Year In Review

Year in Review – 2016

The Alberta Forest Genetic Resources Council welcomed one new member in 2016 and several other members were reappointed. Dr. Dallas Johnson (Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environmental Solutions) was appointed to Council by Mr. Darren Tapp Executive Director – Forest Management Branch, replacing Dr. Brett Purdy. Drs. Sally John, Phil Comeau, Andreas Hamann and Mr. Dan McCurdy were reappointed to Council.

Throughout 2016, a number of Council members continued their involvement in the review of the Alberta Forest Genetic Resource Management and Conservation Standards (2009), participating on both the Steering Committee and Technical Committee. The Council reviewed a draft of the Standards and endorsed a government led consultation process. Several Council members attended consultation meetings convened in Edmonton and Calgary. In October, the Council unanimously endorsed the revised Standards, which are now approved.

In 2016, the Council prepared a Strategic Plan updating its Mandate, Vision and Mission statements and revised its Goal and Principles. Council members agreed on its strategic priorities for the coming years, stressing the need to focus more time on reviewing forest genetic resource matters brought forward by the Government of Alberta or others. The Strategic Plan will be posted on the website in 2017. As part of its strategic planning efforts, the Council agreed upon Co-chairs for its three Technical Advisory Committees and its Ad hoc Committee on Productivity and Tree Improvement. The Council also undertook a detailed review of its Operating Policy and agreed to several revisions. The revised Operating Policy is posted on the AFGRC website.

The Council received a number of expert presentations during regular sessions in 2016. Dr. Stefan Schreiber, University of Alberta, Department of Renewable Resources, presented a paper on valuation of tree improvement in Alberta. Ms. Jodie Krakowski, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry – Forest Management Branch, presented an overview of the current implementation status of the Alberta Whitebark Recovery Plan (2013-2018) and the Alberta Limber Pine Recovery Plan (2014-2019). Ms. Sharon Meredith, Director, Forest Growth Organization of Western Canada provided an overview of structure and operation for the Forest Growth Organization of Western Canada (FGrOW), which began operation in April 2015.

Council updated the content and format of a its Website in 2016 (Abtreegene.com)

Richard Laing, Chair Alberta Forest Genetic Resources Council 2016