Ainsworth conducts harvesting, reforestation and manufacturing operations in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario, Canada.
In BC and Alberta, we manage over 3 million hectares of publicly-owned land, ranging from semi-arid grasslands to Northern Boreal Forest, and are responsible for the management of these lands through long-term, renewable agreements with provincial governments.
At Ainsworth, our forest management practices are based on our commitment to maintaining environmental values while providing for economically and socially responsible sustainable forest management. We manage our forestlands according to the following principles.
- Forest Stewardship
Practice sustainable forest management while balancing environmental, social and economic needs.
- Water and Soil Conservation
Conserve water quality and quantity, and soil productivity through forest practices that minimize soil and water disturbance within required standards and maintain the function of riparian and wetland areas.
- Air Quality
Protect air quality through the careful use of prescribed burning and the control of wildfires to protect the forest resource.
- Biological Diversity
Manage key forest attributes important for ecological and structural diversity through appropriate planning and silvicultural systems.
- Standard Operating Procedures and Auditing
Ensure adherence to all regulations and standards, and conduct regular evaluations to assure performance.
- Wildlife Habitat Management
Enhance, maintain or conserve key habitat in co-operation with Provincial Fish and Wildlife Managers and through appropriate planning and silvicultural systems.
- Visual Landscape Management
Manage visually sensitive areas through harvest design planning and modified harvest methods.
- Public Involvement
Support, participate and encourage active public participation in the review of operational forestry plans and the development of strategic forest management plans.
- Aboriginal Communities
Encourage proactive communication and participation with aboriginal communities in all forest management activities.
- Adaptive Management and Continual Improvement
Adapt forestry practices and planning based upon public input, scientific knowledge and innovation, and demonstrate continual improvement in sustainable forest management.
Standards and Certifications
Our BC Woodlands maintains an Environmental Management System however we are no longer ISO certified.
- 100 Mile House Woodlands operations are Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) certified and holds SFI and PEFC Chain of Custody certification.
- Purchased timber comes from a variety of sources, many of which are ISO 14001, CSA-SFM and SFI certified forests.
- In Grande Prairie, our Woodlands operations are registered. Grande Prairie is now SFI certified as well as SFI and PEFC Chain of Custody certified. Grande Prairie Woodlands maintains an Environmental Management System however they are no longer ISO certified. Grande Prairie no longer carries CSA certification.
- Purchased timber comes from a variety of sources, some of which is CSA-SFM-Z809 certified.
- Our Barwick Woodlands operation is SFI certified and receives CSA-SFM-Z809 certified timber.
- Purchased timber supplies are from a variety of sources, including CSA and SFI certified sources.
- We have contractual arrangements with a Sustainable Forest License holder to provide timber from three publicly-owned forests.
Stewardship Initiatives: BC
Working with forest tenure holders, we developed the Kamloops Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Plan based on Canadian Standards Association (CSA) certification.
Stewardship Initiatives: Alberta
Since we began harvesting on Crown land in 1995, the company has funded an Integrated Resource Management (IRM) program, and contributes $0.25/m3 from volume harvested from Crown lands, which amounts to an annual contribution of approximately $150,000. The IRM fund sponsors research in areas such as wildlife inventories, habitat, ecological management, silviculture and tree improvement. In 2005, the IRM program was recognized by the Emerald Award Foundation and Ainsworth was awarded an Emerald Award in the Large Business Category.
Stewardship Initiatives: Ontario
Since it was purchased in 2005, our Barwick operation has promoted deciduous forest stewardship and Sustainable Forest Management in Northwestern Ontario.
First Nations Initiatives
For many years, the company has employed local First Nations people in its milling and forestry operations, and we seek to expand First Nations participation in the management and economic benefits of the forest industry. We have partnered with the Skeechest’n Band in Sk7ain Ventures Ltd. in Savona, and the Nak’azdli Band in Fort St. James, in Tugus Timber Ltd.
In Grande Prairie Alberta, we have jointly developed, with a number of parties, an Aboriginal Student Job Shadow program with the Aboriginal Workplace Participation Initiative. This program is committed to increasing the participation of aboriginal people in the labor market.