More details emerge on the seed plant closure

November 28, 2017

By: The Working Forest Staff

A recent story on a local CTV News site talks about the pending closure of the Ontario Tree Seed Plant in Angus, Ont. Ken Durst, regional services manager for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry tells CTV the facility is moving out of its industrial plant and will become a native tree seed genetic archive “that’s going to be focused on biodiversity and climate change science.”

The article notes that tree nurseries and the forest industry have concerns about the closure of the seed plant.

Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario, questioned: “How we are going to get through this transition over the short term and how are we going to identify those capacity issues over the long term to make sure we don’t lose the capacity the tree plant has provided for so long?” 

Read the full CTV story here.

Professionals in the forest sector are also expressing concerns over the seed plant shutdown, and have asked the provincial government to put its plans on hold and convene a committee to investigate options to replace the seed plant’s services.

The Algonquin Section of the Canadian Institute of Forestry recently sent a letter outlining its worries to Premier Wynne, Minister Kathryn McGarry, and various other politicians and stakeholders. “What is the government’s strategy to ensure that there will be sufficient supplies of high quality, locally adapted tree seed of native species?” the group asks. The letter says the decision to close the plant “was made without respect for the unique expertise of Seed Plant staff, including their extensive networking that has ensured high quality seed and seed source chain of custody” and “does not recognise that the private sector alone cannot undertake this significant and necessary challenge to ensure the resilience of Ontario’s forests.”

Furthermore, the group says this decision “takes Ontario in a direction opposite to jurisdictions that recognise tree seed processing and banking as an essential social service to help adapt to climate change.”

There is a petition to urge the government to reconsider this decision here.

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