The Canadian Woodlands Forum through it’s High Performance Logging (HPL) program continued to improve the health and viability of the forestry supply chain through a series of active projects delivered throughout 2023. High Performance Logging (HPL) is an initiative of the Canadian Woodlands Forum and BioApplied™, aimed at providing solutions for improving operational efficiency and business performance in today’s forestry operations.
The program recruits, develops and is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions as new forestry equipment operators. Following a comprehensive application and evaluation process, successful students are selected by forestry contractors and participate in three key phases over the course of the 25-week program. This includes an in-class and actual ‘seat-time’ component delivered by our program partners from NBCC – Miramichi, followed by advanced ‘on-the-job’ coaching and training provided through Forest Liaison Inc.
The NB program was launched in July with nine eligible students selected to go through the training program to be employed in the sector as a forestry equipment operator. The program was funded in part through the NB Dept. of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour and industry. Thank you to the management team partnership including CWF, Bioapplied Innovations Pathways, NBCC-Miramichi, Forest NB, JD Irving, Limited, Interfor and A.L.P.A Equipment.
As part of the New Brunswick workforce development initiative, the ‘advanced-level’ Forestry Equipment Operator Training program (AMOT) began in December 2023.
The AMOT program is designed to improve the skills and efficiency of existing forestry equipment operators & help logging contractors manage today’s challenging business conditions.
Program delivery is through a combination of in-class sessions to cover foundational information and in-field training that provides ‘hands-on’ instruction. Through the in-field component, expert coaches will work one-on-one, on-site with the contractors, operators and staff to identify opportunities, share BMP’s and provide coaching.
The first cohort of 10 contractors are engaged in the program. Funding is provided in part by the NB Dept. of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, and Industry Partners.
The ongoing “Sim-Pro-View” program continues to gain traction and active participation from forestry contractors and forest product companies, showcasing its effectiveness in meeting industry-specific needs. Approximately 10-12 assessments were conducted in 2023, independent from the FEOT program. Initially developed as part of the NS forestry machine operator training program, SimProView has evolved into a stand-alone screening process tailored to the unique challenges faced by forestry contractors in recruiting suitable machine operators. This service utilizes a harvest simulator and a customized behavioral assessment to provide the forest industry and contractors with more accurate information. “Sim-Pro-View” supports contractors in their hiring process, helping them identify candidates who best fit the job profile.
Implementation and Ecological Contractor Training
The implementation of Ecological Forestry on Nova Scotia Crown Lands ushered in a new era with the introduction of the Silvicultural Guide for the Ecological Matrix (SGEM). This guide delineates appropriate silvicultural methods for the ecological matrix within the triad, where “conservation and production objectives are both applicable and combined” (Lahey, 2018).
Under the umbrella of this new management guide, the imperative arose to cultivate and enhance capacity within the private sector for the successful execution of the new forest policy objectives. To fortify the skill sets and equip forestry contractors to meet the ecological treatments outlined in the SGEM, the Ecological Forestry Contractor Training Program emerged. This program aimed to provide harvesting contractors and their machine operators with the requisite training for effectively implementing ecological harvest prescriptions as outlined in the Silvicultural Guide for the Ecological Matrix.
The program’s delivery adopted a workshop format, leveraging its ‘interactive’ nature to draw on the experience and knowledge of contractors and operators. A morning session focused on the Basic Fundamentals of Ecological Forestry & Biodiversity Values, and the operational requirements for successfully executing the prescriptions.
In 2023, over 48 contractors, along with 116 operators have participated in workshops with ongoing demand for additional workshops and on-the-job coaching.
In collaboration with the Fundy Model Forest and SNB Forest Product Marketing Board, a comprehensive initiative engaged over 30 participants including private land contractors and landowners. The primary goal was to enhance the efficiency and techniques of current operators, fostering the development of skills and capacity in executing partial harvest prescriptions. The program encompassed standard stand tending and regeneration prescriptions, including commercial thinning and uniform shelterwood practices. Additionally, it delved into operational considerations, audit outcomes, and introduced biodiversity and ecological aspects through the implementation of irregular-type shelterwood prescriptions As well as managing watercourse and wetland buffers.
This multifaceted program employed a dual approach, combining in-class sessions to impart foundational knowledge with hands-on, in-field training for practical instruction.”