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Michel Belleau: Recipient of the Henri-Gustave-Joly-de-Lotbinière Award

Michel Belleau

Resolute Forest Products is proud to congratulate Michel Belleau, the company’s Superintendent of Operation Planning and Forest Inventory in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, who recently garnered the prestigious Henri-Gustave-Joly-de-Lotbinière award from the Quebec order of forest engineers.

The Henri-Gustave-Joly-de-Lotbinière award acknowledges the work of a person who is not a professional forest engineer but has advanced the cause of forestry and enhanced the profession’s reputation. Michel is a trained forest technician.

Michel Belleau in the forestWith his in-depth knowledge of the forest and his ability to articulate it, Michel Belleau has developed expertise that is unanimously acknowledged by the foresters in his community. His contributions to forest inventory, silviculture, environmental monitoring and harvest planning have grown his reputation far beyond the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region.

Candidacy supported throughout Quebec

Michel’s nomination for the award was supported by numerous letters from engineers and scientists across Quebec, all of whom attested to his competence.

“I can’t remember a time when Michel Belleau was not developing, improving or introducing a new technique for work or planning,” said Resolute’s director of sustainable forestry, Marc Bédard, who has worked with Michel for over 28 years.

In the 1990s, Michel developed a forest inventory system that has become a highly valuable source of information, not only for his engineering colleagues, but for scientists as well. He built a lot of additional forest information into the system, which has been extremely useful in research on tree growth conducted by Dr. Jean Bégin of Laval University.

“Instead of simply meeting the regulatory requirements in the Quebec forest inventory standards,” wrote Dr. Bégin in his letter of support, “he developed a database that was analyzed as part of a first Fonds de recherche du Québec Nature et technologies project (FRQNT) and is now being studied in a second project.”

A forerunner

Michel Belleau introduced partial cutting practices before they were documented and widespread, such as the current cutting with protection of small merchantable trees (CPSMT).

“While talking with him, I was impressed to learn that in 1992 he had already conducted partial cutting in operations,” noted Dr. Bégin. “He had thought of it five years before I set up my first CPSMT research projects!”

More recently, Michel Belleau participated in the introduction of laser detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology in forest planning practices, a project that he continues to support. As observed by engineer Philippe Meek, who has worked with Michel several times over the years, “he is one of those foresters who has mud on his boots and knows how to innovate in forest operations”.

Michel Belleau combines his extensive knowledge of the forest with invaluable human qualities. Since 1989, he has voluntarily shared his passion for forestry as the leader of the 8th Scout Group in Roberval−Saint-Prime. If the youngsters he encourages to go into forestry develop a vision of the forest like his, the forest will be in good hands.

To read the Ordre des ingénieurs forestiers article (in French) about Michel Belleau, click on this link.

You can also watch Michel Belleau’s May 2016 workshop on the use of LiDAR technology in the forest industry.

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