Model Forest of Newfoundland and Labrador

In a nutshell

With many demands on Newfoundland and Labrador’s natural resources and a diversity of values to be considered as part of land management, we recognize the power of providing a place for partners in industry, government, academia, environmental and community organizations to share ideas and difficulties, and find practical solutions to common problems.

The partnership of the Model Forest of Newfoundland & Labrador has established relationships between diverse stakeholders where none might ever have existed, and offers assistance in facilitation, conflict resolution and providing leadership to allow partners to work together to advance sustainable forest management (SFM). This collaboration has helped us conduct and facilitate a wealth of projects ranging from pure science to educational opportunities that focus on SFM in Newfoundland and beyond.


Newfoundland and Labrador is on the eastern edge of North America’s boreal forest. Within the Model Forest, west coast forests consist mainly of pure stands of balsam fir growing in moist, well-drained soils. Black spruce forms about one-third of the forests on the island and two-thirds in Labrador. Black spruce is found primarily in the central plateau of Newfoundland, and white spruce on more favourable sites. White birch and trembling aspen are common among mixed wood and hardwood stands, especially the deep river valleys of the Western Long Range Mountains and the Humber and Red Indian Lake watersheds.

The region consists mainly of rural and coastal communities. Gros Morne National Park is located within the Model Forest boundary. The landscape is a mixture of forested, coastal, barren and mountainous. Wildlife on the island of Newfoundland includes native species such as caribou, black bear, lynx, fox, Newfoundland marten, beaver and arctic hare. Other species such as moose, coyote, red squirrels and snowshoe hare have been introduced to the island.

42% of the area is productive forestland, 24% is softwood scrub and 21% is rock or soil barrens and bog. The remainder is water, residential, rights-of-way and cleared land. Over 96% of the Model Forest land base is owned or controlled by its partners; Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd. owns or leases approximately 50% of the area; Crown land amounts to 15.3%, Abitibi Consolidated Company of Canada owns or has license to 9.4%, and Gros Morne National Park controls 20.3 %. There are 453,535 hectares of protected areas within the Model Forest boundaries.

Along with forestry and a long-standing pulp and paper industry, communities in the Model Forest of Newfoundland & Labrador region depend on other natural resource-based industries such as mining, offshore oil and gas development, fishing, tourism, and, to a lesser extent, farming. Construction and service industries are also an important economic driver in western Newfoundland.


The Model Forest of Newfoundland and Labrador has a Board of Directors who is responsible for the administration and legal management of the non-profit organization. The Board of Directors is comprised of representation from the Department of Fisheries and Land and Natural Resources, Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, the Canadian Forest Service, the Canadian Institute of Forestry (Newfoundland and Labrador Section), the College of North Atlantic, Gros Morne National Park and Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador (Grenfell College).

The Board of Directors meets 3 to 4 times per year, and approves annual reports and work plans. The formulation of the annual work plan has been the responsibility of the Management Group. This group is larger, representing the Board of Directors partners and a wider spectrum of industry, academia and environmental groups.


Strategic goals:

  • Planning and Support: Using a balanced approach (equal consideration for ecological, social and economic values), develop SFM systems and tools and increase the capacity for partners to implement approaches within and beyond our boundaries;
  • Knowledge Transfer and Communications: Communicate national, provincial and local SFM priorities through the dissemination of results and knowledge by working in cooperation with the Canadian Forest Service, the International Model Forest Network, provincial partners, affiliated stakeholders and the public;
  • Outreach and Involvement: Increase the level of public understanding of SFM within the province to provide opportunities for effective participation.

Key actions in place to reach these goals:

  • Organization of the Newfoundland and Labrador Envirothon, to expose the Newfoundland and Labrador youth to concepts of SFM;
  • Forest careers education and outreach to high school students across the province to inform and educate them regarding the careers available in the forest sector;
  • Administration of the Carbon Budget Model workshop in partnership with the Canadian Forest Service.

Key impacts:

  • The Carbon Budget Model workshop is now available to professional across Canada and internationally;
  • Participation of high school students across the province in the provincial Envirothon and the North American Envirothon;
  • Presentations to career classes and targeted students in schools across the province to educate them on forestry and working in forests, as well as the job opportunities that are available.


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Cornerbrook, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Canadian Model Forest Network

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Contact information


Colin Carroll                              

Glenda Garnier

Website: Model Forest of Newfoundland & Labrador on Facebook                    Twitter: @ModelForestNL

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