including economic and social, as well as environmental.
By developing a non-threatening and transparent organization, strong partnerships between government, industry, academia, environmentalists and indigenous peoples have been developed. The LAMF has thus been able to develop and carry out numerous sustainability projects under difficult economic times using the strengths of partners who traditionally have not worked well together.
  • Federal & Provincial Governments (28%)
  • Industry (27%)
  • Universities (22%)
  • Municipalities (13%)
  • First Nations (indigenous peoples) (7%)
  • Environmental Groups (3%)
Strategic goals
The core purpose of the LAMF is to strengthen the sustainability of forests and communities through partnerships in action. The broad objectives are:
  • To effect positive change by building a legacy of knowledge that will be actively applied in sustainable forest management
  • To effectively promote the adoption of technical knowledge acquired through LAMF activities with forest practitioners
  • To enhance local involvement in sustainable forest management
  • To expand our web of influence in Canada and globally
Accomplishments to date
The Lake Abitibi Model Forest has developed strong partnerships between government, industry, academia, communities, indigenous peoples and environmental groups. These partnerships have led to the development of unique inter-community projects, such as a strong economic indicator model and sustainable forestry techniques involving innovative harvesting techniques.
International policy links
With respect to meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals, the Lake Abitibi Model Forest has been active in the following areas:
  • Goal 7: Ensuring environmental sustainability: The Lake Abitibi Model Forest has promoted the principles of sustainability by supporting research into new timber harvesting techniques that protect landscape biodiversity
  • Goal 8: Global partnerships for development: Our research results and technological development have been made widely available through our web site to members of the IMFN, as well as other boreal jurisdictions throughout the world. We have also been involved in the promotion of tours for international visitors and delegations.
  • Regional Community Constellation Model
  • Boreal forest handbooks
  • Technical manuals
  • Newsletters