Uncertainties in Forest Management
By Kathy Morrell
“I believe in the forest as a public resource. We at Mistik Management are its steward.
We believe we make a difference, a difference for the better.” -- Roger Nesdoly
Roger Nesdoly is a forestry professional with Mistik Management Ltd., a company that procures wood for two plants (Meadow Lake Mechanical Pulp Limited and NorSask Forest Products Inc.) in the Meadow Lake area and provides woodland management for 1.9 million hectares of boreal forest. The company, dedicated to sustainable use and stewardship, believes it makes a difference. Roger makes a difference.
Nesdoly was born and raised a Saskatchewan farm boy but the high interest rates of the 1980s drove him from agriculture by the age of thirty-four. After a year contemplating his future, he attended university graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and then a Master’s degree in forest soils and aspen nutrition. In 1995, he began a new career with Mistik Management.
In his forestry work, Roger is charged with sustaining the forest for its economic benefits, the jobs and exports that result. He is also responsible for management of the forest in a way that allows those who presently live on the land to continue their way of life. The balance isn’t always easy but Roger says he enjoys the responsibility. Every day he finds variety in the work. Every day he lives out his philosophy, “Yes, I give a damn.”
But forest managers live in world of uncertainty, too.
There is no way Mistik can predict the incidence of fire. In some years, forest fires are few; in others, it seems the North is ablaze. As much as fire allows for forest renewal and resiliency, it can also create uncertainties.
The second uncertainty is climate change or what Roger refers to as climate variability. Some days this winter the thermometer has dropped to below minus forty. The week of this interview the snow was melting. An increase in temperature may push the limit of the boreal further north but the operative word here is “may”. Forest managers don’t know. They live in a world of uncertainty.
Another uncertainty is the increase in carbon dioxide as a result of climate change. If, in the past, it would take one hundred years for a tree to reach a size ready for harvesting, with the increase in CO2, it may only take seventy or eighty years. Again the key word here is “may”. Forest managers really don’t know.
Roger will bring his expertise to the Symposium, but he really doesn’t see himself as lecturer. He wants participation rather than an audience. In other words, he welcomes questions. Come prepared for dialogue and an interesting presentation.
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