The Algonquin Forestry Association (AFA) held its spring meeting at the Royal Canadian Legion – Branch 406 in Barry’s Bay on May 3. The annual event for AFA contractors and third party operators provides attendees with an opportunity to hear industry speakers, get some training updates and enjoy the chance to mingle over lunch. The AFA also presents its annual Contractor Safety Award, won this year by Mieske Forestry Inc. of Bancroft.
Jeff Leavey, AFA General Manager, opened the session with an overview of the industry in the Park and reviewed year-on-year statistics for sawlogs, pulp and specialty products.
AFA meeting organizers (from left): Steve Bursey, Gord Cumming, Keith Fletcher, Jeff Leavey, Dave Lemkay, Dave Stewart
Keynote speaker this year was Kris Heideman, Vice-President of Lavern Heideman and Sons Ltd. in Eganville. He presented a forest industry outlook that included positive messaging on the benefits of forestry in fighting climate change and creating jobs in the region. He discussed how endangered species legislation and the softwood lumber dispute impact the industry. Heideman outlined significant modernization at the Lavern Heideman and Sons Ltd. sawmill. He forecasted increased demand for timber from the surrounding area. He also took some time to share ideas on how to work together to mitigate some of the rising costs experienced by contractors and third party operators.
From left: Steve Bursey, Nathan Mieske, Keith Fletcher Photo: Submitted
Shown above is Nathan Mieske accepting the Contractor Safety Award from Steve Bursey, AFA Manager of Operations and Keith Fletcher, AFA Area Manager. The 2017-2018 honour was presented to Mieske Forestry Inc. of Bancroft for recording 8,820 person days on the job with no lost time injuries and no medical aids. During 2017-18 overall AFA contractors recorded 23,540 person days with no lost time injuries and only two medical aids.