McKenzie Forest Products Inc.
Lac Seul Sustainable Forest License
Audit Coverage SFIS 2005-2009
• During the period May 28 to 31, 2007 QMI conducted a Registration audit of McKenzie Forest
Products Inc. forest management and fiber procurement activities to the Sustainable Forestry
Initiative (SFI) 2005-2009 standard. The audit took three audit-days to complete.
• The Audit Team consisted of Mr. Herb Bax R.P.F., CFA, CEA (SFM), EMS (LA) as Team Leader.
• To verify compliance to Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources forest practices under the Crown
Forest Sustainability Act and conformance to the provincial planning requirements, the Auditor
assessed a variety of operational sites and facilities on the Lac Seul Sustainable Forest License and
procurement activities located in Northwestern Ontario. This entailed interviewing McKenzie Forest
Products staff and foresters, contract logging crews, contractors, and suppliers, as well as observing
the results of harvesting, hauling, road maintenance and construction, and silvicultural activities.
Scope of Registration: The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Program as it applies to the forest management
related activities for the Lac Seul Sustainable Forest License (SFL) and fibre procurement for the McKenzie
Forest Products Inc. mill facility.
The softwood wood harvested from the Lac Seul Forest and the fiber procured from other forests is primarily
directed to the McKenzie Forest Products Inc. sawmill located in Hudson, Ontario. The hardwood is directed
to mills in exchange for conifer fibre. The SFM system is supported by a self-declared ISO 14001
Environmental Management System on the Lac Seul Forest. Mr. Rik Aikman is the Environmental Coordinator
and SFI representative.
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Ecosite (also known as site type) describes a common assemblage of soil depth, soil texture, moisture regime
hydrology, nutrient regime, plant community structure and plant composition. Coarse loamy soils (ecosites 18
to 24) make up the largest proportion (42%) of ecosites on the Lac Seul Forest (foreground of Figure 1).
Where impeded drainage occurs organic soils of relatively low productivity developed (background of Figure
Figure 1. Black spruce site typical of the Lac Seul Forest.
The auditor viewed current harvesting operations at several sites on the Lac Seul Forest. The operators
interviewed were conversant with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the operations viewed met the
requirements of the SFI Standard. Retention of snag trees for cavity trees, denning trees, perching trees,
insectivores feeding habitat etc. was evident on all the sites visited (Figure 2).
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Figure 2: Harvest area in progress during the audit showing retention of snag trees for cavity trees, as well as
“stubbing” of some larger diameter snag trees representative of the stand. The stubbing is to ensure the “stubbed”
trees remain standing for a while rather than being blown down.
Figure 3: Culvert placement on Vermillion Bay Road with pickerel (wall-eye) spawning bed remediation
carried out in photo on right.
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A program of operator awareness and training and compliance monitoring has been implemented on the
forest so that forest operations have a minimum impact on water quality and fisheries habitat. The
auditor viewed several stream crossings and cross drains that were successfully installed in the Lac Seul
Forest Figures 3, 4 and 5).
Figure 4. Culvert placement with grass seeding. Figure 5. Cross drain across road and ditching to avoid ponding.
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The auditor visited both recent and older silvicultural activities (Figure 6) including planting and seeding,
site- preparation and a seed orchard. It was noted that on some sites both jack pine and spruce were
planted to match the species to the site conditions.
Figure 6. Conifer regeneration on the Lac Seul Forest approximately four years after harvest.
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McKenzie Forest Products Inc. has approached slash management by creating “corridors” in the slash piles
which are to be planted (Figure 7) This will reduce the amount of productive land that is lost to slash piles by
planting between the piles of slash. In the past the piles were piled and burnt. These plantings will have to be
monitored to ensure the seedlings are able to survive and grow in between the slash piles. This was
recorded in the audit report as an observation to ensure it is tracked.
Figure 7. Before slash management and after slash was piled, showing the “corridor” where trees are to be planted.
The key featured species to be managed on the Lac Seul Forest are woodland caribou and marten. The
levels in the management plan set for marten and caribou reflect the age class of the current forest and
dictate/determine when habitat becomes used. The woodland caribou is listed as threatened in Ontario by the
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The habitat for this species must be managed on a very large
temporal and spatial scale, often spanning more than one forest management unit over 60 years or more.
Caribou habitat is managed specifically on the Lac Seul Forest through the application of the Forest
Management Guidelines for the Conservation of Woodland Caribou: A Landscape Approach (1999) as well as
the Natural Disturbance Pattern Emulation Guidelines.
Winter and non-winter habitat for the species will decrease slightly between 2006 and 2026 and then remain
relatively constant out to the year 2106 based on the existing forest management plan. Insular and peninsular
patches of forest are flagged and retained to emulate natural disturbance patterns (Figure 8).
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Figure 8: Note pink flagging on a stand boundary.
Figure 9. Sign for the public on Vermillion Bay access road on the Lac Seul Forest..
The McKenzie Forest Products Inc. SFM system is recommended for registration to the SFI 2005-2009
Previous Findings of Non-conformance
McKenzie Forest Products Inc. SFL operations received a pre-assessment audit in April, 2007 which identified
some areas that needed improvement in order to meet the requirements of the SFI standard. These were
satisfactorily addressed before the registration audit in May, 2007.
Key Areas of Non-conformance
No non-conformances were encountered.
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Number of non-
The Audit Team observed the following
positive management practices: Improvement………………..3
Objective 12, Public and Landowner Positive Comments ………2
Involvement in the Practice of
Sustainable Forestry, Performance
Measure 12.3 and 12.4, Indicators 12.3.2 Non-conformances
and 12.4.1: A Forestry Management Plan Major Non-conformance: A
was jointly developed and written by the systemic failure of the
Lac Seul First Nation and Buchanan Program Participant’s SFI
Forest Products (this included the Sioux system to meet an SFI
Lookout staff of McKenzie Forest objective, performance
Products) for the Reserve lands and a measure or indicator.
Community Access Plan to connect all
three Lac Seul Forest all weather roads
was developed. Minor Non-conformance: An
isolated lapse in SFI system
implementation which does
SFIS principles – Responsible not indicate a systemic failure
Practices: A large work effort was to consistently meet an SFI
undertaken to clean up a considerable objective, performance
amount of industrial and public garbage on measure or indicator.
the Lac Seul Forest seen on the pre-
assessment audit. In particular at the All non-conformances require
public access points and truck stops. This an action plan within 60 days.
demonstrates credible socially responsible Major non-conformances
actions and compliance with the must be addressed by the
environmental laws and regulations. Well operation or registration
done. cannot be achieved /
Are isolated observations that
are non-critical to the
achievement / maintenance of
Are features of the SFIS
system that are considered as
enhancements to the
expected level of SFIS
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Key Opportunities for Improvement
• Objective 11 Legal and Regulatory Compliance, Performance Measure 11, Indicator 11.2:
Consider if all the requirements under the Pesticide Act, Regulation 914 are being met (i.e.
Reg. 914, Section 124. Fire Department Notification)
• Objective 11 Legal and Regulatory Compliance, Performance Measure 11, Indicator 11.2:
Consider if contractors are fully familiar and complaint with the applicable legislation and
regulations (e.g. a contractor’s 1000 litre fuel tank needs recertification, antifreeze was stored
in an unmarked container, a portable fuel tank was situated adjacent to ponding in a ditch)
• Objective 10, Training and Education, Performance Measure 10.1, Indicator 3: Consider if all
staff are fully aware and have education and training sufficient to their roles and
responsibilities (i.e. the Silviculture Forester and wood procurement staff are not listed in the
training matrix; staff interviewed were not fully conversant with means to stay up-to-date with
changes in legal requirements – e.g. changes to the threatened and endangered species
categories in the province )
QMI’s Forestry Group registers forest companies to ISO 14001, SFI 2005-2009, and CSA Z809 SFM standards. The QMI Forestry Group consists of
professional foresters and industry experts located in our Cleveland, Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal offices. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for
Gregor Macintosh CF/CFA, EMS (LA)
13799 Commerce Parkway
Richmond, B.C V6V 2N9 tel. 604-244-6800
This report may only be reproduced by the intended client, with the express consent of QMI. Information in this issue is of a general
nature with respect to audit findings and is not intended to be acted upon without appropriate professional advice.
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