GeoWorld July 2012

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BY JOSEPH KAPRON Type: Eastern White Pine Height: 38 meters Type: Austrian Pine Height: 33 meters Type: White Cedar Height: 39 meters Type: Austrian Pine Height: 29 meters No Forest Stands Alone Ontario's Forest Resources Inventory Monitors a Valuable Asset Inventory (FRI) must be created and maintained for any area under forest management. A FRI provides a description of the forest in all areas and provides a snapshot in time of forest conditions. The inventory is created when the area is delineated and classified, based on its geographic features and characteristics, into homogeneous water and land-type polygons, describing the forest conditions for each polygon. Inventories of forest resources have been conducted I in Ontario since the mid-1940s. The existence of a high-quality FRI is integral to the sustainable manage- ment of Ontario's forests. FRI information is used to support numerous forest- management and land-use planning decisions across a range of geographic areas. The geographic areas can vary from small areas (less than a hectare to hundreds of hectares), such as individual forest stands, to very 22 GEO W ORLD / JUL Y 2O12 n the Canadian province of Ontario, the forest sector provides thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to its economy, so a Forest Resources large areas (thousands or millions of hectares), such as forests, management units, mill woodsheds and landscape extents. The quality of forest-management planning decisions can be linked to the quality of infor- mation maintained and updated in the FRI. A Large FRI The current FRI program was initiated in response to recommendations from the Minister's Council on Forest Sector Competitiveness (2005), with the enhanced FRI program being announced in September 2005. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) has full responsibility for the new program, which covers more than half the province—an area the size of France, the largest country in Europe. It includes all lands on which forest-management activities currently are con- ducted as well as lands within the productive area of the province's Far North. All licensed and non-licensed areas, parks and protected areas, and private lands will be inventoried. Resource Management

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