Forest Management

Our goals

There are four main goals for forest management in the County Forest:

  • Transform conifer plantations to more natural forest cover through periodic thinning
  • Remove trees with defects or that are in decline
  • Further develop a healthy forest based on the re-seeding of good genetic stock
  • Promote rare or uncommon habitats and specific plants found beneath the forest canopy

Forest Management Plan 2021-2041

Northumberland County has developed a Northumberland County Forest Mangement Plan to guide the sustainable management of the County Forest over the next twenty years.

This high-level plan identifies strategies and long-term goals to strengthen recreation opportunities in the Forest, while ensuring strong natural and cultural heritage conservation practices designed to preserve this community asset for future generations. 

The plan incorporates feedback gathered over four years of public consultations with residents, forest user groups, First Nations communities, local municipal councils, advisory committees and stakeholders, which took place from 2018 to 2021.

View the Forest Management Plan

Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification

We have achieved Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification (FSC® C018800) through the Eastern Ontario Model Forest's Forest Certification Program.

The FSC® is an international, membership-based, non-profit organization that supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests.

As part of FSC® standards, we prepare a High Conservation Values Report. Please contact us for a copy of the High Conservation Values Report. For more information on Northumberland County Forest management activities and planning, including information on Environmental and Social Risk Assessments for pesticide use, please contact us. To learn more about FSC Certification, please see the Eastern Ontario Model Forest's Forest Certification Program website.

Timber harvesting

We manage our timber resources in five-year cycles. Prior to timber harvesting, a Registered Professional Forester writes a prescription for each forest compartment. Certified tree markers then mark the timber based on the Forester's prescription.

The prescription outlines:

  • Where timber harvesting will take place
  • What the objectives of the harvest are
  • What harvest method will be used
  • What the desired state is
  • Any other considerations

Prescribed burns

One of the best ways to help restore unique woodland and savannah habitats is through a prescribed burn. A prescribed burn is a deliberately set fire, done by highly trained professionals under very strict weather and environmental conditions. The goal is to restore the health of the ecosystem.

Prescribed burns also help ecosystems by:

  • clearing forested areas for planting
  • removing invasive plants that out compete native species
  • removing thick undergrowth, allowing sunlight to reach the ground
  • help control pests and diseases
  • reduce wildfire risk

We want to hear from you

If you know of any locations of natural or cultural heritage significance within the County Forest, please contact us to let us know.