Provincial Foresters weigh in on Proposed Spraying in Gros Morne!

April 16, 2021

The Association of Registered Professional Foresters of Newfoundland & Labrador (RPFNL) and the Canadian Institute of Forestry, Newfoundland and Labrador Section (CIFNL) is pleased to provide stakeholder comments regarding Gros Morne National Park’s (GMNP) participation in the Early Intervention Budworm Control Program.

RPFNL is responsible for registering and regulating professional foresters in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Established in 1996, and bound by the Foresters Act (2011), the association is dedicated to the advocacy, promotion and professional practice of forestry in our province.

Established in 1908, the Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF) is the oldest forest society in Canada. CIF serves as the “voice of forest practitioners” representing foresters, forest technologists and technicians, ecologists, biologists, educators and many others with a professional interest in forestry. Nationally, there are over 2,000 CIF members. The Newfoundland and Labrador Section (CIFNL), established in 1956, includes approximately 100 members.

Forestry is the profession of science, art, and practice of creating, managing, using and conserving forests and associated resources, in a sustainable manner, to meet desired goals, needs and values for human benefit. It is our position that forests are not static but rather a dynamic intergraded system that requires an adaptive management approach.

Please consider the following comments to help with the decision-making process for Parks Canada for the management of spruce budworm within Gros Morne National Park.

  1. Forestry is a long-term proposition. The forest of GMNP began to be heavily impacted by insect defoliation in the 1970’s. Over the next 40+ years, the natural forest succession and ecology was adversely impacted to the extent that extensive areas of mature forests were killed and did not sufficiently regenerate, creating “Savannah-like” grassland areas.
  2. The boreal forest, of which GMNP is part, naturally occurs as even aged forests. It is predisposed to these conditions due to the silvics of its major tree species (i.e. prolific seeders, grow best in full sunlight, and dynamics driven by natural catastrophic events).
  3. Balsam fir forest types tend to follow the same successional pathways regardless of disturbance type (e.g. insect outbreak, blowdown or cutting) (Meades & Moores, 1989).
  4. To say that insect defoliation is natural and creates gaps where forests regenerate, as stated by Parks Canada, is only partially true. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the experience has been that natural regeneration has been seriously impacted by moose browsing. Given the fact that moose are also an introduced species, regeneration would be highly dependent on successful management of the moose population.
  5. The natural succession of predominantly balsam fir forests is mainly insect and wind throw which creates various sized patches of even aged forests. Individual areas could be hundreds of hectares in size.
  6. Repeated defoliation of budworm resulting in tree mortality, greatly increases the fire behaviour potential for several years after stand mortality. This is primarily due to dead standing trees with crown breakage, windthrow and the rearrangement of dry fuels. If a fire were to occur in this fuel complex, high fire danger ratings could allow for rapid fire spread rates, and the burning of fine bark, branches and twigs could possibly create spot fires well ahead of the flame front (Stocks, 1987).
  7. Terra Nova National Park has had to employ many forest management techniques such as scarification, prescribed burning and planting to regain appropriate forest cover in that park following the 1970’s insect outbreak and the subsequent failure of natural forest regeneration.
  8. Consulting the Spruce Budworm Early Intervention Strategy (EIS) would be instructive for the consideration of Parks Canada and others. This EIS research group, composed of several provinces and other groups, has considerable success over several years in dealing with the outbreak currently moving across Eastern Canada.

On behalf of our members, we thank you for your time.


October 18, 2019


RPFNL & CIF-NL to Explore the Ecological Services of Forests and their Sustained Management at the 2019 Annual General Meeting & Conference

ST. JOHN’S, NL – The Newfoundland and Labrador Section of the Canadian Institute of Forestry and the Association of Registered Professional Foresters of Newfoundland and Labrador will be hosting the 2019 Annual General Meeting and Conference, October 22 to 24, 2019 at the Comfort Inn, 106 Airport Road, St. John’s, NL. The theme of the conference is: “Ecological Services of the Forest and their Sustained Management”.

A forests ecological services can include oxygen production, carbon sequestration, regulation of water flow and quality, habitat production, soil stabilization and nutrient cycling.  As forest stands age and cycle, these services occur at various degrees and function at different rates. The conference will explore the many and varied benefits humans freely gain from the natural environment and properly functioning ecosystems and examine the critical role of sustainable forest management.

Attendees will get to hear several distinguished speakers including Keynote Speaker, Dr. Peter Duinker, Professor Emeritus, School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University.  Dr. Duinker will focus on Ecological Services in terms of timber producing forests, the dynamic nature of forests and how contributions to various ecosystem services can change over time.

“I am very excited to welcome attendees and my fellow speakers from academia, parks, and other resource fields.  In terms of better understanding sustainable management, our varied backgrounds will no doubt provide valuable insight to our members and guests.”

Dr. Joseph Bowden
Chair, Canadian Institute of Forestry – Newfoundland and Labrador Section

“Increased public awareness, higher environmental standards and the social significance of our forest resources, dictate the need for the utmost degree of competency in our members.  Conferences like this will ensure that Registered Professional Foresters practicing in the province are well-equipped to manage our forest resources.”

Wes Morgan, RPF
President, Association of Registered Professional Foresters of Newfoundland and Labrador

For More Information and to Register:

Learn More: and
Follow us on Twitter: @rpfnl and @cif_nl
Follow us on Facebook: @RPFNL and @CIFNL

Media Contact:

Bruce A. Roberts, RPF
Tel: 709.682.8386

 About RPFNL – Association of Registered Professional Foresters of Newfoundland and Labrador

The Association of Registered Professional Foresters of Newfoundland & Labrador is responsible for registering and regulating professional foresters in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Established in 1996, and bound by the Foresters Act (2011), the association is dedicated to the advocacy, promotion and professional practice of forestry within the province. Only members who have demonstrated competence in the profession and have agreed to the RPFNL Code of Ethics are permitted to use the title Registered Professional Forester (RPF).

The objectives of the association are:

  1. to establish and maintain high standards of professional ethics and excellence for members;
  2. to assure the general public of the knowledge, skill, proficiency and competency of members;
  3. to promote and improve the knowledge, skill, proficiency and competency of members; and
  4. to foster the professional practice of forestry, in a manner that is in the best interest of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

About CIF-NL – Canadian Institute of Forestry – Newfoundland and Labrador Section

Established in 1908, the CIF-IFC is the oldest forest society in Canada!  The Institute serves as the voice of forest practitioners representing foresters, forest technologists and technicians, ecologists, biologists, educators and many others with a professional interest in forestry.

The Institute is dedicated to:

  1. Providing national leadership in forestry;
  2. Promoting competency among forestry professionals; and
  3. Fostering public awareness of forestry issues.

Members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Section include forest practitioners from the province employed in a diverse array of occupations. Employers include provincial government departments (e.g. Forestry, Environment, Wildlife and Crown Lands), municipal and indigenous governments; academia at both the university and college level, industry, private sector, and non-governmental organizations. The Newfoundland and Labrador Section has been providing leadership and promoting professional competency in Newfoundland and Labrador since 1956.


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Legacy Project Update

June 12, 2019

As you may or may not be aware, CIF-NL and RPFNL recently entered into an agreement with the Forget-Me-Not Campaign to help create a legacy project.

The Forget-Me-Not Campaign volunteer group has raised money for several projects in and around the Corner Brook area, most notably the erecting of the Danger Tree sculpture at Grenfell Campus.  The sculpture signifies a petrified, solitary tree that still stands at Beaumont Hamel, where so many Newfoundlanders were killed in 1916. The original unveiling took place in 2016, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

This summer the group plans to unveil the second installment at the site, a sculpture of First World War Soldier, Pts. Hugh McWhirter.   At this ceremony, the forestry sector will be unveiling a commemorative bronze bench to complement the site.  The bench recognizes the sacrifices of the Newfoundland Forestry Corps (WWI) and the Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit (WWII).

During WWI, the Newfoundland Forestry Corp was a non-combatant unit that supported the war effort.  Some 498 skilled lumber men from Newfoundland served in the forests in the UK.   In WWII 3,600 Newfoundlanders were again sent overseas in a non-combative role. These volunteers formed the Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit & helped supply timber products critical to British mining operations.

The bench has been sponsored by:

  • The Association of Registered Professional Foresters of Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Canadian Institute of Forestry – Newfoundland and Labrador Section
  • Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited
  • Department of Fisheries and Land Resources

We strongly encourage all members to attend this event on July 19, 2019.  

Continuing Competency Program – Annual Audit

November 26, 2018

Notice to all Practicing Members:

  • The 2018 Continuing Competency Audit will take place during the first week of December.
  • The 2019 Audit will be will be conducted in January.

Continuing Competency Program

Professional development is an activity which is expected of all professionals. It is inherent in the legislation for self-governing professions and is of increasing importance if individuals and the profession are to better serve society.

As of January 01, 2018, all PRACTICING members were required to be compliant.

As a reminder, PRACTICING members must:

  • complete 150 contact hours during a three (3) year period;
  • distribute the hours within accepted categories;
  • ensure a minimum of 50 hours are in Category 1; and
  • maintain a “Continuing Competency Tracking Form”.

Your Continuing Competency Tracking Form can be found by logging into your account.

For further information on the program, auditing, help with the form, or with logging into your account, please contact Corey Wight or Tammy Higgins.

Job Opportunity – Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Fort McMurray

March 17, 2016

Wildfire Technologist

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Fort McMurray. We support Albertans in being proud stewards of air, land, water, and biodiversity by leading the work required for the desired environmental outcomes and sustainable development of natural resources.

For more information about the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry please visit our website at:

For more information about the Wildfire Management Branch:

Besides being a great place to work and one where you can make a difference, we can offer you:

It is what you make of it so why not come to Fort McMurray and make it an investment, a community, a home. Fort McMurray is a dynamic community made up of people from all over the world. With great community facilities, a multitude of amenities, and natural beauty abound, this region offers endless recreational values not to mention a variety of opportunities for you and your loved ones. For more information on Fort McMurray follow the link below:

Do you have a strong background working in wildfire operations and/or prevention? Are you ready for the next step in your wildfire career? If you have a burning desire to take on a leadership role in supervising Wildfire staff and programs this may be the opportunity for you. We are currently looking for a dedicated individual to take on the role of a Wildfire Technologist in our Fort McMurray forest management area.

As a Wildfire Technologist you will be challenged with the operational and/or prevention program delivery in your respective Forest Management Area. You will be accountable for items including, but not limited to, pre-suppression, suppression, prescribed burns, FireSmart, education, compliance, investigations and Area safety programs. Through the supervision of permanent and seasonal staff you will also play a key leadership role which will involve program planning and program monitoring as well as providing training, mentoring and coaching to staff in order to achieve consistent application and effective program results. Another responsibility will be to provide support to the forest management program where you will apply your knowledge and expertise to assist in integrating forestry practices into field operations. Participation on special provincial Incident Command Teams and on provincial task forces, working groups, and committees will be expected and, in addition to this, you will act as the Duty Officer and Deputy Duty Officer on a rotational basis in the Fire Centre.

To learn more about the requirements of the job, click here:


The following competencies are key for success in this position. Please make sure to include how you have demonstrated these competencies in your past work experience in your resume and/or cover letter:

Drive for Results – The main focus of this position is on accountability for the wildfire management program goals that are assigned to you, and to meet or exceed the required performance measures through the effective coordination of resources and stakeholders. Additionally, you will ensure that all operations are conducted safely and efficiently in accordance with all applicable legislation, policy, and procedure.

Creative Problem Solving – You will be responsible for assisting in solving issues by giving the best solution to resolve the problem; problems which can vary from contracts to budget to human resources to uncontrollable events on Incident Management Teams (IMT’s). Participating on IMT’s and as Duty Officers, you will need to make time sensitive decisions and ensure that the appropriate resources, strategies and tactics are utilized.

Develop Self and Others – You will be accountable for ensuring staff are trained and conversant with all Wildfire Management guidelines in order to meet objectives and obtain desired results. Strong leadership skills will allow you to effectively develop team members and inspire them to work towards a common goal.

Build Collaborative Environments – Promoting team effectiveness within both the assigned programs and area operations will ensure delivery of wildfire management programs and resolution to wildfire management issues. Additionally, you will participate on provincial working groups to identify and address common operational issues and develop policy, guidelines, and initiatives.

Develop Networks – Building relationships with both internal and external stakeholders and ensuring that the right stakeholders and agencies are involved are imperative to your success in this position. You will participate on provincial task groups and work with a variety of industry and aboriginal groups, members of the public, emergency services, municipalities, and other staff to resolve issues and strategize on suppression and pre-suppression activities.


As the successful candidate, you will be operating out of an office setting. Travel within the region and throughout the province will be required as part of your responsibilities and you will have frequent contact with Ministry staff and colleagues, other government departments, clients, and external stakeholder’s province-wide.

Salary: $2,450.61 – $3,152.78 bi-weekly ($63,961 – $82,288 annually).
Closing Date: March 29, 2016.
Job ID #1034907

Qualifications: A diploma or degree in Natural Sciences or a related field plus 6 years of related experience in wildfire operations and prevention is required. A valid Class 5 driver’s license and eligibility for registration with the College of Alberta Professional Forest Technologists or College of Alberta Professional Foresters is also required. Supervisory experience will be considered an asset. Please note that candidates with lesser qualifications may be considered at a lower classification and salary.

Please note this competition may be used to fill current and future vacancies at equal or lesser classifications across the Government of Alberta.

Competencies are behaviours that are essential to reach our goals in serving Albertans. We encourage you to have an in depth understanding of the competencies that are required for this opportunity and to be prepared to demonstrate them during the recruitment process. The link below will assist you with understanding competencies:

Online applications are preferred. If you are unable to apply online, please submit your cover letter and resume, quoting the Job ID, to:

Kristen Alward,
Agriculture and Forestry, Human Resources,
J. G. O’ Donoghue Building, Third Floor, Room 304,
7000 – 113 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T6H 5T6

or Fax: (780) 427 3398

Applicants who apply online will be able to track the status of this competition

Note: As only one file can be uploaded, please ensure your cover letter, resume and any other related documents are submitted in one file.

It is recommended that applicants who have obtained educational credentials from outside of Canada and have not had them previously assessed, obtain an evaluation of their credentials from the International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) – It is recommended that applicants include the assessment certificate from IQAS or any other educational assessment service as part of their application

Please see the position description for a detailed list of the job responsibilities:

We thank all applicants for their interest. All applications will be reviewed to determine which candidates’ qualifications most closely match the advertised requirements. Only individuals selected for interviews will be contacted.

Download the complete Job Ad here: 1034907 Wildfire Technologist

National Forest Week 2015

July 20, 2015

NFW2015September 20 – 26, 2015
Theme: Wildfire in Canada- You can make a difference!

The theme of this year’s National Forest Week is “Wildfire in Canada”. This year’s theme recognizes:

  • Wildland fire is a powerful and natural force.
  • Fire has shaped Canada’s forests, prairies and parklands for countless generations.
  • Fire brings healthy renewal to diverse ecosystems, but some fires can have a devestating impact on public safety and property.
  • Use FireSmart principles to help protect your family and property from wildfire damage: play a role in control.
  • #IAMFireSmart

National Tree Day: Wednesday, September 23, 2015