Canadian Model Forest Network Dissolves, But Members Plow On

April 05, 2017 | Written BY : admin_test

30 March, 2017 – The International Model Forest Network (IMFN) was notified last week of the impending dissolution of the Canadian Model Forest Network (CMFN).

The CMFN began in 1991, with the launch of Canada’s Model Forest Program. Upon conclusion of the Model Forest Program in 2007, members formed the CMFN as an independent not-for-profit national organisation.

The announced dissolution of the national organisation certainly represents sad news, but Dr. Brian G. Kotak, General Manager of the CMFN, stresses the continued commitment to the Model Forest approach in Canada.

“There are seven Model Forests in Canada that are active”, said Dr. Kotak. “We will continue to participate, as individual members, within the broader International Model Forest Network. We all have exciting and promising programmes to take care of at home. The seven Canadian Model Forest, represent 12,418,075 hectares of diverse landscapes and partnerships across the country, and we will continue to collaborate through engaging with the IMFN. Unfortunately, we had to take the decision to dissolve the formal Canadian network, for a multitude of reasons, namely the difficulty to keep up with the overhead payments associated with a formal not-for-profit status”.

“This certainly is unfortunate news, but we will continue accompanying our Canadian Model Forest members”, said Richard Verbisky, Head of the IMFN Secretariat. “The International Network is currently growing, with Model Forests currently in development in Spain, the Czech Republic, Brazil and Peru. The IMFN is celebrating 25 years in 2017, and is sharply focused on landscape restoration and the sustainable management of forests, through a unique formula of local partnerships for local development.”

Below is the CMFN’s press release:

For Immediate Release

Canadian Model Forest Network Announces its Dissolution

March 29, 2017                                  Pine Falls, Manitoba                       CMFN

It is with a heavy sense of sadness that the board of the Canadian Model Forest Network (CMFN) passed a motion to dissolve the organisation.

There have been many strategic efforts pursed in the last few years to keep the Canadian Model Forest Network functioning, but due to the absence of core funding, project funding, the inability of member organisations to contribute financially and the weight of on-going costs, a decision was made to dissolve the Canadian Model Forest Network, a not-for-profit organisation. The dissolution will occur during the summer of 2017.

The Canadian Model Forest Network as an organization was born out of Canada’s Model Forest program. The Model Forest approach was first developed and implemented by the Government of Canada in the early 1990s in 10 sites across the country. It was a response to a period of intense conflict in Canada’s forest sector at a time when environmentalists, governments, indigenous peoples, communities and forest workers were struggling over forest resources and how to manage them in a sustainable manner. The approach showed immediate promise as people came to the table to find common solutions to the issues they faced, including logging practices, biodiversity conservation and economic stability among others.

The development of an International Model Forest Network was launched in 1992 and continues to grow into a global network aimed at sharing knowledge and implementing a participatory, landscape-level approach to the sustainable management of natural resources.

Governed by a unique partnership of local stakeholders, and concentrated on issues and challenges within a landscape, the member Model Forests of the Canadian Model Forest Network strived toward a common goal of developing and sharing innovative solutions for managing Canada’s forests in a sustainable manner.

The CMFN and its members are proud of their many successes and achievements. For example, the document Pathways to Climate Change Resilience – a Guidebook for Canadian Forest-based Communities, released in 2011, provides a process for communities and municipalities to conduct climate change risk and vulnerability assessments, identifies actions that can be taken to reduce existing risks, and incorporates climate change mitigation into planning, including climate resilient and green infrastructure. This guidebook has been piloted successfully in two Indigenous communities in Canadian Model Forest areas, as well as in the city of Revelstoke, B.C. and in the Vilhelmina Model Forest, Sweden.

The Canadian Model Forest Network facilitated discussions among governments and stakeholders, including Indigenous communities, around species at risk and the development of recovery strategies and management plans. Over the years, the Canadian Model Forest Network also provided support for growth in the Forest Products Sector, and promoted Indigenous youth career training in the natural resources sectors.

“It is important to note that the seven current Model Forests, located in the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Québec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, representing 12,418,075 hectares, will continue to work together as an informal network and as members of the International Model Forest Network, sharing best practices and experiences in areas of mutual interests such as climate change resilience and landscape restoration”, said Dr. Brian G. Kotak, General Manager of the Canadian Model Forest Network.




Glenda Garnier, General Manager

Model Forest of Newfoundland and Labrador


Nairn Hay, General Manager

Fundy Model Forest, New Brunswick


Serge Harvey, General Manager

Forêt Modèle du Lac Saint-Jean, Québec


Astrid Nielsen, General Manager

Eastern Ontario Model Forest, Ontario


Dr. Brian G. Kotak, General Manager

Manitoba Model Forest


Susan Carr, General Manager

Prince Albert Model Forest, Saskatchewan



Wayne Davie

Weberville Community Model Forest, Alberta

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This website has been developed with support from the Government of Canada.