2006 is a significant milestone in forest history. It marks the 100th anniversary of the first National Forest Convention, convened by the Canadian Forestry Association in 1906 and presided over by Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who also served as Honourary President of the CFA.

The CFA is partnering with other stakeholders to convene the 10th National Forest Congress with the focus on Sustainable Forest Land Management in the Boreal. The Congress will take place September 25-27, 2006 at the Hilton Lac Leamy, in Canada’s National Capital Region.

Canada’s boreal forest is unique in that it contains one-quarter of the world’s forests, and is one of the largest intact forest ecosystems on Earth. The Canadian boreal region provides habitat for wildlife and people, stimulates hundreds of thousands of jobs, and generates billions of dollars to our economy. Naturally, the survival of the boreal depends on the long-term implementation of sustainable, integrated land-use management policies and practices.

It is important that Canadians understand the challenges presented by a multiplicity of interests and values with respect to the boreal region, and that we achieve a balance between conventional thinking and a vision for the future that addresses elements of economic development, ecosystem sustainability, Aboriginal interests, and community and social values.

A mainstay during the planning and development of the program for this boreal summit is to stress the national and international significance of the biome. Goals and objectives for the Congress include demonstrating to Canadians, and to the world, that all stakeholders in the utilization of our natural resources are committed to sustainable forest land management in the boreal.

One of the intended outcomes of this Congress is to obtain a commitment from all sectors to pursue the formation of a cross-sectoral council to examine national and international goals for stewardship and sustainable land management. Thus fulfilling a long-standing mandate to set objectives by consensus, as agreed during the first National Forest Congress in 1906.