Fire is an important part of boreal forest ecosystems – it drives ecological forest dynamics, and it occurs regularly throughout the boreal forest landscape. But this spring, a forest fire broke out within the city limits of Thunder Bay, Ontario, in Resolute’s Urban Forest. The Urban Forest is a small community forest established by the company on the property of our Thunder Bay pulp and paper mill. It serves as a green space for dog walkers, exercise enthusiasts and others in the neighborhood. For many in Thunder Bay, this fire hit just a little too close to home.
Megan Thompson, a local forester with Resolute, saw the smoke from her office window at the mill. She had invested countless hours over the years planning, planting and nurturing this patch of young, growing forest, and now it was engulfed in flames. She later learned that some of the red pine, jack pine and white spruce trees she had planted had burned.
Once the fire was out and the dust had settled, she immediately refocused on forest regeneration. Joined by Courtney Jackson and David Ulings, our forestry summer interns, and John Lawson, our Silviculture superintendent, Megan replanted over 600 seedlings in the damaged area.
Megan is a familiar face in northwestern Ontario’s forestry community because of her longstanding work supporting Resolute’s silviculture and forest certification programs. Few, however, are aware of the breadth of her experience and expertise. Whether it’s tree improvement, seed collection, seedling production, certification, species-at-risk management or forest research, Megan is up for the challenge. Her extraordinary dedication to her work and passion for good forestry are contagious. Her efforts will ensure Resolute’s Urban Forest remains a natural space for all to enjoy.
Resolute’s Mike Maxfield, registered professional forester, collaborated on this blogpost.