Mayor Keith Hobbs, MPP Michael Gravelle and Resolute president and CEO Richard Garneau plant Resolute's billionth tree Friday.
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As a student, Richard Garneau bought a chainsaw and went to work in the forest, harvesting trees, a job now done by machine.
Now as the president and CEO of Resolute Forest Products, Garneau returned to that same block of trees he first helped cut down and noticed those trees are almost ready to be harvested again. Replanting is an important aspect of forest management and it’s something Resolute has been working on for the past 30 years.
Garneau helped plant the company’s billionth tree in Northern Ontario on Neebing Avenue, just down the road from its Thunder Bay site, Friday morning. A one-metre tall white spruce tree was planted here in the city as well as in Fort Frances and Iroquois Falls.
“What we wanted to do was really show that we have done a lot of work on sustainability over the years and the billionth tree doesn’t happen very often,” he said.
With natural disasters like fires, Garneau said replanting is important to help increase the volume of wood that can be harvested.
“I think everything that could be done to increase potential production of the forest is going to benefit the communities all across northeastern and northwestern Ontario,” Garneau said.
It takes about 50 to 60 years for a forest to grow back after it’s been harvested and Resolute does what it feels is appropriate to protect the environment. They plant more than 25 million trees every year.|
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Minister of Natural Resources Michael Gravelle said the replanting effort not only creates jobs, but it also helps to slow down the impacts of climate change.
“The long and short of it is that forest renewal is one of the real pillars of the sustainable forest management in the province of Ontario,” he said. “Resolute has been a remarkable partner in that process. This is an incredibly important component.”
Resolute Forest Products manages about 4.5 million hectares of Crown and private lands in Ontario.
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