The OWA, EOMF announce plans for merger

March 30, 2021

By: The Working Forest Staff

The OWA and the Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF), have agreed to begin a process to merge, with the intent of preserving the programs of the EOMF within a new combined legacy that will also help to reduce administration costs and duplication. Both organizations realized that it is now timely to make these changes, with a wonderful opportunity to optimize our collective value and further improve woodlands stewardship in Ontario. There is no doubt that the merger of our collective products and services will bring benefit to all of our members and Chapters.

The recent retirement of the EOMF’s Jim Hendry, who was in charge of the forest certification program, and the imminent departure of Astrid Nielsen, General Manager of EOMF have contributed to the desire to move forward with this exciting venture. In the interim, the EOMF will not re-staff its General Manager position as our Executive Director John Pineau will take on the role with both organizations. The Certification Coordinator position will be restaffed to support that important program, and a competition is currently underway. This position will report to John moving forward.

Detailed discussions between OWA and EOMF are now underway to determine how we best join forces to our mutual benefit. A transition period of one year to complete the merger has been agreed to by both parties. Martin Streit, Vice President of the EOMF will become part of the OWA board of directors, to represent the interests of the EOMF. Initially, the EOMF will continue with its present board, and over the next year, we will develop an appropriate model of governance that meets the needs of both organizations, and that recognizes the diversity of all of our partners collectively, including the Mohawks of Akwesasne, a founding partner of the EOMF.

The combined efforts, products, and services of the two organizations will create greater value for all of our Chapters and members and contribute significantly to our collective goal to ensure healthy, productive woodlots across Ontario. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to John directly at [email protected].

Yours truly,

Paul Robertson

President

Ontario Woodlot Association

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