Brian Barkley recently announced his retirement as General Manager of Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF). He was EOMFs founding and only General Manager since its inception in 1992. Brian is well-respected in both forestry and the model forest community in Canada and abroad. His combination of affability, inspired leadership, skilled management and love of connecting with the forest community resulted in a consistently successful EOMF.

In January both the International and Canadian Model Forest Networks launched new websites. The IMFN website revamp included a substantial reorganization of information, the addition of an activities database, a contacts database and a members' section where model forests can post questions or statements to a discussion board, share documents online, access the IMFN wiki and more. The website will continue to be improved over the coming weeks. View the new site at www.imfn.net. 

More than 150 participants from 20 countries attended the first Ibero-American Model Forest Congress in Soria, Spain in November 2008. Attendees included model forest representatives from across Latin America, the Caribbean and Spain, the IMFN Secretariat,  national or state forest agencies from countries with model forests, researchers affiliated with partner universities in model forests, non-governmental organizations and model forest supporters such as FAO.

  • Cattet, M, G Stenhouse and T Bollinger. 2008. Exertional myopathy in a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) captured by leghold snare. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 44(4): 973-978.
  • Groot, A and J-P Saucier. 2008. Volume increment efficiency of Picea mariana in northern Ontario, Canada. Forest Ecology and Management 255(5-6): 1647-1653.
  • Henderson, LE, LJ Farrow and HG Broders. 2008. Intra-specific effects of forest loss on the distribution of the forest-dependent northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis).

Many model forests have a wealth of knowledge and information on hand. However, knowing which other sites might be interested in the information and the best form to share it can be difficult. In early February, representatives from five model forests, the IMFN Secretariat, the Ibero-American Model Forest Network (IAMFN) Management Team and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) participated in the first CUSO Kedlap Project workshop.

Cameroon and Canada are two diametrically opposed countries. But beyond the climate differences and the thousands of kilometres separating them, the desire to build a forestry economy based on a collective management of resources has resulted in the Model Forests of both countries creating strong ties. To strengthen the relationship built at the IMFN Global Forum in June 2008, Lac-Saint-Jean Model Forest (FMLSJ in French) president, Colette Robertson, and general manager, Stéphane Turcot, welcomed the New Year in Cameroon during an exploratory visit from January 1 to 14, 2009.

More than 150 delegates from 31 countries attended the International Model Forest Network (IMFN) Global Forum in Hinton, Canada, from June 16-20. The event was co-hosted by the Foothills Research Institute, the Canadian Model Forest Network (CMFN) and the IMFN Secretariat. Additional support was gratefully received from the Alberta Forest Research Institute.

A knowledge management and sharing workshop (KM/S) was held during the IMFN Global Forum in June in Hinton, Canada. About 40 participants from across the IMFN participated in the discussion where they were asked two specific questions: What are the fundamental elements of an effective KM/S strategy for the IMFN? What actions do we need to take, and when, to make KM/S a reality?

The next World Forestry Congress, to be held in October 2009 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, will focus on the theme "Forests in development - A vital balance." The event, organized by the FAO, presents a good opportunity for model forests to highlight their areas of impact at local, regional and international levels to forest experts the world over.

Turkey hosted a regional Model Forest Development workshop on 22-25 October 2008. More than 50 participants were in attendance, including representatives from Urbión Model Forest and Murcia (Spain), Corsica (France), Istria (Croatia) and the IMFN Secretariat. The program included: a keynote address by the Governor of the host province of Yalova; training sessions provided by the IMFN and the Mediterranean Network Secretariats; and, field trips in the Yalova and Bursa regions.