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FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN for the ABITIBI RIVER FOREST Cochrane District, Timmins District and Kirkland Lake

District First Resource Management Group Inc. for the 10-year period from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2022 I hereby certify that I have prepared this forest management plan, including the silvicultural ground rules, to the best of my professional skill and judgment with the assistance of an interdisciplinary planning team in accordance with the requirements of the Forest Management Planning Manual and Forest Information Manual.

Paul Fantin, R.P.F., Plan Author

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Allan Foley, R.P.F., General Manager

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I recommend that this forest management plan be approved for implementation and certify that it has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Forest Management Planning Manual, the Forest Information Manual, and relevant policies and obligations (including any relevant MNR agreements with the Aboriginal peoples). I also certify that the forest management plan has been prepared using the applicable forest management guides. In this forest management plan, prescriptions that differ from specific direction or recommendations in the applicable forest management guides are identified in the attached List of Exceptions. Certified and Recommended for Approval by:

______________________________ Martha Heidenheim A/ District Manager Cochrane District Ministry of Natural Resources

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______________________________ Corrine Nelson R.P.F. A/District Manager Timmins District Ministry of Natural Resources

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______________________________ Corrinne Nelson R.P.F. District Manager Kirkland Lake District Ministry of Natural Resources

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Approved by:

Ginette Brindle Regional Director, Northeast Region

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Forest Information Portal Submission Identifier

Original Certification & Approval page for the Forest Management Plan is on file at the Company office, at the Ministry of Natural Resources Cochrane District office & the Northeast Regional Offices.

For Sections of the Forest Management Plan not Prepared by the Plan Author FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN for the ABITIBI RIVER FOREST Cochrane District, Timmins District and Kirkland Lake District First Resource Management Group Inc. for the 10-year period from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2022 I hereby certify that I have prepared the sections of the forest management plan as indicated, to the best of my professional skill and judgment, in accordance with the requirements of the Forest Management Planning Manual.

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FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN for the ABITIBI RIVER FOREST Cochrane District, Timmins District and Kirkland Lake District First Resource Management Group Inc. for the 10-year period from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2022 All silvicultural treatments in the silvicultural ground rules which are exceptions to the recommendations in the silvicultural guides, and all operational prescriptions for areas of concern which are exceptions to the specific direction or recommendations (standards and guidelines) in the applicable forest management guides, are provided in this list of exceptions. The specific section of the forest management plan that provides documentation of the exception is also referenced in this list.

Description of Exception

Specific Section of Plan

FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN for the ABITIBI RIVER FOREST Cochrane District, Timmins District and Kirkland Lake District First Resource Management Group Inc. for the 10-year period from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2022 PLANNING TEAM MEMBERS Paul Fantin, R.P.F. Plan Author First Resource Management Group Inc. Bree Andrews, R.P.F. Planning Forester First Resource Management Group Inc. Cory Wiseman, R.P.F. Area Forester/Crown Forester, OMNR Kirk Springett Plan Coordinator, Chair OMNR. Laurie Nuhn, R.P.F. Planning Forester First Resource Management Group Inc. Mick Gauthier Area Biologist/Fish and Wildlife, OMNR

Larry Clarke Nikki Wood, R.P.F. Resource Liaison/First Nations Liason, OMNR Area Forester/Crown Forester, OMNR Bill Van Schip, R.P.F. Area Forester/Crown Forester, OMNR Tom Monahan LCC Representative, Kirkland Lake James Naveau Aboriginal Community Representative, Mattagami Chris Sackaney (Alternate Joel Babin) Aboriginal Community Representative, Wahgoshig Sue Perras LCC Representative, Cochrane Kees Stryland LCC Representative, Timmins Steve Landriault Aboriginal Community Representative, Beaverhouse Peter Archibald Aboriginal Community Representative, Taykwa Tagamou Chief Alex Batisse Aboriginal Community Representative, Matachewan

Aboriginal Community Representative, Moose Cree Aboriginal Community Representative, Flying Post

STEERING COMMITTEE Martha Heidenheim A/ MNR Cochrane District Manager Co-Chair Allan Foley First Resource Management Group General Manager, Co-Chair

Randy Pickering MNR Timmins District Manager Grant Richie MNR Manager Northeast Region Planning Unit Sylvain Levesque Abitibi River Forest Management Inc. Board of Directors Representative

Corrinne Nelson MNR Kirkland Lake District Manager Rob Tomchick Abitibi River Forest Management Inc. Board of Directors Representative

PLANNING TEAM ADVISORS First Resource Management Group Jamie Andrews GIS Specialist Wayne Pawson Resource Program Coordinator Cochrane District MNR Doug MacMillan Fire Operation Supervisor Rob Owens District GIS Officer Rene Aubin A/ Senior Technical Specialist Kirk Springett Area Supervisor Kirkland Lake District MNR Lisa McShane Area Biologist Bill Johnson Senior Technical Specialist Timmins District MNR Glen McFarlane Area Supervisor Jason Postma Resource Liaison Officer Mac Kilgour Area Forester

Claude Thibeault Operations Program Manager Yves Vivier Forest Program Manager

Dan McKnight Enforcement Supervisor Denis Clement Planning and Information Management Supervisor Stephen Foley Area Forester

Bertha Cormier Resource Liaison Officer

Derrick Romain Area Biologist Todd Copeland A/ Planning and Information Biologist Robert Fournier Information Officer

Steve James Senior Forestry Specialist Justin Standeven Planner TBD Lands and Water Specialist MNR Regional/Provincial Steve Osawa/Sandra Dosser Regional Forest Resources Supervisor Rodger Leith/Vacant Regional Planning Analyst Larry Ferguson Regional Planning Biologist Ken Lennon Forest Productivity Specialist Mike Malek Regional Resource Analyst Nicole Galambos Fire, Science and Planning Specialist John Stephens Provincial Planning Economist Park Advisors Ed Morris Ontario Parks Planner/Zone Ecologist Ministry of Citizenship and Culture Andrew Hinshelwood Regional Archaeologist

Bill Keegan Aggregates Technician TBD Resource Technician

Mark Austin Forest Management Planning Specialist Andrew MacLean A/Regional Program Specialist Kelly Pike A/ Resource Management Planner Lauren McDonald Species at Risk Biologist Renee Carriere/Vacant Cultural Heritage Specialist Heather Farrar Forest Industry Liason

Nancy Daigle Parks Superintendent

LOCAL CITIZENS COMMITTEE MEMBERS Cochrane Mark Jones, Chair Remote Based Tourism Gino Scichilone Forestry Sector Gilbert Fournier Municipality of Iroquois Falls

Sue Parton, Vice Chair General Public Robert Hutchinson Municipality of Cochrane Sue Perras Municipality of Smooth Rock Falls

Daniel Alie Economic Development, Smooth Rock Falls

Richard Poulin Trapper

The Cochrane LCC is in agreement with the final Abitibi River Forest 2012-2022 Forest Management Plan. Kirkland Lake Bruce Jewitt, Chair General Public, South Half Reg Brand Anglers and Hunters Steve Landriault Beaverhouse Aboriginal Community Tammy Mazzetti Industry Bill Smith Naturalist Dave Allen Anglers and Hunters (Alternate)

Tom Monahan General Public, North Half Tom Woollings Business Bruce Wilkins Tourism Paula Mangotich Municipalities Glenn Harman Trapper

Timmins Bill Russell Chair Bob Bielek Chamber of Commerce Andre Chartrand Trapper Barry Edwards Hunters and Anglers Ron Johnson Cottager Marc Lapalme Snowmobile Club Jenny Millson Small Forest Industry Allan Moyle General Public

Gail Krawchuk Secretary Rob Calhoun Mineral Sector Marcel Cook Cottager Rusty Fink General Public Mark Joron Naturalists Chris McKay Mattagami First Nation Lino Morandin Large Forest Industry James Naveau Mattagami First Nation

Kees Pols Mattagami Region Conservation

Pamela Reid Mineral Sector

Dave Stringer Small Independent Logger Scott Tam Municipality

Kees Stryland General Public Stephanie Thibeault Mineral Sector

PLAN REVIEWERS First Resource Management Group Claude Thibeault Operations Program Manager Wayne Pawson Forest Program Coordinator Mike Werner GIS Specialist Cochrane District MNR Chris Chenier Area Biologist Rene Aubin AA/ Senior Technical Specialist Carole Boucher Area Technician Stephen Foley Area Forester Derrick Seim Aggregates Technician Greg Clark A/Enforcement Supervisor Kirkland Lake District MNR Lisa McShane Area Biologist Bertha Cormier Resource Liaison Officer Bill Van Schip Area Forester

Yves Vivier Forest Program Manager Brenda Jenings Information Management Coordinator

Lindsay Law Senior Technical Specialist Marc Boucher A/ Lands and Water Technical Specialist Kerry Bickerstaff Area Technician Rob Owens GIS Specialist Robin Stewart District Planner Doug MacMillan Fire Management Supervisor

Bill Johnson Senior Technical Specialist Dave Cowan Fire Operations Supervisor Ivan Cragg Lands and Waters Technical Specialist

Timmins District MNR Derrick Romain Area Biologist Todd Copeland Planning Biologist Justin Standeven District Planner Steve James Senior Technical Specialist Robert Fournier Information Officer Bill Keegan Aggregate Technician Northeast Region MNR Mark Austin Forest Management Planning Specialist Rodger Leith Regional Resource Analyst Dean Cederwall Forest Industry Liaison Officer Nicole Galambos Fire, Science and Planning Specialist Renee Carriere Cultural Heritage Specialist Ken Lennon Forest Productivity Specialist

Mac Kilgour Area Forester Jason Postma Area Resource Liaison Officer TBD Resource Technician TBD Lands and Waters Technical Specialist Eldon Springer GIS Officer Murray Haase Area Fire Operations Supervisor

Nancy Daigle Parks Superintendent Steve Osawa Forest Resources Supervisor Kelly Pike A/ Resource Management Planner Larry Ferguson Regional Planning Biologist Mike Malek Regional Analyst Information Specialist

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLES ........................................................................................................................................................4 FIGURES ......................................................................................................................................................5 1.0 INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................... 12

2.0 MANAGEMENT UNIT DESCRIPTION............................................................................................. 14 2.1 Forest Description .................................................................................................................................. 14 2.1.1 Current Forest Condition................................................................................................................. 14 2.1.2 Forest Classification ........................................................................................................................ 16 2.1.2.3 Management Zones .................................................................................................................. 37 2.1.2.4 Other Forest Classifications ..................................................................................................... 40 2.1.3 Forest Resources ............................................................................................................................. 41 2.1.3.2 Fish and Wildlife Inventories ................................................................................................... 47 2.2 Social and Economic Description .......................................................................................................... 67 2.2.1 Overview of Social and Economic Context .................................................................................... 67 2.2.2 Summary of Demographic Profiles ................................................................................................. 68 2.2.3 Industrial and Non-Industrial Uses of the Forest ............................................................................ 76 2.3 Aboriginal Background Information Report .......................................................................................... 89 3.0 DEVELOPMENT OF THE LONG TERM MANAGEMENT DIRECTION ...................................... 91 3.1 Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 91 3.2 Management Considerations .................................................................................................................. 91 3.2.1 Aboriginal Interests ......................................................................................................................... 92 3.2.2 Current and Forecast Economic Conditions.................................................................................... 93 3.2.3 Age Class Structure ......................................................................................................................... 93 3.2.4 Existing and Future Access Planning .............................................................................................. 94 3.2.5 Timing of Forest Management Operations ..................................................................................... 95 3.2.6 Species at Risk and Associated Habitat Regulation ........................................................................ 96 3.2.7 Caribou Conservation Plan ............................................................................................................. 96 3.3 Base Model ............................................................................................................................................ 97 3.4 Desired Forest and Benefits ................................................................................................................... 98 3.5 Objectives and Indicators ....................................................................................................................... 99 3.6 Long-Term Management Direction ..................................................................................................... 113 3.6.1 Available Harvest Area ................................................................................................................. 128 3.6.2 Selection of Areas for Harvest ...................................................................................................... 135 3.6.2.1 Harvest Area Selection Compared to the Strategic Model..................................................... 138 3.6.2.2. Harvest Area Selection within the Dynamic Caribou Habitat Schedule ............................... 155 3.6.3 Assessment of Objective Achievement ......................................................................................... 158 1

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 3.6.4 Social and Economic Assessment ................................................................................................. 195 4.0 PLANNED OPERATIONS ................................................................................................................ 211 4.1 Introduction .......................................................................................................................................... 211 4.2 Prescriptions for Operations ................................................................................................................. 211 4.2.1 Operational Prescriptions for Areas of Concern ........................................................................... 212 4.2.1.1 Operational Prescription for Areas of Concern Information Products ................................... 213 4.2.2 Prescriptions for Harvest, Renewal and Tending Areas................................................................ 213 4.2.2.1 Silvicultural Ground Rules ..................................................................................................... 213 4.2.2.2. Conditions on Regular Operations ........................................................................................ 218 4.2.2.3. Silvicultural Treatments of Special Public Interest ............................................................... 219 4.3 Harvest Operations ............................................................................................................................... 222 4.3.1 Harvest Areas ................................................................................................................................ 222 4.3.2 Surplus Harvest Areas ................................................................................................................... 227 4.3.3 Completion of On-going Harvest Operations from Previous Plan................................................ 228 4.3.4 Planned Clearcuts .......................................................................................................................... 228 4.3.5 Harvest Volume ............................................................................................................................ 229 4.3.6. Wood Utilization .......................................................................................................................... 232 4.3.7. Salvage ......................................................................................................................................... 234 4.3.8. Contingency Area and Volume .................................................................................................... 234 4.4 Renewal and Tending Operations ........................................................................................................ 235 4.4.1 Renewal and Tending Areas ......................................................................................................... 235 4.4.2. Renewal and Tending Information Products ................................................................................ 239 4.5. Roads ................................................................................................................................................... 240 4.5.1. Primary and Branch Roads........................................................................................................... 240 4.5.2. Operational Roads ........................................................................................................................ 241 4.5.3. Area of Concern Crossings Primary and Branch Roads ........................................................... 242 4.5.4. Area of Concern Crossings Operational Roads......................................................................... 243 4.5.5. Existing Roads ............................................................................................................................. 243 4.5.6. Forestry Aggregate Pits ................................................................................................................ 249 4.6 Expenditures......................................................................................................................................... 249 4.7 Monitoring and Assessment ........................................................................................................... 250

4.7.1 Forest Operations Inspections ....................................................................................................... 250 4.7.1.1 Compliance Goal .................................................................................................................... 250 4.7.1.2 Background ............................................................................................................................ 250 4.7.1.3 Past and Present Compliance Problems ................................................................................. 251 4.7.1.4 Anticipated Challenges .......................................................................................................... 252 2

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 4.7.1.5 Compliance Objectives .......................................................................................................... 253 4.7.1.6 Strategies and Actions ............................................................................................................ 255 4.7.1.7 Roles and Responsibilities ..................................................................................................... 261 4.7.1.8 Notification of the Status of an Operation.............................................................................. 263 4.7.1.9 Prevention, Avoidance and Mitigation................................................................................... 264 4.7.1.10 Compliance Reporting Area(s)............................................................................................. 265 4.7.1.11 Monitoring Compliance of Forest Operations...................................................................... 265 4.7.2 Exceptions ..................................................................................................................................... 266 4.7.3 Assessment of Regeneration Success ............................................................................................ 266 4.7.4 Roads and Water Crossings .......................................................................................................... 267 4.8. Fire Prevention and Preparedness ....................................................................................................... 268 4.8.1. Promoting Fire Prevention and Fire Prevention Efforts during Periods of High Fire Danger on the Abitibi River Forest................................................................................................................................ 268 4.8.1.1. Promoting Fire Prevention on the Abitibi River Forest ........................................................ 268 4.8.1.2. Communication ..................................................................................................................... 269 4.8.1.3. Equipment Standards ............................................................................................................ 270 4.8.1.4. Inspections............................................................................................................................. 270 4.8.1.5. Monitoring Compliance with the Forest Fires Prevention Act ............................................. 270 4.8.1.6. Fire Prevention Efforts during Periods of High Fire Danger ................................................ 271 4.8.2. Forest Workers Awareness of Fire Prevention Plans and Initiatives ........................................... 272 4.8.2.1. Forest Workers Fire Suppression Training Initiatives .......................................................... 272 4.9. Comparison of Proposed Operations to the Long-Term Management Direction ............................... 273 5.0 DETERMINATION OF SUSTAINABILITY .................................................................................... 304 6.0 DOCUMENTATION .......................................................................................................................... 308 6.1. Supplementary Documentation ........................................................................................................... 308 6.2. Other Documentation .......................................................................................................................... 310 7.0 FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN SUMMARY ............................................................................... 311 8.0 PLANNED OPERATIONS FOR THE SECOND FIVE YEAR TERM ............................................ 312 9.0 FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN TABLES ..................................................................................... 313

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TABLES
Table 1. Forest unit comparison between the 2012 ARF FMP, the 2010 ARF contingency FMP and the Northeast Region Standardized Forest Units..................................................................................................................................... 21 Table 2. Parks and Protected Areas Within or Adjacent to the Abitibi River Forest ........................................................ 60 Table 3. Wood Supply Commitments by forest management unit recognised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and maintained as part of the Co-operative SFL Shareholder Agreement ............................................................................... 77 Table 4. Description of Main Wood Processing Facilities that Receive Timber from the Abitibi River Forest (source: OMNR eFAR reports for 2011). ....................................................................................................................................... 79 Table 5. Volume received by destination mills from the Abitibi River Forest for the 5 year period April 1, 2005 to April 1, 2010. ............................................................................................................................................................................. 80 Table 6. Crown revenues generated through the Abitibi River Forest during 2005-10 .................................................... 84 Table 7. Parks and Protected Areas Located In or Adjacent to the Abitibi River Forest. ................................................. 85 Table 8. Aggregate production for the years 2006-2009.................................................................................................. 89 Table 9. Comparison of Draft and Final levels of age class substitution ........................................................................ 139 Table 10. Summary of the Projected Annual Available Harvest Area by Forest Unit and Term ................................... 193 Table 11. SEIM results using the 2010 and 2012 FMP forecasts, compared with the ten year average volumes........... 202 Table 12. Forecast silviculture expenditures of the LTMD ............................................................................................ 205 Table 13. Preferred Silvicultural Ground Rules .............................................................................................................. 214 Table 14. Summary of the forecasted harvest area by strategic management zone and forest unit. ............................... 227 Table 15. Summary of the forecasted harvest area by strategic management zone and forest unit. ............................... 233 Table 16. Estimate of outstanding silvicultural work for the Abitibi River Forest as of April 2012 .............................. 236 Table 17. Comparison of the weighted average species composition between the proposed allocations and total eligible area. ................................................................................................................................................................................. 287 Table 18. Comparison of the weighted average age between the proposed allocations and total eligible area. ............. 288 Table 19. Comparison of the weighted average stocking between the proposed allocations and total eligible area....... 289 Table 20. Comparison of the weighted average site class between the proposed allocations and total eligible area. ..... 289 Table 21. Projections of the Renewal Program (in hectares) for the LTMD .................................................................. 301 Table 22. Projections of the Renewal Program (in hectares) for the Proposed Operations ............................................ 301 Table 23. Comparison of the Overall Renewal Program (in hectares) between the LTMD and the Proposed Operations ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 302

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FIGURES
Figure 1. Index to Environmental Assessment Components of the Forest Management Plan .......................................... 10 Figure 2. The Abitibi River Forest relative to the Northeast Administrative Region and Cochrane, Kirkland Lake and Timmins Administrative Districts ...................................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. Figure 3. Management Unit Land Summary of Crown Managed Forest on the Abitibi River Forest .............................. 15 Figure 4. Management Unit Land Summary of Other Crown Forest on the Abitibi River Forest .................................... 15 Figure 5. Management Unit Land Summary of all Crown Land Forest on the Abitibi River Forest ................................ 16 Figure 6. Summary of the Productive Forest for the BOG Forest Unit............................................................................. 22 Figure 7. Summary of the Productive Forest for the BW1 Forest Unit............................................................................. 23 Figure 8. Summary of the Productive Forest for the LC1 Forest Unit .............................................................................. 23 Figure 9. Summary of the Productive Forest for the MWD Forest Unit ........................................................................... 24 Figure 10. Summary of the Productive Forest for the OH1 Forest Unit ........................................................................... 25 Figure 11. Summary of the Productive Forest for the PJ1 Forest Unit ............................................................................. 25 Figure 12. Summary of the Productive Forest for the PJ2 Forest Unit ............................................................................. 26 Figure 13. Summary of the Productive Forest for the PO1 Forest Unit ............................................................................ 27 Figure 14. Summary of the Productive Forest for the PO3 Forest Unit ............................................................................ 27 Figure 15. Summary of the Productive Forest for the PRW Forest Unit .......................................................................... 28 Figure 16. Summary of the Productive Forest for the SB1 Forest Unit ............................................................................ 28 Figure 17. Summary of the Productive Forest for the SB3 Forest Unit ............................................................................ 29 Figure 18. Summary of the Productive Forest for the SF1 Forest Unit............................................................................. 30 Figure 19. Summary of the Productive Forest for the SP1 Forest Unit............................................................................. 30 Figure 20. Total age class distribution for all forest units on the Abitibi River Forest ..................................................... 31 Figure 21. Example of Plan Start values compared to the SRNV, IQR and Median values resulting from the Boreal Forest Landscape Disturbance Simulator (BFOLDS) tool................................................................................................ 33 Figure 22. Comparison of desirable level and plan start (2012) and plan end (2022) achievement levels of the frequency of young forest patch size ................................................................................................................................................. 34 Figure 23. Comparison of desirable level and plan start (2012) levels of the proportion of the total area in mature and older forest for the 500 ha signature ................................................................................................................................. 35 Figure 24. Comparison of desirable level and plan start (2012) levels of the proportion of the total area in mature and older forest for the 5000 ha signature ............................................................................................................................... 35 Figure 25. Natural disturbance template ........................................................................................................................... 36 Figure 26. Map showing the ecoregions on the Abitibi River Forest................................................................................ 38 Figure 27. Map showing strategic management zones on the Abitibi River Forest .......................................................... 39 Figure 28. Map showing the Abitibi River Forest and it's associated communities.......................................................... 69 Figure 29. Current age class distribution of Crown Managed Productive Forest for the Abitibi River Forest ................. 94 Figure 30. Total BW1 crown productive forest area projection ...................................................................................... 115 Figure 31. Total PO1 crown productive forest area projection ....................................................................................... 116 Figure 32. Total PO3 crown productive forest area projection ....................................................................................... 116 Figure 33. Total MWD crown productive forest area projection .................................................................................... 117 Figure 34. Total OH1 crown productive forest area projection ...................................................................................... 118 Figure 35. Total PJ1 crown productive forest area projection ........................................................................................ 118 Figure 36. Total PJ2 crown productive forest area projection ........................................................................................ 119 Figure 37. Total PRW crown productive forest area projection ..................................................................................... 119 Figure 38. Total SB1 crown productive forest area projection ....................................................................................... 120 Figure 39. Total SB3 crown productive forest area projection ....................................................................................... 120 Figure 40. Total SP1 crown productive forest area projection ........................................................................................ 121 Figure 41. Total SF1 crown productive forest area projection ........................................................................................ 121 Figure 42. Total BOG crown productive forest area projection ...................................................................................... 122 Figure 43. Total LC1 crown productive forest area projection ....................................................................................... 122 Figure 44. Projected habitat for selected and featured species ........................................................................................ 124 Figure 45. Total projected available harvest volumes (all species groups combined) .................................................... 125 Figure 46. SPF projected available harvest volumes ...................................................................................................... 126

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Figure 47. Poplar projected available harvest volumes ................................................................................................... 126 Figure 48. White birch projected available harvest volumes .......................................................................................... 127 Figure 49. White and red pine projected available harvest volumes ............................................................................... 128 Figure 50. Total projected available harvest area for the HWD grouping. ..................................................................... 129 Figure 51. Total projected available harvest area for the LC1 grouping. ........................................................................ 130 Figure 52. Total projected available harvest area for the MWD grouping...................................................................... 131 Figure 53. Total projected available harvest area for the PJ1 grouping. ......................................................................... 132 Figure 54. Total projected available harvest area for the SF1 grouping. ........................................................................ 133 Figure 55. Total projected available harvest area for the SP1 grouping. ........................................................................ 134 Figure 56. Total projected available harvest area for the SB1/3 grouping. ..................................................................... 135 Figure 57. Planned area and forecast area for the BW1 forest unit in A blocks ............................................................. 141 Figure 58. Planned area and forecast area for the LC1 forest unit in A blocks ............................................................... 141 Figure 59. Planned area and forecast area for the MWD forest unit in A blocks ............................................................ 142 Figure 60. Planned area and forecast area for the PJ1 forest unit in A blocks ................................................................ 142 Figure 61. Planned area and forecast area for the PJ2 forest unit in A blocks ................................................................ 143 Figure 62. Planned area and forecast area for the PO1 forest unit in A blocks ............................................................... 143 Figure 63. Planned area and forecast area for the PO3 forest unit in A blocks ............................................................... 144 Figure 64. Planned area and forecast area for the SB1 and SB3 forest units (combined) in A blocks. ........................... 144 Figure 65. Planned area and forecast area for the SF1 forest unit in A blocks ............................................................... 145 Figure 66. Planned area and forecast area for the SP1 forest unit in A blocks ............................................................... 145 Figure 67. Planned area and forecast area for the BW1 forest unit in Z blocks .............................................................. 146 Figure 68. Planned area and forecast area for the LC1 forest unit in Z blocks ............................................................... 146 Figure 69. Planned area and forecast area for the MWD forest unit in Z blocks ............................................................ 147 Figure 70. Planned area and forecast area for the PJ1 forest unit in Z blocks................................................................. 147 Figure 71. Planned area and forecast area for the PJ2 forest unit in Z blocks................................................................. 148 Figure 72. Planned area and forecast area for the PO1 forest unit in Z blocks ............................................................... 148 Figure 73. Planned area and forecast area for the PO3 forest unit in Z blocks ............................................................... 149 Figure 74. Planned area and forecast area for the SB1 forest unit in Z blocks ............................................................... 149 Figure 75. Planned area and forecast area for the SF1 forest unit in Z blocks ................................................................ 150 Figure 76. Planned area and forecast area for the SP1 forest unit in Z blocks ................................................................ 150 Figure 77. Planned area and forecast area for the BW1 forest unit in the South SMZ ................................................... 151 Figure 78. Planned area and forecast area for the MWD forest unit in the South SMZ.................................................. 151 Figure 79. Planned area and forecast area for the PJ1 forest unit in the South SMZ ...................................................... 152 Figure 80. Planned area and forecast area for the PJ2 forest unit in the South SMZ ...................................................... 152 Figure 81. Planned area and forecast area for the PO1 forest unit in the South SMZ ..................................................... 153 Figure 82. Planned area and forecast area for the PO3 forest unit in the South SMZ ..................................................... 153 Figure 83. Planned area and forecast area for the SB1 forest unit in the South SMZ ..................................................... 154 Figure 84. Planned area and forecast area for the SF1 forest unit in the South SMZ ..................................................... 154 Figure 85. Planned area and forecast area for the SP1 forest unit in the South SMZ ..................................................... 155 Figure 86. Comparison of disturbance size and frequency between plan start (2012) and plan end (2022) to the natural disturbance template ....................................................................................................................................................... 160 Figure 87. Comparison of the achievement of the frequency of young forest patch sizes between desirable level, plan start (2012) and plan end (2022) ..................................................................................................................................... 161 Figure 88. . Comparison of the achievement of the proportion of the total area in mature and older forest for the 500 ha signature between desirable level plan start (2012) and plan end (2022) ....................................................................... 162 Figure 89. . Comparison of the achievement of the proportion of the total area in mature and older forest for the 5000ha signature between desirable level plan start (2012) and plan end (2022) ....................................................................... 163 Figure 90. Comparison of projected immature and older pine landscape class to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest..................................................................................................................................................................... 165 Figure 91. Comparison of projected mature and older upland conifer landscape class to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest ........................................................................................................................................................ 165 Figure 92. Comparison of projected immature and older hardwood and immature mixedwood landscape class to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest ......................................................................................................... 166

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Figure 93. Comparison of projected mature and older mixedwood landscape class to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest ........................................................................................................................................................ 166 Figure 94. Comparison of the projected mature and older lowland conifer landscape class to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest ............................................................................................................................................. 167 Figure 95. Comparison of the projected pine conifer forest unit grouping to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest..................................................................................................................................................................... 168 Figure 96. Comparison of the projected upland conifer forest unit grouping to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest..................................................................................................................................................................... 168 Figure 97. Comparison of the projected lowland conifer forest unit grouping to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest..................................................................................................................................................................... 169 Figure 98. Comparison of the projected amount of mature and old forest area to the SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest..................................................................................................................................................................... 170 Figure 99. Comparison of the projected total young forest to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest... 171 Figure 100. Comparison of the projected North SMZ overmature forest area to the IQR, SRNV and NBS .................. 172 Figure 101. Comparison of the projected North SMZ overmature forest area to the IQR, SRNV and NBS .................. 173 Figure 102. Comparison of the projected South SMZ overmature forest area to the IQR, SRNV and NBS for the Abitibi River Forest..................................................................................................................................................................... 174 Figure 103. Comparison of the projected South SMZ overmature forest area to the IQR, SRNV and NBS for the Abitibi River Forest..................................................................................................................................................................... 175 Figure 104. PRW forest unit area projected over the 100 year planning horizon ........................................................... 176 Figure 105. Comparison of the projected North SMZ preferred wildlife habitat area to the NBS and the desirable level and target (-30 NBS) for the Abitibi River Forest........................................................................................................... 177 Figure 106. Comparison of the projected North SMZ preferred wildlife habitat area to the NBS and the desirable level and target (-30 NBS) for the Abitibi River Forest........................................................................................................... 178 Figure 107. Comparison of the projected North SMZ preferred wildlife habitat area to the NBS and the desirable level and target (-30 NBS) for the Abitibi River Forest........................................................................................................... 179 Figure 108.Comparison of the projected South SMZ preferred wildlife habitat area to the NBS and the desirable level and target (-30 NBS) for the Abitibi River Forest........................................................................................................... 181 Figure 109. Comparison of the projected South SMZ preferred wildlife habitat area to the NBS and the desirable level and target (-30 NBS) for the Abitibi River Forest........................................................................................................... 182 Figure 110. Comparison of the projected South SMZ preferred wildlife habitat area to the NBS and the desirable level and target (-30 NBS) for the Abitibi River Forest........................................................................................................... 183 Figure 111. Comparison of projected caribou winter suitable habitat to the NBS and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest185 Figure 112. Comparison of the projected caribou winter suitable habitat to the NBS and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 186 Figure 113. Comparison between the plan start (2012) and plan end (2022) texture and arrangement of mature conifer habitat frequencies in the 6,000 ha size class .................................................................................................................. 187 Figure 114. Comparison between the plan start (2012) and plan end (2022) texture and arrangement of mature conifer habitat frequencies in the 30,000 ha size class ................................................................................................................ 188 Figure 115. Comparison between the plan start (2012) and plan end (2022) texture and arrangement of winter suitable habitat frequencies in the 6,000 ha size class .................................................................................................................. 189 Figure 116. Comparison between the plan start (2012) and plan end (2022) texture and arrangement of winter suitable habitat frequencies in the 30,000 ha size class ................................................................................................................ 190 Figure 117. Caribou DCHS blocks in the "online" condition through time within the ARF Kesagami caribou range ... 191 Figure 118. SPF LTMD projected volumes compared to the desirable level and target................................................. 194 Figure 119. Poplar LTMD projected volumes compared to the desirable level and target ............................................. 194 Figure 120. Birch LTMD projected volumes compared to the desirable level and target .............................................. 195 Figure 121. A comparison of wood supply targets for the Abitibi River Forest ............................................................. 200 Figure 122. Comparison of impacts between the SEIM scenarios .................................................................................. 203 Figure 123. Comparison of annual harvest areas between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red) for the North SMZ. ............................................................................................................................................................................... 275 Figure 124. Comparison of annual harvest areas between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red) for the South SMZ. ............................................................................................................................................................................... 275

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52
Figure 125. Achievement of annualized spruce/pine/fir (SPF) species group volume (m3) through proposed operations compared to the long-term management direction in the North and South SMZs......................................................... 276 Figure 126. Achievement of annualized Poplar (Po) species group volume (m3) through proposed operations compared to the long-term management direction in the North and South SMZs. ........................................................................ 277 Figure 127. Achievement of annualized White Birch (BW) species group volume (m3) through proposed operations compared to the long-term management direction in the North and South SMZs......................................................... 277 Figure 128. Achievement of total annualized conifer volume (m3) through proposed operations compared to long-term management direction in the North and South SMZs. ................................................................................................... 278 Figure 129. Achievement of total annualized hardwood volume (m3) through proposed operations compared to longterm management direction in the North and South SMZs............................................................................................ 278 Figure 130. Achievement of total annualized volume (m3) through proposed operations compared to long-term management direction in the North and South SMZs. ................................................................................................... 279 Figure 131. Comparison of All Area for the BOG forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red). ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 280 Figure 132. Comparison of All Area for the BW1 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red). ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 280 Figure 133. Comparison of All Area for the LC1 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red). ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 281 Figure 134. Comparison of All Area for the MWD forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red)................................................................................................................................................................................. 281 Figure 135. Comparison of All Area for the OH1 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red). ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 282 Figure 136. Comparison of All Area for the PJ1 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red). ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 282 Figure 137. Comparison of All Area for the PJ2 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red). ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 283 Figure 138. Comparison of All Area for the PO1 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red). ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 283 Figure 139. Comparison of All Area for the PO3 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red). ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 284 Figure 140. Comparison of All Area for the PRW forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red). ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 284 Figure 141. Comparison of All Area for the SB1 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red). ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 285 Figure 142. Comparison of All Area for the SB3 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red). ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 285 Figure 143. Comparison of All Area for the SF1 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red). ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 286 Figure 144. Comparison of All Area for the SP1 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red). ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 286 Figure 145. Comparison of area of the projected Caribou Mature Conifer habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). ................................................................................................................................................ 291 Figure 146. Comparison of area of the projected Caribou Winter Suitable habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). ................................................................................................................................................ 291 Figure 147. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Black-backed Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). ................................................................................................................................ 292 Figure 148. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Black Bear Foraging habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). ................................................................................................................................ 292 Figure 149. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Lynx Denning habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). ................................................................................................................................................ 293 Figure 150. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Ruffed Grouse habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). ................................................................................................................................................ 293

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Figure 151. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Marten habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). .................................................................................................................................................................. 294 Figure 152. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Moose Browse habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). ................................................................................................................................................ 294 Figure 153. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Moose Winter habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). ................................................................................................................................................ 295 Figure 154. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). ................................................................................................................................ 295 Figure 155. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). ................................................................................................................................ 296 Figure 156. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). ................................................................................................................................ 296 Figure 157. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). ................................................................................................................................ 297 Figure 158. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). ................................................................................................................................ 297 Figure 159. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). ................................................................................................................................ 298 Figure 160. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). ................................................................................................................................ 298 Figure 161. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). ................................................................................................................................ 299 Figure 162. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results). ................................................................................................................................ 300 Figure 163. Comparison of Revenues between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red)................................. 302

1 Figure 1. Index to Environmental Assessment Components of the Forest Management Plan

Environmental Assessment Component Background Information

Section of Forest Management Plan

Section Number

2.0

Management Unit Description values map information on other forest resources Forest Resource Inventory update sources

6.1 Description of the Environment Affected 2.0

Supplementary Documentation Aboriginal Background Information Report

Management Unit Description values map information on other forest resources Forest Resource Inventory update sources

4.3

Harvest Operations digital stand list

4.4 4.5 6.1 Description of the 3.0 Selection of 4.3 Operations and the Alternatives which were Considered 4.4 4.2 4.5 6.1

Renewal and Tending Operations Roads Supplementary Documentation Aboriginal Background Information Report

Long-Term Management Direction Harvest Operations digital stand list

Renewal and Tending Operations Prescriptions for Operations Roads Supplementary Documentation analysis package road planning area of concern planning

Description of the Proposed Activities

4.3

Harvest Operations digital stand list

4.4

Renewal and Tending Operations

10

Environmental Assessment Component

Section of Forest Management Plan

Section Number

4.2 4.5 6.1

Prescriptions for Operations Roads Supplementary Documentation road planning area of concern planning

Description of the Expected Effects on the Environment and Proposed Mitigation Measures

3.0 4.2.1 4.5 6.1

Long-Term Management Direction Operation Prescriptions for Areas of Concern Roads Supplementary Documentation road planning area of concern planning

Description of Proposed Monitoring

4.2.2 4.2.1 4.5 4.7 6.1

Prescriptions for Harvest, Renewal and Tending Areas Operational Prescriptions for Areas of Concern Roads Monitoring and Assessment Supplementary Documentation monitoring programs road planning area of concern planning

Description of Public Consultation and A Summary of the Results Any Other Environmental Assessment Matters

6.1

Supplementary Documentation public consultation summary report of the local citizens committee issues addressed required alterations from draft plan review

11

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41

1.0 INTRODUCTION Forest management on Crown land in Ontario is the responsibility of the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). Ontarios Crown land is currently subdivided into 43 management units. The Abitibi River Forest (ARF) sustainable forest license (SFL no. 551832) is located in the Northeast Region of the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). The SFL falls within the boundaries of the Cochrane, Kirkland Lake and Timmins administrative Districts (refer to figure 2) and is licensed to Abitibi River Forest Management Inc. (ARFMI). First Resource Management Group Inc. (FRMG), a forest management service provider, administers all of the forest management and business requirements of the SFL, acting as agent for ARFMI. This is the first 10-year forest management plan (FMP) for the forest as it is a recently created SFL that consists of the former Iroquois Falls Forest, Nighthawk Forest and Smooth Rock Falls Forests, as well as the former Crown managed Cochrane-Moose River Management Unit. The purpose of the forest management planning process is to establish the long term strategic direction for forest management, with the goal of ensuring the sustainability and long term health of forest ecosystems. This goal is tailored to benefit both local and global environments while providing long term sustainability of forest based communities. This Forest Management Plan (FMP) describes the forest management activities that are planned on the Abitibi River Forest for the period starting April 1st, 2012 and ending March 31st, 2022. This plan was prepared by a Registered Professional Forester in an open and consultative fashion with input from both the Local Citizens Committees (LCC) as well as the interdisciplinary planning team. The planning team Terms of Reference can be found in Supplementary Documentation Section 6.11. The context for forest management in Ontario is the Policy Framework for Sustainable Forests (1993). This document provides policy direction for forest management in Ontario and places forest sustainability as the key goal of the process. The Crown Forest Sustainability Act (1995) is enabling legislation and provides for the regulation of forest planning, operations and enforcement. The CFSA defines sustainability as long-term Crown forest health. This definition of sustainability is transposed into the Forest Management Planning Manual for Ontarios Crown Forests (2009), the regulatory direction used to complete this FMP. The approach set out in the FMPM details; the development of objectives and targets for desired benefits in order to achieve the desired future condition, the implementation of strategies to achieve these targets as well as the means for evaluating whether the targets were reached.

The intent of this FMP is to carry out approved activities in the Abitibi River Forest (road access, timber harvest, forest renewal and maintenance), and to evaluate the effectiveness of these management interventions in contributing towards the goal of forest sustainability. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Statement of Environmental Values (SEV) under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) is a document which describes how the purposes of the EBR are to be considered whenever significant environmental decisions are made. In the development of this forest management plan, OMNRs Statement of Environmental Values has been considered.
12

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

The plan is intended to reflect the direction set out in the SEV, and to further the objective of managing Ontarios natural resources on a sustainable basis. A SEV briefing note has been prepared for the plan and is provided in Supplementary Documentation Section 6.12. There is an index of environmental assessment components for this management plan that instructs the reader on where to locate the key components of environmental assessment documents within the plan. This index is located following the Table of Contents.

8 9 10

Figure 2. The Abitibi River Forest relative to the Northeast Administrative Region and Cochrane, Kirkland Lake and Timmins Administrative Districts

13

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

2.0 MANAGEMENT UNIT DESCRIPTION 2.1 Forest Description 2.1.1 Current Forest Condition FMP-1 shows the current management unit land summary detailing the Crown and Patent land on the Abitibi River Forest categorized by type (e.g. water, productive forest) as well as the land area associated with each. In total there is 3,285,435.2 hectares of Crown Land on the Abitibi River Forest, 3,038,473.5 hectares of which are managed. There are 2,451,237.2 hectares of productive area across the Abitibi River Forest, with 2,282,418.4 hectares of this being eligible for forest management. Protection forest, which includes all areas that are historically inoperable due to physical limitations (i.e. islands, shallow soils over rocky areas), encompasses 283,371.5 hectares of the forest. The FMPM defines patent land as land transferred from Her Majesty the Queen in the Right of Ontario to an individual, company or corporation in perpetuity. On the Abitibi River Forest, there are 5,853.1 hectares of patent land which contains Crown timber, which is 0.2% of the total forest area. This relatively small area was queried out of the inventory to determine the total area of Crown managed forest. This was done because in the MNR Acquisitions data class, the field that states whether forest management activities can be undertaken within these areas was left as unknown. The Other Crown land definition includes any areas that are within parks, conservation reserves or other recreational areas on the forest. These areas are removed from forest management, although, depending on the area, different conditions may apply. Refer to the Supplementary Documentation, FMP-10 and FMP-19 for conditions on operations within or adjacent to areas classified as Other. Figures 3 to 5 demonstrate this information graphically. Figure 3 shows the composition of the 3,038,473.5 hectares of Crown managed forest area on the Abitibi River forest. Here, it can be seen that 67% (2,023,578.3 hectares) of the forest is productive and is operable, 18% (540,515.5 hectares) is non-productive and 8% (258,840.1 hectares) is protection forest area.

14


Water 6% Other Non-Fo orested 1% ctive Forest Non-Produc 18%

P Protection Forest 8% Production Forest 67%

1 2 3 4 5 6

Figure 3. Management Unit Land Summary of Crown Ma M f anaged Fores on the Abi st itibi River F Forest

Figure 4 sh hows the bre eakdown of the Other 246,961.7 he 2 ectares of Cr rown forest on the Abiti ibi River Fore as define above. Th graph sho 56% (13 est, ed his ows 39,973.5 hec ctares) as pro oduction for rest, 26% (63,1 101.9 hectare as non-pr es) roductive for and 10% (24,413.2 hectares) as protection f rest % forest.
Water 8% Other Non-Fo orested 0%

Non-P Productive Forest 26%

Production Forest F 56%

Protection Forest % 10%

7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Figure 4. Management Unit Land Summary of Other Crow Forest on the Abitibi River Fores M f wn n i st

Figure 5 provides the composition of the 3,291,288.3 hect p n tares of both Crown area and areas h a containing Crown timb on the Abitibi River Forest. This graph show that 66% (2,167,865.7 g ber A s ws 7 hectares) of the forest is productio timber are 18% (60 o on eas, 04,744.2 hec ctares) is non n-productive and e 9% (283,3 371.5 hectare is in prot es) tection forest t.
15


Water 6% Other Non-Fores sted 1% ctive Forest Non-Produc 18% %

Production Fo orest 66%

P Protection Forest 9%

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Figure 5. Management Unit Land Summary of all Crown Land Forest on the Abit River Fo M f t tibi orest

There are some areas of private lan found in the central a southern areas of the Abitibi Riv o nd and n e ver Forest. Pri ivate land is generally ce entered arou the muni und icipalities on the forest, a well as be n as eing on and around popular co d ottaging lake and huntin areas. In t North Str es ng the trategic Man nagement Zone (SMZ), a majority of these areas were classifie into Z-blo m t w ed ocks (areas i identified as having poor s current and future cari ibou habitat) as the curre state of th forest on private land is unknown In ) ent he d n. the southe portion of the forest (South SMZ), small, isol ern ( lated areas o Crown lan were remo of nd oved from the in nventory to do spatial wildlife plann w ning, as these areas are th e hought to no be utilized by ot d species (ex marten) du to the fra x. ue agmentation that could oc t ccur in priva land surr ate rounding these areas. s assified as Cr rown Produc ction Forest are availabl within this FMP for fo le s orest Only areas that are cla manageme activities with all oth areas rem ent s, her moved from operational managemen considerat nt tion. All land ow wnerships ex xcept for pri ivate land co ontribute to w wildlife habi itat, as there is no guaran on ntee forest rem maining on pr rivate land. The analysis package documents the developm of the p t ment planning inv ventory produ and the ucts manner in which fores description informatio is updated projected a forecasted. The anal st n on d, and lysis package ca be found in Suppleme . an entary Docu umentation S Section 6.1.1

2.1.2 Fore Classifica est ation 2.1.2.1 Forest Units nit d sification sys stem that agg gregates fore stands fo manageme est or ent A forest un is defined as a class purposes that will norm t mally have similar speci composit s ies tion, will dev velop in a similar manne er (both natu urally and in response to silvicultural treatments) and will be managed u l ), e under the sam me
16

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

silvicultural system (OMNR 2009). For each forest unit, the natural and silviculturally treated development of the forest over time can be predicted and expressed graphically in the form of yield curves. Forest unit classification applies to the entire productive forest area within a forest management unit, not just the areas that are managed for timber production. There are a set of regionally developed standard forest units (SFUs), as described below, that are the basis for the planning team to customize management unit specific forest units based on local forest conditions, professional knowledge and recent monitoring data. Forest units are also the unit of measure when setting management targets and reporting levels of achievement for harvesting and renewal. In addition, management unit specific forest units will allow future planning teams to compare actual achievement levels from one planning period to the next. The forest units for the Abitibi River Forest are summarized in table FMP-2.

Standard Forest Units Standard forest units (SFU) were developed to allow planning teams across the boreal part of the Northeast Region to work with a common set of forest cover descriptions that were consistent for a number of reasons, such as; To allow for a consistent roll-up of forest cover descriptions to higher planning levels and for the production of provincial annual reports and 5-year State of the Forest report. To allow for a simple assignment of higher-order targets to each FMP. To allow forest plans across the region to use a standardized and Northeast Region approved description of forest cover. To impose a standardized methodology that matches forest units to ecosites. To allow science, planning and industry to conform to a set of parameters for modeling including:
o o o o

standardization of yield curves post-disturbance succession rules that are common for all forests standardized natural succession rules maintenance of biodiversity

To ensure all forest plans conform to a consistent base set of principles for their forest units:
o o o o

remove rare and unique FUs first pure FUs at 70%+, mixed FUs at 40-60% separate upland conifer into rich (spruce-fir) versus poor (spruce-pine) communities separate upland mixedwoods into rich (Ecosite 6) versus poor (Ecosite 3) communities

17

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

To create at the strategic level, a direct relationship between units of forest management and units of habitat.

It is critical that forest management planning teams adjust the regional standardized query (such as forest condition or FRI user-defined fields) to incorporate local knowledge to ensure that stands are assigned to the appropriate standardized forest unit condition. Planning teams are also expected to change the query and manually assign stands, if necessary, to make certain that the correct assignment has taken place. Splitting a SFU into two or more forest units is accepted in a number of situations (e.g. lowland spruce in the claybelt) since these divided units can be rolled-up into a SFU for reporting purposes. Lumping two or more SFUs and then splitting the result into a different set of forest units is not permissible. As well, splitting an SFU and assigning a portion to another SFU will not allow for accurate future reporting at the regional or provincial level and therefore is not considered appropriate

MNR Northeast Standard Forest Unit Descriptions PR1 o pure red pine (red pine > 70%) o developed to capture pure stands, usually as a result of plantations o primary ecosites: 18, 19 o secondary ecosite: 20 PW1 o white-pine dominated stands o suitable for management using shelterwood o primary ecosites: 19, 20, 21 o secondary ecosite: 18 PRW o white and/or red pine in the overstory o might be suitable for shelterwood, often clearcut and regenerated to more pine o primary ecosites: 19, 18 o secondary ecosite: 20 LH1 o transitional (GLSL/Boreal) Forest Unit in most cases
18

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34

o in transitional areas, mostly soft maple, otherwise black ash o primary ecosites: 10, 15 o secondary ecosite: 16 TH1 o transitional (GLSL/Boreal) Forest Unit o soft and hard maple, yellow birch uplands o primary ecosites: 16, 17 o secondary ecosite: 15 SBOG o not a managed Forest Unit, but included since it can provide some habitat characteristics o lowland pure black spruce, or black spruce dominated lowland, unmerchantable o primary ecosite: 14 secondary ecosites: 13p, 12, 11, 8 SB1 o lowland pure black spruce, or black spruce dominated conifer lowland o primary ecosites: 8, 11 o secondary ecosites: 12, 13p, 14, 1p, 9p PJ1 o pure jack pine, usually on coarse sand o primary ecosite: 2 o secondary ecosites: 4, 1p LC1 o lowland conifer, mixture of black spruce, larch and cedar o primary ecosites: 12, 13r, 13p o secondary ecosites: 8, 9p, 9r, 11, 14 PJ2 o jack pine dominated mixed conifer on sandy soils
19

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33

o primary ecosite: 4 o secondary ecosites: 5m, 1p, 2 SP1 o black spruce pure upland (may contain jack pine) o does not contain white spruce or cedar o primary ecosites: 5f, 5m o secondary ecosites: 1p, 4, 6c, 6m SF1 o mixed conifer on moist mineral soil o will contain white spruce (and often cedar) o primary ecosite: 9r o secondary ecosites: 6f, 6m, 6r, 1r, 7m, 7c, 10, 13r PO1 o pure poplar and poplar-dominated hardwood mix o primary ecosites: 10, 7c, 6m, 6c, 7f, 7m o secondary ecosites: 3, 6f BW1 o pure white birch and white birch dominated hardwood mix o primary ecosite: 3 o secondary ecosites: 6m, 6c, 15, 20, 7m, 7c, 1r MW1 o mixedwood on coarse soil o primary ecosite: 3 o secondary ecosite: 6c

MW2 o mixedwood on moist and/or fine soils o primary ecosites: 6f, 6m, 10, 6c, 7f

20

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

o secondary ecosites: 7m, 7c The forest units for the plan, as well as the associated silvicultural systems and FRI criteria can be found in Table FMP-2. Compared to the Northeast Region standard forest units, as seen below in Table 11, the few changes are; The PR1 and PW1 forest units have been grouped into the PRW forest unit due to the low occurrences that are found on the forest The LH1 and TH1 forest units have been grouped into a general OH1 category due to the small amount of area found in these forest units on the forest SBOG is identified as BOG SB1 is broken down into 2 categories, SB1 and SB3 to differentiate between high quality and low quality sites on the forest PO1 is broken down into 2 categories, PO1 and PO3 to differentiate between high quality and low quality sites on the forest MW1 and MW2 are grouped into MWD as there is relatively low amount of this forest unit on the forest in South SMZ

Table 1. Forest unit comparison between the 2012 ARF FMP, the 2010 ARF contingency FMP and the Northeast Region Standardized Forest Units 2012 ARF Forest Unit PRW OH1 BOG SB1 SB3 PJ1 LC1 PJ2 SP1 SF1 PO1 PO3 BW1 MWD Name Red and White Pine Other Hardwood Bog Black Spruce SC 1 and SC 2 Black Spruce SC 3 Jack Pine Pure Lowland Conifer Jack Pine Mixed Upland Spruce Spruce/Fir Mix Poplar SC 1 and 2 Poplar SC 3 White Birch Mixedwood 2010 ARF Forest Unit PRW OH1 BOG SB1 SB3 PJ1 LC1 PJ2 SP1 SF1 PO1, DPO PO3, DPO BW1 MWD, DMW NER Forest Unit PR1, PW1, PRW LH1, TH1 SBOG SB1 SB1 PJ1 LC1 PJ2 SP1 SF1 PO1 PO1 BW1 MW1, MW2

20 21

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

These definitions for the forest units are identical to the ones defined in the 2010 Abitibi River Forest Plan (as shown above) with the exception of the DPO and DMW forest units. These are damaged poplar and mixedwood stands that were affected by the tent caterpillar outbreak. Due to the low area that these stands currently hold on the ARF, it was decided that instead of tracking these as separate forest units, the same information could be kept by tracking them as a separate silvicultural intensity. Table FMP-3 shows the productive area by forest unit for the Abitibi River Forest. The table also shows the forest unit area in hectares by age class, protection forest, unavailable forest and available forest. Unavailable forest on the ARF is due largely to site class 4 areas (i.e. the BOG forest unit), area that is not available for management due to a land use designation, management reserves or non-Crown land. Figures 6 to 20 illustrate the Summary of Crown Productive Forest by Forest Unit (Table FMP-3) graphically. Figure 6 shows the summary of the BOG area detailed in table FMP-3. All the area in the BOG forest unit is classified as protection forest. A total of 250,520 ha of the forest unit is classified is unavailable for harvest on the Abitibi River Forest as it is located in protection areas (traditionally inoperable areas). Over half of this forest unit area is in the older age classes ranging from 121-160 years, with a low proportion of the forest unit in the young age class designation.
100,000.0 90,000.0 80,000.0 70,000.0 Area(ha) 60,000.0 50,000.0 40,000.0 30,000.0 20,000.0 10,000.0 0.0 ProtectionForest(ha) ProductionForest(ha)

AgeClass

19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

Figure 6. Summary of the Productive Forest for the BOG Forest Unit

Figure 7 illustrates the level of the BW1 forest unit found on the Abitibi River Forest. The graph shows the peaks of the BW1 area in productive forest in the 1-20 and 81-100 age classes. Between these two time periods, there is a general leveling of the current area for BW1, around 3,500 hectares per age class. After the BW1 forest reaches 100 years, the area associated with it declines significantly to approximately 950 hectares and declining further after this point. There are 911.1 hectares of BW1 in protection forest across the Abitibi River Forest.
22

1
7,000.0 6,000.0 5,000.0 Area(ha) 4,000.0 3,000.0 2,000.0 1,000.0 0.0 ProtectionForest(ha) ProductionForest(ha)

AgeClass

2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Figure 7. Summary of the Productive Forest for the BW1 Forest Unit

Figure 8 shows the area of the LC1 forest unit on the Abitibi River Forest. There are 40,445.4 hectares of LC1 in production forest, with most of this area being between 41 and 140 years of age. The forest unit area tapers off significantly after 160 years due to forest succession to other forest units.
8,000.0 7,000.0 6,000.0 Area(ha) 5,000.0 4,000.0 3,000.0 2,000.0 1,000.0 0.0 ProtectionForest(ha) ProductionForest(ha)

AgeClass

9 10 11

Figure 8. Summary of the Productive Forest for the LC1 Forest Unit

23

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
35,000.0 30,000.0 25,000.0 Area(ha) 20,000.0 15,000.0 10,000.0 5,000.0 0.0 ProtectionForest(ha) ProductionForest(ha)

Figure 9 demonstrates the range of age classes found in the protected and production forest areas of MWD forest unit area on the Abitibi River Forest. There is approximately 4,600 hectares of protection mixedwood forest across the ARF, mainly between the ages of 41 and 100 years. The production areas of MWD on the forest are relatively consistent between the ages of 21 and 100 years, with a gradual decline in forest unit area after this. There are a total of 155,032.9 hectares of production mixedwood forest across the whole Abitibi River Forest.

AgeClass

8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Figure 9. Summary of the Productive Forest for the MWD Forest Unit

There are currently 160.4 hectares of productive OH1 on the Abitibi River Forest, as seen in Figure 10. Most of this area is within the 41-60 age class, with a gradual increase seen from 1-40 years and a decrease from 61-100 years. There are also 38.6 hectares of protection OH1 across the ARF, all in the 61-80 year age class.

24


80.0 70.0 60.0 Area(ha) 50.0 40.0 30.0 20.0 10.0 0.0 120 2140 4160 AgeClass 6180 81100 ProtectionForest(ha) ProductionForest(ha)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Figure 10. Summary of the Productive Forest for the OH1 Forest Unit

Figure 11 shows the age classes associated with PJ1 across the Abitibi River Forest. Within the 55,121.6 hectares of productive PJ1 forest, approximately 55% of the area is in younger age classes (under 40 years old). There are 401.9 hectares of PJ1 in protection areas distributed across the age classes on the forest.
18,000.0 16,000.0 14,000.0 12,000.0 Area(ha) 10,000.0 8,000.0 6,000.0 4,000.0 2,000.0 0.0 ProtectionForest(ha) ProductionForest(ha)

AgeClass

8 9 10 11 12

Figure 11. Summary of the Productive Forest for the PJ1 Forest Unit

Figure 12 shows that there are 514.6 hectares of PJ2 in protection areas across the Abitibi River Forest. This forest unit encompasses a variety of age classes from 1-120 years, with the majority of

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area being around 61-100 years old. Of the 23,685.2 hectares of productive land area covered with the PJ2 forest unit, the pattern shows an S distribution with there being 5,062 hectares in the 1-20 age class, dropping to 2,689.9 hectares in 41-60 to be followed by an increase to 5,490.4 hectares in 81-100 year old forest. The PJ2 forest unit area drops dramatically for the rest of the age classes.
6,000.0 5,000.0 4,000.0 Area(ha) 3,000.0 2,000.0 1,000.0 0.0 ProtectionForest(ha) ProductionForest(ha)

AgeClass

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Figure 12. Summary of the Productive Forest for the PJ2 Forest Unit

The productive landbase of the PO1 forest unit, as shown below in Figure 13, projects the same relative shape to that of the PJ2 forest unit described above. The initial peak of the 138,923.7 hectares starts at 35,032.9 hectares in the 1-20 age class, falling to 15,901.3 hectares in the 41-60 age class, rising to 31,887.6 hectares in 81-100 year old forest before falling again. There are 13.2 hectares of PO1 in protection forest on the Abitibi River Forest, with 2 and 11.2 hectares being in the 41-60 and 101-120 age classes, respectively.

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40,000.0 35,000.0 30,000.0 Area(ha) 25,000.0 20,000.0 15,000.0 10,000.0 5,000.0 0.0 ProtectionForest(ha) ProductionForest(ha)

AgeClass

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Figure 13. Summary of the Productive Forest for the PO1 Forest Unit

Figure 14 shows the production and protection areas of the PO3 forest unit across the Forest. There are 1,484.0 hectares of PO3 on protection forest, of which 67% is between the ages of 61 and 100. The age class with the most area in the productive area of the PO3 forest unit is between 81 and 100, although 57% of the 45,316.4 hectares is between the ages of 1 and 60 (as seen below).
14,000.0 12,000.0 10,000.0 Area(ha) 8,000.0 6,000.0 4,000.0 2,000.0 0.0 ProtectionForest(ha) ProductionForest(ha)

AgeClass

8 9 10 11 12

Figure 14. Summary of the Productive Forest for the PO3 Forest Unit

Figure 15 shows the area of the Abitibi River Forest that is of the PRW forest unit. This forest unit is not found in any protection forest, and contributes 376.6 hectares of productive forest area. Most

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of this area is within the 1-20 age class, although there is another peak in area within the 161-180 age class.
250.0 200.0 Area(ha) 150.0 100.0 50.0 0.0 ProtectionForest(ha) ProductionForest(ha)

AgeClass

3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Figure 15. Summary of the Productive Forest for the PRW Forest Unit

There are 448,406 hectares of productive SB1 forest unit area across the Abitibi River Forest, mostly in the northern sections. As seen below in Figure 16, the general trend for the forest unit is decreasing in area through age classes, with one peak within the 141-160 age class. There are 0.4 hectares of 61-80 age class SB1 found in protection forest as well.
100,000.0 90,000.0 80,000.0 70,000.0 Area(ha) 60,000.0 50,000.0 40,000.0 30,000.0 20,000.0 10,000.0 0.0 ProtectionForest(ha) ProductionForest(ha)

AgeClass

10 11 12

Figure 16. Summary of the Productive Forest for the SB1 Forest Unit

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Figure 17 demonstrates the varied age classes found within the SB3 forest unit across the Forest. There are 64,875.8 hectares of SB3 found within the 1-20 year age class before it drops to 11,139.4 hectares in the 21-40 age class. From this point there is a general increase to 134,569.6 hectares in the 141-160 age class before drastically tapering off to the older age classes. There are no areas of SB3 held within protection forest on the Abitibi River Forest.
160,000.0 140,000.0 120,000.0 Area(ha) 100,000.0 80,000.0 60,000.0 40,000.0 20,000.0 0.0 ProtectionForest(ha) ProductionForest(ha)

AgeClass

6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Figure 17. Summary of the Productive Forest for the SB3 Forest Unit

Below, Figure 18 shows the breakdown of age classes within the SF1 forest unit across the Abitibi River Forest. Of the 152,587.2 hectares of this forest unit that are classified as production forest, an increase in area through the first 3 age classes is seen to a peak in the 41-60 age class at 37,375.6 hectares. From this point there is a gradual decrease in area in the older age classes. There are 266.0 hectares of SF1 in protection forest areas that is mainly 40 to 121 years of age.

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40,000.0 35,000.0 30,000.0 Area(ha) 25,000.0 20,000.0 15,000.0 10,000.0 5,000.0 0.0 ProtectionForest(ha) ProductionForest(ha)

AgeClass

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Figure 18. Summary of the Productive Forest for the SF1 Forest Unit

427,614.6 hectares of the Abitibi River Forest are currently identified as production forest in the SP1 forest unit. Approximately 215,000 hectares of SP1 production forest is 1-40 years old, with a general trend of decreasing age after this point. There are also 104.0 hectares are in protection forest areas. This can be seen in Figure 19, below.
120,000.0 100,000.0 80,000.0 Area(ha) 60,000.0 40,000.0 20,000.0 0.0 ProtectionForest(ha) ProductionForest(ha)

AgeClass

8 9 10 11 12 13

Figure 19. Summary of the Productive Forest for the SP1 Forest Unit

Figure 20 shows the total age class distribution for the forest. When combined, each forest unit contributes to a jagged distribution, which shows a gradual decrease in forest area for each age class after 1-20 years, with peaks occurring at 81-100 years and 141-160 years.
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In terms of wildlife habitat, through time, there will be a large proportion of area aging for species requiring older aged forest. Without harvesting, there is the potential for a large increase in older forest, as the high amount of young forest ages. With the use of harvesting, habitat should be maintained across the forest for species using young, medium aged and older forest conditions with no other conditions on the forest. This is not always the case, as there are many objectives that this plan tried to balance, in coordination with wildlife habitat. In some instances, more priority is given to certain species (i.e. woodland caribou) or forest conditions (i.e. mature forest), affecting species requiring browse of a particular forest unit and age.
400000 350000 300000 Area(ha) 250000 200000 150000 100000 50000 0 101120 121140 141160 161180 181200 201220 221240 241260 2140 4160 6180 81100 120 TotalArea

AgeClass

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Figure 20. Total age class distribution for all forest units on the Abitibi River Forest

The primary management objective that will determine harvest levels on the Forest for this FMP is the implementation of the dynamic caribou habitat schedule (DCHS) as directed by the Caribou Conservation Plan (CCP). Within this schedule, large tracts of land (approximately 15,000-30,000 hectares in size) are created with the objective of maintaining suitable caribou habitat both spatially (i.e. maintaining habitat linkages for caribou movement) and through time (over a 140 year period). In reference to Table FMP-3, many of the older conifer areas that provide mature conifer and winter suitable habitat for caribou will be maintained on the landscape within DCHS blocks. It is expected that this will increase the age of the starting forest for the next forest management plan. The overall anticipated result of this habitat management approach will be increased levels of old growth forest in certain caribou habitat blocks, particularly those areas that are to be harvested late in the schedule. With the DCHS approach to caribou habitat management directing that certain areas of the forest will remain undisturbed by harvesting for up to 120 years, an unavoidable outcome will be significantly more forest area succeeding to younger age classes or different forest units before harvest operations are scheduled. The result will be that previously operable stands will have succeeded to a lower volume condition by the time harvesting occurs.

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2.1.2.2 Forest Landscape Classes Although this FMP is not formally being prepared using an approved Landscape Guide, the planning team has opted to apply many of the science-based principles for Ecoregion 3E consistent with the draft document. This approach was implemented in anticipation of approval of the guide in the first phase of this 2012-22 forest management plan. The objective of the landscape guide is to meet the objective of conserving biodiversity in an effective and efficient manner through landscape-level approaches, thereby contributing to the achievement of forest sustainability. Based on this principle, the planning team incorporated recent science information sourced from the draft 3E Region Landscape Guide science packages for determining target levels for the landscape forest composition and structure indicator (landscape classes, forest unit groupings) and age (including overmature) as well as the landscape pattern indicator. The following selected landscape classes (LC) were used in the FMP; Immature and older pine (LC1) Mature and older upland conifer (LC2) Immature and older hardwood and mature mixedwood (LC3) Mature and older mixedwood (LC4) Mature and older lowland conifer (LC5)

In addition to the landscape classes listed above, the planning team also used the draft landscape guide 3E forest unit groupings as landscape indicators of forest composition and structure. The following forest types have been incorporated into the Abitibi River FMP; Total amount of young forest (< 36 years of age) Total amount of mature and old forest (seral stages of mature and old forest) Pine conifer (total area of PJ1 and PJ2, all ages) (FG1) Upland conifer (total area of SP1 and SF1, all ages) (FG2) Lowland conifer (total area of SB1, SB3 and LC1, all ages) (FG3)

Woodland caribou habitat is also modeled for across the North SMZ of the Abitibi River Forest. The planning team used 3E landscape guide recommendations, to create indicators of caribou habitat. The following textures and arrangements have been incorporated into the Abitibi River FMP; Mature conifer habitat within the 6,000 hectare size class Mature conifer habitat within the 30,000 hectare size class Winter suitable habitat within the 6,000 hectare size class Winter suitable habitat within the 30,000 hectare size class

The final landscape indicator used by the planning team for the purpose of measuring milestones related to forest composition and structure was the 3E old growth indicator by FMP forest unit. The provincial definition was used to establish the age-of-onset. The age-of-onset is based on the trees within stands which are approaching their maximum sizes and ages. In addition to the landscape indicators for forest composition and structure described above, two other indicators were used to measure landscape pattern. These are texture of mature forest and
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young forest patch sizes. These landscape class indicators were also incorporated as objective-based indicators for assessment of objective achievement (see section 3.6.3 and table FMP-9). Table 20 of Section 4.0 of the Analysis Package (see Section 6.1 of the Supplementary Documentation) describe, in detail, the selected indicators from the matrix of the Landscape Guide Pattern Classes for Ecoregion 3E, used in the development of the FMP. The draft Landscape Guide for Ecoregion 3E apportions landscape guide ranges by forest management unit. These landscape guide ranges are derived at the ecoregional level using the Boreal Forest Landscape Disturbance Simulator (BFOLDS) tool which outputs a (simulated) range of natural variation (SRNV) which is then apportioned by forest management unit. These apportioned landscape guide ranges were then used by the planning team to set desirable levels. Figures 21 to 23 compare the plan start levels (2012) to the desired level set out within Table FMP9. Figure 21 is an example and compares the SRNV parameters for the selected landscape classes that is; the upper and lower range which are the outermost values calculated during the simulation (the SRNV values), upper (75th percentile) and lower (25th percentile) quartile which is used to describe the inter quartile range (IQR), and finally the median. The 25th and 75th percentile values are, when the data is ranked, the values that are on either 25% of the median. This eliminates outliers skewed to the high or low end of the value data.
400,000 375,000 350,000 325,000 300,000 275,000 Area (hectares) 250,000 225,000 200,000 175,000 150,000 125,000 100,000 75,000 50,000 25,000 0 Immature and older pine Mature and older upland conifer Immature and older hardwood and immature mixedwood Selected Landscape Classes Mature and older mixedwood Mature and older lowland conifer Lower Range Median Upper Range Inter Quartile Range (IQR) Plan Start

18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Figure 21. Example of Plan Start values compared to the SRNV, IQR and Median values resulting from the Boreal Forest Landscape Disturbance Simulator (BFOLDS) tool.

Figure 22 shows the desirable and average plan start level for the frequency of the occurrence of various sizes of young forest across the ARF. From this graph, we can see that young forest patches are overachieving on the desired level in the 101-250, 251-500 and the 501-1000 hectare patch sizes. The goal for these size classes is to attempt to maintain the frequencies that are currently
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found across the forest. The rest of the size classes are below the desired frequency, for which the goal is to increase the frequency of young forests in these classes through forest operations. This indicator implies that larger disturbances need to be planned in order to meet the desired levels. This will be accomplished through implementation of the Dynamic Caribou Habitat Schedule as directed in the Caribou Conservation Plan (CCP) and will create large-scale disturbances across the North SMZ, allowing for large tracts of area to regenerate as even aged forest.

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Figure 22. Comparison of desirable level and plan start (2012) and plan end (2022) achievement levels of the frequency of young forest patch size

Mature and old forest texture is a structure-based indicator used to characterize landscape pattern. The texture of the mature and old forest is measured using a landscape signature approach for each landscape class. This signature is a five-class frequency histogram that represents how much of the landscape contains areas in which the mature and old forest is in a minor, medium or a majority component as a proportion of the total area (mean proportion). The mature and old forest texture is measured at both the 500 hectare and 5000 hectare scale.

Figure 23 shows where the frequency of the current forest is in the mature and older forest (500ha) class compared to the desirable level. This figure shows that three of the five size classes exceed the desired levels while the remaining two need to be increased. As seen in Table FMP-9, only one of the texture classes (.01-.20) increased towards the desired level, with the others showing no movement towards this target. It is expected that this is a function of the DCHS, which retains mature conifer areas.

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2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Figure 23. Comparison of desirable level and plan start (2012) levels of the proportion of the total area in mature and older forest for the 500 ha signature

Figure 24 shows the plan start and desirable levels for the 5000 ha signature of mature and older forest. This graph shows that three of the five plan start levels underachieve the desirable level and two exceed them. Table FMP-9 shows that four of the classes move away from the desired level. This has the potential to be a function of the defragmentation of the landscape occurring through the application of the DCHS.

12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Figure 24. Comparison of desirable level and plan start (2012) levels of the proportion of the total area in mature and older forest for the 5000 ha signature

Without an approved Landscape Guide, the Natural Disturbance Pattern Emulation Guide (NDPEG) is to be implemented on the forest to determine patch sizes and frequencies. The requirement to plan residual patches within these areas is now dictated by the Stand and Site Guide. Figure 25 shows the distribution of natural disturbance patterns from NDPEG by size class across the Abitibi River Forest.
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2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Figure 25. Natural disturbance template

Four of the seven size classes indicated movement towards or are maintained within the template through the forest management plan. It was expected that there would be a higher frequency of large landscape patches, and therefore a decrease in small disturbances, with the application of the DCHS across the forest. Within the North SMZ, new harvest areas were allocated next to previous harvests in order to reduce fragmentation and increase the proportion of the caribou block that simultaneously becomes usable caribou habitat. Small disturbance patches are mainly located within the South SMZ where the large, contiguous patches of habitat are not required. Harvest allocations located within Z-blocks within the DCHS also contributed to the small disturbance patches. It was expected that many of the landscape pattern indicator desired levels would not be met, as demonstrated above. This is an anticipated function of the DCHS, which reduces fragmentation within the North SMZ, which covers 85% of the forest. This means that there would be an expected underachievement of small patches across the forest, and an overachievement of large landscape patches.

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2.1.2.3 Management Zones For this 2012 forest management plan, the Abitibi River Forest was sub-divided into two different sub-units based on ecological and operational differences (refer to figure 26). 1) Abitibi River North- This area represents the Tembec North (TBN), Tembec South (TBS) and Abitibi North (ABN) sub-management units from the 2010 FMP (formerly the Cochrane-Moose River, Smooth Rock and Iroquois Falls North Forests). 2) Abitibi River South- This area represents the former Abitibi South (ABS) submanagement unit from the 2010 FMP (formerly the Nighthawk and Iroquois Falls South Forest. The current strategic management zones (SMZs) are based upon the boundary between ecological zones 3E-1 and 3E-6 and was further refined as the southern boundary of the Kesagami caribou range. The DCHS will be applied in the Abitibi River North section only, creating different operational practices within this area. This is shown below in figure 27.

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1 2 Figure 26. Map showing the ecoregions on the Abitibi River Forest

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1 2 3 4 Figure 27. Map showing strategic management zones on the Abitibi River Forest

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2.1.2.4 Other Forest Classifications There are 8 wildlife species which are currently modeled and/or monitored on the Abitibi River Forest. They are; Pine Marten Moose (winter and summer cover and foraging) Ruffed Grouse Black Backed Woodpecker Black Bear (foraging) Lynx (denning) Pileated Woodpecker Woodland Caribou

The current planned habitat area for these species, as well as the projected habitat can be found in Table FMP-6. These species were modeled to have their amount of habitat remain above 70% of the natural benchmark scenario. The natural benchmark scenario runs the model to determine levels of wildlife habitat, old growth forest, area of each forest unit etc. across the forest that would occur across the forest without forest management or fire suppression. There are natural dips in all of these areas, and the goal of forest management planning is to ensure that forest management planning does not cause the levels of these to go below an acceptable level, which in this plan is 70%. Of these eight species, spatial habitat planning is required to be completed for two of them; woodland caribou (through the direction of the Caribou Conservation Plan) and pine marten (through the direction in the Forest Management Guide for the Provision for Marten Habitat,). The Abitibi River Forest falls within the Kesagami Range of the woodland caribou. Direction was followed from the Caribou Conservation Plan (CCP) (OMNR, 2010) to create a Dynamic Caribou Habitat Schedule (DCHS) across the areas of the forest falling within this range. The DCHS map for plan start and the development of the DCHS was documented in Supplementary Documentation 6.2.2. As per the CCP, the northern section of the forest has been partitioned into a mosaic and has been scheduled into 20 year time periods. This means that harvesting can only occur in the scheduled mosaic area for a 20 year time period, leaving large areas of the forest to currently remain, or develop over time into caribou habitat. This spatial and temporal constraint to allocating harvest area limits the selection of available area and will retain areas previously eligible for harvest for extended periods of time. In the Abitibi River South SMZ, outside the caribou range, the Forest Management Guidelines for the Provision of Marten Habitat have been applied. This area has been queried to select the most capable and suitable areas for marten and delineate them into cores. These core areas are spatially arranged across the SMZ and are deferred from harvest for 60 years to provide the mature conifer forest that is required by the pine marten and species which it is an umbrella species for. The location of the marten cores can be seen on the map in Supplementary Documentation 6.1.15. Within the Analysis Package located in Supplementary Documentation Section 6.1.1, there is a detailed write up on the development of the best marten core areas and the final marten cores.

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As described in the draft Landscape Guide, the planning team created an objective that assesses the current and future levels of mature and older forest across the Forest. At plan start, there was 1, 253,839 hectares of mature and older forest, which increases to 1, 267,159 hectares by 2032. This level achieves both the target and desired level of old growth from Table FMP-9. This forest indicator was spatially assessed and balanced between the North and South SMZs of the forest to ensure that all of the mature forest was not held within one area. 2.1.3 Forest Resources Although forest management plans only address the manipulation of forest cover and access into harvested timber, there is still a need to ensure that other non-timber values are being protected across the forest. These values include (but are not limited to) species at risk, fish and wildlife, tourism areas (remote tourism, parks, cottaging etc.), mining claims and mines, traplines and private land. 2.1.3.1 Inventories and Information for Species at Risk Within the Abitibi River FMP a variety of approaches will be used to provide for the needs of species at risk (SAR). The habitat requirements for the identified species are primarily addressed via landscape level planning by directing management operations over time to ensure all forest types and seral stages are present across the landscape in approximately natural amounts (i.e. the coarse filter approach). Area of concern (AOC) prescriptions or conditions on regular operations (CRO) will be used to protect sites of particularly high SAR value and sensitivity such as nesting, spawning or denning sites. The results of this fine-filter approach can be referenced in Table FMP-10 and Section 4.2.2.2. The OMNR is responsible for monitoring wildlife populations in Ontario and undertake surveys to increase our knowledge of species at risk in the Abitibi River Forest. As part of the protection of SAR, the SFL has developed conditions on regular operations (CROs) which instructs forest operations contractors to avoid damaging any habitat they may encounter while working in the forest. In addition, the SFL delivers annual spring training sessions to staff, contractors and forest operations contractors to increase basic knowledge and awareness of SAR. The following summarizes the available information for SAR in the Abitibi River Forest as of September 2011 and describes how habitat will be provided or protected for each species during forest management activities. If additional SAR are encountered during plan implementation, the OMNR will be contacted and a suitable AOC prescription will be prepared and applied. i) Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) classified as special concern in Canada and Ontario. The short-eared owl population is showing long-term, widespread decline in Canada including Ontario, due to the loss of preferred breeding and wintering habitat. The species is a ground nester in open habitat with low vegetation and may nest in cutovers or young regenerating forest. The species breeds and winters in large open grasslands or wetlands including hayfields, wet meadows, bogs and marshes. According to the OMNRs Forest Bird Habitat Synthesis Document (2009), habitat for the short-eared owl is unlikely to be negatively impacted by logging. As noted in the OMNR Background and Rationale for Direction document which accompanies the SSG (2010), forest
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renewal and tending operations could however have a negative effect on nests in cutovers. Mechanical site preparation operations could destroy nests and treeplanters could disrupt nesting birds. According to the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario 2001-2005, breeding evidence has been confirmed in the Abitibi River Forest. However, no nesting sites are currently known. If a short-eared owl nest is identified during operations, the OMNR will be contacted and it will be protected as per the AOC prescription for ground-nesting raptors. ii) Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) classified as endangered in Ontario. There are no known golden eagle nesting sites on the Abitibi River Forest however sightings of individuals have been recorded during spring and fall migrations. Forest management activities will likely have no impact to this species. If a nest is found during the course of operations, OMNR will be consulted and an appropriate AOC prescription will be developed, consistent with the Endangered Species Act, 2007 and the SSG (2010). iii) Black Tern (Chilidonias niger) classified as special concern in Ontario. The black tern is found scattered throughout Ontario, but breed mainly in the marshes dominated by cattails and bulrushes. Most black terns are found in marshes located along the edges of the Great Lakes. Black terns are mainly insect predators, hovering just above the water as they pick their prey off the surface. They build floating nests in loose colonies in shallow marshes, especially in cattails. In the winter they migrate to the coast of northern South America. Historical records show black terns were once common in Ontario, and that recent declines have been occurring since the 1980s. Threats include wetland drainage and alteration, water pollution and human disturbance at nesting colonies (particularly boat traffic which can swamp the floating nests). For this species forest management activities likely have either little impact or even a positive effect (i.e. creation of early successional forest). According to the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario 2001-2005, breeding evidence has been confirmed in the Abitibi River Forest. There is one known black tern nesting site located in Shea Bay in the northwest corner of Lake Abitibi, and another known nesting site on Nighthawk Lake. The size of the colony based on Ontario Parks surveys in 2003 and 2008 is 8 to 10 pairs. iv) Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) - classified as threatened in Canada and special concern in Ontario. The common nighthawk is an aerial insectivore whose habitat consists of open areas with little to no ground vegetation, such as logged or burned over areas, forest clearings, rock barrens, peat bogs, lakeshores and mine tailings. The large scale use of insecticides may be partly responsible for the widespread decline in common nighthawk, since insects are their main food source. Habitat degradation resulting from fire suppression, land use changes in the boreal forest and an increase in intensive agriculture are other contributing factors. Forest management that creates the recently disturbed conditions nighthawks require is therefore beneficial to them. According to the OMNRs Forest Bird Habitat Synthesis Document (2009) the habitat of the common nighthawk is unlikely to be negatively affected by forestry operations. Currently there are no known common nighthawk nesting sites on the Abitibi River Forest, however it is suspected nesting may be occurring in the northeast corner of the forest near the Detour Lake gold mine. Additionally, breeding evidence has been confirmed in the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario 2001-2005. Although there are no known nesting sites, an AOC prescription has been prepared and

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included in the FMP due to observations of common nighthawk on the Abitibi River Forest. If a nest site is discovered during operations, this AOC will be applied. v) Olive-sided flycatcher (Contopus cooperi) - classified as threatened in Canada and special concern in Ontario. COSEWIC (2007) describes its habitat as forest openings such as forest edges near natural openings (i.e. streams, bogs, swamp); recently harvested areas and recent burns if there are ample tall snags and trees to use for foraging perches. The Olive-sided Flycatcher is an aerial insectivore whose breeding habitat usually consists of coniferous or mixed forest adjacent to rivers or wetlands. In Ontario, Olive-sided Flycatchers commonly nest in conifers such as White and Black Spruce, Jack Pine and Balsam Fir. According to the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario 2001-2005, breeding evidence has been confirmed in the Abitibi River Forest. Although Olivesided flycatchers have been observed, there are no known nesting sites. In the context of this FMP, habitat will be provided for the Olive-sided flycatcher by retaining individual residual wildlife trees within harvest blocks as per the direction included in the SSG (2010). Habitat supply for this species was also modelled during the development of the long term management direction, although it was not set as a constraint. If a nest is found during the course of operations, OMNR will be consulted and an appropriate AOC prescription will be developed, consistent with the Endangered Species Act, 2007 and the SSG (2010). vi) Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) - classified as special concern in Ontario although the population of the Bald Eagle (BE) is increasing in northern Ontario. Beginning in the 1950's, Bald Eagle populations in eastern North America declined as a result of the widespread application of organochlorine pesticides such as DDT. The use of these chemicals is now restricted in Canada and Bald Eagle populations in many areas are no longer experiencing pesticide-related reproductive failures. Today Bald Eagles remain susceptible to illegal shooting, accidental trapping, poisoning and electrocution. Based on the OMNRs NRVIS database there are currently a total of 12 active bald eagle nesting sites recorded for the Abitibi River Forest. The database also indicates 1 active alternate nest site and 10 sites of unknown activity. A fine filtered approach will be used to protect important bald eagle nesting sites on the Abitibi River Forest. A new AOC prescription has been developed for the protection of active, inactive, and alternate bald eagle nests (Table FMP-10) based on the direction given in the OMNRs SSG (2010). In addition to the AOC supercanopy trees will be retained as residual wildlife trees adjacent to water bodies which will provide future potential nesting and perch trees. vii) Canada Warbler (Wilsonia Canadensis) - classified as threatened in Canada and special concern in Ontario due to range-wide population decline and high threats on wintering grounds. This species is associated with immature and older intolerant hardwood and lowland conifer. It is a fairly specialized species as it is often associated with slopes near water or wet areas with a dense understory. A coarse filter landscape approach will be used to manage Canada Warbler habitat on the Abitibi River Forest by maintaining natural amounts of forest unit (i.e. OH1, LC1, PO1, BW1, MW2, MW3 FUs) areas and their mature and old forest seral stages. According to the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario 2001-2005, probable breeding evidence has been documented for the Abitibi River Forest. If a nest is found during the course of operations, OMNR will be consulted

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and an appropriate AOC prescription will be developed, consistent with the Endangered Species Act, 2007 and the SSG (2010). viii) Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) - classified as special concern in Canada and Ontario. The Abitibi River Forest is within the current known breeding range of this butterfly. Declines in the Ontario Monarch populations are due to factors both in Ontario and on their wintering grounds outside of the province. The major threats in Ontario are logging and the widespread use of pesticides and herbicides, while disturbance to overwintering sites in Mexico, is putting added pressure on this species. Monarchs can be found in Ontario wherever there are milkweed plants for its caterpillars and wildflowers for a nectar source. Monarchs are often found on abandoned farmland and roadsides, but also in city gardens and parks. Given the habitat requirements of Monarchs forestry activities are unlikely to have a negative impact and may in fact be beneficial. Recent harvested sites and roads and landings can result in the production of wild flowers or common milkweed plants through normal operations. Since forestry is generally beneficial, no specific habitat areas are known for the monarch on the Abitibi River Forest and insecticides that could negatively affect these butterflies are not used, no specific management intervention is needed on this Forest. ix) Mountain Lion or Eastern Cougar (Puma concolor) classified as endangered in Ontario. The species has a very wide range, encompassing large areas of North, Central and South America. There have been hundreds of sightings of cougars in Ontario over the years, and their presence here is generally acknowledged. Cougars in northern Ontario are of unknown origin, but may have moved into the province from the west, or may represent remnants of the original population. Although there have been cougar sightings on the Abitibi River Forest, there is no physical evidence to confirm their existence (i.e. scat, DNA sources, photographs). Currently there are no known cougar den sites or areas on the Abitibi River Forest that the species depends on. Because cougars are habitat generalists it is unlikely that they would be negatively affected by forestry operations and they may actually benefit from the diversity of habitat conditions created through forest management. On the Abitibi River Forest, a supply of habitat for moose, its major prey species, is being provided through the coarse filter management approach by maintaining natural amounts of moose browse and late winter habitat. If a den is found during the course of operations, OMNR will be consulted and an appropriate AOC prescription will be developed, consistent with the Endangered Species Act, 2007 and the SSG (2010). x) Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) is classified as threatened in Ontario. This species has a distribution that is very widespread, in fact almost cosmopolitan. Although Peregrine Falcons now nest in downtown Toronto and several other southern Ontario urban centres, the majority of Ontario's breeding population is now centred around the Lake Superior watershed in northwestern Ontario. The peregrine falcon has been sighted on the Abitibi River Forest, and in 2011 a nesting site has been identified at the Kidd Creek Mine. Habitat selection by this species is limited by the presence of cliffs or rocky outcrops that are suitable nesting areas. The risk to the species due to forest management is decreased since suitable cliffs and rocky outcrops have a limited presence on the Abitibi River Forest. An AOC prescription has been prepared as per the direction in the SSG (2010) and will be applied to any peregrine falcon nest site
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discovered during operations. xi) Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis) is classified as special concern in Canada and Ontario. In Ontario, it is mainly found in the Hudson Bay Lowlands region, and is only found in localized marshes in southern Ontario. Yellow Rail populations declined in southern Ontario as wetlands were drained for urban development and agriculture. Expanding Snow Goose populations in the Hudson Bay Lowlands may be destroying habitat. The Yellow Rail has not benefited from the wetlands restoration for waterfowl, as it prefers shallow marshes rather than open waters. Forest management activities likely have little impact on this species, unless there is equipment movement or road construction within occupied wetlands. Yellow rail habitat will be managed by following SSGs guidelines for working around wetlands and other riparian areas. If yellow rail occupied breeding habitat is identified, OMNR will be contacted and an AOC prescription will be prepared and applied as per direction in the SSG (2010). xii) Wolverine (Gulo gulo) is classified as threatened in Ontario. The Wolverine is restricted to wilderness areas in the northern Boreal Forest in Ontario. Historically, the Wolverine range here was more extensive than today. Some of this range contraction is due to logging and other human disturbance in wilderness areas. In winter, Wolverines depend on scavenging caribou carcasses and as these populations decline so does the Wolverine. Population recovery is slowed by the low reproductive rate of the species. There are no recent recorded sightings of wolverine on the Abitibi River Forest however there are reports by local trappers that there may be an animal or animals passing through the forest. The protection of wolverine habitat will be assessed at the landscape level and protected through the management of woodland caribou habitat by retaining large blocks of unharvested and roadless areas. If a den is found during the course of operations, OMNR will be consulted and an appropriate AOC prescription will be developed, consistent with the Endangered Species Act, 2007 and the SSG (2010). xiii) Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) the forest dwelling ecotype is classified as threatened in Ontario whereas the forest tundra ecotype is classed as not at risk. Woodland caribou occur at low densities in small isolated herds across the boreal forest region of northern Ontario. They require large tracts of mature boreal forest habitat. Wetland complexes are important summer habitat for adult females and are used for calving and nursery habitat. In winter this species can be found on upland ridges containing mature conifer with plenty of lichens (both arboreal and terrestrial). During winters with less snowfall, woodland caribou can be found in stunted larch fens containing arboreal lichens. Habitat can be affected naturally by forest fires, insect disease and blow down. This species is also negatively impacted by anthropogenic disturbance such as development, linear corridors and habitat disturbance and alteration. Past forest management practices have created a fragmented and diverse forest landscape which does not favour them. Changing forest conditions as a result of disturbance can increase alternate prey species densities (moose, deer) which can in turn increase predator densities (wolf, black bear) and ultimately result in negative impacts to woodland caribou. A Caribou Conservation Plan was released by the Ontario Government in 2009 to provide policy direction towards protecting woodland caribou and their habitat. Implementation of this plan includes long-term habitat management which requires that there must be a sufficient amount and arrangement of currently suitable habitat and future habitat;
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that through silvicultural monitoring logged areas will return to suitable future habitat; and that caribou populations must be viable. The 2012 to 2022 Abitibi River FMP will incorporate a Dynamic Caribou Habitat Schedule which will retain large tracts of habitat in suitable condition spatially situated across the forest. Silvicultural effects monitoring will ensure harvested areas provide for future caribou habitat. Road planning will also be an important component of the plan by decreasing surfaced road density and providing for the reclamation of roads. xiv) Whip-poor-will (Caprimlugus vociferus) classified as threatened in Canada and Ontario. This aerial insectivore is more often heard than seen. It is well camouflaged and roosts by day parallel to the branch on which it sits. Its distinctive call is given loudly and is almost endlessly repeated on the nesting range, but only during twilight hours or in bright moonlight when foraging occurs (Cadman et al. 2007). Based on a variety of surveys, Blancher et al. (2009) concluded that the species has experienced a large decline (>50%) in Ontario and elsewhere. The global population of this bird is estimated to be 1.2 million (Audubon State of the Birds web site). Little is known about what makes good habitat for a whip-poor-will, but the preferred habitat is described as immature, sparse forest with an open understory (Cink 2002). The species uses rock or sand barrens with scattered trees, savannahs, regenerating burns, and open conifer plantations for nesting and foraging (Cadman et al. 2007). The eggs are laid on bare leaf litter and are shaded by a small shrub or tree (Cink 2002). Indications are that it is more likely benefited than harmed by forest management which creates young, open forest conditions immediately after harvesting. Thus, the coarse filter management approach, which will provide natural amounts of all habitat types and age classes on the landscape over time, is expected to provide suitable conditions for the whip-poor-will in the Abitibi River Forest. According to the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario 2001-2005, possible breeding evidence has been documented for the Abitibi River Forest. Additionally, there have been reports of hearing the whip-poor-will on the Abitibi River Forest by OMNR Conservation Officers, however no confirmed nests have been found to date. Despite this, an AOC prescription has been prepared and included in the FMP due to observations of whip-poor-will on the Abitibi River Forest. If a nest site is discovered during operations, this AOC will be applied. xv) Blandings Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) classified as threatened in Canada and Ontario. This turtle is easily identifiable by its characteristic bright yellow throat and jaw. It has a smooth, domed shell that has been said to resemble a military helmet. This medium-sized turtle inhabits a network or lakes, ponds, streams and wetlands, preferring shallow wetlands with abundant vegetation. They can also spend a significant portion of time in upland areas moving between suitable habitat. In a single season, a highly mobile Blandings Turtle has been known to travel up to 7km in search of food or a mate. The species distribution of Blandings Turtles is thought to be south of the ARF, however a confirmed occurrence was documented in the southern portion of the forest in 2010. If Blandings Turtles or additional nesting/hibernation sites are encountered during the course of operations, OMNR will be consulted and the appropriate AOC prescription will be applied (refer to FMP-10), consistent with the Endangered Species Act, 2007 and the SSG (2010). xvi) Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) classified as special concern in Canada and Ontario. The Snapping Turtle is Canadas largest freshwater turtle, reaching an average length of 20-36 cm and a weight of 4.5 16.0 kg. Snapping Turtles have large black, olive or brown shells typically
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covered in algae. Their tails, which can be longer than their body, have dinosaur-like triangular crests along their length. These turtles spend most of their lives in water, preferring shallow areas so they can hide under the mud and leaf litter, with only their noses exposed to the surface to breathe. During the nesting season, from early to mid-summer, females travel overland in search for a suitable nesting site, which is usually gravely or sandy areas along streams. It takes 15 20 years for a Snapping Turtle to reach maturity. As a result, adult mortality, caused by road mortality and human persecution, greatly affects this species survival. There have been reports of Snapping Turtles on the Abitibi River Forest; however no known nesting or hibernation sites are documented. Habitat for this species will be dealt with through AOCs and CROs associated with shorelines and wetlands, which aim to maintain water quality and ecological function. If Snapping Turtles or nesting/hibernation sites are encountered during the course of operations, the OMNR will be consulted and the occurrence will be dealt with accordingly.

xvii) Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) classified as endangered in Canada and threatened in Ontario. Although chimneys are this species primary nesting habitat, they are known to inhabit large hollow trees, other tree cavities, and cracks in cliffs (Cadman et al. 2007). Chimney swifts spend 50% of their time foraging for food within 0.5 km of their nest, although some individuals are known to forage at distances of 3-6 km (Cadman et al. 2007). According to the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario 2001-2005, possible breeding evidence has been documented for the Abitibi River Forest. If a nest is found during the course of operations, OMNR will be consulted and an appropriate AOC prescription will be developed, consistent with the Endangered Species Act, 2007 and the SSG (2010).

2.1.3.2 Fish and Wildlife Inventories The Abitibi River Forest (ARF) is the largest forest management unit in the Province and includes 3,585,882 ha of land and surface water. As a result, the landbase supports a diverse group of fish and wildlife species that require a mosaic of forest habitat types and aquatic thermal regimes. Many species are of high value to hunters, anglers and trappers and for tourism and viewing. MNR monitors these populations through a number of policies and management strategies to ensure continued recreational opportunities for both consumptive and non-consumptive users. Species are managed on the basis of Wildlife Management Units (WMU - wildlife), Fisheries Management Zones (FMZ - fisheries), Bear Management Areas (BMA) and traplines. The ARF intersects the boundaries of all or part of six Wildlife Management Units (24, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30) and is entirely within Fisheries Management Zone 8. There are 57 Bear Management Areas and 150 traplines entirely or partially within the boundaries of the ARF. Values protection for the various species (e.g. nests, spawning areas, dens) will be carried out through Area of Concern prescriptions as provided in the Forest Management Guide for Conserving Biodiversity at the Stand and Site Scales (2010).

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Wildlife Resources Big game species important to recreational users include moose, white tail deer and black bear. Small game species include ruffed grouse, spruce grouse, sharp-tail grouse, willow ptarmigan and snowshoe hare. Furbearers include otter, mink, marten, fisher, lynx, fox, wolf, coyote, red squirrel, skunk, beaver, muskrat and weasel. Migratory birds such as geese, ducks, woodcock and snipe are also important. Black Bear Bear management is conducted under the Framework for Enhanced Black Bear Management in Ontario (2009). The ARF intersects three management zones for black bear Zone C (WMUs 24, 26, 27 and 30), Zone D (WMU 29) and Zone E2 (WMU 28). Black bear are found throughout the ARF although density estimates vary depending on the WMU. Density estimates range from 12 to 15 bear per 100 km2 (Zone C), 23 bear per 100 km2 (Zone D) and 24 bear per 100 km2 (Zone E2). The numbers of black bear harvested off the ARF are difficult to ascertain because four of the WMUs are only partially within the ARF and there is no data to indicate the area within a WMU where a black bear may have been harvested. The minimum number of bear harvested is 100 based on harvest reports for WMUs 26 and 27 with an estimate of up to 200 bear when the other four WMUs are included. Black bears are omnivores and consume a variety of food types depending on the time of year. After bears awake from hibernation they seek out whatever greenery may be found such as flowers, grasses and sedges. Carrion (e.g. winter killed moose, deer or caribou) may also be consumed. There is evidence on the ARF that bears take moose and caribou calves during the late spring/early summer as well as caribou adults. During summer and into the fall, berries and other fruits become extremely important as food items as bears build up their fat reserves to prepare them for the upcoming winter hibernation. The availability and abundance of berries, especially blueberries can have a dramatic effect on over-winter survival and reproductive success. Denning sites can be dug burrows, upturned root mats or large hollow trees usually associated with mature to over mature forests. The black bear is a featured species in the ARF FMP and will have fall foraging habitat maintained at or above 70% of natural variation across the ARF. Denning sites will be protected as per the SSG (2010). Moose The Cervid Ecological Framework (2009) provides the management direction by which the four deer species in Ontario are to be monitored. Cervid Ecological Zones A (WMUs 24, 26 and 27), B (WMU 30) and C2 (WMUs 28 and 29) intersect the ARF. Within each of these zones, specific direction is applied to which cervid species will be managed for and specifically how moose will be managed on that landbase. Caribou and moose are the predominant species for Zone A; moose, white tail deer and caribou Zone B; and moose and white tail deer Zone C2. Moose densities range from 0.06 moose per km2 (WMU 26) to 0.143 moose per km2 (WMU 27) Zone A; 0.176 moose

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per km2 (WMU 30) Zone B and 0.219 moose per km2 (WMU 29) to 0.34 moose per km2 (WMU 28) Zone C2. The Cervid Ecological Framework indicates the north sub-unit is core caribou range and fringe moose range. As such, there is no management for moose at the stand/site scale in Zone A rather the direction is to maintain natural low moose densities and provide maximum recreational hunting opportunities. The historic and current habitat conditions on the north sub-unit are not suitable for high density moose populations. Where the habitat is considered suitable to support moose, forestry operations will continue to provide that habitat. Within the ARF, moose management will be a higher priority in Zones B and C2. Moose is a provincially significant species and a selected wildlife species in the ARF FMP. Moose browse and moose winter habitat will be maintained above 70% of the natural benchmark scenario in the south SMZ. AOCs for moose summer thermal cover and late winter cover will be applied during operational planning in the south SMZ to maintain summer thermal cover near high quality moose aquatic feeding areas and preserve late winter cover where that habitat type is limited. Marten Marten are a provincially featured species within the boreal forest and are an important economic fur-bearing mammal to trappers. Marten habitat will be maintained above 70% of the natural benchmark scenario for the ARF. Forest management planning on the ARF will take two SMZ specific approaches to marten habitat protection. In the north sub-unit habitat will be protected through the Dynamic Caribou Habitat Schedule. The methodology of tract mapping is recorded in the Analysis Package, in Section 6.1.1 of the Supplementary Documentation. This approach divides the landbase into large tracts of contiguous habitat of which each tract contains similar aged forest. The spatial distribution will provide mature to over mature conifer in large contiguous blocks across the landscape and provide suitable habitat for marten throughout the 140 year planning schedule. In the ARF south SMZ, marten habitat will be managed by following the standards and guidelines in OMNRs Forest Management Guidelines for the Provision of Marten Habitat (Watt et al., 1996) and Marten Habitat Direction for 2011 Forest Management Plans (Mills and Lucking, 2008). There are 261,087 ha of habitat that is capable of producing marten in the south SMZ. Of that area, 11.1% will be maintained as suitable marten habitat within marten cores in 2012, which will grow to an expected 12% by 2072. Marten cores were delineated to achieve a high percentage of suitable habitat within the cores and a spatial distribution of cores that provides coverage across the south SMZ.

Other Furbearers Furbearer species provide social and economic benefits with respect to trapping and the processing and sale of pelts. The management of furbearers occurs on a trapline by trapline basis. With the exception of marten (as outlined in Section 2.1.3.2.1.3 above), lynx is the only furbearer selected as one of the species to be monitored to ensure there is an adequate amount of preferred habitat over the long term. Preferred denning habitat for the lynx includes old mixed wood (MW1

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and MW2) and old upland conifer (LC1, SF1 and SP1). At plan start, there is 106, 717 hectares of lynx habitat across the ARF, which is expected to increase by 193% over the next 100 years to 206,075 hectares. The strategy to emulate natural disturbance by harvesting shoreline cover should benefit beaver by creating younger stands. The direction in the SSG (2010) allows this approach as long as other values are not negatively affected. The creation of new beaver ponds and associated habitat will also benefit other species over the long term such as waterfowl, shorebirds, herons, fish, reptiles, amphibians and other furbearers. All other furbearer habitat will be accounted for through the monitoring of habitat for the selected species which will cover off the broad range of habitat conditions across the forest. In addition, any denning sites for any furbearer species will be afforded protection when encountered through application of AOC prescriptions as per the SSG (2010).

Small Game Grouse and hare are the primary small game species present on the ARF. Four grouse species (ruffed, spruce, sharp-tail and ptarmigan) can be found on the forest although the latter may only be present during late fall through the winter in certain years. Both grouse and hare are cyclic in nature and their populations can be influenced by weather conditions and predator abundance. Forest activities should not significantly affect their populations. Only ruffed grouse will be monitored during modeling because, although not required, they were selected by the LCCs as a species of local importance. Grouse nests containing eggs when encountered will be protected as per the SSG (2010).

Raptors, Birds and Waterfowl Nests can be encountered and identified by any individual during any routine day-to-day outdoor activity. In addition MNR conducts stick nest surveys during the winter months and may also conduct follow-up summer surveys to ascertain nest occupancy. All nests are entered into the MNRs NRVIS database. The database currently shows 329 stick nest sites on the ARF. These include 114 osprey, 49 great blue heron, 18 northern goshawk, 6 broadwing hawk, 4 red-tail hawk, 5 common raven, 2 common crow, 1 great gray owl, 6 unknown bald eagle/osprey, 14 unidentified hawk/owl and 104 unknown raptor sites. Other species that are known to occur on the ARF and could be impacted by forestry operations include pileated woodpecker, American kestrel, northern harrier, great horned owl and several other small hawks and owls. The SSG (2010) provides updated direction based on the most recent science towards the protection of any nesting sites for all of these species. In addition both pileated woodpecker and black backed woodpecker have been selected as species for modeling to ensure adequate habitat provisions are met through time. Both species are projected to increase in habitat through the 100 year planning term of the plan. Pileated woodpecker habitat increases by 120%, starting at 227,239 ha in 2012, increasing to 273,159 ha in 2112. Black backed woodpecker starts the plan at 520,560 ha of habitat in 2012, increasing to 587,187 ha in 2112, increasing 113% in this time period.
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There are 11 herring gull, 1 ring billed gull, 1 sandhill crane, 7 cormorant and 7 common tern colony known nesting sites. The majority of these nesting sites will not be impacted by forestry operations given they are usually located on islands in large lakes (e.g. Lake Abitibi) or wetland complexes (sandhill crane). There are many waterfowl species that have been confirmed as nesting on the ARF. These include Canada goose, mallard, black duck, wood duck, green-winged teal, ring-necked duck, lesser scaup, common goldeneye, hooded merganser and common merganser. Although some are ground nesting species/individuals, others are cavity nesters. The latter can benefit from snag tree management and large diameter tree retention along the shores of waterways. Provisions for the protection of waterfowl nests are provided in the SSG (2010). Waterfowl staging areas are important sites during spring and fall migration periods. These areas can be protected through AOC prescriptions along waterways. Many waterways have wild rice beds which provide a source of food and cover. Forestry operations, if carried out in an inappropriate manner, have the potential to impact water quality which could have an effect on wild rice beds. By following the direction in the Stand and Site Guide as well as the operational direction in the Implementation Toolkit located in Section 6.14 of the Supplementary Documentation, water quality will be maintained and wild rice beds will be protected. Many species of songbirds inhabit the forest and have recently become a focal point for monitoring population trends. The coarse filter approach to landscape management implemented through the dynamic caribou habitat schedule and Marten Guide provisions, supported by the fine filter implementation of specific habitat prescriptions directed through the Stand and Site Guide are designed to ensure all species will have adequate habitat on the landscape through time.

Fisheries Resources The ARF contains 214,680.0 hectares of surface water representing 6% of the landbase area. The water bodies contain many fish species including coldwater species (e.g. lake trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, aurora trout, splake and lake whitefish) and cool water species (e.g. walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass and lake sturgeon). Some waterbodies contain warm water species (e.g. rock bass, pumpkinseed and brown bullhead) not native to this part of the province. Fisheries are an important resource in the area, providing remote as well as drive-in opportunities for individuals and tourism operations. The fisheries in the ARF also support commercial baitfish opportunities and First Nations subsistence. Wetlands also abound on the ARF and are important in maintaining ecological functions on the landscape as well as providing habitat for a variety of terrestrial and aquatic species. The main wetland types include marshes, bogs, fens and swamps. Forest management activities, if carried out in an inappropriate manner, have the potential to impact aquatic environments by affecting water quality and aquatic habitat. Some activities such as road construction can also adversely affect fish populations due to increased access and angling pressure. Operations that occur in riparian zones and along shorelines are considered higher risk for erosion, sedimentation, debris, elimination of shade and cover, a temporary increase in water temperature

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and alteration of the forage base. The SSG (2010) Section 4.1 provides the direction to be taken to maintain ecological functions of aquatic and wetland ecosystems. The ARF FMP will protect fisheries values and wetland ecosystem function by: Application of slope dependent AOCs to regulate forest management activities around water Establishing AOCs around spawning areas Following timing restrictions for water crossing installations Conducting harvest operations within or adjacent to sensitive areas during winter only During the planning stage for harvest operations adjacent to waterbodies, the planning team assessed all lakes, rivers and streams for potential impacts related to shoreline activities. In addition to the MNRs Water Classification Tool (2009) (used to assign the risk rank to all waterbodies), professional knowledge from local managers was also applied to further refine decisions around shoreline activities. Two fish species (lake sturgeon and anadromous brook trout) are considered to be of high importance in the ARF. Lake sturgeon inhabits many of the large river systems (Abitibi, Frederickhouse, Mattagami, Detour, Burntbush and Mikwam Rivers and is considered a species of special concern.). Forest management activities have the potential to impact sturgeon populations during water crossing construction. Since many of the rivers are large, crossings can either be bridges (portable or permanent) or winter crossings. Bridge crossings can result in increased access which increases angler activity and boat traffic that, in turn, can impact sturgeon spawning and movement. Winter (ice bridges) can impact sturgeon where they over winter in deep pools within the river. Mitigation may be accomplished by reducing/preventing the number of crossings over these water bodies, especially all-weather roads. Winter crossings will require testing water depth during ice bridge construction in order to refrain from crossing where deep pools are located (i.e. crossing at shallow water sites). Anadromous (sea-run) brook trout are also present in several of the major river systems including the Bad, Onakawana, Wekweyaukastic, Wawagigamau, North French and Nettogami Rivers. This species is important because of their unique behaviour of spending their adult life in James Bay (salt water system) and then migrating up river systems to spawn (fresh water system). Information related to spawning areas is limited however current field work by OMNR that utilizes implanted radio tags should assist in determining use areas within these waterbodies. Forest management operations, if carried out inappropriately, have the potential to impact spawning areas, fish passage and the thermal regime of the waterbody. Mitigation for this species can include reducing the number of crossings, timing restrictions on crossings during spawning (harvesting and wood haul), shoreline protection and restrictions on adjacent aggregate extraction. 2.1.3.3 Natural Resource Features, Land Uses and Values The collection and mapping of natural resource information has occurred for many decades, although the formal collection and mapping of values information began with the publication of the

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Timber Management Planning Manual for Crown Lands in Ontario in 1986. Values recorded were primarily fish and wildlife based (i.e. brook trout creeks, stick nests and moose aquatic feeding areas) but also included cultural and life science values information. Prior to this time, values information was collected randomly and not well coordinated in relation to forest planning. Today, natural resource values collection, mapping and classification are an integral part of forest management planning. Currently, a series of values maps have been updated for the production of this FMP using survey data, ground truthing and input from the general public and the forest industry. Input and verification of the information into the Natural Resources Values Information System (NRVIS) is an MNR responsibility. However, forest industry plays a vital role in reporting values information during plan implementation. Accurate resource values information is critical to the development and implementation of the forest management plan. Inaccurate or incomplete values information results in a deficient operational plan that is difficult to implement. Values information is organized to portray similar types of values on one map. All values information, including a list of sources of information on Values Maps, any missing or incomplete values maps and the maps themselves can be found in Section 6.1.14 of the Supplementary Documentation. Sensitive values information is not shown on maps but known to the planning team and has been considered during operational planning. The values maps consist of a set of maps based on nine broad themes. Due to the large geographic extent of the forest management unit, many of the themes are provided in a set of 3 maps, covering a north, central, and south section:

Natural Resource Features Wildlife and Forestry Contains such features as nesting sites, moose aquatic feeding areas, mineral licks, old growth forest, significant ecological areas, and forest research areas/plots. These maps are depicted in the following files: MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValWild_01.pdf MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValWild_02.pdf MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValWild_03.pdf

Natural Resource Features Fisheries and Wetlands Contains such features as baitfish areas, fish spawning areas, and lakes/rivers categorized by thermal regime. These maps are depicted in the following files: MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValFish_01.pdf MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValFish_02.pdf MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValFish_03.pdf

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Resource Uses Contains such features as recreational trails, hunting/fishing camps, cottage areas, infrastructure, and access points. These maps are depicted in the following files: MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValRec_01.pdf MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValRec_02.pdf MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValRec_03.pdf

Land Values Contains such features as permitted aggregate pits, active mining claims, Crown leases and Land Use Permits, and Crown/Patent/Federal lands. These maps are depicted in the following files: MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValLand_01.pdf MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValLand_02.pdf MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValLand_03.pdf

Bear Management Areas Portrays the current Bear Management Areas. These maps are depicted in the following files: MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValBMA_01.pdf MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValBMA_02.pdf MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValBMA_03.pdf

Trapline Areas Provides registered trapline boundaries and trap cabin locations. These maps are depicted in the following files: MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValTrap_01.pdf MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValTrap_02.pdf MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValTrap_03.pdf

Resource Based Tourism Contains such features as outpost camps, access points, camping sites, and snowmobile trails. These maps are depicted in the following files: MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValRBT_01.pdf MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValRBT_02.pdf

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MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValRBT_03.pdf

Cultural Heritage Values No archaeological or cultural values have been portrayed due to sensitivity. This map provides Archaeological Potential Areas which were produced by Forests Branch of the MNR using the Heritage Assessment Tool, September 2012. These maps are depicted in the following files: MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValCult_01.pdf MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValCult_02.pdf MU110_2012_FMPDP_P1_MAP_ValCult_03.pdf

Aboriginal Values Map No Aboriginal values have been displayed due to sensitivity of information. As shown in Figure 14, there is a relatively small amount of old growth red and white pine on the ARF, primarily due to the Abitibi River Forest being at the northernmost extent of the red and white pine range. Most of this area is within the south SMZ of the management unit, as seen in the Values Map in Supplementary Documentation 6.1.14. The desired forest and benefits meetings were held with planning team members, the LCC and Aboriginal community members. One of the outcomes from these meetings was a desire to maintain the current red and white pine (PRW) forest unit on the landbase. This indicates that some overmature red and white pine sites will remain unmanaged, while others will be managed to ensure the retention of dominant white and red pine forest cover on the forest, consistent with objectives set out by the planning team. The ARF contains a wide array of forest resource values. There has been a long history of resource utilization on the forest and the continuation of this will rely upon forest cover and forest cover manipulation. The utilization of these forest resources are economically significant in the local, regional and provincial context. These values are considered in the development and implementation of this forest management planning process, and processes were created to ensure their protection. Mitigation techniques may include prescriptions that specify harvesting and road distances from values (which may reduce the harvestable area within a block), no-road zones and/or timing restrictions applied to certain harvest blocks or roads to limit disturbance during sensitive periods (i.e. peak tourism months or critical breeding periods). All of these prescriptions have an impact on forest operations.

(a) Resource-Based Tourism Areas The Tourism and Forest Industry Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is an agreement between the government, the tourism industry and the forest industry on the development of Resource Stewardship Agreements (RSAs) and related matters. As per this MOU, this FMP had been prepared in accordance with the Companys commitment to maintain the viability of the tourism

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industry, through the protection of identified tourism values in the forest management planning process through the application of the Timber Management Guidelines for the Protection of Tourism Values, and the use of Resource Stewardship Agreements as one method of providing protection for these values. A Resource Stewardship Agreement is an agreement negotiated between two legal entities: a Tourism establishment offering fixed roof accommodations and the Sustainable Forest Licensee. The RSA process may be used to negotiate the protection of specific tourism values. Any operational prescriptions that are developed to protect tourism values must be approved by the MNR and included in the FMP under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act. The terms of any RSA do not bind or limit the governments right to make land use decisions for Crown land in Ontario. There are 34 tourism operators identified within the Abitibi River Forest (based on information received from the Ministry of Tourism). Each offers a variety of commercial tourism experiences to their clientele such as hunting, fishing, canoeing, hiking etc. Tourism operations vary from remote fly- or boat-in to drive-in operations. All of the 32 establishments were contacted at the beginning of the planning process to initiate discussion and solicit interest in the development of RSAs with the SFL, with 1 operator expressing interest in participating in the planning process. Area of concern prescriptions may be developed and approved in the FMP with respect to the protection of specific tourism resources and may include considerations such as road location, usage, and abandonment, timing of harvest, or maintenance of viewsheds. This forest management plan will maintain the viability of the tourism industry by protecting tourism values through the application of the Management Guidelines for Forestry and ResourceBased Tourism and the use of RSAs as a method for sustaining these values.

(b) Mineral, Aggregate and Quarry Areas Prepared by Dawn-Ann Metsaranta Regional Land Use Geologist Timmins Regional Resident Geologist Office Ministry of Northern Development and Mines November 29, 2010 The Abitibi River Forest is located on the Precambrian Shield in northeastern Ontario and is underlain by the Superior Province. The Superior Province consists of granitic bedrock with east trending alternating belts of metavolcanic and metasedimentary rocks, referred to as greenstone belts. Rocks of the Superior Province were formed over 2.5 billion years ago. All rock types are cross cut by younger diabase dikes which have intruded the bedrock along faults and lineaments. Overlying the bedrock is a sequence of glacial deposits that were developed by a series of glacial advances and the subsequent glacial retreats of the Labrador sector of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. The oldest glacial advance occurred approximately 150,000 year ago and the latest glacial retreat was about 7,000 years ago. Geology The geology of the FMU comprises two major periods of earth history, the oldest of which

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constitutes the bedrock geology. The glacial, or surficial, deposits are the youngest. The bedrock geology is a result of continent building processes which were active between approximately 2.2 and 2.7 billion years ago. Bedrock geology was formed by events such as volcanism, mountain building, folding and faulting and associated destructive events such as erosion and represents the solid foundation upon which the current landscape is set. The surficial deposits are the result of erosion that has taken place since the end of continent-building activity. The majority of these surficial deposits of silt, sand and gravel are the result of the glacial retreat. The glacial activity produced landforms by erosion and deposition of surface materials. The modern day topography and landforms observed within the management unit are a result of the presence of both bedrock and surficial geological features and their interaction with surface processes such as continent building events, glaciation, and wind and wave action. i) Bedrock Geology

The management unit is underlain by a diverse assemblage of rocks contained within the extensive Superior province. Within the boundaries of the management unit the Superior Province is further divided into the Quetico, Opatica and western Abitibi Subprovinces and a portion of the Kapuskasing Structural Zone. The Quetico, Opatica and western Abitibi are fault-bounded Subprovinces which are linear belts made up of distinct rock types, ages and degrees of metamorphism. The northeastern extension of the Kapuskasing Structural Zone creates the boundary between the Quetico and Opatica Subprovinces in a northeasterly direction. The Kapuskasing Structural Zone is made up of high-grade metamorphic rocks that represent continental-scale uplift along the fault. The south section of the management unit is occupied by the western Abitibi Subprovince. This Subprovince is made up of metavolcanic and metasedimentary belts, termed greenstone belts, which are surrounded by large bodies of granitic rocks. There are three major greenstone belts found within the FMU, the Abitibi, Burntbush and Detour greenstone belts. The Abitibi greenstone belt lies within the western Abitibi Subprovince and is located where the majority of the claims are staked in the south part of the management unit. It is comprised of ultramafic, mafic, intermediate and felsic metavolcanic rocks, metasedimentary rocks and minor amounts of iron formation. These rocks are intruded by granitic intrusions. The Abitibi greenstone belt is Ontarios largest and most economically important greenstone belt which hosts many massive sulphide deposits rich in copper, zinc, lead and silver, as well as hosting one of the richest areas for gold deposits. The east trending Porcupine-Destor Fault Zone cuts the Abitibi greenstone belt across the Timmins Kirkland Lake area and is one of the main sources for the gold in this area. The Quetico Subprovince makes up a small area along the western edge of the management unit. This Subprovince consists of metasedimentary and migmatitic rocks (Ontario Geological Survey, 1991).

The Opatica Subprovince is an eastward continuation of the Questico Subprovince (Ontario Geological Survey, 1991). It is made up of gneissic and migmatitic rocks of sedimentary origin which are cut by large granitic intrusions. This subprovince makes up the majority of the northern

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part of this management unit. The Burntbush and Detour greenstone belts are found within this Subprovince. They lie along the Ontario-Quebec border and are located north of Lake Abitibi. The Burntbush greenstone belt is comprised of mafic, intermediate and felsic metavolcanic rocks and metasedimentary rocks with minor iron formation. There are several large granitic intrusions in this greenstone belt. The Detour greenstone belt is made up of mafic and intermediate to felsic metavolcanics and metasedimentary rocks. Trondhjemite, granodiorite, monzonite and aplitepegmatite intrusions occur throughout as dikes and small intrusions. ii) Surficial Geology

North of Lake Abitibi, the management units surficial geology consists of a large till sheet of undifferentiated, fine-grained, predominantly silty clay to silt. There are moderate amounts of glaciolacustrine deposits of silt and clay and minor sand indicating basin and quiet water deposition. These deposits are also found along the boundary of the Abitibi and Opatica subprovinces. Small deposits of nearshore-beach glaciolacustrine and glaciofluvial outwash material, both made up of sand and gravel, are also found in this management unit. The low-lying areas are covered in swampy, organic deposits of peat and muck. South of Lake Abitibi, the surficial geology is predominately made up of glaciolacustrine deposits consisting of silt and clay with minor to moderate deposits of sand and gravel. Significant southeast-trending esker systems and associated glaciofluvial ice-contact deposits of sand and gravel are found throughout this FMU.

Mining and Mineral Exploration Historically, mining and mineral exploration have been important activities in this management unit with asbestos, copper, nickel, zinc, silver and gold being the dominant commodities extracted. The Abitibi greenstone belt is the most economically significant greenstone belt in Ontario. Currently there are four operating gold mines and 3 base metal mines within the management unit. The gold mines currently operating are Dome, Hoyle Pond, Pamour and Holloway-Holt mines. Since 1907, mining of gold deposits have produced US$75 Million ounces. Using the price of gold on November 25, 2010 (US$1372.82), that gold would have a value of more than US$103 Billion. There have been over 40 past producing gold mines within the management unit. These have been concentrated in the Timmins, Kirkland Lake and Detour Lake areas. The base metal mines that are currently in operation are Kidd Creek, McWatters and Redstone mines. These are all found in the Timmins area. In production since 1966, the Kidd Mine has produced more than US$10 Billion of silver, US$26 Billion of copper and US$18 Billion in zinc (calculated using market prices for metals on November 25, 2010). At the end of 2009, Kidd Creek had proven reserves of silver, copper and zinc worth just over US$838 Million, US$2.7 Billion and US$1.7 Billion, respectively. The McWatters and Redstone mines have produced over US$84 Million in nickel and have proven reserves of nickel worth more than US$605 Million. There is one past producing nickel mine, Alexo mine, which produced US$45 Million worth of nickel. This is an area of high level mineral exploration activity which is reflected by the number of active mining claims. Active unpatented mining claims constitute approximately 15% of the forest management unit totalling 371,186 hectares of land and another 5-10% is made up of patented
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mining claims. These unpatented claims represent an initial investment in the management unit of approximately CDN$5,800,000 for claim staking alone (CDN$250 per unit). In addition, there is an estimated dollar expenditure of CDN$9,280,000 per year related to mineral exploration assessment work required to keep the claims in good standing. The money spent on patented mining claims is not easily measured because there is no requirement to report on exploration work conducted there. MNDMFs Mineral Deposit Inventory database (MDI) shows 1363 mineral occurrences of all types in this forest management unit. Mining areas have the potential to affect forest operations, especially within the North SMZ of the forest. Within this area, cumulative impacts will be assessed to determine the levels of disturbance that are allowed to occur within caribou habitat. If the mining sector advances north, there could be a further limitation (paired with the already existing DCHS) that could affect the overall wood supply and access into operations. Aggregate and Quarry Areas Across the forest, there are forestry aggregate pits open across the ARF, as well as 128 licensed pits available for extraction within all 3 Districts. Within the Claybelt area in the North SMZ, there is a significant lack of suitable aggregate material, as the composition of the soil is primarily silts and clays. This not only holds moisture, creating mostly lowland forest area, but also greatly increases costs of road building and therefore timber extraction in the North SMZ, even when activities are limited to winter operations.

(c) Crown Land Recreation and Cottaging There is high use of the Abitibi River Forest by outdoor enthusiasts, snowmobilers, cottagers, anglers and hunters. There are many popular lakes, snowmobile trails, hunting camps and parks that are frequented yearly that are a recognized value on the forest. Many of the popular lakes and hunting areas are situated close to the towns of Timmins, Cochrane, Smooth Rock Falls and Iroquois Falls, as well as south of Lake Abitibi. These values are considered through the forest management planning process, and in some cases, a viewscape analysis or AOC is applied to the lake or trail.

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Provincial Parks, Conservation Reserves, National Parks and Forest Reserves Provincial parks, conservation reserves and forest reserves incorporate Crown land that is not available for forest management activities. These areas are designated under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act. Table 2 below lists the Crown land parks and protected areas within to the Abitibi River Forest. Table 2. Parks and Protected Areas Within or Adjacent to the Abitibi River Forest
Name Abitibi-De Troyes CLUPA Reference ID* P 1616a G 2081, G 2084, G 2087 C 1712 C 1604 P 1621 P 1621e F 1621 C 1603 C 1603a C 1703 C 1581 C 1594 F 1594 P 1589e P 1589 C 1607 G 1753 P 1622 P 1748 C 1586 C 1714 C 1598 C 1597 C 1597a F 1597 C 1578 F 1578 C 1606 G 2082, G 2085, G 2088, G 2089 C 1582 C 1612 Designation (Class) Provincial Park Area (ha)** 4292

Burntbush Area Coral Rapids Wetland Driftwood River White Cedar Lacustrine Esker Lakes Esker Lakes Esker Lakes Elspeth Lake White Birch Outwash Elspeth Lake White Birch Outwash Fraserdale Wetland Complex Geary Township Shoreline Bluff Grassy River Halliday Lake Forests and Lowlands Grassy River Halliday Lake Forests and Lowlands Greenwater Greenwater Additions Kesagami River Outwash Plain Lake Abitibi Lake Abitibi Islands Little Abitibi Mahaffy Township Ground Moraine McDougal Point Peninsula Nahma Bog and Poor Fens Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs North Muskego River Mixed Forest Reserve North Muskego River Mixed Forest Reserve North of the North French River

General Use Area Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Provincial Park Provincial Park Forest Reserve Conservation Reserve (Recommended) Conservation Reserve (Recommended) Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Forest Reserve Provincial Park Provincial Park Conservation Reserve General Use Area Provincial Park Provincial Park Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve (Recommended) Forest Reserve Conservation Reserve Forest Reserve Conservation Reserve

264809 6039 184 3272 3243 13 47 266 18762 610 1778 282 5338 3166 2251 99956 2721 20000 640 6036 3606 893 431 232 3283 6 158286

Remaining (Straggler) Lakes Pinard Moraine Seguin River Conifer and Fens

General Use Area Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve

510121 18202 6833

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Name Tembec Wetland Thackeray Trollope Kale Burnt Hill Poplar Spruce CLUPA Reference ID* C 1711 P 1834 C 1628 G 2080, G 2083, G 2086 Designation (Class) Conservation Reserve Provincial Park Conservation Reserve Area (ha)** 8149 116 2108

Two Peaks Area Whitefish & East Whitefish Lakes Sandy Till Uplands Whitefish & East Whitefish Lakes Sandy Till Uplands Whitefish River Sandy Till Whitefish River Sandy Till Wildgoose Outwash Deposit

General Use Area

148359

C 1602

Conservation Reserve

9353

F 1602 C 1596 F 1596 P 1610

Forest Reserve Conservation Reserve Forest Reserve Provincial Park

180 3800 29 1198

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*- MNRs Crown Land Use Policy Atlas (CLUPA) reference identification number **- Area, in hectares, according to MNRs CLUPA

General Use Areas The Crown Land Use Policy Atlas identified five land use policies for General Use Areas within the Abitibi River Forest area requiring prescriptions. This policy includes direction for activities such as mining, cottaging, public recreation, trapping etc. within the boundary, as described below. Burntbush Area (G 2081, G 2084, G 2087) is a combination of 3 General Use Areas totaling 264,809 hectares. This area is part of the Cochrane District Remote (Wilderness) Tourism Strategy and contains many outfitter and fishing lakes. This strategy lists Category 1 and 2 tourism lakes. Within areas around Category 1 lakes and outpost camps, there will be a 120-meter no harvest reserve implemented, as well as a 120-500 meter no logging zone. Category 2 lakes will have a 120meter no harvest reserve placed upon them. Both of these requirements from the Strategy will be implemented as such unless there is a wildlife or fisheries value requiring more protection than listed. Lake Abitibi (G 1753) is a general use area that is 99,956 hectares in size, 91,000 hectares of which is Lake Abitibi, and one eighth is located within the province of Quebec. All of the shoreline found within the province of Ontario is Crown, with the exception of one farm lot on the north shore at the Quebec boundary, five private lots at Lowbush, and some small areas of land owned by the Canadian National Railway. The land use intent for Lake Abitibi focuses on public recreation, cottaging and commercial tourism that does not impact the Lake Abitibi area (archaeological sites, historic sites, wetland areas, animal habitats etc.) and does not exceed the environmental capacity of the lake itself. Modified forest management can occur in shoreline areas near significant waterfowl sites, moose winter concentration areas, near cultural sites etc. as dictated within the FMP. Remaining (Straggler) Lakes (G 2082, G 2085, G 2088, G 2089) is a General Use Area that is a combination of 4 other General Use Areas totaling 510,121 hectares. This area is intended to protect remote tourism lakes within the area. Like the Burntbush area, these lakes are listed under the Cochrane District Remote (Wilderness) Tourism Strategy, and have specifications for operations
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around them. No primary roads will be within 2 kilometers of the lake, no secondary roads within 1 kilometers, winter roads will be from 500 meters to 1 kilometer away and no road construction will be with 500 meters of the lake. No gravel will be used on roads within 1 kilometer of the lake, and any access other than what is listed will be determined in discussion with the tourism operator. There will be a 200 meter no operations buffer places around the listed tourism lakes and outpost camps, from 200 to 500 meters from the lake there will be winter operations only, and from 500 meters to 1 kilometer from the lake, careful logging will take place within the winter operating season. Two Peaks Area (G 2080, G 2083, G 2086) is a combination of 3 General Use Areas totaling 148,359 hectares. This area protects remote lakes and outfitter camps, is included in the Cochrane District Remote (Wilderness) Tourism Strategy and conditions for forestry activities within this area are described in this text. For these lakes, a 120 meter no cut zone will be left, with a 1 kilometer modified harvest zone beyond that. Provincial Parks, Conservation Reserves & Forest Reserves Provincial parks, conservation reserves and forest reserves are areas that incorporate Crown land that is not available for forest management activities. Parks and other conservation areas within the Abitibi River Forest envelop 397,382 hectares, representing approximately 11% of the available landbase. During the forest management planning process, the areas of land held by provincial parks and conservation areas within the forest are used to contribute to habitat and wildlife requirements for selected species. These areas are also used to meet old growth targets, but are not included in modeling the available harvest area of the Forest. When harvesting in areas around these protected reserves, consideration needs to be taken of the values and tourism aspects associated with them. Provincial parks and conservation reserves are viewed as places where people can recreationally enjoy the outdoors and the natural diversity of Ontarios wilderness. A brief description of each Provincial Park and conservation reserve can be found below. Abitibi-De Troyes (P 1616a) Provincial Park is 4292 hectares and is a former waterway park that has since been reclassified as historical due to the significance of the area and the inability to manage the waterway park due to the large amount of private land in the area. The intent of this park is to not restrict access to the area, and to protect the high level of cultural heritage values on the Lake Abitibi Peninsula. No forest operations are permitted within the park boundary. Esker Lakes Provincial Park (1621 and 1621a) is 6515 hectares in total (3271 and 3243 hectares respectively) and contains 29 kettle lakes, sand dunes, one of the largest eskers in the province, as well as many other post-glacial land formations. The land use intent for the park is to protect both the natural values within the area while allowing for recreation. No forest operations are permitted within the park boundary. Greenwater Provincial Park (P1589 and 1589e) is an 8504 hectare recreational area located on top of a 61 metre high esker ridge. It also includes the headwaters of Blackburn Creek, and encloses many trout lakes within its boundary. The land use intent for Greenwater Provincial Park is to

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provide a recreational area while maintaining the natural diversity of the area. No forest operations are permitted within the park boundary. Lake Abitibi Islands (P1622) incorporates 2721 hectares of islands within Lake Abitibi that is protected for the maintenance of waterfowl and heron nesting sites, as well as the island ecosystems. This area is managed as a nature reserve. No forest operations are permitted within the park boundary. Little Abitibi Provincial Park (P1748) is 20,000 hectares in size, combining the Little Abitibi RiverNewpost Creek area, classified as a waterway park, as well as the Pierre-Montreuil section, which is designated as a natural environment. The park contains many eskers, kames, kettle lakes and moraines as well as a waterfall and a stand of over 300 year old red pine. The objective for this provincial park is to protect cultural heritage values around the Little Abitibi River, as well as the natural values, as described above. No forest operations are permitted within the park boundary. Thackeray Provincial Park (P1834) is a 116 hectare nature reserve which protects a large area of Archean meta-volcanic rocks. The large rock outcrop which is present within the park allows for an unusual view of several hundred meters of tholetic basalt, whose composition varies from gray to green magnesium basalt, to black to dark green iron basalt. This area also contains breccias, as well as fragmental glass tuffs and other geologic zones. This park does not have visitor facilities, although permitted, and is intended mainly to protect the bedrock outcroppings present in the park. No forest operations are permitted within the park boundary. Wildgoose Outwash Deposit (P1610) is intended for use as a 1,198 hectare nature reserve. The area is mainly composed of white birch, spruce, jack pine and poplar stands which grow on top of a broken outwash deposit. The park is drained by the Wildgoose River, and contains 3 lakes as well as wetlands, including fens and bogs. No forest operations are permitted within the park boundary. Coral Rapids Wetland Conservation Reserve (C1712) is a 6039 hectare area composed primarily of wetlands, with a portion of the area being a broken ground moraine. The land use intent for this area is governed under the Land Use Strategy. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary. Driftwood River White Cedar Lacustrine Conservation Reserve (C1604) is located near the headwaters of the Driftwood River, using 184 hectares of the Abitibi River Forest. This area provides winter moose habitat and is composed of 41-110 year old white cedar wetlands. The land use intent for this area is governed under the Land Use Strategy. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary. Elspeth Lake White Birch Outwash Conservation Reserve (C1603) is a 313 hectare reserve which is managed as a conservation reserve to protect the osprey and heron nests as well as the moose aquatic feeding areas between Elspeth and Sara Lakes. The area is dominated by old growth white birch as well as poplar, aspen and jack pine. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary. Fraserdale Wetland Complex Conservation Reserve (C1703), a lacustrine deposit with wetlands and a mix of sparse and dense conifer forests, is a 18762 hectare area that is managed under the policies within the Land Use Strategy. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary.
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Geary Township Shoreline Bluff (C1581) is 610 hectares in size and protects a provincially significant earth science feature; the thought erosional shoreline created by the maintained level of Lake Barlow-Ojibway. This bluff has been severed into a till covered upland area, which is under bedded by compact, fissile, gravelly, silty till. This conservation reserve is intended for use under the Land Use Strategy. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary. Grassy River Halliday Lake Forests and Lowlands Conservation Reserve (C1594) and Forest Reserve (F1594) is a 2060 hectare area that consists of both conservation and a forest reserves. It is a historical region that is an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) as it contains naturally significant sites not found in the region. There is also a large sand dune running through the western portion of the area. The forest reserve placed in the area is put in place to protect previous mining areas. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary. Kesagami River Outwash Plain Conservation Reserve (C1607) constitutes 2251 hectares of the Abitibi River Forest, protecting dense conniver, mixed conifer and wetlands that are prime caribou habitat. This area is the only weakly broken outwash plain landform of its type in the area. The land use intent for the area is that the existing outpost camps can still be operated under regulation, and all other concerns are dealt with under the Land Use Strategy. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary. Mahaffy Township Ground Moraine Conservation Reserve (C1586) is a 640 hectare area north of Sturgeon Falls on the Mattagami River. It is located upon an old, moderately broken ground moraine, and is managed under the Land Use Strategy to conserve the muskeg and old growth spruce areas within it. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary. McDougal Point Peninsula Conservation Reserve (C1714), located in McDougal Point in Lake Abitibi, is a 6036 hectare peninsula that contains a lacustrine deposit. The three areas of the park are governed under the Land Use Strategy. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary. Nahma Bog and Poor Fens Conservation Reserve (C 1598) is a 3606 hectare ANSI, containing a basin fen, center raised bog, string bog and lag swamps. This area is classified as a provincially significant wetland, and contains the provincially rare bog lemming. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary. Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation and Forest Reserves (C1597 and F1597) represents a 1556 hectare region within the Abitibi River Forest that borders the edge of Night Hawk Lake. This is a stocked cold water lake, with the bluffs being lacustrine clay, and sand dunes being present in the south central area bog. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary. North Muskego River Mixed Forest Reserve Conservation and Forest Reserve (C1578 and F1578) is a 3289 hectare conservation and forest reserve that contains a broken ground moraine which is inhabited by many ages of spruce, muskeg, poplar and white birch as well as red and white pine. This area contains parts of the North Muskego River, as well as Laidlaw, Crystal and Return Lakes, which have potential for lake trout. The Land Use Strategy is used to manage any activities that are to be undertaken within these 2 areas. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary.

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North of the North French River Conservation Reserve (C1606) is part of the Cochrane Remote Wilderness Strategy, and is 158286 hectares in size. Located at the north end of the forest, this area contains an esker with mixed deciduous, dense conifer and some areas of sparse forests. Caribou have been known to inhabit this region, although, due to a chain of small lakes, tourism is also common. This area is managed under the Land Use Strategy, as well as the Approved Cochrane District Remote Wilderness Tourism Strategy, which regulates road networks and outpost camps within the forest. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary. Pinard Moraine Conservation Reserve (C1582) is an 18202 hectare area that elevates itself 54 meters around the surrounding land. This is one of the largest features of its kind in northeastern Ontario, and was caused from a halt in glacial recession. This area is common to dense and mixed conifer. The land use intent for this area is to use one existing road through the forest, and to manage the area according to the Land Use Strategy. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary. Seguin River Conifer and Fens Conservation Reserve (CC1612) is a 6833 hectares in size and has moderately broken topography, mostly bedrock outcrops and finer textures between. This results in a forest that is mainly coniferous, with stands of spruce and jack pine dominating the area. There are also fens located within the conservation reserve, occurring along creeks. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary. Tembec Wetland Conservation Reserve (C 1711) is an 8149 hectare weakly broken ground moraine that is covered by deciduous forests and a fen. It is managed under the Land Use Strategy. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary. Trollope Kale Burnt Hill Poplar Spruce Conservation Reserve (C1628), a 2108 hectare lake trout management area, consists of medium aged poplar and spruce situated on weakly broken bedrock. Some areas of the forest also contain mixed forests and jack pine stands. This area is managed under the Land Use Strategy. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary. Whitefish & East Whitefish Lakes Sandy Till Uplands Conservation and Forest Reserves (C1602 and F1602)is a 9533 hectare area that covers areas of moderately broken outwash uplands consisting of lacustrine fine sand, and a moderately broken shallow sandy till upland of fine sands and clay. In the first site, many ages of poplar exist alongside old growth black spruce. The second landform contains many different tree species, ranging from black spruce, white spruce, jack pine and poplar to yellow birch, larch and white pine. This area is managed for lake trout, and is governed under the Land Use Strategy. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary. Whitefish River Sandy Till Conservation and Forest Reserves (C1596 and F1596) is a 3829 hectare area that contains 31-100 year old black spruce, 31-70 year old jack pine, less than 30 year old white birch, white cedar, poplar, as well as scattered occurrences of white pine. The topography of the site includes shallow and deep sandy till (with relief) and bare bedrock, as well as lacustrine deposits with wetlands. There is also a waterfowl staging area present in the reserve, located within McNeil Township. The land use intent for this area is to protect the natural heritage and special landscapes and mining claims, and is managed under the Land Use Strategy. No forest operations are permitted within the conservation reserve boundary.

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There are conditions on forest operations around parks across the Abitibi River Forest, depending on the individual goal of the park. Some areas require no road zone AOCs around them to prevent access by road while others allow for access to be created.

(d) Trapping (Commercial Fur) The trapping of fur bearing animals is an important recreational and employment activity on the Abitibi River Forest. Forest management activities manipulate the forest cover, which in turn provides for specific wildlife habitat in a given area at a given time. There are 177 traplines established on the forest, covering 3.5 million hectares of land. These, as indicated on the Values Maps located in Supplementary Documentation Section 6.1.14 are used to regulate the commercial harvest of fur from species such as marten, beaver, mink, otter, lynx, red fox, wolf, muskrat and weasel. Operations within traplines may be modified to accommodate fur-bearer habitat based on the trappers input. For example, mature timber may be retained around specified water ways for marten, or harvesting to the shoreline may be carried out to enhance beaver habitat. During the development of the DCHS in the North SMZ, traplines were considered to ensure that when blocks are harvested, entire traplines are not impacted within one 20 year time period. In the south, traplines were not considered in the allocation of timber, as the allocations are smaller and generally have less of an impact on traplines. In both areas, trappers have the opportunity to provide input on harvesting operations within their trapline areas.

(e) Private Land Currently there are 5,853 hectares of land across the Abitibi River Forest that is classified as private. Most of this area is situated around the municipal centers (Timmins, Cochrane, Smooth Rock Falls, and Iroquois Falls) within the forest and in areas surrounding cottaging lakes and hunting camps. These areas are removed from the productive landbase and cannot be used as contributions to wildlife habitat, as forested status within these areas are uncontrolled and unknown. Private land is not planned for harvest within the forest management planning process and is generally buffered as described in the Implementation Toolkit located in section 6.2.1 of the Supplementary Documentation. Within the South SMZ, there are areas of Crown land that are landlocked by private land, and access into them will require permission by the owner.

(f) Access The Abitibi River Forest has a well-established road network in the south SMZ, as well in the southern portion of the north SMZ, with a combination of provincial highways, municipal roads and forest access roads. These allow for the access to a majority of areas within the management unit while road networks are planned to extend north, as forest operations are proposed to take place into currently inaccessible areas. Major highway access is provided by Highway 11, 101, 655, 634 and the Detour Highway (652). The northeast portion of the Forest is largely accessed by the Detour Highway as well as the Chabbie Road, the north central portion of the Forest is accessed mainly by
66

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38

the Inglis and Pierre Lake Road with the Pierre Lake Road proposed for future access the area north of the Pierre Lake Conservation Reserve. The north east portion of the Forest is largely accessed by Highway 634. The southern portions of the forest are accessed through Highway 101, which runs from Highway 17 to the Quebec border, intersecting Timmins and continuing through the former IFS subunit; Highway 655 which connects Timmins to Smooth Rock Falls, and Highway 672, which connects Highway 101 to Highway 66 near Larder Lake. There is a well-established primary road network in most areas of the South SMZ of the Abitibi River Forest. There are some areas of the forest that are currently without access. The largest proportion is in the northern section of the North SMZ, running northeast of the Little Abitibi River to the North of the North French River Conservation Reserve. This area is not accessed primarily due to the high cost of construction of roads over the large rivers paired with the high cost of road construction in the low land areas. Also, there is smaller timber and lower volumes per hectare available within this section of the forest, making the long hauling distances economically challenging. There are 94 existing primary forest access roads on the Abitibi River Forest. There are 35 primary roads proposed for upgrade or new construction on the forest for this forest management plan, as described in detail in Supplementary Documentation Section 6.1.6. Supplementary Documentation Section 6.1.14 includes a series of values maps including a map portraying roads that are the responsibility of the sustainable forest license. Supplementary Documentation Section 6.7 provides an Areas Selected for Operations map, which includes those Primary and Branch road corridors scheduled to be built within this planning period, as well as any scheduled road decommissioning. The current access on the Forest was considered during the scheduling of blocks within the DCHS in the North SMZ. Areas that were well accessed along existing primary, branch and operational roads were scheduled sooner, as there would be less cost of road construction for the next 20 years. With the current roads infrastructure within the South SMZ, few primary and branch roads are proposed for construction within this FMP.

2.2 Social and Economic Description

2.2.1 Overview of Social and Economic Context

The purpose of the social and economic description is to provide the 2012-22 planning team insight to the communities that are impacted directly or indirectly by the resource extraction and forestry activities within the boundaries of the Abitibi River Forest (ARF). The communities include local towns and First Nation communities that have traditional territory, as identified by community, within or adjacent to the boundaries of the ARF (see Figure 27). In addition, the description will highlight the industrial and non -industrial users of the resources of the ARF: Timber, Recreation and Tourism, Mining, Aggregate and Hydro Generation and others that may be affected by forest management activities.

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The communities listed below are located within the ARF boundary or they have a wood processing facility that receives significant amounts of round wood - greater than 1% from the Forest:

Town of Cochrane Town of Iroquois Falls Town of Englehart Town of Smooth Rock Falls City of Timmins Town of Kirkland Lake Cochrane North Unorganized Gogama

Sudbury North Unorganized is the Statistics Canada census area in which the Gogama Forest Products mill is located. It includes the unorganized communities of Gogama, Shining Tree and Westree and other locations in which employees of Gogama Forest Products are likely to reside.

2.2.2 Summary of Demographic Profiles The following is a summary of the information found in the demographic profiles for the communities on the Abitibi River Forest. A detailed demographic profile for each community is found in Supplementary Documentation 6.1.4. These profiles provide information on population, labour force and community dependency on uses of the forest and are discussed below. According to the 2006 Canada Census, the total population affected by the Abitibi River Forest is 69,300 persons of which 49.4% are male and 50.5% female. This is a decrease of 4.4 percent of the population compared to the 2001 census. During the past several years there have been significant forestry mill closures and jobs cuts across the Ontario and Canada. The main causes to the depleting forest industry are a collapse of the U.S. housing market, high operating costs, a strong Canadian dollar, and globalization. Although it has been few years since the low point in the global recession, the recovery of the forest industry has been slow. A part of the socio-economic exercise that was conducted for the 2012-22 Abitibi River Forest Management Plan, was acquiring a number of community profiles supplied by Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. Population decline is a noticeable trend for all communities, despite the increase in mining activity experienced by the City Timmins, Cochrane, and Kirkland Lake. The following information is an insight to local communities that are influenced by the activities that occur in the Forest.

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1 2 3 4 Figure 28. Map showing the Abitibi River Forest and it's associated communities

69

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Cochrane The Town of Cochrane, laid out in 1908 is located approximately half way between or 720 kilometres from Toronto and Thunder Bay. Some of the largest employers in Cochrane are the Tembec sawmill, the True North Hardwood Plywood veneer mill (formerly Norbord Industries Inc.), and government services such as the Ministry of Natural Resources. When operating at full capacity, True North Hardwood Plywood would employ approximately 199 people and Tembec would employ approximately 175 people. This community provides ample recreational opportunities such as canoeing, fishing and camping. As of the 2011 census data, from Statistics Canada, the population is estimated to be 5,340 people down 2.7% compared to the 2006 Census. Highway 11 and the Ontario Northland Railway serve the community. In addition, the Town also owns and operates a year-round airport. Top Public Sector Employers:

Top Private Sector Employers:


Lady Minto Hospital District School Board Ontario North East Town of Cochrane Ontario Northland Transportation Commission Conseil scolaire catholique du district des Grandes Rivires Ministry of Natural Resources

Detour Gold Corporation Tembec Inc. Villeneuve Construction Genier Brothers Trucking Ltd.

12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Iroquois Falls The Town of Iroquois, incorporated in 1969, came out of the amalgamation of three communities (Iroquois Falls, Ansonville and Montrock) which were established in the early 1900s. This community is approximately 30 minutes southeast of the community of Cochrane. The largest employer in Iroquois Falls is the Abitibi-Bowater paper mill. As of the 2011 census data, from Statistics Canada, the population is estimated to be 4,595 people down 2.8% compared to the 2006 Census. Highway 11 and the Ontario Northland Railway serve the community. In addition, the Town also owns and operates a year-round airport, and has recently received provincial government support to enhance long term operations and facilities (MNDM 2006). Top Public Sector Employers:

Top Private Sector Employers:


Ministry of Correctional Services (Monteith) Anson General Hospital District School Board Ontario North East Town of Iroquois Falls South Centennial Manor Conseil Scolaire Catholique

Resolute Forest Products (formerly Abitibi-Consolidated Inc.) Iroquois Falls Valu-Mart Association for Community Living Iroquois Falls Foodland Iroquois Falls Power Corp.

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Kirkland Lake Kirkland Lake is one of the larger communities within the region, as of the 2011 census data from Statistics Canada, the population is estimated to be 8,133 people down 1.4% compared to the 2006 Census data. At its peak in 1939, Kirkland Lake was the second largest gold producing community in Canada, with seven gold mines and a population of 24,000. The town is located on Highway 66, 20 kilometres (km) east of Highway 11. Kirkland Lake has an airport capable of accommodating smaller aircraft. Ontario Northland train and bus routes serve Kirkland Lake as well. Voyageur bus service comes to Kirkland Lake from Quebec. Top Public Sector Employers:

Top Private Sector Employers:


Dept. of Veterans Affairs Timiskaming Board of Education (K.L. Division) Kirkland District Hospital Corporation of the Town of Kirkland Lake Community Living Kirkland Lake Northern College Northeastern Catholic District School Board

Kirkland lake Gold Extendicare (Nursing Home) MacIntyre & Associates McLellan Transport Rosko Forestry Operations Ltd.

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

The former Kenogami saw mill, owned by Tembec Industries Inc. was closed in 2005 and later converted to a value added finger joint facility. The mill operated sporadically during 2007-08 and has been indefinitely idled since May 2008. In 2009, Rosko Forestry opened a custom length sawmill in Kirkland Lake, employing approximately 48 persons. Englehart Located 42 kilometres south of Kirkland Lake, the Community of Englehart is primarily a railway town and farming community (MNDM 2006). As of the 2011 census data from Statistics Canada, the population is estimated to be 1,519 people, an increase of 1.7% compared to the 2006 Census. Forestry and agriculture have a significant economic role in the local economy with the largest oriented strand board plant in the world, operated by Georgia-Pacific (formerly Grant Forest Products). The Georgia-Pacific mill employs 197 people, with the oriented strand board products sold throughout North America.

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Top Public Sector Employers:


Top Private Sector Employers:


ONTC Englehart & District Hospital District School Board Ontario North East Town of Englehart

Georgia-Pacific Northview Nursing Home Thibs Valu-Mart (Grocery) Restrex-Renes Renovations H.L. Bowes (Ford Dealership) JCD Home Hardware First Resource Management Group (formerly Timiskaming Forest Alliance)

1 2 3 4 5 6

Smooth Rock Falls This small community, located 58 kilometres west of Cochrane, was developed around the pulp and paper industry, established in 1930. Prior to the permanent closure in 2007, the Tembec pulp mill employed 35 per cent of the community labour force. As of the 2011 census data from Statistics Canada, the population is estimated to be 1,376 people down 6.6% compared to the 2006 Census. Top Public Sector Employers:

Top Private Sector Employers:


Smooth Rock Falls Hospital Conseil scolaire catholique du district des Grandes Rivires District School Board Ontario North East Town of Smooth Rock Falls

Tembec Industries Inc. prior to 2007 Blanchette Fresh Mart Inc.

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Timmins Timmins, the largest urban center of the northeast, is a regional hub for shopping, cultural activities, commerce, health services, and industrial supplies. The town evolved because of the gold mining industry, which has flourished ever since. This community offers many amenities to its general population and local northern communities. It is home to Northern College, College Boreal and Universite de Hearst a Timmins. As of the 2011 census data, from Statistics Canada, the population is estimated to be 43,165 people, down 0.4% compared to the 2006 Census. The largest employment sector is the mining industry, followed by the forestry industry. The largest active mining company is Falconbridge Ltd. Kidd Creek Division, which is presently expanding its operating area in the South Porcupine area. The mining industry is experiencing a boom not only in Timmins but also in the region as a whole, which has had positive effects on the Timmins economy. The three main forestry companies that have processing facilities within Timmins are EACOM Timber (formerly Domtar Inc.), Tembec Inc., and Little Johns. The Tembec Timmins mill has been idled indefinitely since November 2006, and there are no indications when it will reopen. In January 2012, fire destroyed the main sawmill building at EACOM and efforts are underway to rebuild the facility and resume production. Prior to 2006, these facilities combined employed approximately 420 persons. A positive result from the recent Wood Supply Competitive Process has been the

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1 2 3 4

awarding of a long-term wood supply commitment to Millson Forestry Services of Timmins. The company will make use of biofibre material in the manufacture of fuel briquettes for domestic and international markets. It is expected that the Millsons will be able to create and maintain up to 17 jobs when the project is fully operational. Top Public Sector Employers:

Top Private Sector Employers:


Timmins and District Hospital Conseil scolaire catholique du district des Grandes Rivires District School Board Ontario North East City of Timmins Provincial Government Northeastern Catholic District School Board Northern College

Dumas Contracting (mining) Porcupine Gold Mines (mining) Xstrata (mining) The Redpath Group (mining) Leo Alarie and Sons (construction) EACOM Timber Millson Forestry Services

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Gogama The Community of Gogama is situated four kilometres (km) east of Highway 144, and 109 km south of Timmins. The Local Services Board (LSB) of Gogama was established on January 15, 1981. Gogama originated as a result of the construction of the CN Rail Line in 1908. Several lumber companies opened to provide the rail ties and other services required by the railroad and families moved in creating the need for stores, schools, churches and so on. Today, there are 220 permanent households and 23 seasonal properties located within the boundaries of the Local Services Board. The population is estimated to be 475, as of 2001 survey conducted by the local service board. Top Public Sector Employers:

Top Private Sector Employers:


Provincial (MNR, MTO, OPP) Schools Canadian National Railway

EACOM Timber (formerly Domtar Inc.) Local businesses

14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Within or adjacent to the Abitibi River Forest, there are 7 Nishnawbe-Aski First Nation communities, which have been invited to participate in the development of the Forest Management Plan. The following is a list of the Aboriginal communities, and associated tribal councils that have traditional lands in or adjacent to the management unit:

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Mushkegowuk Tribal Council Moose Cree First Nation Taykwa Tagamou Nation

Wabun Tribal Council Beaver House Community Matachewan First Nation Mattagami First Nation Flying Post First Nation

No current Tribal Council Affiliation Wahgoshig First Nation

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

Matachewan First Nation (IR 72) The Matachewan First Nation is a member of the Wabun Tribal Council and falls under the schedule of reserves contained in the James Bay Treaty of 1905 Treaty No. 9. In June of 1906 the Treaty No. 9 Commissioners visited the Matachewan community, which was located on high ground at a point along the Montreal River. Matachewan Reserve No. 72 is approximately 40 kilometres (km) west of Kirkland Lake and is accessible by road. Hwy 66 southwest from Kirkland Lake and exit right onto junction 65 north. Mattagami First Nation (IR 71) Mattagami First Nation is a small Oji-Cree community 70kms South of Timmins, Ontario via highway 144. The population is 478 members, 172of these members live on Reserve (INAC 2011). The community is built on the Northwest side of Mattagami Lake. Mattagami, in Ojibway means the meeting of waters. Prior to contact with the European's, the Oji-Cree lead a nomadic existence relying on hunting, fishing and trapping. In the early 1900's these waterways were the canoe routes for fur trappers and traders. Mattagami Lake is surrounded by tourist camps and cottages because the lake offers an excellent choice of game and fish. In the 1920's as a result of hydro-electric operation, Mattagami First Nation was flooded. In 1952, an additional 200 acres of land were added to Mattagami Reserve for the purpose of constructing a new town site. Mattagami is located right on the snowmobile trail system between Sudbury and Timmins. Beaverhouse First Nation community Beaverhouse First Nation has no land base but a band office is located in Kirkland Lake. They are currently seeking land and band status from the federal government. Flying Post First Nation Flying Post First Nation is located 40km southwest of Smooth Rock Falls. There are no full time residents on-reserve, and off-reserve population is estimated at 162 (INAC 2007). Taykwa Tagamou (IR 69 & 69A)

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The population of Taykwa Tagamou consists of approximately 423 members, 132 on reserve and 291 living off of the reserve (as of 2011). Employment for Taykwa Tagamou members consists of Band Administration, Taykwa Tagamou Health Services and Taykwa Tagamou Economic Development Corporation. The Taykwa Tagamou land base consists of two reserves, Taykwa Tagamou reserve # 69A (117 hectares) located 14 km south-east of the town of Cochrane on Hwy 574 along the Abitibi River. Reserve #69A is the community proper and consists of approximately 21 housing units including the band complex. Taykwa Tagamou reserve #69 (2027 hectares) is located 88 km north of the town of Cochrane, off of the Fraserdale Highway. Taykwa Tagamou has a communal water system and sewage system. They also have a health clinic, nursing station, fire department, community center and library. Taykwa Tagamou education system is out of the town of Cochrane. Moose Cree (IR 1 & 68) The population of Moose Cree First Nation consists of approximately 3,900 members. Employment for Moose Cree First Nation members consist of Band Administration as well as local industries such as Northern Stores Inc., two corner gift stores, several arts and craft operations, auto garage, excavating operation, general contracting firm, taxis, development corporation, and several hunting/tourist camps. The Moose Cree First Nation land base consists of two reserves; Factory Island #1 - 299 hectares, and Moose Factory # 68 - 17,094 hectares, located 14 km upriver from Factory Island. The community is approximately 300 km north of the town of Timmins. Moose Cree First Nation power is supplied through the provincial hydro grid and has a communal water and sewage system. They also have a Health Clinic, Fire Department, Community Center and Library. Wahgoshig First Nation (IR 70) The population of Wahgoshig consists of approximately 330 members, 150 on reserve and 180 off reserve. Wahgoshig employs members through the Band Administration and with the Wahgoshig Anishinabe Mitik Corporation (band owned). Wahgoshig First Nation is approximately 7,771 hectares in size. The north shore of the reserve meets the south shore of the Abitibi Lake. There are approximately 45 homes on Wahgoshig First Nation reserve IR70. Wahgoshig utilizes a communal water system and independent septic systems. They have their own landfill site located on reserve. They have emergency services such as fire department/equipment, and NAPS. Wahgoshig members bus their elementary school students to the town of Matheson and their secondary students to Iroquois Falls.

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2.2.3 Industrial and Non-Industrial Uses of the Forest

Timber Licensees and Volumes Harvested The Abitibi River Forest was amalgamated effective April 1, 2010 and is comprised of the four former management units of the Smooth Rock Falls Forest, Cochrane-Moose River Management Unit, Iroquois Falls Forest, and the Nighthawk Forest. Management responsibilities have shifted from the former SFLs (Tembec on the SRF, Abitibi on the IFF and NHF, and the Crown on the CMRMU) to a co-operative SFL, Abitibi River Forest Management Inc. The Forest lies within the MNR Administrative Districts of Cochrane, Timmins and Kirkland Lake. The highest percentage of timber from the forest is delivered to mills within the communities of Timmins, Cochrane, Iroquois Falls, Gogama and Englehart. There are seven mills and six independent operators that had recognized commitments by the Ministry of Natural Resources to receive volume from the four management units prior to the amalgamation. The Cooperative SFL continues to recognize these commitments for the Abitibi River Forest. The following tables show the wood supply commitments, description of wood processing facilities, and past five years volumes that have been extracted from the Abitibi River Forest.

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1 2 3 Table 3. Wood Supply Commitments by forest management unit recognised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and maintained as part of the Co-operative SFL Shareholder Agreement
Wood Supply Commitments Mill Appendix "E" & "F" of Former SFLs, Minster Letters Sustainable Forest License FMU NHF IFF Grant Forest Products Inc. (Englehart) Ministers Long term memorandum of agreement IFF 137,171 Po m3 year / Spp

AbitibiBowater (IFF)

Note: supply agreement now in place for GP North Woods LP, Englehart NHF CMRMU Grant Forest Products Inc. (Timmins) Ministers Long term memorandum of agreement SRF

8230 51,284 53,523 50,449 9,200

Bw Po Po Po Bw Po Bw

Note: supply agreement now in place for GP North Woods LP Little John Enterprises Ltd. (Timmins)

Note: supply agreement now in place for GP North Woods LP, Englehart

NHF

17,060 2,800

Long term memorandum of agreement Open Market

NHF CMRMU IFF SRF

9,000 1,000 21,586 400 11,364 11,803 300,000 50,000

SPF SPF Po

Norbord Industries Inc. (Cochrane)

Supply Agreement # 536235

Note: supply agreement now in place for True North Hardwood Plywood, Cochrane

NHF CMRMU

Tembec Industries Inc. (Cochrane)

Ministers Long term memorandum of agreement First Right of Refusal

CMRMU CMRMU SRF

Conifer Conifer

Tembec Industries Inc. (SRF) Tembec (Timmins) GP North Woods LP (Englehart)

Sustainable Forest License

Supply Agreement #536260

ARF

260,000

Po/Bw

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Wood Supply Commitments Mill Appendix "E" & "F" of Former SFLs, Minster Letters FMU m3 year / Spp

Independent Operators Gilbert Papineau Supply Agreement # 536201 CMRMU 2,700 1,241 T. B. Skidmore Forest Products Limited Supply Agreement # 536201 Acquired 5 TSA commitments in 2004 CMRMU CMRMU 9,720 13,850 5,043 Louis Dubeault Co. Ltd (Claude D'Amours) Maurice Guilbeault Supply Agreement # 536201 Acquired Maurice Guilbeault commitments as of 14/12/07 Supply Agreement # 536201 CMRMU 6,480 Sb Po Conifer Sb Hwd Conifer

CMRMU

310 1,560

Conifer Hwd Conifer Hwd Conifer Hwd Conifer Po Conifer Po Conifer Po

Jean Paul Lajeunesse

Supply Agreement # 536201 (Has mill that utilises 1,000 m3 of Larch)

CMRMU

310 1303

Mike Montfort

Supply Agreement # 536201

CMRMU

310 3,584

Nighthawk Timber Co. Ltd.

Ministerial commitment to harvest 5,600 m3.

NHF

3.50% 3.65%

Norm Froude

Supply Agreement # 536201

CMRMU

310 1652

Timmins Products Ltd.

Forest

They will be given the opportunity to harvest conifer and poplar volumes.

NHF

6.25% 19.18%

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Table 4 describes the primary wood processing facilities that receive timber from the Abitibi River Forest. In recent years, the Grant Forest Products mill in Timmins has been dismantled (September 2006) and the Tembec mill in Timmins closed indefinitely in February 2007. The source of Table 4 information is from the most recently approved MNR facility annual returns on record in eFAR (electronic Facility Annual Return system).

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Table 4. Description of Main Wood Processing Facilities that Receive Timber from the Abitibi River Forest (source: OMNR eFAR reports for 2011).
Employment Mill Resolute Iroquois Falls Woodlands 0 Facility 313 Product SPF Newsprint, SPF Other Papers, All wood Agricultural Products Poplar & White Birch Oriented Strandboard SPF Lumber Ownership over last 5 years ACI Recent Upgrades None Downtime None reported

While the primary facilities are listed in Table 4, there are a wide variety of mills which receive wood from the Abitibi River Forest (source: annual facility returns, denoted by year). Table 5 provides a summary of harvest volume by destination for each of the four former management units, for the 5 year period of April 1, 2005 to April 1, 2010.

GeorgiaPacific Englehart Tembec Cochrane

157

Grant Forest Products

None

None Reported

138

Tembec

None

Tembec Timmins EACOM Timmins

111

SPF Lumber

Tembec

109

SPF Lumber

Domtar Inc.

EACOM Ostrum True North Hardwood Plywood Cochrane (see note)

41

SPF Lumber

220

Poplar Plywood, Poplar Veneer Cores

Gogama Forest Products Norbord Industries

Shavings containment system Secured sawmill north wall and installed Nicholson debarker and wave feeders Installation of log turner None Reported

Intermittent downtime reported during 20082009 Idled since 2007 None Reported

Oct Nov 2011 due to fire. Idled between 2010-12. Reopened in August 2012.

8 9 10 11 12 13

Note: Used most recent facility return for employee data however the mill has restructured since last report and current employee data is unverified.

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Table 5. Volume received by destination mills from the Abitibi River Forest for the 5 year period April 1, 2005 to April 1, 2010.
2005 to 2010 Harvest Volume (m3) by Management Unit Conifer Hardwood IFF 1,313 607 29 1,816 0 2,725 4 0 0 0 582,806 825,408 1,502 0 0 0 SRF 642 403 151 746 0 0 0 0 0 0 167,999 7,871 16,983 0 3,295 0 2,506 0 95,316 50,146 2,175 NHF 170 0 57 672 190 737 subtotal 4,331 7,503 317 7,073 421 4,808 4 0 2,506 0 1,191,402 938,669 32,357 625 3,295 0 CMRMU 2,446 2,746 15 64 0 0 0 0 0 24,181 0 133 0 553 0 0 IFF 1,991 2,318 0 211 0 0 0 594 0 115,037 0 0 0 0 0 0 SRF 585 3 6 353 0 0 0 0 0 665 0 0 0 0 0 0 NHF 3,567 8,367 26 2 1,367 0 0 0 0 56,587 0 0 68 0 0 0 subtotal 8,589 13,434 47 630 1,367 0 0 594 0 196,470 0 133 68 553 0 0 12,920 20,937 364 7,703 1,788 4,808 4 594 2,506 196,470 1,191,402 938,802 32,425 1,178 3,295 0 Total

Destination Personal Use Fuelwood Commercial Fuelwood Personal Use Building Material (Sawmill) Brushmat Material/Camp Construction Miscellaneous Material (Sawmill) Northeast Region (Sawmill) Northeast Region (Paper) Northeast Region (Composite) Tembec (Chapleau) True North Hardwood Plywood (Cochrane) Tembec (Cochrane) Abitibi Consolidated Co. (Iroquois Falls) Tembec (Smooth Rock Falls,Pulp) J.P. Lajeunesse Tembec (Smooth Rock Falls, Biomass) Cochrane Power Corp.

CMRMU 2,206 6,493 80 3,839 231 1,346 0 0 0 0 345,281 55,244 11,697 625 0 0

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2005 to 2010 Harvest Volume (m3) by Management Unit Conifer Destination Gogama Forest Products Inc. (Ostrum) Levesque Plywood (Columbia Forest Products) Tembec (Kapuskasing,Paper) Tembec (Kapuskasing,Sawmill) Tembec (Kapuskasing,Biomass Cogeneration) GP North Woods LP Comp Cheminis Lumber Inc. (Larder Lake) Liskeard Lumber Ltd (Elk Lake, Sawmill) Northern Pressure Treated (Kirkland Lake) EACOM Timber (Elk Lake Planing Mill) Wahgoshig Resource Inc. (Matheson) Rosko Forestry Operations Ltd. EACOM Timber Corporation (Timmins, Sawmill) Little John Enterprises Ltd. (Timmins) Tembec (Timmins) 463 0 465 0 8,236 22,634 0 0 7,200 194,227 5,432 36,955 194,690 13,668 67,254 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 38 0 0 38 0 194,690 13,706 67,254 0 508 15,545 0 0 1,634 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 943 29,572 1,754 241 17,242 2,436 43,177 0 38,508 0 0 0 1,863 0 0 0 0 0 71,454 2,798 4,560 3,294 0 0 39,016 15,545 0 3,741 37,629 5,048 241 88,696 2,436 43,177 0 0 0 0 74,016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 202,190 0 0 0 0 0 2,064 0 0 0 0 7,547 0 0 0 0 0 0 84 0 0 0 134,769 0 0 0 0 0 0 84 0 0 0 418,522 0 0 0 0 0 2,064 84 39,016 15,545 0 422,263 37,629 5,048 241 88,696 2,436 45,241 CMRMU 2,388 IFF 0 SRF 0 NHF 126,916 subtotal 129,304 Hardwood CMRMU 0 IFF 0 SRF 0 NHF 0 subtotal 0 129,304 Total

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2005 to 2010 Harvest Volume (m3) by Management Unit Conifer Destination Grant Forest Products Inc. (Timmins) Cut Rite Firewood (Timmins) Domtar Inc. (Espanola) Columbia Forest Products (Rutherglen) M&G Fencing Inc. (Azilda) Tembec Industries Inc. (Temiskaming,Pulp) Tembec Industries Inc. (Bearne) Tembec Industries Inc. (Taschereau) Scierie Landrienne Inc. (Landrienne) Norbord Industries Inc. (Val D'Or) Materiaux Blanchet (Amos) Tembec Industries Inc. (La Sarre) Norbord Industries Inc. (La Sarre) Bois Daaquam Inc. (Ste. Just De Bretenieres) Temlam Inc. (Amos) Domtar Inc. (Val D'Or) Quebec Sawmill CMRMU 0 0 1,563 0 0 1,563 1,440 22,482 46,609 0 0 19,115 0 0 0 0 0 IFF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 49,549 24,988 0 26,413 35,452 0 0 0 0 0 SRF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1,559 2,318 973 12,501 82,251 0 0 14,028 0 419 0 3,759 1,083 872 NHF subtotal 0 872 1,563 0 1,559 3,881 2,413 84,532 153,848 0 26,413 68,595 0 419 0 3,759 1,083 Hardwood CMRMU 5,244 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 225 0 0 21,189 0 0 0 0 IFF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 187,800 0 0 0 0 SRF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 NHF 56,538 4,525 0 86 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 39,860 0 125 0 0 subtotal 61,782 4,525 0 86 0 0 0 0 0 225 0 0 248,849 0 125 0 0 61,782 5,397 1,563 86 1,559 3,881 2,413 84,532 153,848 225 26,413 68,595 248,849 419 125 3,759 1,083 Total

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2005 to 2010 Harvest Volume (m3) by Management Unit Conifer Destination Total CMRMU 540,817 IFF 1,678,847 SRF 245,661 NHF 717,368 subtotal 3,182,693 Hardwood CMRMU 130,812 IFF 512,205 SRF 9,159 NHF 306,009 subtotal 958,185 4,140,878 Total

Source: Volumes obtained from TREES, all numbers are rounded.

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The wood harvested from the management unit serves as a source of revenue for the Province of Ontario, as well as setting money aside for the renewal and long-term health of the of the forest. For the 5-year period of 2005-10, approximately $15 million dollars was collected by the Consolidated Revenue Fund through stumpage and $14.5 million set aside for renewal. An additional 2.2 million dollars was contributed to the Provincial Forestry Futures Trust Fund, which is available to treat naturally disturbed areas (fire, insect, wind, etc). The ARF also contributed $2 million dollars to support the Forest Resource Inventory program. It is expected that similar, or increased, revenues will be generated during the 2012-22 ARF FMP as annual volumes exceed 1 million m3.

Table 6. Crown revenues generated through the Abitibi River Forest during 2005-10
Year (scaling period) 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 Total Volume (m3) (merchantable and undersize) 1,403,976 947,159 809,032 841,846 587,785 4,589,798 Crown Revenues ($) 5,926,719 3,140,549 2,409,131 2,047,278 145,548 14,969,225 Forest Renewal Trust Fund ($) 3,856,203 3,257,904 2,512,250 3,190,589 1,709,444 14,526,390 Forestry Futures Trust Fund ($) 741,683 452,619 384,173 402,337 267,621 2,248,433 Forest Resource Inventory ($) 0 357,733 629,158 630,029 366,934 1,983,854

Total ($) 10,524,605 7,208,805 5,934,712 6,270,233 3,789,547 33,727,902

12 SSource: Volumes and venues obtained from TREES, all numbers are rounded. 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Rercreation There are a total of 28 regulated and one recommended protected area within or adjacent to the Abitibi River Forest. These protected areas include 13 Conservation Reserves, 1 recommended Conservation Reserve, 2 Forestry Reserves and 14 Provincial Parks. The Provincial Parks in the area protect significant natural and recreation environments and offer ample opportunities for visitors to participate in recreational activities. Greenwater Park is a Natural Environment with recreational activities available. Kettle Lakes Provincial Park is a Recreation Class park and therefore is home to tourist infrastructure and facilities. The other 12 parks are Nature Reserves, Natural Environment or Waterway parks, and provide ample opportunity for remote tourism and recreation with little-to-no tourist infrastructure. The Conservation Reserves in the area focus on protecting natural heritage features and values while allowing for recreational activities to continue. These protected areas allow for some commercial activity to continue but contain no commercial tourist infrastructure. The following list outlines the protected areas within and adjacent to the Abitibi River Forest.

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Table 7. Parks and Protected Areas Located In or Adjacent to the Abitibi River Forest.
Protected Area Kesagami River Outwash Plain Mahaffy Township Ground Moraine Nahma Bog and Poor Fens North Muskego River Mixed Forest North of the North French River Pinard Moraine Tembec Wetland Trollope lake Burnt Hill Poplar Spruce McDougal Point Peninsula Whitefish River Sandy Till Driftwood River White Cedar Lacustrine Geary Township Shoreline Bluff Grassy River Halliday Lake Forests Lowlands Coral Rapids Wetland Nighthawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Kesagami Coral Rapids Greenwater Lake Abitibi Islands Little Abitibi Sextant Rapids Williams Island Esker Lakes Thackeray Wildgoose Outwash Deposit Abitibi De Troyes Frederick House Lake Kettle Lakes Elspeth Lake White Birch Outwash TOTAL AREA Designation Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Conservation Reserve Forest Reserve Forest Reserve Provincial Park Provincial Park Provincial Park Provincial Park Provincial Park Provincial Park Provincial Park Provincial Park Provincial Park Provincial Park Provincial Park Provincial Park Provincial Park Recommended Conservation Reserve Category Area (ha) 2,251 640 3,606 3,283 158,286 18,202 8,149 2,108 6,036 3,800 184 610 1,778 1,044 232 Wilderness Nature Reserve Natural Environment Nature Reserve Waterway/Natural Environment Nature Reserve Nature Reserve Natural Environment Natural Reserve Natural Reserve Historical Natural Reserve Recreation 55,977 12 5,350 2,721 20,000 4 8 3,237 116 1,198 4,292 13 1,261 47 304,445 Timmins Cochrane Cochrane Cochrane Cochrane Cochrane Cochrane Cochrane Kirkland Lake Kirkland Lake Kirkland lake Kirkland Lake & Cochrane Timmins Timmins Timmins District Cochrane Cochrane Cochrane Cochrane Cochrane Cochrane Cochrane Kirkland Lake Kirkland Lake & Cochrane Kirkland Lake & Timmins Timmins Timmins Timmins

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Tourism is one of the top three economic driving forces of the Northeast region and communities that are within and adjacent to Abitibi River Forest. In 2008, 663,000 visitors to the Cochrane District tourism area accounted for $98.6 million in visitor expenditures. This spending generated $59.3 million in direct and indirect contributions to gross domestic product (GDP), generating $35.6 million in labour income and salaries and 998 part-time, full-time and seasonal jobs. Total taxes generated as a result of visitor spending in the Cochrane census division reached $32.3 million including $183,000 in municipal taxes (Ontario Ministry of Tourism 2008). Quality of fishing and hunting is the most common reason for resource-based travel followed by tranquillity and solitude. Virtually all operations have cabins or cottages, with only one in ten having lodge accommodation. Fixed-roof room availability is generally on a small scale for example, the average tourism operation would provide only 9 cabins or cottages (MNDM 2002). Most of the outpost camps that are located above the administrative boundary of Cochrane District are accessed by air. For facilities located south of the administrative boundaries, there is a well establish road system. Most resource based tourism operators are open from May to October, with only a minority staying open year round (MNDM 2002). The importance of commercial tourism has been recognised by Cochrane District, with the development of the Remote Wilderness Strategy Round Table process (1993-97), which addresses land within the Cochrane District Administrative Boundaries. The Cochrane District Land Use Guidelines and the Approved Cochrane District Remote (Wilderness) Tourism Strategy (1997) were developed to ensure protection of tourism values. Remote base Tourism operators located outside of the Cochrane District Remote (Wilderness) Tourism Strategy will depend on the Crown Land Use Atlas and individual Resource Stewardship Agreements to guide development activities near their areas of interest. As of June 2010, there are 34 licensed commercial resource based operations within or adjacent to the Abitibi River Forest, as recognised by the Ministry of Tourism. Invitations have been sent to these tourism operators, requesting that they participate in the development of Resource Stewardship Agreements for the 2012-22 FMP period. Other outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, canoeing and snowmobiling are important recreational uses of the forest. All these activities benefit local suppliers of outdoor recreation equipment as well as local hotels, motels, restaurants, outfitters, and businesses. Forest management provides opportunities for recreation by providing access for resource users in the area.

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Hunting is a popular recreational activity practiced by many local residents and some nonresidents. Big game (moose and black bear), small game (ruffed grouse, spruce grouse and snowshoe hare) and waterfowl (ducks and geese) are commonly hunted on the Unit. As of 2010, there are 71 Bear Management Areas (BMA's) found within or are partially within the Abitibi River Forest. These BMAs are managed by several local Bear Management Operators (14 active operators in Cochrane District) and provide excellent opportunities for bear hunting in the area. The Operators guide mainly non-resident hunters, who are legally required to use the services of a Bear Management Operator to hunt black bear in Ontario. Another important recreational activity practiced by many local residents and non-residents is sport fishing. Most of the lakes found within the Abitibi River Forest support cool water fisheries. The sport fish most commonly targeted by anglers in these systems are walleye and northern pike. A number of lakes are stocked by the MNR, with brook trout, lake trout or splake (cold water systems). A few streams on the Unit provide a limited sport fishery for brook trout. Baitfish licenses are also issued annually to several local residents who trap and sell minnows for anglers. As of 2010, there are 83 bait harvest areas licensed in Cochrane District, distributed amongst 11 operators. Kirkland Lake District has 17 bait harvest areas and Timmins District supports 5 active operators and a total of 49 bait harvest areas. Trapping of fur bearing animals is an important recreational and employment activity. The entire Abitibi River Forest (including private land) is divided into 183 traplines, as indicated on the Values Maps. Within Cochrane District alone, as of 2010, there are 160 active trappers. This information may not reflect all of the active trappers since many of the trappers on the northern portion of the Forest are First Nations people, who may be trapping and using the fur for personal or community use. Local trappers harvest fur from species such as marten, beaver, mink, otter, lynx, red fox, wolf, muskrat and weasel, for commercial purposes. Snowmobiling is an important winter outdoor activity in the area. The network of trails in the area attracts tourists, which again greatly contribute to the local economy. The network of trails is maintained by three snowmobile clubs - Polar Bear Riders, Smooth Rock Falls - Arctic Riders, Timmins Timmins Snowmobile Club, the Jackpine Club in Iroquois Falls, and the Timiskaming-Abitibi Trail Association. These trail systems are intensively used by local communities and also attract a considerable amount of tourism. Camping, canoeing, hiking, cross country skiing, biking, berry picking, bird watching and animal viewing are other recreational activities practiced by both the local residents and tourists. Greenwater, Esker Lakes, and Kettles Lake Provincial Park attract people who use the park for fishing, camping, canoeing, walking, cross country skiing and hiking. During the 2009 season, Greenwater Park attracted approximately 3,700 visitors, Esker Lakes drew 13,300 visitors, while Kettles Lake received the most visitors with 33,800. There are also a number of designated canoe routes and portage trails along such river systems as the Abitibi, Mattagami, Frederick House,

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Watabeag, and Poplar Rapids Rivers. The local communities use several lakes (Silver Queen, Rancourt, Fletcher, Dora, and Big Nellie) for recreational camps, boating and other recreational activities. The MNR grants a number of land use permits that are used for recreational camps. In addition, there are numerous recreational opportunities within and around the City of Timmins. Aggregate The Abitibi River Forest (FMU) lies within the Canadian Shield, an extremely large area underlain by ancient sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks. More specifically, the FMU is underlain by rocks that constitute the Superior Province of the shield. Generally speaking, these rocks formed more than 2.5 billion years ago. The Abitibi greenstone belt is comprised of ultramafic, mafic, intermediate and felsic metavolcanic rocks, metasedimentary rocks and minor amounts of iron formation. The Abitibi greenstone belt is the most economically significant greenstone belt in Ontario, and since the early 1900s, this area has been a focus for mineral exploration. Presently, there are three operating gold mines and one operating base metal mine within the FMU. The FMU has 52 past producing gold mines and two past producing nickel mines. Although mineral exploration has numerous cycles depending upon the global commodity prices, it has played an important part in the economy in the FMU. A significant increase in gold prices has again raised interest in the area because of its known mineral potential. Other commodities of interest include; zinc, nickel, limestone and rare-metal pegmatites. To date, the FMU has produced $63,312,994,307.00(CAN) worth of gold and base metals. Using current commodity prices the FMU has an estimated $12,266,350,003.00 (CAN) worth of in-ground resources of gold and base metals. Approximately 50% of the FMU is presently staked or is held as patented or leased mining claims and is undergoing active exploration. Most exploration is taking place in the southern parts of the FMU in areas surrounding Timmins and along the Highway 11 corridor south of Lake Abitibi. A significant amount of mineral exploration is also taking place in the Burntbush and Detour Lake areas. At Detour Lake, Detour Gold Corporation has been involved in an extensive exploration program for the last five years. They will complete a minimum of 120,000 metres of diamond drilling in 2008. Detour Gold Corporation is advancing their exploration with a view to mining the gold resource at Detour Lake. At Timmins, Goldcorp Inc. is presently assessing the feasibility of open pit mining at the past producing Hollinger Mine property as well as at the past producing MacIntyre Mine. In addition to mineral deposits, aggregates also contribute significantly to the economy of the Abitibi River Forest. At present, there are 128 permitted aggregate pits (active) on the management unit.

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Recent annual production for each of the Abitibi River Forest Districts is found in Table 8. Note that these figures are for the Districts as a whole and cover several Forest Management Units, in addition to the ARF.

Table 8. Aggregate production for the years 2006-2009


Annual Reporting - Production in tonnes (# of permits) District Cochrane Timmins Kirkland Lake 2006 4,295,616 (129) 509,626 (172) 223,152 (158) 2007 230,248 (126) 1,069,469 (171) 176,311 (158) 2008 97,624 (126) 417,684 (174) 274,857 (159) 2009 94,134 (127) 486,614 (172) 247,934 (161)

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The Abitibi River Forest is found within the Moose River Basin, which has been a source of hydro electrical energy for more than 80 years. The Abitibi and the Mattagami river systems that flow through the Abitibi River Forest, have 8 hydro generating stations (ex. Lower Sturgeon, Sandy Falls, Abitibi Station, Otter Rapids). The facilities are owned and Algonquin Power (APIF), Ontario Power Generation Incorporated (OPGI), and a Canadian power consortium. The generating stations have a combined installed capacity of approximately 600 MW, which represents approximately 8% of the hydroelectric capacity in the Province. Up until the sale of its Ontario hydro assets in 2011 to a Canadian power consortium, the Iroquois Falls Division of Resolute Forest Products (RFP) operated three 60-cycle hydroelectric generating stations along the Abitibi River. Twins Falls generating station is the most upstream of the three generating stations, supplying approximately one quarter of Resolutes paper mill power systems energy. Iroquois Falls generating station is located at the mill site about 17 km further upstream along the Abitibi River from Twin Falls, which supplies roughly one quarter of RFPs power systems energy. Island Falls Generating Station has the highest output of the three facilities, which makes up approximately one half of the total RFP power system output.

2.3 Aboriginal Background Information Report

There are seven First Nation communities within the vicinity of the Abitibi River Forest. These are Wahgoshig First Nation, Beaverhouse First Nation, Matachewan First Nation, Mattagami First Nation, Moose Cree First Nation, Flying Post First Nation and Taykwa Tagamou Nation. All First Nation communities have been invited to join the planning team as well as the

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Aboriginal Task Team (ATT), and are requested to review both the FMP and AWS schedules. The Aboriginal Background Information Reports for the Beaverhouse and Mattagami First Nation communities can be found in Supplementary Documentation Section 6.2. There were varying levels of participation seen from all of the communities through the entire planning process. Beaverhouse and Mattagami First Nation regularly participated in planning team and ATT meetings. There was variable participation seen from Matachewan and Wahgoshig First Nations and Taykwa Tagamou Nation, with participation on the planning team and ATT being heavy at some times of the planning period, and other times no participation was seen. Moose Cree First Nation had representatives attend one planning team meeting, as well as one ATT meeting. Flying Post First Nation had no participation at any of the planning team or ATT meetings. Despite varying attendance at the planning and ATT meetings, all of the First Nation communities received minutes and any correspondence distributed at either meeting. All of the communities were also invited to the Desired Forest and Benefits Meeting (DFBM), held in Cochrane on May 11, 2011. There were five communities present at the DFBM, from the community of Beaverhouse, as well as the Mattagami, Taykwa Tagamou, Wahgoshig and Matachewan First Nations. Each community was invited to hold a draft plan open house in both December of 2011 and in August of 2012. Five communities held open houses in December of 2011 (Matachewan, Taykwa Tagamou, Moose Cree, Wahgoshig and Beaverhouse) and four held open houses in August/September of 2012 (Wahgoshig, Matachewan, Beaverhouse and Taykwa Tagamou). At these meetings, the proposed allocations were shown to the communities, and feedback was received in areas where there were values conflicting with planned allocations. Some individuals from the different communities have requested individual consultation to discuss allocations in the areas around values and traplines. These meetings will continue to be ongoing through the plan.

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3.0 DEVELOPMENT OF THE LONG TERM MANAGEMENT DIRECTION

3.1 Introduction The long-term management direction (LTMD) is the part of the forest management planning process where the planning team develops the strategic-level direction for the forest. The components involved in the development of the LTMD consist of the following; gathering background information identifying the current forest condition establishing a base model assembling desired forest and benefits developing management objectives proposing primary road corridors proposing and endorsing a long-term management direction

The long-term management direction is consistent with legislation and policy, has considered direction in forest management guides, it achieves a balance of social, economic and environmental considerations and provides for the sustainability of the Crown forest on the management unit.

3.2 Management Considerations

In developing the LTMD, the planning team identified management considerations that may have an influence on the development of LTMD. Management considerations are changes to the forest conditions (e.g. management unit amalgamation) or social, economic or environmental concerns that will be considered in the development of the long-term management direction. These management considerations were also considered in the planning and implementation of operations. The planning team identified the following management considerations; Aboriginal interests Current and forecasted economic condition Age class structure Existing and future access planning

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Timing of forest management operations Species at risk and associated habitat regulation Implementation of the Caribou Conservation Plan

In general, management considerations listed above were identified through experience with the implementation of the current forest management plan by the Local Citizens Committees (LCC) and the planning team. The listed management considerations influenced the development of the forest management plan as they introduced an updated perspective and, in some situations, highlighted deficiencies of the current forest management plan. The planning team identified management considerations using such information as the newly available science from the stand and site guide and the landscape guide to update the planning teams understanding of the ecological processes, both at the stand and site scales and incorporated them directly into base model input development. The planning team also embraced the recommendations from recent independent forest audit findings and incorporated these into the development of strategic planning and objective assessment. The planning team, LCC and Aboriginal communities also considered the current forest management plan strategic direction, by identifying which components needed to be revised, updated or confirmed as applicable for the development of this forest management plan. Sections 3.2.1 through to 3.2.9 describe in more detail how the management considerations affected the development of the LTMD, references the information used to identify the management consideration and how it was used to either confirm or change past management direction.

3.2.1 Aboriginal Interests

Aboriginal communities continue to have concerns regarding their involvement in the forest management planning process and the impact of forest management activities within their traditional areas. The issues identified by the communities include a lack of resources (both funding and expertise) to participate in the FMP process, the expectation of economic benefits and associated resource revenue sharing, and the protection of identified values during forest management activities. Wahgoshig First Nation and Taykwa Tagamou Nation have expressed concerns regarding harvesting in the vicinity of their reserves. However, members of those communities have also expressed an interest in developing long-term business relationships with the forest industry, with the objective of providing economic development opportunities. Many of the issues identified are land-claim based and therefore beyond the scope of a forest

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management plan. Section 3.4 describes a number of Aboriginal community objectives that attempt to address issues brought forward by the communities. As part of an effort to increase the participation of Aboriginal communities from levels in previous planning efforts, an Aboriginal Task Team (ATT) was formed with members from the aboriginal communities. The ATT was assembled on numerous occasions to assist the planning team in identifying the desired forest and benefits, summarizing and confirming those benefits, and improving the communication and participation of all community members. This assisted the planning team in confirming and incorporating local Aboriginal community input into the development of this forest management plan.

3.2.2 Current and Forecast Economic Conditions

The 2010 Abitibi River Forest (ARF) Contingency Plan was implemented amidst the worst economic downturn in the forest industry. The collapse of the US housing market bubble in 2008 resulted in a slowdown in the US economy which in turn resulted in a decrease in demand for lumber produced and prices. The forest industry was also faced with a rising Canadian dollar compared to the US dollar and high fuel and energy prices. During this time mills that utilize and rely on the wood supply from the Abitibi River Forest experienced both short and long term shutdowns which have influenced utilization levels on the Forest. Utilization has been relatively consistent throughout the recession in the southern portion of the Forest (the former Nighthawk and Iroquois Falls Forest (South)) due to the relatively close proximity to markets, and the processing facilities. Utilization in the northern portion of the Forest has been lower during this period as a result of mill closures, high transportation (both fuel and road building) costs and, to a degree, the high proportion of winter harvest areas. This trend is evident in the year 10 annual reports for the four former forests. The annual reports also indicate that this trend is a result of the economic times and that prior to the recession the utilization rates were much higher. The results of a wood utilization study for this period confirms the importance of the availability of fibre from this forest and supports the wood supply demand levels in previous FMPs as considered during the development of the LTMD.

3.2.3 Age Class Structure

As shown in Section 2.1.2.1 of this FMP, the age-class structure of the forest had immediate influence on the management decisions the planning team considered during the development of

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the LTMD. Age-class gaps are observed in most forest units across the entire Abitibi River Forest. The most apparent age-class gap is between 21 and 80 yrs and 101-140 yrs and has limited the planning teams ability to confirm past management direction, and required adjustments to wood supply, habitat trend levels and age class target levels (i.e. mature and overmature target levels); all while attempting to address the economic and social objectives identified by the LCC and Aboriginal community representatives during the desired forest and benefits meetings and the Caribou Conservation Plan. Detailed descriptions of the age class distributions for the individual forest units can be found in section 2.1.2.1 and figures 6 through 20.
400000 350000 300000 Area(ha) 250000 200000 150000 100000 50000 0 101120 121140 141160 161180 181200 201220 221240 241260 2140 4160 6180 81100 120 TotalArea

AgeClass

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Figure 29. Current age class distribution of Crown Managed Productive Forest for the Abitibi River Forest

3.2.4 Existing and Future Access Planning Historically, forest access has been in direct conflict with a number of resource stakeholders. Concerns remain with those seeking the use of forest access roads for economic and recreation activities and those wishing to reduce the overall use and road prevalence on the forest. Additionally, there are continued concerns with access controls designed to protect remote-based tourism operations and identified tourism lakes. Finally, the decommissioning of forest access roads (culverts and bridges removal) for other recreational users has generated stakeholder concerns. In the North SMZ, there is a decommissioning strategy in place for newly constructed

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roads in order to minimize the linear disturbance across the forest, as per the Caribou Conservation Plan. Within the South SMZ the road decommissioning strategies are described in the associated road use management strategy section of the supplementary documentation. General strategies are as follows for proposed roads in the South SMZ; there is no intent to transfer the road to the MNR within the 20 year time period or within the next 5 year operating period. The RUMS will be reevaluated as part of the 2022 FMP. All new road construction is the responsibility of the SFL and can only be transferred back to the MNR under the condition that all water crossings are removed, unless otherwise agreed to by the District Manager. The specific road use management strategies for each of the proposed primary and branch roads are located in Supplementary Documentation section 6.1.6. In the development of the LTMD, road density targets and long-term access planning were incorporated as a means to manage the number of roads on the management unit, while ensuring sufficient roads remain available for multi-stakeholder use. Section 6.1.6 of the Supplementary Documentation includes maps portraying existing roads, selected primary road corridors, access restrictions, and road responsibility assignment. Module 5 of the Implementation Toolkit (Supplementary Documentation Section 6.0) describes the road decommissioning strategy for this FMP.

3.2.5 Timing of Forest Management Operations There are several resource-based related activities that occur on the Abitibi River Forest at any given time. In the past there have been instances where forest operations avoided contentious areas due to potential conflicts with other users of the forest, particularly with First Nation Communities, resource users, etc. Today, forest operations are increasingly found to be in direct conflict with other users and stakeholders. Forest practitioners continue to work with these stakeholders to lessen the influence of forest management operations. In some situations forest operations are scheduled to occur outside of the peak operating season, most often summer (on a cottaging lake) or hunting season (for an outfitter). As avoiding a particular season of harvest may not be feasible, especially on a Forest where summer ground is limited, additional AOCs such as viewsheds, no evening operations, operating during low occupancy, etc may be necessary. In addition there are areas of cultural importance on the ARF that have historically been avoided with regards to forest management activities.

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3.2.6 Species at Risk and Associated Habitat Regulation On June 30th, 2008 the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (2007) came into effect to address the protection and recovery of identified species at risk and their habitat. Section 9 of the ESA provides default definitions and direction intended to protect an identified species at risk from harm and harassment while section 10 provides similar broad direction to protect habitat from damage and destruction. The legislation also compels the government to prepare species at risk recovery strategies, management plans and specific habitat regulations to provide for long term protection and future recovery for the species. A habitat regulation has been defined as a legal instrument that prescribes the area that will be protected as the habitat of a species under the ESA.

Since the development of habitat descriptions in a habitat regulation for Woodland Caribou was not available to the planning team, there will be uncertainty regarding the planning teams approach to management of the species until the habitat regulation is implemented. The regulation is expected to be approved prior to June 2013, the legislative deadline beyond which the default ESA definitions of habitat and harm and harass will apply, rather than the more detailed species specific definitions expected in a habitat regulation.

In the absence of a habitat regulation the planning team worked closely with MNR regional and provincial staff to include FMP objectives, indicators and strategies pertaining to the protection and renewal of Woodland Caribou habitat (see table FMP-9). The direction received by the planning team represented the best scientific knowledge and expertise available and was further informed by the local knowledge of MNR district staff. However, the planning team has recognized that a level of uncertainty remains with the implementation of the FMP in the absence of a habitat regulation.

3.2.7 Caribou Conservation Plan The Caribou Conservation Plan (CCP) is a government response statement and is deemed to be policy. The Caribou Conservation Plan (CCP), aimed to protect woodland caribou habitat, was applied to this FMP as a result of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Kesagami range extends across approximately 85% of the Abitibi River Forest referred to the North Strategic Management Zone (North SMZ) for modeling purposes. As part of the implementation of the CCP a Dynamic Caribou Habitat Schedule (DCHS) had to be developed for this area with a 140 year cycle applied. Section 5.0 of the Analysis Package (Supplementary Documentation Section

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6.1.1) describes the scoping investigations completed for modeling purposes and indicated that the implications of the DCHS combined with other ecological objectives, specifically caribou habitat indicators and overmature forest condition, will have a significant impact to the SPF (spruce-pine-fir) projected wood flow. Through a variety of investigations and scoping analysis, the planning team determined that the major constraining factor in improving the future volume achievement levels (specifically in T3) were the DCHS combined with the constraints of achieving the desirable levels of the caribou mature conifer indicator (refer to sections 5.0 and 7.0 of the Analysis Package in Supplementary Documentation Section 6.1.1). Previous FMPs projected a decline in SPF volume within the next 30 years due to the current age class structure; however the immediate and long-term projected impacts to the overall wood supply have been exacerbated in consideration for caribou habitat management (i.e. the introduction of the DCHS). This has resulted in a wood supply reduction of approximately 16% for all species combined. There were a number of concerns raised by members of the public during the public review of the LTMD with regards to the projected future drop in wood supply. As a result the planning team, based on a recommendation from the MNR Regional staff, revisited the proposed management strategy and applied term weighting for T1, which provided slightly higher SPF volumes in T1, T2 and T3. However, this did come at a cost to SPF volumes in T6. The same trends were also demonstrated for Poplar in T3 but resulted in a reduction of volume in T1 of approximately 10%. There is still some public concern regarding the projected decrease in future wood supply, however the planning team has optimized harvest volumes given the current policy framework. Documentation regarding the development of the DCHS can be found in Supplementary Documentation Section 6.2.2. Documentation regarding the scoping analysis and the development of the LTMD can be found in sections 5.0 and 7.0 of the Analysis Package in Supplementary Documentation Section 6.1.1.

3.3 Base Model

Assumptions are used in the development of the base model inventory and base model. These assumptions are associated with the land base, forest dynamics (including forest succession, growth and yield and post renewal forest succession), available silvicultural options and biological limits. The planning team has documented the management assumptions in the Analysis Package located in Supplementary Documentation Section 6.1.1. Specifically, details on the base model inventory and the base model can be found in Sections 2.0 and 4.0 of the Analysis Package, respectively.

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The Planning Team, the three Local Citizens Committees (Cochrane, Kirkland Lake and Timmins) as well as the Aboriginal Task Team (ATT) (with participation from elders from various communities) were involved in the development of the desired forest and benefits for the 2012-2022 Abitibi River FMP. The desired forest and benefits determines the forest structure, composition and goods and services which are desired from the forest to achieve a balance of social, economic, and environmental needs over time.

Two separate meetings were held on April 30th, 2011 and May 7th, 2011, the first with representatives from the three Local Citizens Committees (LCCs) and the planning team and a second with the ATT and members of their respective communities, including the participation of elders. These meetings were held to provide participants the background information on the forest and to develop a list of desired forest and benefits. In an effort to identify which 20102012 ARF management plan objectives were considered relevant and/or which required modification, a questionnaire was developed and distributed prior to the meetings to provide participants an anonymous forum to share their respective interests and perspectives. Results from this questionnaire allowed the planning team and LCC members to acknowledge the existing desires and benefits being enjoyed and focused the participants on those desires and/or benefits that were not being obtained from the current strategic direction. The initial meetings generated an updated summary of the desired forest and benefits that was subsequently reviewed and refined in follow-up meetings with the original participants, leading to a final endorsement by the planning team. The final summary linked the outputs to associated objective statements from the existing FMP which, in turn, allowed the planning team to begin building inputs for the development of updated 2012 FMP objectives. The summary also linked the desired forest and benefits to each of the CFSA criteria and to the objective categories listed in the 2009 FMPM. This summary was the basis for the development of Table FMP-9.

A detailed list of the results of the desired forest and benefits meetings were included in the Long Term Management Direction for the Abitibi River Forest. The planning team considered all inputs from the meetings, and while some material transformed into plan objectives or confirmed exiting ones, not all of the inputs could be considered in the objective suite. Some were adjudicated as outside the scope of forest management planning, and therefore were not considered in the development of FMP objectives. For the comments that could not be incorporated in the objective development, the planning team attempted to address them in operational decision making practices.

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All of the desired forest and benefits meetings served to define new or confirm existing plan objectives, indicators of sustainability, and associated desired levels. The meetings also presented the opportunity for participating members to understand other opinions, and expectations for the FMP. The result was an appreciation of the range, and often conflicting, perspectives of the participants and an enhanced appreciation of the complexity in attaining a balanced objective achievement.

In Section 6.1.7 of the Supplementary Documentation the summary of public consultation documents the participation in the desired forest and benefits process, and Section 6.1.15 documents the desired forest and benefits summary.

This section will describe the suite of management objectives including the associated indicators and the timeline for indicator assessment. For each indicator, the planning team has developed desirable levels and targets by considering the background information, management guide direction, desired forest and benefits meeting results and the results of scoping analysis. For each objective grouping the management objectives, associated indicators, desirable levels and targets, and the timing of assessment described in detail below and summarized in Table FMP-9.

The primary goal of a forest management plan is to achieve a healthy, sustainable forest ecosystem, which is vital to the well-being of forest based, and non-forest based, Ontario communities. The CFSA directs that all management objectives, and their associated indicators developed for a forest management plan be compatible with one of four primary objective groupings. These groupings are as follows;

a) Crown forest diversity, b) social and economic matters, including timber harvest levels and a recognition that healthy forest ecosystems are vital to the well-being of Ontario communities; c) the provision of forest cover for those values which are dependent on Crown forest covers; and d) silviculture

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For each individual grouping there are one or more related objectives, with associated indicators, desirable levels and targets. As shown above, forest objectives are developed for benefits or outcomes that can be achieved by manipulating forest cover. The associated indicators for achieving these types of objectives will involve silvicultural methods for harvest, renewal and tending since these are the processes by which forest cover is manipulated. In some cases, there is one or more indicator supporting the objectives. For each indicator, there are associated desired levels and targets, measured either qualitatively or quantitatively with an associated timeline for assessment. The desired level reflects the planning teams interpretation of the ideal condition without consideration for any other objective. Target establishment, on the other hand, reflects the necessity for balancing contrasting management objectives. This may result in targets that differ from the desired levels. The planning team developed targets using input from the local citizens committee, Aboriginal community members and the planning team at the desired forest and benefits meetings. The targets levels were supported by scoping analysis results using SFMM, by considering the background information available and by using relevant forest management guides and newly available science information (draft landscape guide and stand and site guide). Sections 4.0, 5.0, 6.0 of the Analysis Package describe in detail the inputs, results and conclusions for the development of management objectives and scoping investigations.

The CFSA objective categories associated with each objective and indicator noted above are summarized in Table FMP-9 Summary of Management Objectives, and include the timing of assessment. Each CFSA grouping considers the requirement of information available to the planning team in order to properly assess the achievement for each objective. The following describes the planning teams management objectives, associated indicators, desirable levels and targets categorized by CFSA objective category. Each objective is numbered for ease of reference with Table FMP-9. A full summary of the results of the desired forest and benefits meetings is available in Section 6.1.7 of the Supplementary Documentation.

Forest Diversity Objective Category

The forest diversity objectives are assessed based on a series of indicators evaluating landscape patterns; forest structure, composition and abundance; amount and distribution of area by forest type and age.

Management Objective 1: To provide for a distribution of disturbances patches that more closely resemble the expected size, composition and age produced by wildfire.

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The following indicators were used in the assessment of achievement for this objective. Indicators: 1.1 Frequency distribution (in percent) of forest disturbances by size class. a. Desired Levels: to achieve the disturbance template levels within the inter-quartile range (IQR) for the specific size classes b. Target Levels: to show movement towards the natural disturbance template c. Timing of Assessment: preliminary assessment completed at LTMD and final assessment at draft plan. 1.2 Young Forest Patch Size - Demonstrate the current and planned young forest patch size move towards the draft landscape guide ranges for 3E Ecoregion a. Desired Levels: to achieve the draft Landscape Guide ranges for the 3E Ecoregion b. Target Levels: demonstrate that planned young forest patch size move towards the simulated range of natural variation (SRNV) landscape guide ranges for the 3E Ecoregion c. Timing of Assessment: preliminary assessment completed at LTMD and final assessment at draft plan 1.3 Texture of the Mature and Older Forest Matrix - Demonstrate that current and planned texture of the mature and older forest matrix moves towards the draft landscape guide ranges for 3E Ecoregion (500 ha and 5,000 ha size classes) a. Desired Levels: to achieve the draft Landscape Guide ranges for the 3E Ecoregion b. Target Levels: demonstrate that the planned texture of the mature and older forest matrix move towards the SRNV landscape guide ranges for the 3E Ecoregion c. Timing of Assessment: preliminary assessment completed at LTMD and final assessment at draft plan 1.4 Area by forest type and age class (Landscape Classes and Forest Unit Groupings consistent with Milestones identified in the draft Landscape Guide Region 3E) and total amount of young forest and mature and old forest (all FU) a. Desired Levels: to move towards or maintain within the draft Landscape Guide IQR ranges for the 3E Ecoregion b. Target Levels: to move towards or maintain within the draft Landscape Guide SRNV ranges for the 3E Ecoregion

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c. Timing of Assessment: preliminary assessment completed at LTMD and final assessment at draft plan 1.5 Amount and distribution of overmature forest on the Forest (Old Growth Forest by FU consistent with milestones identified in the draft landscape guide 3E) a. Desired Levels: to move towards, increase or maintain within the draft Landscape Guide IQR ranges for the 3E Ecoregion b. Target Levels: to move towards, increase or maintain within the draft Landscape Guide SRNV ranges for the 3E Ecoregion c. Timing of Assessment: preliminary assessment completed at LTMD and final assessment at draft plan 1.6 Amount and distribution of overmature forest on the South SMZ (Old Growth Forest by FU consistent with milestones identified in the draft Landscape Guide 3E) (area weighted by Initial Total Forest by Forest Unit a. Desired Levels: to maintain the SRNV levels (area weighted by initial total forest by forest unit) at Term 11 (2112) b. Target Levels: to maintain the SRNV levels (area weighted by initial total forest by forest unit) at Term 2 (2022) c. Timing of Assessment: preliminary assessment completed at LTMD and final assessment at draft plan

Management Objective 2: To maintain or increase the amount of the red and white pine (PRW) forest unit.

The following indicators were used in the assessment of achievement for this objective. Indicator: 2.1 Amount of area in the PRW forest unit grouping in the SMZ a. Desired Levels: monitor the projected PRW forest unit area and plant 5,000 Pr and Pw seedlings per year (on average) in other forest units. b. Target Levels: monitor the projected PRW forest unit area and plant 5,000 Pr and Pw seedlings per year (on average) in other forest units. c. Timing of Assessment: preliminary assessment at LTMD and final assessment at draft plan, upon completion of the 10 year FMP

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Forest Diversity and Provision of Forest Cover Objective Category

Management Objective 3: To provide habitat area for forest dependent provincially and locally featured species.

The following indicators were used in the assessment of achievement for this objective. Indicator: 3.1 Area of habitat for forest dependent provincially and locally featured species on the North SMZ a. Desired Levels: to trend the NBS at 70% on the forest by Term 11 (2112) b. Target Levels: to trend the NBS at 70% on the forest by Term 2 (2022) c. Timing of Assessment: assessment completed at LTMD 3.2 Area of habitat for forest dependent provincially and locally featured species on the South SMZ a. Desired Levels: to trend the NBS at 70% on the forest by Term 11 (2112) b. Target Levels: to trend the NBS at 70% on the forest by Term 2 (2022) c. Timing of Assessment: assessment completed at LTMD 3.3 Percent of capable area in suitable condition within core marten habitat areas in the South SMZ a. Desired Levels: 10-20% of the forest that is capable marten habitat in suitable condition within core areas b. Target Levels: 10-20% of the forest that is capable marten habitat in suitable condition within core areas c. Timing of Assessment: assessment completed at LTMD 3.4 Quality and size frequency of marten cores in the South SMZ a. Desired Levels: have 85% of the cores in the 500-1000 hectare frequency in suitable condition, 75% of the cores in the 1001-3000 hectare frequency in suitable condition and 60% of the cores in the 3001+ hectare frequency in suitable condition b. Target Levels: have 85% of the cores in the 500-1000 hectare frequency in suitable condition, 75% of the cores in the 1001-3000 hectare frequency in suitable

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condition and 60% of the cores in the 3001+ hectare frequency in suitable condition c. Timing of Assessment: assessment completed at LTMD

Management Objective 4: To ensure the protection of habitat required by the endangered species act for identified species at risk inhabiting the forest.

The following indicator was used in the assessment of achievement for this objective. Indicator: 4.1 Compliance with prescriptions developed for species at risk. a. Desired Levels: Be fully compliant with area of concern prescriptions developed for identified species at risk. b. Target Levels: 95% of FOIP reports for identified species at risk AOC reports in compliance during the 2012-2022 FMP c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment to be completed upon completion of the 20122022 FMP.

Management Objective 5: Provide habitat for forest dwelling woodland caribou within the local population range.

The following indicators were used in the assessment of achievement for this objective. Indicator: 5.1 Area of caribou winter suitable habitat within the Abitibi River Forest portion of the Kesagami Range (North SMZ) a. Desired Levels: Move towards the median of the SRNV of 1,034,280 hectares b. Target Levels: Maintain within the IQR of 980,214 to 1,145,137 hectares c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment completed at LTMD and final plan submission 5.2 Area of caribou mature conifer habitat within the Abitibi River Forest portion of the Kesagami Range (North SMZ) a. Desired Levels: Move towards the median of the SRNV of 710,151 hectares b. Target Levels: Maintain within the IQR of 516,621 and 822,387 hectares

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c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment completed at LTMD and final plan submission 5.3 Texture/arrangement of mature conifer habitat in the 6,000 hectare size class in the North SMZ a. Desired Levels: Move towards the mean, focusing on the >28% mature conifer class b. Target Levels: Move towards the mean, focusing on the >28% mature conifer class c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment completed at LTMD and final plan submission 5.4 Texture/arrangement of mature conifer habitat in the 30,000 hectare size class in the North SMZ a. Desired Levels: Move towards the mean, focusing on the >28% mature conifer class b. Target Levels: Move towards the mean, focusing on the >28% mature conifer class c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment completed at LTMD and final plan submission 5.5 Texture/arrangement of winter suitable habitat in the 6,000 hectare size class in the North SMZ a. Desired Levels: Move towards the mean, focusing on the >60% suitable classes b. Target Levels: Move towards the mean, focusing on the >60% suitable classes c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment completed at LTMD and final plan submission 5.6 Texture/arrangement of winter suitable habitat in the 30,000 hectare size class in the North SMZ a. Desired Levels: Move towards the mean, focusing on the >60% suitable classes b. Target Levels: Move towards the mean, focusing on the >60% suitable classes c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment completed at LTMD and final plan submission 5.7 Percentage of DCHS in online condition by area in the North SMZ a. Desired Levels: At least 40% of the DCHS in online condition by area b. Target Levels: At least 40% of the DCHS in online condition by area c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment completed at LTMD 5.8 To track CLAAG and HARP areas on the forest harvested during the term of the 20122022 FMP

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a. Desired Levels: Track new CLAAG and HARP areas on the forest b. Target Levels: Track new CLAAG and HARP harvest areas on the forest for the 10 year planning period c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment to be completed upon completion of the 20122022 FMP

Silviculture Objective Grouping

Management Objective 6: Maintaining and enhance forest ecosystem condition and productivity

The following indicators were used in the assessment of achievement for this objective. Indicator: 6.1 Area and percent of natural disturbance area that receives salvage harvest a. Desired Levels: Salvage 100% of natural disturbance areas determined to be available for salvage over the plan period (2012-2022) within economic, ecological and operational constraints b. Target Levels: Salvage 75% of natural disturbance areas determined to be available for salvage over the plan period (2012-2022) within economic, ecological and operational constraints c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment to be completed upon completion of the 20122022 FMP 6.2 Salvage and regeneration of poplar decline area a. Desired Levels: Salvage 100% of poplar decline areas determined to be available for salvage over the plan period (2012-2022) within economic, ecological and operational constraints b. Target Levels: 2,500 hectares to be harvested over the course of the 10 year plan c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment to be completed upon completion of the 20122022 FMP 6.3 Proportion of conifer (Pj, Sb and Sw) in the future pure conifer forest units in the DCHS A blocks within the North SMZ a. Desired Levels: Increase the Pj, Sb and Sw species composition in each of the
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pure conifer forest units b. Target Levels: Maintain the Pj, Sb and Sw species composition in each of the pure conifer forest units c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment to be completed upon completion of the 20122022 FMP 6.4 Percent of harvested forest area declared as free-growing by forest unit a. Desired Levels: 100% of the harvest forested area, that is eligible for free-to-grow assessment, declared as free-growing by forest unit b. Target Levels: 75% of the harvest forested area, that is eligible for free-to-grow assessment, declared as free-growing by forest unit c. Timing of Assessment: Year 7 and 10 annual reports 6.5 Planned and actual percent of the 2012-2022 harvest area treated by silvicultural intensity a. Desired Levels: 100% of the actual harvest area treated according to the planned silvicultural intensity b. Target Levels: 80% of the actual harvest area treated according to the planned silvicultural intensity c. Timing of Assessment: Year 7 and 10 annual reports 6.6 Planned and actual percent of area successfully regenerated to the projected forest unit by forest unit a. Desired Levels: 80% of all forest units being successfully regenerated to the projected forest unit, by forest unit. b. Target Levels: 70% of all forest units being successfully regenerated to the projected forest unit, by forest unit for PRW, SB1, SB3, PJ1, PO1 and PO3. 60% of all forest units being successfully regenerated to the projected forest unit, by forest unit for PJ2, LC1 and MWD. 50% of all forest units being successfully regenerated to the projected forest unit, by forest unit for OH1, SP1, SF1 and BW1. c. Timing of Assessment: Year 7 and 10 annual reports. 6.7 Establish a benchmark for the use of herbicides on the Abitibi River Forest and explore viable alternatives that may influence future herbicide levels. a. Timing of Assessment: Will be assessed following the completion of the 20122022 FMP

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Social and Economic Objective Category

Management Objective 7: Provide a sustainable, continuous and predictable harvest level and supply of fibre from the Forest

The following indicators were used in the assessment of achievement for this objective. Indicator: 7.1 Long term projected available harvest area a. Desired Levels: Maintain the annual available harvest area (AHA) levels projected in the 2010-2022 ARF CFMP b. Target Levels: Maintain 75% of the annual available harvest area (AHA) levels projected in the 2010-2022 ARF CFMP c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment completed at LTMD 7.2 Long term projected available harvest volume by species group a. Desired Levels: Maintain the current industrial demand (CID) levels determined in the 2010-2012 ARF CFMP b. Target Levels: Maintain the average historic annualized utilization levels for the combined former forests c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment completed at LTMD 7.3 Actual harvest area, by forest unit a. Desired Levels: Harvest 95% of the projected annual harvest area b. Target Levels: Harvest 80% of the projected annual harvest area c. Timing of Assessment: Year 7 and 10 annual reports 7.4 Actual harvest volume, by species group a. Desired Levels: Achieve 95% of the planned available harvest volume b. Target Levels: Achieve 80% of the planned available harvest volume c. Timing of Assessment: Year 7 and 10 annual reports

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Management Objective 8: Forestry operations follow the FMP in order to minimize conflicts with non-timber resource users and to protect non-timber values so that all users have the opportunity to benefit from the forest.

The following indicators were used in the assessment of achievement for this objective. Indicator: 8.1 Percent of forest operations inspections in compliance, by activity and remedy type a. Desired Levels: 100% of forest operations inspections in compliance b. Target Levels: 95% of FOIP reports in compliance during the 2012-2022 FMP (% of inspections by non-compliance by remedy type) c. Timing of Assessment: Year 7 and 10 annual reports 8.2 Compliance with management practices that prevent, minimize or mitigate site damage (% of inspections by non-compliance by remedy type) a. Desired Levels: 100% in compliance with management practices that prevent, minimize or mitigate site damage b. Target Levels: 95% of FOIP reports in compliance with management practices that prevent, minimize or mitigate site damage during the 2012-2022 FMP (% of inspections by non-compliance by remedy type) c. Timing of Assessment: Year 7 and 10 annual reports 8.3 Compliance with management practices that protect water quality and fish habitat (% of inspections in non-compliance, by remedy type) a. Desired Levels: 100% in compliance with management practices that protect water quality and fish habitat b. Target Levels: 95% of FOIP reports in compliance with management practices that protect water quality and fish habitat during the 2012-2022 FMP (% of inspections by non-compliance by remedy type) c. Timing of Assessment: Year 7 and 10 annual reports 8.4 Compliance with the prescriptions for the protection of resource based tourism values (% of inspections in non-compliance, by remedy type) a. Desired Levels: 100% of activities compliant with prescriptions for the protection of resource based tourism values b. Target Levels: 95% of FOIP reports in compliance with the prescriptions for the

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protection of resource based tourism values during the 2012-2022 FMP c. Timing of Assessment: Year 7 and 10 annual reports 8.5 Compliance with the prescriptions for the protection of First Nation values (% of inspections in non-compliance, by remedy type) a. Desired Levels: 100% of activities compliant with prescriptions for the protection of First Nation values b. Target Levels: 95% of FOIP reports in compliance with the prescriptions for the protection of First Nation values during the 2012-2022 FMP c. Timing of Assessment: Year 7 and 10 annual reports

Management Objective 9: Provide opportunities for social and economic benefits to a variety of sources

The following indicators were used in the assessment of achievement for this objective. Indicator: 9.1 Kilometers of SFL roads per square kilometer of Crown forest in the North SMZ a. Desired Levels: Maintain or reduce the amount of drivable SFL responsible roads that are within the continuous caribou zone b. Target Levels: Number of kilometers of drivable SFL responsible primary, branch and operational roads (combined) per square kilometer of Crown Land should not increase by more than 5% c. Timing of Assessment: Year 7 and 10 annual reports 9.2 Kilometers of SFL roads per square kilometer of Crown forest in the South SMZ a. Desired Levels: No more than 15% increase of SFL responsible roads per square kilometer of Crown managed forest land b. Target Levels: No more than 15% increase of SFL responsible roads per square kilometer of Crown managed forest land c. Timing of Assessment: Year 7 and 10 annual reports

Management Objective 10: To minimize productive forest area lost by forest management activities

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The following indicator was used in the assessment of achievement for this objective. Indicators: 10.1 Managed Frown forest available for timber production a. Desired Levels: Maintain the current available production forest area level of 1,920,601 hectares over time b. Target Levels: Ensure that the available production forest area does not decline by more than 3% in the medium and long term c. Timing of Assessment: Year 7 and 10 annual reports

Management Objective 11: Provide opportunities for local Aboriginal communities for increased participation in the forest management planning process

The following indicators were used in the assessment of achievement for this objective. Indicators: 11.1 Assessment of the quality of the level of participation of the Aboriginal communities in the development of the forest management plan a. Desired Levels: Response from communities indicating high quality participation in the development of the forest management plan b. Target Levels: Response from communities indicating adequate participation in the development of the forest management plan c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment to be completed for final plan submission 11.2 Number of Aboriginal communities contacted to review and provide comment on AWS a. Desired Levels: 100% of Aboriginal communities contacted to review and provide comment on the AWS b. Target Levels: 100% of Aboriginal communities contacted to review and provide comment on the AWS c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment to be completed upon completion of the 20122022 FMP. 11.3 In addition to normal FMP consultation requirements, actively identify and participate in opportunities to transfer forest management information to Aboriginal communities

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a. Timing of Assessment: Assessment to be completed upon completion of the 20122022 FMP.

Management Objective 12: Respect for Aboriginal values, knowledge and uses

The following indicator was used in the assessment of achievement for this objective. Indicator: 12.1 Identified and addressed aboriginal values using aboriginal traditional knowledge a. Desired Levels: All aboriginal traditional knowledge is identified and protected through the development and implementation of AOC prescriptions during the 2012-2022 forest management plan b. Target Levels: Addressed identified aboriginal values using aboriginal traditional knowledge c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment to be completed for final plan submission

Management Objective 13: LCC involvement in the development of the FMP

The following indicator was used in the assessment of achievement for this objective. Indicator: 13.1 LCC self-evaluation of its effectiveness in plan development a. Desired Levels: Respondents indicated, through a survey, that they were satisfied with their level of involvement in the development of the FMP b. Target Levels: 75% of respondents indicate, through a survey, that they were satisfied with their level of involvement in the development of the FMP c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment to be completed for final plan submission

Management Objective 14: Innovation and research

The following indicators were used in the assessment of achievement for this objective. Indicator:

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14.1 Evaluate the use of new methodologies resulting from innovative forest management research a. Desired Levels: Implementation of appropriate research and technology b. Target Levels: Track the implementation of new science technologies and techniques on the forest c. Timing of Assessment: Upon completion of the 2012-2022 FMP 14.2 Explore opportunities to reintroduce fire to the landscape as a silvicultural tool a. Desired Levels: Identify modified response zones on the forest and explore opportunities for prescribed burning b. Target Levels: Identify modified response areas on the forest in conjunction with MNR fire representatives c. Timing of Assessment: Upon completion of the 2012-2022 FMP

Management Objective 15: Promote sustainable forest management

The following indicator was used in the assessment of achievement for this objective. Indicator: 15.1 Track the events attended by MNR and/or Industry promoting Sustainable Forest Management a. Desired Levels: The number of events attended by both MNR and/or industry to promote forestry b. Target Levels: Report on the number of events attended in the year 3, 7 and 10 AR c. Timing of Assessment: Assessment to be completed at year 3, 7 and 10 annual reports

3.6 Long-Term Management Direction

As described earlier, the Strategic Forest Management Model (SFMM) was used as the primary analysis tool for the strategic planning of this FMP. This computer model simulates the Abitibi River Forest condition through time by projecting changes to the forest structure, composition and age for 160 years into the future. SFMM also evaluates forested areas, for their contribution

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to forest diversity, timber production, and wildlife habitat. SFMM was used to determine the levels of forest management activities, specifically harvest and renewal and tending, required to manage forest cover to balance the achievement of management objectives. The SFMM was also used in the development of achievable targets in the proposed long-term management direction. The model outputs include a description of the forest condition for the Crown productive forest, habitat levels of selected wildlife species, available harvest area by forest unit and available harvest volume by species group.

The planning team also utilized spatial modeling tools such as the Natural Disturbance Pattern Emulation (NDPE) Tool, which is geographic information system (GIS) based software and the Ontario Landscape Tool (OLT), which is a GIS-based landscape structured language (LSL) model. These tools were used to evaluate and establish target levels for the development of this plan and for completing the spatial assessments that were conducted as part of the development of the LTMD. Detailed information on the development of inputs and the use of SFMM for the preparation of the FMP can be found in Section 6.1.1 of the Supplementary Documentation, in Section 4.0 of the Analysis Package.

Projected forest condition for the Crown productive forest

The following will describe the projected forest structure and the types and levels of activities required to manage the forest cover to balance the achievement of management objectives. First, Table FMP-5 (Section 9.0) shows how the projected forest condition for the Crown productive forest, depicted as the area (ha) by forest unit and age class, changes over the next 100 years. Consistent with the strategic direction from the 2010 FMP, a projected 2% increase in available Crown productive forest is projected over the course of the next 100 years. This increase is directly related to the forest management activities required to ensure the planning teams objective #10 related to the retention of productive forest area. Such activities as slash pile management (combination of piling and removal, either by burning or utilized as biofibre) will ensured that there is minimal net loss of productive area as a result of forest management activities (refer to section 4.2.2.1.1). In addition, there are also remnant roads and landings that are naturally reclaimed over time and available for forest management activities in the future, particularly those winter roads constructed in the North SMZ lowland areas. In addition road decommissioning strategies have been developed as a result of the implementation of the Caribou Conservation Plan in the North SMZ. These decommissioning strategies can be found in Supplementary Documentation Section 6.2.1 in Module 5 of the Implementation Toolkit.

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As shown in Table FMP-5 and figure 30 the white birch (BW1) forest unit shows an increase over the 100 year period of approximately 48% or 12,633 ha. The planning team examined this occurrence very closely and compared it to the expected outcomes from the natural benchmark scenario. This occurrence is consistent to that of the NBS, which shows an increase in white birch levels through time. As with white birch, the poplar (PO1) forest unit is projected to increase to approximately 7% over its current levels in the 100-year term (refer to figure 31). Consistent with the natural benchmark scenario results and supported by science-based information used in the development of the draft Landscape Guide for Ecoregion 3E, the poplar forest unit is projected to increase despite the anticipated decline in wood supply in the next 60 years. The planning team considered a variety of options in the increase of the poplar forest unit. The increase was necessary to move towards the landscape guide milestones for Landscape Classes, including the mature and older mixedwood, the overmature poplar (based on science information from the Landscape Guide) and the retention of wildlife habitat (i.e. moose foraging) at the highest levels in the lowest periods as desired by the local citizens committee and the planning team. The PO3 forest unit shows a decline of 17% over the next 100 years (refer to figure 32). The PO3 forest unit area decreases over time as a result of natural succession, for the most part the majority of the PO3 naturally succeeds back into itself but there are proportions that succeed to MWD and BW1.

19 20 21 Figure 30. Total BW1 crown productive forest area projection

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1 2 3 Figure 31. Total PO1 crown productive forest area projection

PO3 Crown Productive Forest Area


60000 50000 40000 Area (ha) 30000 20000 10000 0

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Figure 32. Total PO3 crown productive forest area projection

The mixedwood forest unit (MWD) shows a dramatic increase (76%) of productive Crown forest over the next 100 years (refer to figure 33). In both mixedwood forest units, an increase in area is expected in the next 100 years to support both the wildlife habitat objectives and the desired forest condition, consistent with the expected natural conditions. Similar to in the increases in the BW1 and PO1 forest units the increase was necessary to move towards the landscape guide

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milestones for Landscape Classes, including the mature and older mixedwood, the overmature poplar (based on science information from the Landscape Guide) and the retention of wildlife habitat (i.e. moose foraging) at the highest levels in the lowest periods as desired by the local citizens committee and the planning team.

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Figure 33. Total MWD crown productive forest area projection

The tolerant hardwood forest unit (OH1) is expected to decrease almost 12% from 2012 to 2112 (refer to figure 34). With this being such a small forest unit on the Abitibi River Forest (starting at 227 hectares) any loss of this forest unit creates a large reduction. OH1 is comprised of species that are not typically associated with the Boreal conditions found in the Abitibi River Forest, hence the lower occurrence of it across the forest. The decrease is a result of natural succession taking place within this forest unit.

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Figure 34. Total OH1 crown productive forest area projection

The dominant jack pine forest units (PJ1 and PJ2) are projected to vary within the next 100 years. The PJ1 forest unit will gradually increase 36% over time (refer to figure 35). The PJ2 forest unit presents a different outlook. As a result of planning team and LCCs desires and benefits, despite an increase in 2032, a decrease of 34% in the PJ2 forest unit is projected (refer to figure 36). This is contrary to the NBS, which shows an increase in the PJ2 forest unit over time. The PJ2 forest unit decreases over time due to the higher proportion of area in the younger age classes at plan start. Over time this area decreases and stabilizes as a result of forest management activities as well as natural succession.

11 12 Figure 35. Total PJ1 crown productive forest area projection

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Figure 36. Total PJ2 crown productive forest area projection

The PRW forest unit currently has a low occurrence on the Abitibi River forest, comprising 397 hectares. Red and white pine does not typically occur in the Boreal forest, and therefore are at the northernmost extent of their limit in this area. The 100 year projection of this forest unit shows a decrease of 1% or 6 hectares (refer to figure 37). The stability of this forest unit is mainly attributed to the objective to maintain this forest unit on the landbase (which includes the planting of red and white pine).

9 10 11 Figure 37. Total PRW crown productive forest area projection

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The spruce dominated forest unit, SB1, indicates a slight decrease over the next 100 years of 3% (refer to figure 38) and the SB3 forest unit decreases slightly (0.2%) (refer to figure 39). These two forest units comprise a majority of the forest, and small changes are expected. Both of these forest units, for the most part, succeed naturally back into themselves and as a result of forest management activities it is believed that a very small proportion of the forest units will regenerate naturally to LC1. This has resulted in the slight decrease in the lowland spruce forest units.

8 9 10 Figure 38. Total SB1 crown productive forest area projection

11 12 Figure 39. Total SB3 crown productive forest area projection

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The decrease in the SP1 and SF1 forest units by 18% and 38%, respectively, are supported by the natural benchmark scenario, or condition expected on the management unit over time, which shows a decrease in both these forest units (refer to figures 40 and 41). Decreases in these forest units are also a function of the planning teams desire to move towards the forest unit grouping indicators in the landscape guide.

7 8 9 Figure 40. Total SP1 crown productive forest area projection

10 11 Figure 41. Total SF1 crown productive forest area projection

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The BOG forest unit remains constant throughout the 100 year projection in both FMP-5 and the NBS (refer to figure 42). LC1 shows a 92% increase throughout the 100 year projection, which is consistent with an increase in the NBS (refer to figure 43). This is due to the expected ingress of larch in the lowland areas of the forest, as larch is a prolific seeder in these environments.

6 7 8 Figure 42. Total BOG crown productive forest area projection

9 10 Figure 43. Total LC1 crown productive forest area projection

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Projected Habitat for Species at Risk and Wildlife Species

The projected amount of preferred habitat is shown in Table FMP-6 (Section 9.0) for all listed species. A total of eight wildlife species were identified by the planning team and the LCCs, of which the ruffed grouse was identified as a locally featured species, to ensure monitoring and managing for the full range of habitat conditions on the forest. The table is intended to present the contribution of the Abitibi River Forest to the habitat available for each of the species in a Provincial, Regional, and Sub-Regional context. Overall, the forest has an irregular age class structure, with peaks occurring in the 1-20, 81-100 and 141-160 age classes. In general, there is an abundance of habitat for all species, no matter which forest age class they prefer (young, mature, old).

As can be observed in Table FMP-6 and the associated Figure 44, as a general rule, species preferring older forest retain the same or experienced an increase in the amount of available habitat (e.g. Canadian lynx, black backed woodpecker, marten). As seen below, the general trend of the forest is to maintain or increase habitat levels for the selected species. It should be noted that woodland caribou does not appear in this table, as habitat for this species are calculated spatially instead of being modeled in the SFMM. Graphs for the individual species are located in section 8.0 (graphs 156 to 163) of the Analysis Package located in Supplementary Documentation 6.1.1).

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0 T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T11 T12 T13 T14 T15 T16 Term(10year) BlackBear Moose(Browse) RuffedGrouse

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BlackBackedWoodpecker Marten PileatedWoodpecker

Lynx(Denning) Moose(Winter)

Figure 44. Projected habitat for selected and featured species

Projected available harvest volume by species group

Table FMP-8 (Section 9.0) describes the projected available harvest volume by species group. In addition to the available harvest volume, Table FMP-8 also includes the available defect/undersize harvest volume. The defect/undersize volume is also known as unmerchantable volume. A detailed description of the methodology used for calculating the defect/undersized volume for the purpose of biofibre is available in Section 4.3.5.

Figures 45 through to 49 portray a comparison of the wood supply projections for the 2012 Abitibi River FMP with the historical forecast of Crown supply (pre-2012), the 2010 Abitibi River FMP wood supply projections, the Ministry Recognized Operating Level (MROL), the actual historical wood utilization from the past 20 years of forest management plans and the Ontario Forest Accord Advisory Board (OFAAB) benchmark harvest levels, as identified in the Regional Wood Supply Strategies, for individual species groups.

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Figure 45 illustrates the total projected volume for the Abitibi River Forest and indicates an overall decrease in volumes when compared to the projected volumes of previous FMPs. The total volume also fluctuates throughout each of the terms as opposed to the relative stability of those projected in the 2010 FMP. The 2010 FMP had projected a wood supply decrease in term 3 which can be attributed in part to the age class gap that exists on the forest (see figure 28). The effects of the age class gap are exacerbated due to the application of the Caribou Conservation Plan for the 2012-22 FMP. The planning team does recognize that applying the dynamic caribou habitat schedule (DCHS) results in a disproportional impact to the long term wood supply. Scoping investigations, including a comparison and review with the full wood production potential scenario results and the maximum even-flow scenario the planning team concluded that the SPF and poplar volumes demonstrated a consistent downward trend regardless of the constraints involved and that the inclusion of the DCHS had the most significant volume impacts. The results of the additional scoping investigations are discussed in section 8.0 of the Analysis Package (supplementary documentation section 6.1.1). The socio-economic report in Section 6.1.14 of the Supplementary Documentation describes the consequences of any expected decline in wood supply for the communities residing on the Abitibi River Forest.

2,000,000 1,800,000 1,600,000 1,400,000 1,200,000

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Historical (Actual) Wood Utilization Target Level PLTMD 2010 CAF Predicted Wood Supply 1999 OFAAB Benchmark PLTMD - SSMZ

18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Historical (Forecast) Crown Supply Desirable Level Aggregated MROL PLTMD - NSMZ

Figure 45. Total projected available harvest volumes (all species groups combined)

The projected available harvest volumes for SPF are highly variable, as shown in Figure 46. The existing age class structures of those forest species (i.e. spruce, pine and fir) in combination with provincial policy (application of the CCP) create an inconsistent wood supply for the Abitibi River Forest. It is seen that the volumes drop approximately 24% (1,020,058 to 772,082 m3/ha) from T1 to T3, remaining low until 2072 and peaking again in 2112. The term 3 volumes are approximately 40% (1,275,127 to 772,082 m3/ha) lower than those projected in previous FMPs

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(FMPs developed prior to the CCP). The predicted drop in SPF wood supply after term 3 indicates potential limitations with regards to industrial expansion within the communities that exist within the Abitibi River Forest.

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Historical (Forecast) Crown Supply Desirable Level Aggregated MROL PLTMD - NSMZ

Historical (Actual) Wood Utilization Target Level PLTMD

2010 CAF Predicted Wood Supply 1999 OFAAB Benchmark PLTMD - SSMZ

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600,000

Figure 46. SPF projected available harvest volumes

Figure 47 illustrates that the projected poplar volume fluctuates similar to that of SPF. There is a projected 24% reduction in poplar volume from term 1 to term 3 for the 2012-22 FMP. This reduction, similar to SPF, was projected during the 2010 FMP and is again exacerbated by the application of the DCHS. The projected poplar volumes fluctuate throughout the 160 year planning horizon. The poplar volumes projected on the South SMZ are relatively consistent over time as a result of the planning teams desire to flatline the projected poplar volumes.

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Historical (Forecast) Crown Supply Desirable Level Aggregated MROL PLTMD - NSMZ Historical (Actual) Wood Utilization Target Level PLTMD 2010 CAF Predicted Wood Supply 1999 OFAAB Benchmark PLTMD - SSMZ

14 15

Figure 47. Poplar projected available harvest volumes

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Figure 48 illustrates the projected birch volumes over time. Similar to the previous volume summaries the birch volume is projected to decrease from term 1 to term 3 by approximately 24% and in term 3 is approximately 37% lower than the volumes projected in previous FMPs.

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Historical (Actual) Wood Utilization Target Level PLTMD 2010 CAF Predicted Wood Supply 1999 OFAAB Benchmark PLTMD - SSMZ

Historical (Forecast) Crown Supply Desirable Level Aggregated MROL PLTMD - NSMZ

6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Figure 48. White birch projected available harvest volumes

Figure 49 demonstrates the projected volumes of white and red pine. Previous utilization of this species has been low compared to the available harvest volume, and the projected volumes are expected to increase overtime, peaking in 2072 before decreasing again through 2132. This increase is predominantly as a result of the active forest management taken place to ensure the presence of these species on the forest in support of the FMP objectives.

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Historical (Actual) Wood Utilization Target Level PLTMD 2010 CAF Predicted Wood Supply 1999 OFAAB Benchmark PLTMD - SSMZ

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Historical (Forecast) Crown Supply Desirable Level Aggregated MROL PLTMD - NSMZ

Figure 49. White and red pine projected available harvest volumes

3.6.1 Available Harvest Area

The area projected for harvest for the first ten-year term of the plan is referred to as the available harvest area (AHA). Projections and assessment of AHA is an important component of the longterm management direction. The AHA has an associated available harvest volume (AHV) as described in the previous section. A separate AHA is specified for each forest unit and strategic management zone. The AHA is summarized, by forest unit, in Table FMP-7 (Section 9.0). Figures 50 through 56 illustrate a comparison of the projected AHA found in table FMP-7 to those projected in the previous Forest Management Plans. The source of the data for the following tables are the 2012-22 ARF LTMD, the 2010-12 ARF FMP (formerly known as the Cochrane Area Forest or CAF) and the four previously approved Year 10 Annual Reports for the Nighthawk, Iroquois Falls, Cochrane Moose River and Smooth Rock Falls Forests. It is important to note that within the four individual forest units there were a number of amalgamations that have taken place over time as well as forest unit changes from one FMP to the next within the same forest landbase over time. For comparison purposes the forest units were grouped in the simplest units that existed amongst the four former forests. This allowed for the differing forest unit groupings to be grouped according to the best fit and not necessarily those listed in FMP-7. The groupings are as follows: HWD = BW1, PO1, PO3, OH1; LC1= LC1; MWD = MWD; PJ1= PJ1, PJ2, PRW; SF1 = SF1; SP1 = SP1; SB1/3 = SB1, SB3. In addition the four former forests were not on the same forest management plan production schedule so the information has been annualized and grouped into similar timeframes.

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Over time there have been a number of changes that would have had an impact on the projected AHA such as new guidelines (Moose Guides, Marten Guides, NDPEG, Landscape Guides, Stand and Site Guide, etc), the Ontario Living Legacy (OLL) process, new policy direction (Caribou) and legislative changes (ESA). These changes have resulted in landbase changes (areas removed or added for ownership changes), deferrals, retention areas, Area of Concern dimensions and the 2012 FMP is the first in which directional statements from the Draft Landscape Guide have been applied. This has resulted in new objectives and indicators being added as constraints in the SFMM. When comparing specifically the 2010 and 2012 FMPs, the 2010 FMP landbase was composed of four sub management units (based on administrative boundaries) and the 2012 FMP landbase was composed of two strategic management zones based on the two management approaches (caribou and non-caribou) and eco-regions. Each of these iterations is believed to have an influence on the available harvest area. There were also adjustments made to the yield curves (for the most part reductions were made) which may result the SFMM needing more area to find the same volume. The application of the Landscape Guide in the 2012 FMP is also expected to have a positive influence on the projected AHA as, for the most part; there have been reductions to the AOC dimensions resulting in the less area being deferred in the SFMM.

Projected Available Harvest Area Comparison - HWD


10,000 9,000 8,000 7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 -

19 20 21 22 23 24 Figure 50. Total projected available harvest area for the HWD grouping.

The HWD projected AHA experiences an overall reduction when comparing the previous 20 year FMPs to the 2112 projection (refer to figure 50). This overall reduction may be a result of changes in the preferred habitat species modeling in the SFMM, succession of these early

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successional forest units and differing forest unit definitions throughout the FMPs. This grouping is composed mostly of the poplar dominated forest units. There are reductions in the AHA overtime, specifically in 2052 and 2092, these fluctuations are consistent with volume reductions in those time periods as well (refer to figure 47). The fluctuations are a result of managing for Caribou in the North SMZ, as indicated in figure 47. Figure 47 indicates that volumes are relatively flatlined in the South SMZ while the fluctuations in the North SMZ occur as a result of the DCHS being applied. The implications of this are a reduction in poplar volume with less fibre being available for mills that rely on the poplar from the ARF. This may also put pressure on adjacent SFLs as these mills look elsewhere for the volumes.
Projected Available Harvest Area Comparison - LC1
4,500 4,000 3,500 3,000 2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 -

10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Figure 51. Total projected available harvest area for the LC1 grouping.

Overall the LC1 AHA has been consistent in previous FMPs as well as projections into the future (refer to figure 51). The peak in the previous 15 year plan appears to be an anomaly that may be attributed to the differing forest unit definitions. There is little implication of the fluctuations as both cedar and larch are generally specialty forest products and as such the demand is low.

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Projected Available Harvest Area Comparison - MWD


4,000 3,500 3,000 2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 -

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Figure 52. Total projected available harvest area for the MWD grouping.

The trend for the MWD grouping is an overall drop when compared to the historic projections (refer to figure 52). The general trends follow that of the poplar volumes projections from figure 45 indicting that this forest unit grouping is a major contributor of poplar volumes. There are reductions evident from the 2010 FMP projection through to the 2052 projection as indicated in figure 50 with increases in the AHA occurring in future projections. This may be a function of the deferral for Caribou in the 2010 FMP as well as a function of the DCHS application for the 2012 FMP projections. The implications of the reductions are similar to those for the HWD grouping in that mills relying on the ARF for poplar volumes will find less fibre available and subsequently may increase pressure on adjacent Forests.

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Projected Available Harvest Area Comparison - PJ1


2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 -

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Figure 53. Total projected available harvest area for the PJ1 grouping.

Figure 53 indicates that the PJ1 grouping declines over time. The decrease is likely a function of the small proportion of area as well as the age class distribution present (refer to figures 11 and 12). Both forest units are small in area, given the size of the Forest, and there is a large proportion of the of the PJ1 grouping in the 0-40 age class (new stands resulting from forest fires and intensive forest management). What was evident through scoping is that the overmature targets and desirable levels for PJ1 and PJ2 forest units were very constraining in the model and are likely the contributing factor in the AHA levels (refer to figures 100-103). The result of this constraint is reduced PJ1 grouping AHA being available into the future.

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Projected Available Harvest Area Comparison - SF1


2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 -

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Figure 54. Total projected available harvest area for the SF1 grouping.

The SF1 projected available harvest area is relatively consistent historically and throughout the planning horizon with peaks occurring in 2012 and 2052. The SF1 projected AHA may be a function of the current age class distribution on the Forest which illustrates a higher proportion of the younger age classes (0-60) (refer to figure 18). As this area ages it becomes available for harvest (in light of other existing constraints on the Forest) which may result in an increased projected AHA. This is also evident in the overmature trends for SF1 (refer to figures 100-103). Figures 100-103 illustrate the influx of overmature area on the landbase as a result of the 0-60 age classes aging over time. The influence of the DCHS is not as evident with the SF1 AHA as it is with other forest groupings but the fluctuations in 2032 through to 2072 may be attributed to it. These trends are similar to those found in the SPF volumes in figure 46.

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Projected Available Harvest Area Comparison - SP1


4,000 3,500 3,000 2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 -

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Figure 55. Total projected available harvest area for the SP1 grouping.

Figure 55 illustrates the trends in the projected AHA historically and throughout the planning horizon. The projected AHA decreases in 2012 through to 2052 and increases in latter planning terms. This trend is also evident in figure 46 (SPF volumes) and is a function of the DCHS and the current age class distribution (refer to figure 19). Figure 19 indicates that there is a large proportion of SP1 productive area in the 0-40 age classes, this area would reach operable age in 40 to 80 years which is indicative of the increases in the 2072 to 2112 projections. The implications in the projected decrease in spruce volumes are a shortfall in volumes being available for mills that rely on the spruce fibre supply from the ARF.

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Projected Available Harvest Area Comparison - SB1/SB3


12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 -

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 3.6.2 Selection of Areas for Harvest Figure 56. Total projected available harvest area for the SB1/3 grouping.

The SB1/3 forest unit projected AHA is expected to decrease substantially when compared to the previous 10 year plans. There is a dip present from 2032 to 2052 after which point the AHA is projected to increase again. This dip is also consistent with the SPF volume dip that is illustrated in figure 46. Figure 46 illustrates that the volumes from the South SMZ are relatively consistent throughout the planning horizon while the North SMZ fluctuates throughout. This indicates that the main influence is the DCHS as all other variables remain constant between the strategic management zones. The implications in the projected decrease in spruce volumes are a shortfall in volumes being available for mills that rely on the spruce fibre supply from the ARF.

In order for the long-term management direction to be implemented, areas must be selected for harvest for the two 5-year terms. Areas are selected for harvest based on defined selection criteria. This section of the plan text contains a description of the criteria used for the selection of harvest areas. Also discussed are the effects of the harvest area selection criteria on the longterm management direction.

During stage three of the public consultation process, eligibility criteria for selecting harvest areas was presented at public and Aboriginal community information centres along with maps

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displaying the resulting eligible areas for the 10 year period. The proposed and optional areas for harvest were displayed along with proposed contingency areas for the publics consideration and comment.

The following criteria were used to identify areas selected for harvest for the two five-year phases of the plan. These are listed in order of priority.

All stands will aim to meet the ten-year eligibility criteria, whereby stands/blocks need to be within the lower operability age limits by forest units in order to ensure economic viability. The exception may lie within caribou mosaic blocks, which have the potential to harvest areas in order to create an even age class within the mosaic block. The total merchantable volume as well as the total volume per hectare must make the area economically feasible to harvest. Where the Dynamic Caribou Habitat Schedule is located across the forest, harvest areas must be within A blocks or split blocks (i.e. AC) only. Stands/block must be economically accessible. The number of water crossings, proximity to a gravel source, topography, drainage (i.e. summer vs. winter access) and the total length of access road construction will determine economic accessibility. Allocations are configured in such a manner to ensure residual retention at the 500 hectare scale. Attempt to select stands that best match forest-modeling results (available harvest area by forest unit and age class). Consider stands in those areas where recent investment into the road infrastructure has occurred. Select stands/blocks that do not impact on known values. The location of other values such as natural heritage areas, stick nest sites and tourism establishments all impact on the stands selected. Consideration of private land limitations. Consideration for a balance of winter and summer operating areas.

The planning team allocated areas based on the available harvest area by forest unit age-class combinations, as concluded in the development of the long-term management direction. All the above criteria had a degree of influence on the selected allocations. Some criteria factored more prominently than others depending on the circumstance. The ten-year allocations do not exceed the available harvest area by forest unit.

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There are many factors, or combinations of factors that limit the selection of areas for harvest. For example, in the North SMZ areas were allocated in order to create the large scale even age disturbances that are required for Caribou habitat. This resulted in building upon existing or forecasted allocations within the Caribou A and split blocks (A/C, A/D, etc.). This was the most constraining criteria as it led to more prevalent age class substitution within the DCHS. In order to minimize fragmentation on the landscape and maintain these larger disturbances some younger age classes were allocated.

Within the South SMZ and the North SMZ Z blocks the current natural disturbance pattern emulation policy, which addresses the size and distribution of disturbances on the landbase, was also a constraining criteria affecting the planning teams ability to allocate the allowable harvest area (by age-class). The two major factors from this policy that limits the selection of harvest area are the frequency distribution (i.e. 80% of the distribution of planned clearcuts will remain below 260 ha in size), and the movement towards the disturbance template. The planning team identified the inherit conflict in direction between the North (larger contiguous disturbances) and South SMZs (increased frequency of disturbances less than 260 hectares) and worked to achieve a balance through the allocation process. The disturbance pattern as a result of the planned operations created 73% of planned disturbances below 260 hectares in size and 27% of disturbances greater than 260 hectares in size (refer to table FMP-12 and the associated text for rationale).

The geographic location of the age class area by forest unit on the land base, the distribution and configuration of non-harvest reserves (AOCs) and the forested/non-forested lands that are not available for harvest also limited the planning teams flexibility to allocate the AHA. Nonforested land and private land are not available for harvest, yet the spatial distribution of this area affects the assemblage of disturbances. This limits the ability of the planning team to create feasible areas for harvest operations while achieving the NPDE policy standards discussed above. This also hinders the planning teams ability to create large disturbances within the North SMZ and decreasing the fragmentation on the landscape. Challenges are also faced with the spatial arrangement of private land, water bodies, marten cores, provincial parks and conservation reserves adjacent, or within, the management unit boundary, making it difficult to achieve the NPDE direction. The planning teams efforts in reducing age-class substitution also had an impact on the ability to meet disturbance pattern objectives.

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The harvest area has been well balanced between the two phases. The principal factor in balancing of the selected harvest areas by forest unit between phase I and phase II was ensuring a balance of area by age-class as determined through the development of the long-term management direction.

Finally, public input continues to have an influence on the allocation process. Consultation with aboriginal communities, local cottage associations, resource-based tourism operators, affected towns and communities and individual landowners have all resulted in adjustments to the allocations. A number of AOCs were added as a result of this consultation and included no harvest reserves, variable width AOCs (viewsheds), no road zones and access restrictions. The Areas Selected for Operations Maps are available in Section 6.1.13 of the Supplementary Documentation and illustrate all phase 1, phase 2, contingency and optional areas.

3.6.2.1 Harvest Area Selection Compared to the Strategic Model

According to the FMPM, the areas selected for harvest should not exceed the AHA by forest unit, meaning that forest unit substitution is not permitted under this guide. There is some flexibility built in for the substitution between age class and sub-units, with the rationale for this being documented in the FMP text. Harvest area was selected up to the AHA using the methods described in section 3.6.2. above, and as follows: 1) Area by forest unit, age class and subunit was allocated up to the AHA where practical and economically feasible. 2) If additional area was still required, age class substitution took place within the subunit to meet the AHA levels within each forest unit. This approach was required for the more difficult to locate forest unit/age class combinations, as well as to create operable areas within the DCHS and the South SMZ that reduced fragmentation of the forest. The most challenging areas to select across the whole forest were the pine forest units (PJ1, PJ2), as well as mixedwood (MWD) and the spruce-fir (SF1) forest units. These forest units had an abundance of eligible area associated with identified values and tourism areas of concern (e.g. ski clubs, recreational lakes, First Nation values). Although area of concern prescriptions around water bodies are addressed as areas removed from harvesting in the strategic model, it apportions this reserved harvest across all age classes, not just the eligible ones. As such, some eligible area is not actually available for forest management. With the first year of the 2012-2022 Abitibi River Forest Management Plan being a stand-alone contingency plan, there are instances of age class substitution that could not be corrected, due to

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the area being within the approved 2012-2013 contingency plan. As such, these already approved areas were not removed from the following analysis. Past harvesting across the forest has also resulted in slivers of standing timber, as well as patches within previously harvested blocks (e.g., old stream reserves, moose patches, NDPEG insular or peninsular). Especially in areas that have been treated silviculturally, the damage that would be caused to young plantations or the cost to access and harvest these small areas would outweigh the benefit of harvesting the volume. During discussions between the both Regional and District MNR and ARFMI between draft and final plan, age class substitution was reduced on both the North and the South SMZ. It was agreed by all parties that area that was within 10 years of the SFMM recipe was allowable, as some of these areas are only a few years from being aged into the next age class. This would mean that some of this under aged area would be reduced over Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the plan, depending on which blocks were added into the annual work schedule. It was also decided that as long as allocations were within the SFMM recipe age classes, or within one age class away (younger), the amount of area within each age class did not count towards the amount of age class substitution. The amount of age class substitution within the SFMM recipe was not considered for this summary. Table 9, below, shows a comparison of the draft plan allocations that are greater than 10 years younger than forecasted by SFMM to the final plan allocations of the same nature for the North (broken down by North and Z blocks) and the South.

Table 9. Comparison of Draft and Final levels of age class substitution North Draft** 2,608.8 ha North Final** 462.6 ha Z Draft 7,966.1 ha Z Final 5,244.6 ha South Draft 6,078.3 ha South Final 3,946.3 ha

Total Area 10+ Years Below SFMM Total Area 75,956.1 ha % 3.43% Substitution* 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

75,310.3 ha 0.61%

29,792.3 ha 27.21%

28,792.3 ha 18.22%

31,660 ha 19.2%

31,723.4 ha 12.44%

* This table represents area that is below the SFMM recipe only, and does not represent the level of age class substitution that occurs within the SFMM recipe. ** For the North SMZ, the SB1 and SB3 forest units were combined for this comparison, as they were allocated interchangeably, as described above.

Based on all the above listed criteria for eligibility and selection, Table FMP-11 presents the selected harvest area by forest unit and age class, compared to the available harvest area

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suggested by SFMM for the LTMD. This information is also presented graphically below.

Age Class Substitution in the A Blocks of the North SMZ In the draft plan submission, there was one area in the North SMZ that was of age class substitution concern to both District and Regional MNR. Within Webster Township, there was a block allocated to the north-west side of the Fredrickhouse Highway. Block 13 has been classified as an A/C block, and the area in question allocated younger areas (55-65 age class) joined by older timber, contrary to the allocation strategy elsewhere of allocating younger stands between larger old stands. This area was removed from the allocations to be harvested in the C term of the DCHS. To offset the 3,400 hectares that were removed from the allocations, three areas that were previously shown as forecast depletions but were not cut were allocated in their place. These areas are located in the southeast portion of Block 14, in the traditionally named Marceau Block, a section in Block 30 located in the Jawbone area and an area in Block 56 along Wetland Road. Block 56 is one of the areas that were requested by the CBFA to have allocations remain on the west side only, and these allocations follow that agreement. There were also small stands dropped in the younger age classes and picked up again in areas surrounding allocations that were shown at the Stage 4 Information Centres, as described below. All stands that were allocating following draft plan were illustrated to the public throughout the process as being optional or forecast harvest areas. Below figures 57 to 85 show a comparison of what SFMM projects as available harvest area compared to what was planned for the 10 year FMP. It was discovered by the planning team that there is a conflict with the available harvest area (AHA) to be allocated by SFMM and the intent of the Caribou Conservation Plan (CCP). In order to allocate as per the CCP, and create large, contiguous landscape patches, the SFMM recipe becomes increasingly difficult to follow, as some forest unit and age class combinations are hard to find, or are not operationally feasible. Within the North SMZ, large harvest areas were allocated, which includes numerous stands. Even in areas where the inventory lists the stands as being within the SFMM recipe, the areas connecting these stands, which are of younger age classes, were selected as well. This was done to create a future even-aged structure within the forest for preferred caribou habitat, increasing the amount of age class substitution found across the North SMZ. It was determined that the young lowland spruce stands (SB1 and SB3) could be removed from allocations within the contiguous block as these areas are believed to be used by Caribou and would not act to fragment the forest, this approach was endorsed by both District and Regional MNR staff. This approach provided additional flexibility in reducing the amount of overall age class substitution in the A blocks.

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Also, stan that wer preferred for allocation by the SFM particu nds re f MM, ularly the sm maller forest u units like PJ1, PJ2, BW1 and even LC were often operationa infeasibl with sing stands of a C1, ally le, gle f timber be eing of recip age that ar surrounde by young stands, or ar located w pe re ed re within old reserves that were ino operable wh the area was original harvested As indicat in FMP-1 hen w lly d. ted 11 there are some forest units that were under al g t w llocated whi resulted f ich from difficu in finding ulty operation stands wi nal ithin or close to the SFM recipe, w e MM when this occurred it wa preferred t as to under allocate the for unit as opposed to deviating sign rest o d nificantly fro the SFM recipe. om MM

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Figure 57. Planned area and forecas area for the BW1 forest u in A bloc st unit cks

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st unit ks Figure 58. Planned area and forecas area for the LC1 forest u in A block

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Figure 59. Planned area and forecas area for the MWD forest unit in A blo st t ocks

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st nit ks Figure 60. Planned area and forecas area for the PJ1 forest un in A block

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Figure 61. Planned area and forecas area for the PJ2 forest un in A block st nit ks

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st unit ks Figure 62. Planned area and forecas area for the PO1 forest u in A block

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Figure 63. Planned area and forecas area for the PO3 forest u in A block st unit ks

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st 3 in Figure 64. Planned area and forecas area for the SB1 and SB3 forest units (combined) i A blocks.

Below Fi igure 65 sho the final planned har ows rvest area co ompared to w was for what recasted by t the SFMM model for the SF1 forest unit. It can be seen in th graph tha there are a m e b his at approximatel ly 2,300 hec ctares that fa within 10 years of the SFMM rec all 0 e cipe, but mos of the area is in the low st a wer age class This was due to conf ses. s flicting stake eholder conc cerns on the forest as all of the older SF1 r area occu within a First Nation trapline. urs n

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Figure 65. Planned area and forecas area for the SF1 forest un in A block st nit ks

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st nit ks Figure 66. Planned area and forecas area for the SP1 forest un in A block

Age Clas Substitutio in the Z Blocks of the North SMZ and the So ss on B e Z outh SMZ The same issues were encountere when the allocation p e e ed process was u underway w within both th Z he blocks in the North SMZ, as well as with the general allo n S l e ocations with the South SMZ. Due to hin h e past man nagement pra actices and in ncreased inf frastructure ( (e.g., private land, moose manageme e ent guideline NDPEG), the current forest in the areas is h es, t ese highly fragm mented. Whe each fores en st unit-age class combin nation was queried out during the al q d llocation pro ocess, it was seen that mo of ost ain nits O1, J2) ted ld g the areas within certa forest un (SF1, PO PJ1 & PJ was locat within ol harvesting reserves, either along lakes and rivers or with stands (th old insula g r hin he ar/peninsula areas), or ar within iso olated stands that were left behind with recent h l w harvesting. W While it is po ossible to har rvest some of these areas under the Sta and Site Guides the proximity to larger harv blocks (i t u and o vest in

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order to reduce opera r ational costs) was required. An asses ssment of are adjacent t some of th ea to hese areas ind dicated that future harves is possible once the ad f st e djacent area r reaches eligi age. Are ible eas that are within these past reserves are often operationally infeasible d to the co of rebuild w o y due ost ding roads in the area and will, in mos cases, dam t st mage regener ration that is coming bac within the s ck e previousl harvested areas. ly d Age class substitution in the sout is due to operational i n th o infeasibility and the appl lication of reserves, as described above, as well as incor d w rporating som young ar me reas into blocks to create e larger harvest areas, allowing for the defragm r mentation of the forest in the future. f n

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Figure 67. Planned area and forecas area for the BW1 forest u in Z bloc st unit cks

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st unit ks Figure 68. Planned area and forecas area for the LC1 forest u in Z block

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Figure 69. Planned area and forecas area for the MWD forest unit in Z blo st t ocks

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st nit Figure 70. Planned area and forecas area for the PJ1 forest un in Z blocks

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Figure 71. Planned area and forecas area for the PJ2 forest un in Z blocks st nit

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st unit ks Figure 72. Planned area and forecas area for the PO1 forest u in Z block

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Figure 73. Planned area and forecas area for the PO3 forest u in Z block st unit ks

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st unit ks Figure 74. Planned area and forecas area for the SB1 forest un in Z block

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Figure 75. Planned area and forecas area for the SF1 forest un in Z block st nit ks

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st nit ks Figure 76. Planned area and forecas area for the SP1 forest un in Z block

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Figure 77. Planned area and forecas area for the BW1 forest u in the So st unit outh SMZ

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st t Figure 78. Planned area and forecas area for the MWD forest unit in the South SMZ

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Figure 79. Planned area and forecas area for the PJ1 forest un in the Sout SMZ st nit th

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st nit th Figure 80. Planned area and forecas area for the PJ2 forest un in the Sout SMZ

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Figure 81. Planned area and forecas area for the PO1 forest u in the Sou SMZ st unit uth

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st unit uth Figure 82. Planned area and forecas area for the PO3 forest u in the Sou SMZ

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Figure 83. Planned area and forecas area for the SB1 forest un in the Sou SMZ st unit uth

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st nit uth Figure 84. Planned area and forecas area for the SF1 forest un in the Sou SMZ

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Figure 85. Planned area and forecas area for the SP1 forest un in the Sou SMZ st nit uth

Effects of Age Class Substitution Changes o n Overall there were ap pproximately 10,250 hec y ctares chang between the draft pla submissio ged an on and final plan submis ssion in an effort to decr e rease the am mount of age class substit tution across the s Abitibi River Forest (as seen abo in Table 9 above). Th was agre on by bo District a R ove his eed oth and Regional MNR staff as the best efforts availa given th current fra l e able he agmented sta of the for ate rest. Upon the redistributi of allocat e ion tions, the ob bjectives and indicators f d found in FM MP-9 had to b be reassesse and recalc ed culated. It wa found tha there were no large sca changes in any of the as at e ale e target lev achievem in comp vel ment parison with the draft pla submissio with som numbers an on, me moving more in line with desired levels. This would hav occurred d to the ch m d s ve due hanges to atte empt to line th allocations more close with the age classes p he s ely a prescribed by SFMM. A comparison of y n the propo osed operatio to the LT ons TMD indicates that the a class sub age bstitution ha negligible ad impact on future proj n jections and that the allo ocations are c consistent w moving towards the with desired future forest condition. fu

3.6.2.2. Harvest Area Selection within the Dy H a w ynamic Cari ibou Habitat Schedule t

Within th North SM there are requirement within the CCP to ensure that larg areas are he MZ ts ge harvested ensuring contiguous, even aged fo d, c e orest for futu caribou h ure habitat. Previous harvest ting practices and directio have crea a more fragmented f on ated f forest in mos areas, ther st refore the harvestin of areas th are young and olde than the se ng hat ger er election crite are need to ensure eria ded e both com mpliance with the CCP, and operation feasibilit within the areas. Se h a nal ty ese ection 3.6.2.1, above, de escribed how planned ha w arvest alloca ations matche against th forecast a ed he areas by age class

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and forest unit. Below, rationale is provided to the age class substitution spatially within operational planning. Block 04 is scheduled as an A/G block. This block has had harvesting occur within in recently, and the goal for the next 20 years is to clean up as much as the older timber as operationally feasible, with the rest being cleaned up in the G term. The largest section of underaged timber is aggregated in the southwestern portion of the mosaic block. This was done to allow for this portion of the block to be disturbed once (instead of in 2 stages), cleaning out all of the timber and resetting this portion to an even aged area. Block 06 is an A/F block that has little age class substitution within it. Areas of age class substitution within this block have been to allow for the harvesting of large patches or to defragment between past harvest areas. Block 10 is scheduled as an A/E block to allow for the remainder of the eligible timber within the block to be harvested before it has the chance to succeed until the F term. The areas that contain age class substitution of lower age classes within this block have been done so to allow for operationally feasible harvest areas and to reduce fragmentation. Block 13 is a block that is scheduled for harvest in the A and C terms of the DCHS. All of the areas that are planned for harvest within this block that are allocated in order to maintain the CCP principle to create large areas of contiguous, even aged forest while harvesting trees that would succeed prior to the C term. Generally speaking, areas to the northwest of the Fredrickhouse Highway will be harvested in the C term of the DCHS. Block 14 is a split block that is scheduled for harvest in the A and E term of the DCHS. There is a small portion of allocations in lower age classes along the shores of the Abitibi River, but these areas were allocated in order to create an even aged stand to the east of the Frederickhouse Highway. Most of the other areas within this block on the east side of the highway are proposed for harvest within Phase 1. Block 16 is designated as an A block. The age class substitution within this block is due to the operational feasibility of the harvest areas. Where there is a contiguous patch of Phase 1 area, the younger age classes were substituted in order to reset the block to an even age class. This was done for Phase 2 areas, leaving large areas to be allocated within years 11-20 as well. Block 19 has been classified as an A/D block to allow for the larger contiguous areas of older forest to be harvested before they succeed to less desirable species. There are some areas of age class substitution to lower age classes within this block, but they are generally in line with other large harvest areas to minimize or eliminate defragmentation in the forest. These areas are most notable in the southern portion of the block, where allocations were planned to comply with the CCP, harvesting between previous allocations to create an even aged forest.

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It can be seen in blocks 22 and 23 that there has been a high level of harvesting taking place in these areas recently, therefore the blocks were scheduled as an A and an A/C block, respectively. Block 22 has a larger area in the northern end allocated within Phase 2 that has younger age classes within it, but this has been allocated to allow for the whole block to be harvested within this 20 year term of the DCHS, allowing the block to become an even-aged contiguous forest for future caribou habitat. Block 23 contains areas of younger age class substitution, but it can be seen from the maps that these areas were allocated to connect current allocations with past harvesting, allowing for the defragmentation of the forest, creating future caribou habitat. Block 28 is classed as an A/D block, to be accessed in both of these terms of the DCHS. The harvesting within this block is kept to the northeastern corner, focusing on defragmenting an area that has had previous harvesting within it. The small level of younger age class substitution within this block was done to join older allocations to comply with the CCP guidelines. Block 30 is another A block that contains past harvesting. The planned harvest patterns in this block show the large contiguous patches planned for harvest in both Phase 1 and 2. The areas that are in the age class substituted areas as younger forest have been allocated to join older patches together, to comply with the CCP guidelines. Block 31 is another A/F block that has had a high level of past harvesting within it. There are two patches of age class substituted younger timber within it that are parts of large contiguous allocations to create an even aged forest for future caribou habitat. Most of the harvest allocations within this block are placed to defragment past operations in the area. Block 36 has been classified as an A/D block. This area has been heavily harvested in recent years, and the goal of allocating this area is to reset it to an even age class. The areas that are of younger age class substitution in this block are between Phase 1 and 2 allocations in order to create large disturbance patches for future caribou habitat, as per the CCP. Block 46 is one of the currently undisturbed DCHS A blocks. This block has been allocated based on the construction of access into this area. It can be seen on the operations maps that the allocation of timber in this area has started in the southern portion of the block for Phase 1, moving north for Phase 2, and leaving the northern section for the 2022-2032 FMP. There are some stands of underaged timber within these areas, but these areas have been allocated to create an even aged, contiguous area for future caribou habitat, which is consistent with the CCP. Block 49 has been scheduled as an A block to allow for the completion of recent harvesting activities that have taken place across this whole mosaic block. The area of younger age class substituted area within this block have been allocated to allow for the single entry of operators into the unharvested areas, creating an even age class in this large contiguous area to comply with the CCP.

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Block 56 has been scheduled as an A block, with the only allocations taking place in this area being in the southwest corner. These allocations are from the 2010-2012 CFMP, with small areas added to join the allocations to make a large scale disturbance, rather than fragmenting the forest. Block 57 is also scheduled as an A block with the intent of cleaning up unharvested areas within this block to create an even aged forest. The areas within this block that are younger age class substitutions are all within Phase 1 and 2 operations have been allocated so that re-entry to this area will not be necessary in the future, therefore the stand and associated roads can be rehabilitated to caribou preferred habitat. Block 73 is currently classified as an A block, with harvest allocations located in the eastern portion for the first 10 years of the DCHS schedule. The underage age class substituted areas within this block are within allocations or located between previous allocations, to allow for the harvesting of large disturbance patches, in order to comply with the CCP guide, creating even aged caribou habitat for future use.

3.6.3 Assessment of Objective Achievement The achievement of individual management objectives was assessed using results from the PLTMD, preliminary spatial assessments, and other plan components during the preparation of the forest management planning process. The assessment of objective achievement was based on the extent to which the established desirable levels and targets for each indicator have been satisfied. There are some targets and desirable levels that were determined by using the draft Landscape Guide using both SRNV the simulated range of natural variation (SRNV) and interquartile range (IQR). SRNV refers to the modeled state of the forest pre-European settlement. Through modeling fire disturbances and natural succession outcomes, the simulated range of natural variation shows the highest and lowest levels of the occurrences of natural forest conditions across the landbase. IQR refers to the difference of values that appear between the 25th and 75th percentiles when results are ranked numerically. It is unaffected by outlying values, and extends 25% above and below the median.

The planning team developed a total of 43 indicators of sustainability resulting from the desired forest and benefits meeting, the mandatory indicators in the FMPM (figure A3) as well as those selected to be carried forward from the 2010 ARF Contingency FMP. The management objective information and an assessment of objective achievement are documented in table FMP-9 (see appendix II).

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The following is a summary of those indicators that can be assessed as a result of the completion of the PLTMD as well as preferred harvest areas that have been identified. Table FMP-9 (Section 9.0) summarizes the projected objective achievement relative to desirable and target levels.

The other objectives are assessed in the annual reports during implementation of the forest management plan. The objectives will be tracked and assessed in the year-7 and year-10 annual reports in anticipation of the development of the next FMP.

Management Objective 1: To provide for a distribution of disturbances patches that more closely resembles the expected size, composition and age produced by wildfire.

Indicator 1.1 Frequency distribution of forest disturbance size classes. This objective is satisfied by comparing the planned disturbances to the disturbance template developed for the 2012 Abitibi River Forest. The disturbance template is expressed as a frequency distribution by size class with a range indicated for each size class. The desirable level and target is to move towards the natural disturbance template as a result of planned operations.

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Figure 86. Comparison of disturbance size and frequency between plan start (2012) and plan end (2022) to the natural disturbance template

Assessment: The desirable level and target were achieved as planned operations have shown movement towards the natural disturbances template when compared to plan start. Two of the seven size classes show movement towards (101-200, 501-1000) the natural disturbance template, four size classes (11-100, 201-500, 5001-10000, 10001+) were within the respective natural disturbance template while one size class (1001-5000) moved away from the natural disturbance template. (refer to Figure 86). As anticipated, through the application of the DCHS the frequency associated with the smaller disturbances decreased while the larger classes increased. The attempt to reduce fragmentation by allocating next to previous harvest areas did in fact achieve the desired result of reducing fragmentation within the North SMZ. Smaller disturbance frequencies increased as a result of allocating within the South SMZ where large

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habitat tract for caribou are not required. Allocating Crown land that is adjacent to patent land within the non-caribou blocks (Z blocks and south SMZ) also resulted in fragmentation.

Indicator 1.2 Young forest patch size demonstrate the current and planned young forest patch size move towards the draft landscape guide ranges for 3E Ecoregion. The young forest patch size is a structure-based indicator used to characterize landscape pattern. Managing the pattern involves the distribution (concentration or dispersal) of young forest on the landscape. The desirable level and target is to move towards the Simulated Range of Natural Variation (SRNV) as indicated in the draft landscape guide (Ecoregion 3E).

10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Figure 87. Comparison of the achievement of the frequency of young forest patch sizes between desirable level, plan start (2012) and plan end (2022)

Assessment: The desirable level and target were not achieved as three of the nine young forest patch size frequencies moved towards the SRNV (2501-5000, 5001-10000, 10001-20000) while five indicate movement away from the SRNV (1-100, 101-250, 251-500, 501-1000, 20000+). There was one frequency category (1001-2500) that did not change as a result of planned allocations as indicated in figure 87. Movement in each of the nine size classes was subtle

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indicating that planned operations through multiple FMPs would be required to show any significant movement. The 1,001 to 20,000 hectare size classes indicate movement towards the desirable level, which through planned operations meant increases in these size classes through planned operations. This movement is indicative of creating larger disturbance patches within the DCHS and defragmenting the landscape creating large landscape patches for Caribou in the future.

Indicator 1.3 Texture of the Mature and Older Forest Matrix - Demonstrate that current and planned texture of the mature and older forest matrix moves towards the draft landscape guide ranges for 3E Ecoregion The mature and old forest texture is a structure-based indicator used to characterize landscape pattern. The texture of the mature and old forest is measured using a landscape signature approach for each landscape class. This signature is a five-class frequency histogram that represents how much of the landscape contains areas in which the mature and old forest is in a minor, medium or a majority component as a proportion of the total area (mean proportion). The mature and old forest texture is measured at both the 500 hectare and 5000 hectare scale. The desirable level and target for each scale is to move towards the SRNV for each respective hectare scale.

500 Hectare Size Class

21 22 23 24 Figure 88. . Comparison of the achievement of the proportion of the total area in mature and older forest for the 500 ha signature between desirable level plan start (2012) and plan end (2022)

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Assessment: While there is very little change between plan start and plan end in the texture classes the desirable level and target were not achieved. As indicated in figure 88, one of the five proportion classes show movement towards the SRNV while 4 classes show movement away from the SRNV. Decreases in the smaller proportion classes and increases in the larger proportion classes is a function of defragmenting the landscape through the application of the DCHS coupled with the current forest composition and structure in the southern and central portions of the Forest.

5000 Hectare Size Class

10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Figure 89. . Comparison of the achievement of the proportion of the total area in mature and older forest for the 5000ha signature between desirable level plan start (2012) and plan end (2022)

Assessment: There was very little movement with regards to the frequency in each texture class yet the desirable level and target were not achieved. As illustrated in figure 89, four of the five proportion classes show movement away from the SRNV as a result of planned allocations. There are very little changes from plan start to plan end in the mid-proportion texture classes. The decrease in the smaller classes and increases in the larger texture classes indicates defragmenting the landscape through planned operations. Similar to the 500 hectare texture class, this trend across the landscape is an expected result of the planning teams desire to defragment the landscape through the application of the DCHS as directed in the CCP, coupled with the current forest composition and structure in the central and southern portion of the forest.

Indicator 1.4 Area by forest type and age class (Landscape Classes and Forest Unit Groupings consistent with Milestones identified in the draft landscape guide Region 3E) and total amount of young forest and mature and old forest (all FU)

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Landscape Classes The indicator is satisfied by retaining a minimum and maximum amount of area by landscape class according to the milestones prescribed from the science and information package of the draft landscape guide (Ecoregion 3E). The desirable level is to move towards and/or maintain within the lower and upper inter-quartile range (IQR) while the target level is to move towards and/or maintain within the lower and upper simulated range of natural variation (SRNV).

Assessment: The desirable level and targets have been achieved for each of the landscape classes as described by the draft Landscape Guide. Each landscape class grouping area shows movement towards or is maintained within the desirable level (IQR) and target (SRNV), except for the mature and older upland conifer landscape class and the mature and older lowland conifer class. The mature and older upland conifer class follows a similar trend to that of the natural benchmark scenario and drops below the desirable level in Term 12 but remains above the target. The mature and older upland conifer class and the mature and older lowland conifer class both experience temporary drops below the desirable level in the medium term but remain above the target. Refer to FMP-9 for the desirable levels, targets and associated projected PLTMD levels. Figures 90 through 94 illustrate the projected landscape class achievement in comparison to the desirable levels (IQR), targets (SRNV) and the natural benchmark scenario (NBS).

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Figure 90. Comparison of projected immature and older pine landscape class to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest

5 6 7 8 Figure 91. Comparison of projected mature and older upland conifer landscape class to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest

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Figure 92. Comparison of projected immature and older hardwood and immature mixedwood landscape class to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest

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Figure 93. Comparison of projected mature and older mixedwood landscape class to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest

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Figure 94. Comparison of the projected mature and older lowland conifer landscape class to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest

Forest Unit Grouping The indicator is satisfied by retaining a minimum amount of area by forest unit grouping according to the milestones prescribed from the science and information packages of the draft landscape guide (Ecoregion 3E). The desirable level is to move towards and/or maintain within the IQR while the target level is to move towards and/or maintain within the SRNV.

Assessment: The targets have been achieved for each of the forest unit groupings as described by the draft Landscape Guide. The desirable level and target for the pine conifer and upland conifer forest unit grouping were achieved, while the lowland conifer target was achieved with movement being made towards the desirable level. Refer to FMP-9 for the desirable levels, targets and associated projected PLTMD levels. Figures 95, 96 and 97 illustrate the projected forest units grouping achievement in comparison to the desirable levels (IQR), targets (SRNV) and the natural benchmark scenario (NBS).

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Figure 95. Comparison of the projected pine conifer forest unit grouping to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest

5 6 7 8 Figure 96. Comparison of the projected upland conifer forest unit grouping to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest

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2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Figure 97. Comparison of the projected lowland conifer forest unit grouping to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest

Amount of Mature and Old Forest

The indicator is satisfied by retaining a minimum amount of mature and old forest area according to the milestones prescribed from the science and information packages of the draft landscape guide (Ecoregion 3E). The desirable level is to move towards the IQR while the target is to move towards the SRNV.

Assessment: The desirable level and target level have been achieved. The mature and old forest moves towards the IQR while the target is maintained within the SRNV over the planning horizon as indicated in the draft landscape guide (refer to figure 98). Refer to FMP-9 for the desirable levels, targets and associated projected PLTMD levels.

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Figure 98. Comparison of the projected amount of mature and old forest area to the SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest

Total amount of young forest (<36 years of age) The indicator is satisfied by retaining a minimum amount of young forest area according to the milestones prescribed from the science and information packages of the draft landscape guide (Ecoregion 3E). The desirable level is to move towards and maintain within the IQR while the target is to maintain within the SRNV.

Assessment: The desirable level and target are achieved. The young forest area is maintained within the target and indicates movement towards the desirable level (refer to figure 99). Refer to FMP-9 for the desirable levels, targets and associated projected PLTMD levels.

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2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Figure 99. Comparison of the projected total young forest to the NBS, SRNV and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest

Indicator 1.5 Amount and distribution of overmature forest on the Forest (Old Growth Forest by FU consistent with milestones identified in the draft landscape guide 3E) The indicator is achieved by showing movement towards and/or maintaining within the desired level (IQR) and target (SRNV) through the retention of overmature area by forest unit on the landbase that are described in the science and information packages of the draft landscape guide (Ecoregion 3E).

Assessment: The desirable level and target has been achieved for the majority of the forest unit indicators relating to overmature forest unit area. The PJ1 overmature area drops below the desirable level during particular periods and is a function of the size of the forest unit as well as the current age class structure of the forest unit. The PJ1 overmature area, however, is maintained above the target. The PJ2 overmature forest unit drops below the target in terms 8 through 16. Similar to PJ1 this is a function of the current age class structure of the forest unit. Each of the forest units generally follows similar trends to that of the natural benchmark scenario. Figure series 100 and 101 illustrate the achievement of the forest units in comparison to the NBS, desirable level and target. Refer to FMP-9 for the desirable levels, targets and associated projected PLTMD levels.

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1 2 3 4 Figure 100. Comparison of the projected North SMZ overmature forest area to the IQR, SRNV and NBS

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Figure 101. Comparison of the projected North SMZ overmature forest area to the IQR, SRNV and NBS

Indicator 1.6 Amount and distribution of overmature forest on the South SMZ (Old Growth Forest by FU consistent with milestones identified in the draft landscape guide 3E (area weighted by Initial Total Forest by Forest Unit)) The indicator is achieved by showing movement towards and/or maintaining within the desired level (IQR) and target (SRNV) through the retention of overmature area by forest unit on the landbase that are described in the science and information packages of the draft landscape guide (Ecoregion 3E).

Assessment: The desirable level and target has been achieved for most of the forest unit indicators relating to overmature forest unit area in the South SMZ, with the exception of the desirable level for PJ2, as seen in figures 102 and 103. The PJ2 overmature forest unit area fluctuates over the planning horizon and moves towards the desirable level and target by the end of the planning horizon. The fluctuations are due to the small size of the forest unit as well as the current age class structure. Each of the forest units generally follows a similar trend to that of the natural benchmark scenario. The intent of this indicator is to ensure that there is representation of

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each the forest units in an overmature state in the South SMZ. Refer to FMP-9 for the desirable levels, targets and associated projected PLTMD levels.

3 4 5 6 Figure 102. Comparison of the projected South SMZ overmature forest area to the IQR, SRNV and NBS for the Abitibi River Forest

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Figure 103. Comparison of the projected South SMZ overmature forest area to the IQR, SRNV and NBS for the Abitibi River Forest

Management Objective 2: To maintain or increase the amount of PRW forest unit.

Indicator 2.1 Amount of area in the PRW forest unit grouping in the SMZ This indicator is satisfied by monitoring the total area of the red and white pine (PRW) forest unit on the landbase (both available and unavailable) as projected through the SFMM.

Assessment: The desirable level and target is achieved. The PRW forest unit area is projected to be maintained over time through the planned planting of Pr and Pw seedlings (figure 104). Operational strategies will also be developed by the planning team in order to maintain/delineate clumps or groupings of PR and PW on the landbase through regular operations (refer to section 4.2.2). Refer to FMP-9 for the desirable levels, targets and associated projected PLTMD levels.

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Figure 104. PRW forest unit area projected over the 100 year planning horizon

Management Objective 3: Provide habitat area for forest dependant provincially and locally featured species. Indicator 3.1 Area of habitat for forest dependent Provincially and locally featured species on the Forest The indicator is satisfied by demonstrating that the projected amount of preferred habitat for forest-dependant provincially and locally featured species is maintained above 70% of the natural benchmark scenario level across the entire forest.

Assessment: The desirable level and target is achieved for each of the wildlife species within the North SMZ with the exception of the Moose browse desirable level. A short term drop was also evident with the black bear foraging preferred habitat between terms 4 and 6 as well as Lynx denning in term 6. Overall each of the projected preferred habitat levels trend towards that of the natural benchmark run with the exception of moose browse in the latter terms. Moose browse decreases on the forest as a whole due to objective achievement for both old growth and Woodland Caribou habitat both of which require that certain levels of late successional seral stage forest be retained on the forest, specifically in the North SMZ for caribou. The decrease is deemed acceptable as moose browse preferred habitat has been maintained in the South SMZ (refer to Indicator 3.2 below). Refer to FMP-9 for the desirable levels, targets and associated projected PLTMD levels. Figures 105, 106 and 107 illustrate the objective achievement for the selected wildlife species preferred wildlife habitat area in the North SMZ.

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Figure 105. Comparison of the projected North SMZ preferred wildlife habitat area to the NBS and the desirable level and target (-30 NBS) for the Abitibi River Forest

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Figure 106. Comparison of the projected North SMZ preferred wildlife habitat area to the NBS and the desirable level and target (-30 NBS) for the Abitibi River Forest

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Figure 107. Comparison of the projected North SMZ preferred wildlife habitat area to the NBS and the desirable level and target (-30 NBS) for the Abitibi River Forest

Indicator 3.2 Area of habitat for forest dependant Provincially and locally featured species on the South SMZ The indicator is satisfied by demonstrating that the projected amount of preferred habitat for forest-dependant provincially and locally featured species is maintained above 70% of the natural benchmark scenario level across the South SMZ. The intent of this indicator was to ensure that there was representation of the featured species in the South SMZ.

Assessment: The desirable level and target is achieved for each of the wildlife species throughout the planning horizon in the South SMZ. Refer to FMP-9 for the desirable levels,

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targets and associated projected PLTMD levels. Figures 108, 109 and 110 illustrate the objective achievement for the selected wildlife species preferred wildlife habitat area in the North SMZ.

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Figure 108.Comparison of the projected South SMZ preferred wildlife habitat area to the NBS and the desirable level and target (-30 NBS) for the Abitibi River Forest

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Figure 109. Comparison of the projected South SMZ preferred wildlife habitat area to the NBS and the desirable level and target (-30 NBS) for the Abitibi River Forest

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Figure 110. Comparison of the projected South SMZ preferred wildlife habitat area to the NBS and the desirable level and target (-30 NBS) for the Abitibi River Forest

Indicator 3.3 Percent of capable area within suitable condition within core marten habitat areas in the South SMZ The indicator is satisfied by demonstrating that the projected amount of suitable area with the marten cores is between 10 and 20% of the total capable area on the South SMZ. Assessment: At plan start there is 10.5% of the capable area on the South SMZ in suitable condition for marten habitat. This is projected to increase to 11.9% by the year 2072, with all projections showing achievement of the indicator.

Indicator 3.4 Quality and size frequency of marten cores in the South SMZ

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The indicator is satisfied by demonstrating that the projected amount of capable area within suitable condition within marten core areas is above 85% for cores 500-1000 hectares in size, above 75% for cores 1001-3000 hectares in size and above 60% for cores greater than 3001 hectares.

Assessment: At plan start, the small (500-1000 hectares) and medium (1001-3000 hectares) size classes did not meet the desired and target levels of 85% and 75%, respectively. This is a result of creating geometric shaped cores (not following stand boundaries) which includes more capable area, creating cores that were lower quality at 2012 in anticipation that they will increase over time as well as selecting cores that were lower quality for spatial arrangement. By 2072 the average suitability of the cores all reach the desired and target levels as the forest ages in the capable stands and becomes suitable.

Management Objective 5: Provide habitat for forest dwelling woodland caribou within the local population range

Indicator 5.1 Area of caribou winter suitable habitat within the Abitibi River Forest portion of the Kesagami Range (North SMZ) The indicator is satisfied by demonstrating that the projected amount of caribou winter suitable habitat in the North SMZ is maintained within the target (IQR) and shows movement towards the desirable level (median of the SRNV).

Assessment: As indicated in figure 111 the desirable level and target were achieved for the projected caribou winter suitable habitat within the North SMZ.

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Figure 111. Comparison of projected caribou winter suitable habitat to the NBS and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest

Indicator 5.2 Area of caribou mature conifer within the Abitibi River Forest portion of the Kesagami Range (North SMZ) The indicator is satisfied by demonstrating that the projected amount of caribou mature conifer habitat in the North SMZ is maintained within the target (IQR) and moves towards the desirable level (median of the SRNV).

Assessment: The desirable level and target were achieved for the projected caribou mature conifer habitat. The target level is maintained within the IQR while showing movement towards the mean (refer to figure 112).

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Figure 112. Comparison of the projected caribou winter suitable habitat to the NBS and IQR for the Abitibi River Forest

Indicator 5.3 Texture/arrangement of mature conifer habitat (6,000 ha size class)(North SMZ) The texture and arrangement of mature conifer habitat in 6,000 ha size classes indicator is used to characterize the landscape pattern. Managing the pattern involves the distribution (concentration) of caribou mature conifer habitat on the landscape. The desirable level and target is to move towards the >28% mature conifer classes.

Assessment: The desirable level and target were achieved. There has been subtle movement towards the >28% mature conifer classes as indicated in figure 113. Due to the fragmented nature of the landscape it is difficult to make changes over a 10 year period that would be significant enough to shift mature conifer class proportions. As fragmentation is decreased on the landscape over time through operating within a DCHS it is expected that greater shifts may be observed favouring the > 28% mature conifer classes.

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0.6 0.5
Frequency

PlanStart(2012) PlanEnd(2022)

0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 1 20 21 28 TextureSizeClass >28

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Figure 113. Comparison between the plan start (2012) and plan end (2022) texture and arrangement of mature conifer habitat frequencies in the 6,000 ha size class

Indicator 5.4 Texture/arrangement of mature conifer habitat (30,000 ha size class) (North SMZ) The texture and arrangement of mature conifer habitat in 30,000 ha size classes indicator is used to characterize the landscape pattern. Managing the pattern involves the distribution (concentration) of caribou mature conifer habitat on the landscape. The desirable level and target is to move towards the mean focusing on the >28% mature conifer classes.

Assessment: The desirable level and target were achieved. There has been an overall shift towards the >28 mature conifer classes. As indicated in Figure 114 there have been decreases in the 1-20 mature conifer class, increases in the 21-28 class and increases in the >28 class when comparing plan start to plan end. The shift in texture size classes were a result of defragmenting the landscape through the spatial planning of allocations. As indicated previously, the planning team focused on planning allocations that were adjacent to previously disturbed areas within the DCHS. It is expected that this shift will be more evident as de-fragmentation continues to take occur through the application of the DCHS over time and as the forest ages, meeting the parameters for mature conifer habitat in the future.

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0.5 0.45 0.4 0.35 0.3 0.25 0.2 0.15 0.1 0.05 0 1 20 21 28 TextureSizeClass >28

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Frequency

Figure 114. Comparison between the plan start (2012) and plan end (2022) texture and arrangement of mature conifer habitat frequencies in the 30,000 ha size class

Indicator 5.5 Texture/arrangement of winter suitable habitat (6,000 ha size class) (North SMZ) The texture and arrangement of caribou winter suitable habitat in 6000 ha size classes indicator is used to characterize the landscape pattern. Managing the pattern involves the distribution (concentration) of caribou winter suitable habitat on the landscape. The desirable level and target is to move towards the mean focusing on the >60% winter suitable classes.

Assessment: The desirable level and target were achieved. The texture of relatively contiguous winter suitable caribou habitat has been maintained as indicated in figure 115. Due to the fragmented nature of the landscape it is difficult to make changes that would be significant enough to shift winter suitable class proportions. There was however a large shift in the 41-60 texture class resulting from both the aging of the forest (younger texture classes aging into the 41-60 size class) as well as harvesting operations during the 10 year period. It is anticipated that as operations take place through the application of the DCHS (thereby defragmenting the forest) and the forest ages that >60% winter suitable classes may indicate improved achievement. As the component of contiguous habitat ages into the future, a portion will contribute to mature conifer habitat as well. Through a comparison of the OLT outputs for 6,000ha winter suitable texture classes it was obvious that the age class distributions within the individual DCHS were scheduled appropriately to create suitable caribou habitat in the future. The OLT results indicate that the areas left for longer term deferrals are slowly coming on-line as is the intent of the CCP.

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Figure 115. Comparison between the plan start (2012) and plan end (2022) texture and arrangement of winter suitable habitat frequencies in the 6,000 ha size class

Indicator 5.6 Texture/arrangement of winter suitable habitat (30,000 ha size class) (North SMZ) The texture and arrangement of caribou winter suitable habitat in 30,000 ha size classes indicator is used to characterize the landscape pattern. Managing the pattern involves the distribution (concentration) of caribou winter suitable habitat on the landscape. The desirable level and target is to move towards the >60% winter suitable classes.

Assessment: The desirable level and target were achieved. There has been subtle movement towards the >60% winter suitable classes as illustrated in figure 116. Due to the fragmented nature of the landscape it is difficult to make changes that would be significant enough to shift winter suitable class proportions at this scale in such a short period of time. As with the previous texture class indicators for caribou it is anticipated that as operations take place with the DCHS and the forest ages that shifts may be more evident. Application of the DCHS is expected to lead to a less fragmented landscape. More significant movement towards a more contiguous forest texture is expected once de-fragmentation occurs in the initial planning period. Through a comparison of the OLT outputs for 30,000ha winter suitable texture classes it was obvious that the age class distributions within the individual DCHS were scheduled appropriately to create suitable caribou habitat in the future (particularly in the southwest and eastern portions of the ARF). The OLT results indicate that the areas left for longer term deferrals are slowly coming on-line as is the intent of the CCP.

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1 2 3 4 5 Figure 116. Comparison between the plan start (2012) and plan end (2022) texture and arrangement of winter suitable habitat frequencies in the 30,000 ha size class

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1 2 Figure 117. Caribou DCHS blocks in the "online" condition through time within the ARF Kesagami caribou range

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Indicator 5.7 Percentage of DCHS in "online" condition by area in the North SMZ The percentage of DCHS blocks in online condition by area in the north SMZ is used to determine the pattern and amount of DCHS blocks that contribute to caribou habitat. Online habitat was defined as having the majority of the block in age classes greater than 60 years, as science indicates that caribou begin to use areas at this age. The desirable level and target are consistent with at least 40% of the DCHS blocks in online condition by area. Assessment: The desirable level and target have been achieved in each of the 20 year terms of the DCHS. There are at least 40% of the DCHS blocks in on-line condition by area for each of the 20 year time-slices developed for the DCHS. Online condition indicates an estimate (based on age, structure, composition and scheduling of each DHCS block) of use by caribou for a given DCHS block. Figure 117 illustrates the spatial distribution of the DCHS blocks that are considered to be in online condition for each twenty year period of the DCHS. It is important to note that the non-caribou blocks (Z blocks) are not considered to be in online condition but they will contribute to the overall spatial distribution of DCHS blocks as caribou tracking data indicates they will travel through these areas therefore contributing to the overall connectivity. These noncaribou areas do not contribute to the overall calculation of online habitat.

Management Objective 7: Provide a sustainable, continuous and predictable harvest level and supply of fibre from the forest

Indicator 7.1 Long term projected available harvest area The long term projected available harvest area (AHA) is an indicator of the projected AHA overtime. The indicator is satisfied by demonstrating that the projected available harvest area by forest unit supports the harvesting volume targets. The desirable level is to maintain the annual available harvest area levels that were projected in the 2010 ARF Contingency FMP while the target is to maintain 75% of that level.

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Table 10. Summary of the Projected Annual Available Harvest Area by Forest Unit and Term
FU BW1 LC1 MWD OH1 PJ1 PJ2 PO1 PO3 PRW SB1 SB3 SF1 SP1 T1 161 305 1293 0 650 199 1475 472 0 4658 543 1928 2068 T2 78 28 1355 0 442 288 1184 323 0 3871 1567 952 1997 T3 48 334 1217 1 428 122 1895 261 0 3149 1246 878 1862 T4 180 208 1342 3 746 142 1196 570 2 1786 1342 985 2576 T5 142 301 1167 0 572 295 1176 512 0 3253 282 1680 1898 T6 219 166 1319 10 435 335 1392 196 6 2299 567 478 3183 T7 189 322 1643 2 819 406 1706 286 5 4057 0 961 2946 T8 219 45 978 0 810 166 1435 252 3 2724 1052 774 3731 T9 232 242 1649 0 554 150 1166 233 9 4030 845 1275 3276 T10 170 159 1080 0 417 80 1257 325 7 1845 3005 540 3054 T11 245 367 1990 0 843 211 1744 279 1 3873 1984 1072 3460 T12 351 326 1153 0 1308 104 1404 241 0 1489 2121 703 2478 T13 316 184 2180 0 401 79 1070 264 0 4316 2298 820 3233 T14 364 665 1053 0 784 78 1014 103 0 4468 148 449 3618 T15 407 66 1979 0 733 252 1527 335 0 4713 8126 607 2677

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Indicatesaterminwhichthedesirablelevelandtargetwasachieved Indicatesaterminwhichonlythetargetwasachieved Indicatesthatthedesirablelevelandtargetwasnotachieved

Assessment: Levels were generally achieved. Table 10 illustrates the achievement for both the desirable level and target in each term and indicates that the achievement is not consistent from one term to the next. The inconsistencies can be attributed to the application of the DCHS in conjunction to aspatial constraints for caribou habitat as well as the current age class structure of the forest. In relation to the timeframes set out in FMP-9 the desirable level and target are met for the PJ1, LC1, MWD and PO1 forest units either for each timeframe or over the long term. PJ2, SF1, SP1 and PO3 forest units achieved target levels but did not achieve the desirable levels. BW1 achieved the desirable level in the long term. SB1, SB3 did not achieve either the desirable level or target. The PRW and OH1 forest units did not have a desirable level or target determined and therefore the objective achievement cannot be assessed.

Figure 20 demonstrates the current age class structure of the Crown managed productive portion of the Abitibi River Forest. The figure illustrates that there are two age class gaps present on the forest (41-80 and 101-140 years). As these age class gaps grow throughout the planning horizon then available forest will be retained for the achievement of constraints for biological targets such as caribou mature conifer, old growth and wildlife.

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Indicator 7.2 Long term projected available harvest volume by species group The long term projected available harvest volume by species group is an indicator of the projected harvest volume over time. The indicator is satisfied by demonstrating that the desirable level and target of projected available harvest volume by species group are achieved.

6 7 8 Figure 118. SPF LTMD projected volumes compared to the desirable level and target

9 10 11 Figure 119. Poplar LTMD projected volumes compared to the desirable level and target

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 3.6.4 Social and Economic Assessment Figure 120. Birch LTMD projected volumes compared to the desirable level and target

Assessment: As indicated in figure 118 the SPF PLTMD does not achieve the desirable level and target within the 100 year planning horizon. Figure 119 illustrates that the Poplar PLTMD projected volumes achieve the desirable level in the long term, while the target was achieved throughout. Figure 120 illustrates that the Birch PLTMD projected volume desirable level was achieved, while the target achieved in the long term. As described in the analysis package and in section 7.0 the application of the DCHS combined with aspatial caribou habitat constraint and the current age class structure of the forest contribute to the underachievement of this objective.

An additional assessment of implementing the Long-Term Management Direction (LTMD) is the evaluation of its provision for social and economic benefits. The comparison of positive and negative impacts is a basic element of the social economic assessment and can be attributed to two primary FMP components; the forecast timber supply and planned silviculture investments. Extraction and processing of forest resources as well as the renewal of the forest have direct and indirect benefits to the local communities identified in the Social and Economic Description, Section 2.2. These benefits can be expressed in terms of employment, sales to the forest industry, tax and stumpage revenues, and indirect benefits to associated businesses. As described in the 2009 FMPM, this assessment will aid in the determination of the LTMDs provision for long-term sustainability of the Crown forest.

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Background

The landbase of the Abitibi River Forest (ARF) has traditionally provided a portion of its wood supply to support the local communities of Cochrane, Timmins, Smooth Rock Falls, Iroquois Falls, Kirkland Lake, Englehart, and Gogama. The seven First Nation communities of the Moose Cree, Taykwa Tagamou Nation, Wahgoshig, Beaverhouse, Mattagami, Matachewan, and Flying Post are either located directly on, or are adjacent to, the Forest and will also receive social and economic benefits from this landbase. The Sustainable Forest License for the Abitibi River Forest is held by a cooperative shareholder group, with membership from consuming mills and independent harvesters.
Major Consumer Resolute Forest Products Tembec Inc. Georgia Pacific Minor Consumer Little John Enterprises Wahgoshig Resources True North Hardwood Timmins Wahgoshig F.N. Cochrane Lumber (softwood) Lumber (softwood) Plywood (hardwood) Location Iroquois Falls Cochrane Englehart Product Paper (softwood pulp) Lumber (softwood) OSB (hardwood)

In addition to the facilities above, there are numerous other mills in the Northeast region which obtain a portion of their wood supply needs from the ARF, including EACOM Timber (Timmins and Elk Lake), Cheminis Lumber (Larder Lake), and Tembec (Kapuskasing). Support for timber extraction is provided by numerous harvesting and hauling contractors, who are directly impacted by the mill operations. The following assessment of implementing the LTMD has been done quantitatively for the values of wood supply and silviculture, as well as qualitatively for a range of nontimber values.

Quantitative Assessment

Timber Requirements

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An assessment of the LTMDs wood supply will be done in consideration of several measures; the Current Industrial Demand (CID) placed on the forest from the local processing facilities, current wood supply commitments, and comparison with past FMP forecasted volumes.

Current Industrial Demand (CID)

During the development of the 2010-12 ARF FMP, and in response to the amalgamation of the former forests, the Current Industrial Demand by species grouping was calculated by the Ministry of Northern Development Mines and Forestry (MNDMF). The CID is based on past performance and current volume requirements by local processing facilities supported by the Abitibi River Forest. The industrial demand was calculated for the 2010-12 Contingency FMP, and was a collaborative effort by MNDMF/MNR and forest industry to update volume requirements based on the state of processing facilities at that time. Given the recent calculation of the CID in 2009, the modelling task team believed that these targets were a sound starting point for the strategic LTMD scoping for wood supply. The CID analysis provides the following annual volume by species grouping:

Species Grouping White Birch Poplar Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF)

Annual Volume (m3/year) 12,000 372,936 1,279,670

Wood Supply Commitments

The Ministerial wood supply commitments for the Abitibi River Forest were provided to the Planning Team in June 2011 by MNDMF. These commitments are neither minimums nor maximums that can be expected from the forest, but simply are the results of agreements between the MNR with forest industry.

Species Grouping White Birch Poplar

Annual Volume (m3/year) 40,000 305,153

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Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF)

9,000

In addition to the commitments above, an estimated 5000 m3/year of cedar roundwood and 25,000 m3/year of other conifer roundwood was made available through Stage II of the Provincial Wood Supply Competitive Process. While no commitments were finalized at the time of the LTMD development, these volume targets may be committed in the near future.

Actual Utilization

In order to illustrate the reduction in mill output since 2005, the volumes from the ten year period of 2000-2010, as reported in the Annual Reports, have been broken down into five year averages:
Average Annual Volume (m3/year)

Species Grouping White Birch Poplar Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF)

2000-05 14,064 270,231 987,512

2005-10 19,959 143,729 627,513

2000-10 Average 17,012 206,980 807,512

2012 LTMD Forecasted Volumes

In addition to the 2010 contingency FMP, it is also important to evaluate the impact of the 2012 LTMD in the context of past planned volumes for the four management units that currently comprise the Abitibi River Forest. The forecasted volumes shown below for this period are the strategic annualized figures from the FMPs in place prior to their amalgamation in the 2010-2012 contingency FMP and also prior to any caribou management direction for the forest.

As the data shows below there has been a decline in forecasted SPF volumes since the pre-amalgamation period before 2010 with a decline of 5% once the four management units were amalgamated and preliminary caribou management direction was implemented for the 2010 contingency plan. Between the 2010 plan and the 2012 LTMD there is an

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additional drop of 20.3% forecasted for SPF. The overall decline in SPF forecasted volumes since before the amalgamation and with no caribou management impact is 25%. For poplar and white birch the forecast is somewhat different with an increase in forecasted volumes between the pre-amalgamation forest and the 2010 contingency FMP of 22% and 39% respectively. The 2012 LTMD forecasts a decline in poplar volume from the 2010 FMP projection in the order of 11%, but still above the pre-amalgamation forecast by approximately 30,000 m3/year. The 2012 LTMD white birch volume has declined from the 2010 contingency plan by 18% but is above the pre-amalgamation volume by approximately 6000 m3/year or 14%. Despite the reductions in SPF volume between the 2010 to 2012 FMPs, overall there is a net increase in forecasted poplar and white birch volumes since before the amalgamation and with no caribou management direction.

It should be noted that comparisons between FMP forecasted volumes and actual volumes harvested are difficult to assess due to inherent inaccuracies in the Forest Resource Inventory in FMP forecasting at the time as well as the serious impact on actual utilization due to the economic recession towards the end of the 10 year period. Figure 121 illustrates the relationship between the forecast wood supply levels.

Annualized Forecasted Volume (m3/year)


Species Grouping Pre-2010 FMPs 2010-2012 1,279,670 448,448 60,065 2012 LTMD (FMP-13) 1,020,058 389,718 59,224

Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF) 1,360,510 Poplar White Birch 368,911 43,198

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Wood Supply Targets


1,600,000

1,400,000

1,200,000

Forecast Average Annual Volume (m3/yr)

1,000,000

800,000

Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF) Poplar

600,000

White Birch

400,000

200,000

Current Industrial Demand

Pre-2010 FMP's

2010-12 Contingency FMP

2012 LTMD Forecast

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Figure 121. A comparison of wood supply targets for the Abitibi River Forest

SEIM Analysis and 2012 FMP Forecast

Given the level of decline in the SPF volumes, an analysis was undertaken using the MNR recognized Social Economic Impact Model (SEIM), updated to March 2010. This basic input-output model uses planned harvest volume and silviculture requirements to generate measurable social and economic variables such as sales, employment, Gross Domestic Product, value-added, and taxes. When compared against the potential benefits obtained under the current FMP, we can assess the positive or negative impacts of the proposed LTMD.

Three scenarios were compared using SEIM. The first scenario used the 2010-12 Term 1 forecast volumes, which met or exceeded the Current Industrial Demand targets. The second scenario used the average annual volumes utilized during the 10 year period of 2000-2010. This scenario was created as a benchmark to show maintenance of historic utilization levels.

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Finally, the third scenario was based on the 2012-22 Final Plan forecast volumes for Term 1 (table FMP-13). Due to the selection of allocations to meet the Available Harvest Area by Forest Unit targets prescribed by the LTMD, the forecast volumes for the 10-year period have shown slight increases for SPF and Birch, and a small decrease for Poplar.
Annualized Forecasted Volume (m3/year) Species Grouping Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF) Poplar White Birch 2012 Final Plan Forecast (FMP-13) 1,113,780 3,897,183 592,236

The results of implementing the LTMD through the selection of harvest allocations was then compared against Scenario 1 and 2 in order to assess possible impacts. It should be recognized that the SEIM model results are best used for comparative purposes only, as many factors outside the scope of the model contribute to economic achievement.

There were a number of assumptions made when preparing the model inputs: Commodity prices and conversion factors were updated using the Crown Stumpage Matrix, June 1-30, 2011. Commodity prices were converted using 0.96 $CDN = 1 $US Average annual volumes (m3) by species groupings were used as inputs to generate primary products only (lumber, paper, OSB, veneer). No assessment was made for secondary products such as chips, sawdust, or bark. Conversion of gross volume to primary products assumed 100% efficiency. Volumes were assigned to facilities based on records of past utilization (2005-10) for the Abitibi River Forest. The ratios used were broad approximations that will allow for market variation. SPF was the main conifer grouping modelled due to historically lower availability and utilization of Ce/La. The primary destinations for SPF were o Tembec Cochrane (40%) o AbitibiBowater Iroquois Falls (30%) o Timmins District sawmills which would account for EACOM, Little Johns, Gogama (15%)

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o Kirkland Lake sawmills which would account for Cheminis, Rosko, and Wahgoshig (5%) o Out of Province (10%) was deducted from the overall gross volume to account for traditional utilization levels. Po/Bw was the main hardwood grouping due to lower availability and utilization of other hardwoods on the ARF. The primary destinations for Po/Bw were: o True North Hardwood Plywood Cochrane (20% of Po volume) o Georgia-Pacific Englehart (70 % of Po volume, 90% of Bw volume) o 10% was deducted from the gross volume to account for Out of Province processing and small volumes of fuelwood. Note that the 2005-10 period saw 25% of the hardwood volume being used by Norbord LaSarre and the ratio used in the model is deemed conservative.

Results

A series of SEIM outputs are provided in Table 11 below. These results are a selection of the most relevant indicators of economic impacts, and provide a comparison between FMP forecasts and ten year average harvest levels.

Table 11. SEIM results using the 2010 and 2012 FMP forecasts, compared with the ten year average volumes
SEIM Scenario Impact ($/year) Value Added Gross Sales Wages & Salaries Employment (py's) Taxes ($/year) Federal Provincial Local 30,910,654 19,804,309 5,893,779 23,452,937 15,030,539 4,473,101 14,280,591 9,157,115 2,725,164 2010-12 FMP 192,145,666 448,439,780 126,759,839 2,164 2012-22 Final Plan 145,956,038 342,266,676 95,914,635 1,636 2000-10 Actual 89,046,241 212,472,172 57,928,008 967

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SEIM Scenario Impact ($/year) Total Industry Output ($/year) Logging Wood Industries Employment (person yrs) Logging Wood Industries Trade 77 365 352 57 261 264 35 152 160 23,007,911 122,594,696 17,014,808 87,528,819 10,390,006 51,082,740 2010-12 FMP 56,608,742 2012-22 Final Plan 42,956,577 2000-10 Actual 26,162,870

1 2
Direct and Indirect Economic Impacts
500 450

Average Annual Contribution (Millions $)

400 350 300

Value Added
250 200 150 100 50 0 2010-12 FMP 2012-22 FMP 2000-10 Actual

Gross Sales Wages & Salaries

Planning Period

3 4 5 6 7 8 Figure 122. Comparison of impacts between the SEIM scenarios

Direct and indirect impacts resulting from manufacturing are, as one would expect, correlated with available timber supply. Average annual gross sales based on implementing the 2012 FMP are reduced to $342 million, compared with the 2010 FMP

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forecast of $448 million. Using the ten year average volume results in gross annual sales of $212 million. Local taxes generated through the 2012 FMP are estimated at $4.4 million dollars annually, and takes into account personal income tax, property taxes, and corporate taxes. The local tax revenue generated by the 2012 FMP is a reduction of approximately 24%, when compared against the 2010 FMP forecast of $5.8 million.

A similar reduction in benefits to the logging sector is forecast using the 2012 FMP harvest levels. Constrained by a lower available harvest area for the 2012-22 plan period, the estimated $17.0 million dollars attributed to the logging sector is a reduction in the 2010 FMP forecast of $23.0 million, yet substantially higher than provided by the 10 year average utilization ($10.4 million) . In all areas of analysis, the 2012 FMP will potentially provide less economic benefits than the 2010 FMP forecast due to direct correlation with available harvest volumes. As a result, the lower volumes translate into reduced manufacture of primary products, less taxes, and less employment opportunities.

There is a slight overall reduction in Po/Bw volumes for the 2012 FMP, but levels are maintained above the current industrial demand, wood supply commitments, and ten year average utilization.

The 2012 FMP did not meet the current industrial demand (CID) for SPF, and planned allocations have shown a reduction in available volume by 13% from the 2010 FMP forecast. It should be noted that the 2012 FMP forecast SPF volume of 1,113,780 m3/year is higher than the 10 year average for utilization, and is more in line with the actual 200005 utilization of 987,000m3; a period when mills were operating at normal levels prior to the downturn beginning in 2005. In addition, the CID of 1,279,670 m3/yr of SPF was calculated using 100,000 m3/year to supply the Tembec Timmins sawmill. The indefinite closure of the Timmins sawmill in 2006 has, in part, alleviated the demand from the forest, to the level of 1.179 million m3/year. As mentioned earlier in the analysis of the long term wood supply, the drop in SPF volume in Term 3 (30 years) to 772,082 m3/year will mean that the forest will not be able to meet current wood supply demands in that term.

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An immediate impact of less than historic wood supply is that the forecast levels may not provide mills with the operational flexibility they have been accustomed to in recent years, nor does it allow for significant increases in primary production capacity. More than ever, it will be incumbent upon the shareholder group to maximize utilization of available resources in order to ensure productivity of their dependent mills. Economic opportunities will need to be explored in terms of secondary or value-added products, as well as currently underutilized species such as larch and cedar. The 2012 LTMD identifies a Term 1 volume of cedar at 5,188 m3/year and other conifer (larch) at 25,182 m3/year, and consistent through the future. These volumes of cedar and larch projected through the 2012 LTMD are in-line with levels identified through the Stage II Wood Supply Competitive Process, and may provided for future markets.

Benefits from the silviculture program are in direct response to dollars spent; the larger the program, the more benefits are realized by planting companies, tree growers, herbicide applicators, etc. Silviculture expenditures were forecast in the 2010 FMP as an average annual of $5.863 million. The 2012 LTMD has modelled for annual silviculture expenditures of $4.6 million, which translates into a 21% reduction from the 2010 FMP forecast and is comparable with the reduction in available harvest volume. A further rationalization of the silviculture program since the LTMD endorsement projects an annual silviculture budget of $3.91 million/year. Cost reductions have been achieved through reliance on extensive treatments (60% Extensive in the 2010 FMP vs. 71% Extensive in the 2012 FMP) and delivery of a silviculture program on a large scale, with reduced overheads as compared with the former management units. It is expected that site preparation will be reduced while tending levels may remain consistent with past levels (or increase) due to the need to provide a purer conifer forest condition for caribou habitat in the North Strategic Management Zone. It is anticipated that the movement to an amalgamated forest will provide efficiencies of scale, with the expectation that the $3.91 million spent annually on the silviculture program will be enough to carry out the necessary renewal program.

Table 12. Forecast silviculture expenditures of the LTMD


2010 FMP 2012 LTMD Difference % Change Projected annual silviculture expenditures ($) 5,863,000 4,607,000 -1,256,000 -21 Past Achievement* 5,062,298

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2010 FMP

2012 LTMD

Difference

% Change

Past Achievement* 5,187,016

# of Seedlings

7,300,000

6,800,000

-500,000

-7

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Note: average annual achievement, drawn from the 2000-10 annual reports for the Iroquois Falls and Smooth Rock Falls Forests, and 2003-10 annual reports for the Cochrane-Moose River Management Unit and Nighthawk Forest.

Qualitative Assessment

The industrial need for timber resources is just one of many uses of the Abitibi River Forest. The LTMD has the potential to impact non-timber values and activities as well, but in ways that are difficult to quantify in terms of dollar amounts. The following is a discussion of the possible impacts, both positive and negative, that implementation of the LTMD may have on the activities described in the Social and Economic Description.

Commercial Tourism Outfitter establishments on the Abitibi River Forest rely on remoteness and the natural setting to provide an enjoyable experience to their customers. The amount and permanency of roads, as well as harvesting operations, can affect this sense of remoteness. To date, there has been some interest in the Resource Stewardship Agreement process and discussions are ongoing between the SFL and tourism operators. Above and beyond the RSA process, the Remote Wilderness Strategy is a guiding land use policy that directs activities when in proximity to remote tourism lakes in Cochrane District. Operational considerations include winter only roads, decommissioning of roads after harvest/silviculture activities are complete, seasonal harvest restrictions, and planning harvest patterns to mitigate visual impacts. A series of Area of Concern (AOC) prescriptions have been developed to ensure these conditions are clearly identified in the 2012 FMP. Objective 8 of the 2012 FMP-9 is a further commitment to the protection of resource based tourism values and 100% compliance with the AOC prescriptions.

Hunting Moose, bear, and grouse are the primary game species on the Abitibi River Forest. The majority of hunting is road-based, with a smaller percentage done through guiding by

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remote tourism operators. The general relationship of forestry to hunting is positive, provided through the establishment of forestry road networks (increased access), and the establishment of younger forest through harvesting (increased forage). FMP-9 Objective 9 sets an upper limit on the amount of SFL responsible roads on the Forest and it is the goal of the planning team that the construction of new roads will be balanced with the strategic decommissioning of old roads. The strategic decommissioning of roads will at the same time reduce ease of hunter access and may reduce hunting pressure on game species. The plans for decommissioning have been made available for public review and comment during the 2012 FMP planning process so that roads of importance (i.e. hunting, fishing, access) can be identified. In those cases where the SFL no longer requires a particular forest access road, the MNR will explore use management options such as continued maintenance, decommissioning, or transfer of responsibility to a third party (i.e. cottage group, recreationalists).

As described in the assessment of wildlife habitat targets, moose habitat, ruffed grouse habitat, and black bear foraging will increase over the long-term, ensuring the habitat requirements for these species remain on the landscape. In addition, area of concern prescriptions have been developed through operational planning to protect specific identified habitat (ex. Moose Cover Habitat AOC and Lake Trout AOC). Through the application of the Moose Cover Habitat AOC, specifically developed for the South SMZ, emphasis will be placed on the retention of good quality late winter or summer cover habitat. In the North SMZ, the goal of managing for caribou will not mean managing against moose. The mosaic approach of the Dynamic Caribou Habitat Schedule will see large areas targeted for 20 year terms, providing access during the early seral stages following harvest and therefore coinciding with the highest use by game species.

Fishing Forestry has the effect of providing increased access to fishing areas, but can also be a detriment to fish habitat through poor harvesting and road construction techniques. A similar relationship exists for fishing as it does for hunting; the road density objectives outlined in FMP-9 will allow for continued access for recreational purposes but will not contribute to over access of the forest which could lead to over-harvest of fish and game species.

Area of concern prescriptions specific to the protection of water features and fish habitat have been developed for the 2012 ARF FMP. FMP-9 Objective 8 has been developed as

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a commitment to 95% compliance with the water quality prescriptions, and the results will be tracked and reported through the term of the FMP.

Cottages Forestry access and harvesting operations may have negative impacts on the cottaging experience. Through public consultation, the planning team has solicited comments from the cottaging community so that AOC prescriptions and prudent operational planning has been done to ensure protection of values.

Snowmobiling and Camping Through public consultation, the planning team solicited comments from the snowmobile clubs and operators of recreation sites so that AOC prescriptions and prudent operational planning could be done to mitigate any adverse effects on values.

Mining In most cases mining exploration has used forestry access roads to their benefit in accessing the landbase. As we move forward with the 2012 FMP, the need to decommission roads may have a negative impact on mining activities. In the North SMZ, within the Kesagami Range, the Caribou Conservation Plan requires an assessment of the cumulative effects that human activities have on caribou habitat. The footprint of human activities, regardless of sector, should remain below a threshold that may lead to a further reduction in the caribou population. As a result, it will be incumbent upon all stakeholders (mining, forestry, power generators, etc) to work together in order to strategically plan their activities so that the combined footprint is lessened.

Aggregates While forestry access roads are generally conducive to the development and use of aggregates, the sources of aggregate material in the North SMZ are also good sources for caribou late winter habitat (lichen ridges). Therefore, the importance of managing for caribou within the Kesagami Range may have a negative impact on aggregate development in the North SMZ. However, the need for aggregate material may be lessened by the increased use of winter roads, which bring the advantage of lower (or nil) costs for decommissioning.

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Traplines Forestry activities, as a general rule, can serve to reduce trapping opportunities. Therefore, it is the objective of the Planning Team to mitigate, to the greatest extent possible, any adverse effects on the Abitibi River Forest traplines. As described earlier in the summary, the LTMD is able to maintain projected marten habitat (aspatially) equivalent to the natural benchmark scenario. This long term supply of marten habitat has been spatially arranged through marten cores in the South SMZ and within DCHS mosaic blocks in the North SMZ. The requirements of the Caribou Conservation Plan and the DCHS has meant the development of large (15-32,000 ha) mosaic blocks in which operations will be concentrated for a 20 year term. The potentially adverse effects on traplines have been mitigated, in part, by the avoidance of placing these mosaic blocks over a single trapline. The blocks have been located over a number of traplines, meaning that only a portion of a single trapline is harvested in a 20-year term. As the DCHS blocks increase in size in the Northern portion of the Range, so do trapline areas increase in size. The planning team has made a concerted effort to engage trappers throughout the planning process in order to lessen impacts to traplines as a result of the DCHS. Techniques used have included the development of AOC prescriptions and the operational planning of roads/harvest areas to mitigate impacts to important trapping areas within the DCHS mosaics.

Baitfish Similar to fishing, baitfish operators have the potential to benefit from continued road access on the forest. Negative impacts could arise from damage to fish habitat/water quality, but as described earlier, AOC prescriptions have been developed to protect these values and non-compliances are targeted at no more than 5%. Bear Management Areas Implementation of the LTMD has shown an ability to provide for a sustained abundance of black bear foraging areas over time. The short-term effects of harvesting will not reduce the availability of habitat for black bear populations and an overall benefit may be achieved.

Parks and Protected Areas Forestry Operations adjacent to Ontario Parks and Protected areas have the potential to create new unwanted access. During operational planning the planning team has worked with Ontario Parks and MNR district staff to determine effective ways to minimize

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impacts from any scheduled operations adjacent to these areas. The creation of the PC Area of Concern prescription will direct forest operations, including conditions on road construction/use, within areas adjacent to Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves.

Conclusion

The ten year conifer wood supply is forecasted to decrease by approximately 20% over 2010 contingency plan levels and 25% from the FMPs that were in place prior to the amalgamation and without any caribou habitat management direction. This decrease results in the Current Industrial Demand being unachieved for SPF in the first term of the plan, although remaining in-line with actual utilization levels achieved during the previous 10-year period. Both the projected SPF and Poplar/Birch volumes exceed actual utilization levels for the previous 10 year period. The real extent of the short-term impact of a reduced wood supply is unclear due to the fact that comparisons to historic utilization have confounding factors such as the significant economic downturn in the forest industry and the inaccuracies in the FRI. What is clear, however, is that the communities listed previously show a heavy reliance on the forest industry to generate direct and indirect employment; any decline in short and long-term volume will affect the potential for increased mill capacity or new opportunities. The decline in harvest levels since 2005, which are only now showing signs of recovery, has also affected the silviculture industry. Tree nurseries, site prep contractors, tree planters, etc., have all experienced lost opportunities in recent years. While the 2012 FMP provides for a reduction in silviculture expenditures from past plans, the program will deliver in a leaner, more cost effective manner on an amalgamated forest. The commitment by the SFL to implement an improved slash management program, capitalize on opportunities for Forestry Futures Projects, and conduct pre-commercial thinning on a small scale, are all positive socialeconomic gains in this FMP.

Impacts to non-timber values have been considered through the development of FMP objectives and habitat modelling. Consideration for non-timber values has been made throughout the planning process, resulting in the development of AOC prescriptions and refinements to operational planning. As a result, the planning team has achieved a balanced approach that has considered a host of social and economic values, as well as environmental values.

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4.0 PLANNED OPERATIONS 4.1 Introduction

Section 4.0 describes the planned operations for the first and second five-year terms. The following details the prescriptions for harvest, renewal and tending operations, roads planning for primary, branch and operational roads, use management strategies, revenues and expenditures related to operations, monitoring and assessment of operations, and finally compares the proposed operations to the LTMD.

To assist in the implementation of the FMP, a document titled Implementation Toolkit for the Abitibi River Forest Management Plan hereafter referred to as the Implementation Toolkit (IT) was prepared and available in Section 6.14 of the Supplementary Documentation. The Toolkit includes a series of modules that describe the operational procedures and conditions on implementing forest management activities. The IT is to be used in conjunction with FMP-10 and FMP-19 to ensure the protection of values and the compliance with the Forest Management Guide for Conserving Biodiversity at the Stand and Site Scales (2010). FMP-10 and FMP-19 state what operations can be undertaken within an AOC, and the IT directs the operators how to comply with legislation based on what is said within the AOC documentation.

The planning team completed the detailed mapping of operations for the second five-year term. It will complete the remaining requirements of Stage II operational planning during Phase II planning as required under the FMPM, 2009.

4.2 Prescriptions for Operations

Prescriptions for operations have been prepared for those areas selected for harvest, renewal and tending operations during the two five-year terms of this plan. Prescriptions were also prepared for some areas selected for contingency areas. In the event that contingency area is required during plan implementation, all AOC operational planning will have been completed. This will simplify the preparation and approval of any contingency area required during plan implementation.

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4.2.1 Operational Prescriptions for Areas of Concern

Operational prescriptions for all areas of concern (AOC) developed by the planning team are documented in Table FMP-10 and Table FMP-19, available in Section 9.0. AOCs related to natural features such as bird nests, streams or lakes were developed consistent with specific direction in MNRs Forest Management Guides Relating to Conserving Biodiversity at the Stand and Site Scales (also known as the Stand and Site Guide, hereafter referred to as the SSG). These operational prescription tables include the following information; AOC identifier Description of Natural Resource Feature, Land Use or Value Group AOC Operational Prescription Source supporting the development of the prescription Exception Road Crossings and Landings o Primary or Branch Road Crossing / Landing Condition o Operational Road / Landing Condition Conditions on Forest Aggregate Pits

Where Table FMP-10 indicates conditions on primary and branch road crossings, operational roads and landings and forest aggregate pits, refer to Table FMP-19 (in Section 9.) where details on the conditions are described. In specific situations, detailed description of the operational prescriptions for AOCs makes reference to specific Modules found in the Implementation Toolkit for the Abitibi River Forest Management Plan to describe conditions and procedures related to forest operations. Often, due to the complex nature of some implementation procedures, these are required to be described in detail in these Modules and intended to be referenced for field implementation. These operational prescriptions describe operational practices available to forestry operations personnel, playing a vital role in the successful implementation of the forest management plan.

Section 6.1.12 of the Supplementary Documentation includes the required information

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for any operational prescriptions developed by the planning team where no existing science-based information is available, and where an environmental analysis was conducted. These supplementary documents also include any comments received from the public or Aboriginal communities during the development of the FMP. Also, any objections and responses to those objections from the public and Aboriginal communities were documented.

There are no operational prescriptions for an area of concern that differs from the specific direction or recommendation (standards or guidelines) in a forest management guide in this Forest Management Plan. Therefore, exceptions are not required and none needed to be identified in Table FMP-10.

4.2.1.1 Operational Prescription for Areas of Concern Information Products

Information products associated with operational prescriptions for AOC will include both the AOC identifier and the AOC type. See Section 6.1.13 of the Supplementary Documentation for a complete review of applied AOC on the Areas Selected for Operations Maps.

As the 2012-2013 Contingency Forest Management Plan bridged all of the unharvested area from the 2010-2012 Contingency Plan, there will be no bridging area within this FMP.

4.2.2 Prescriptions for Harvest, Renewal and Tending Areas

4.2.2.1 Silvicultural Ground Rules

Silviculture ground rules, (SGR) are prescriptions for the harvest, renewal, and tending operations developed for all forest unitsecosite combination present on the management unit. The prescriptions found in Table FMP-4 (available in Section 9.0) will serve to provide the specifications, standards and other instructions that direct harvesting, including the salvage of naturally depleted areas, for the ten-year period of the forest management plan.

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Table 13. Preferred Silvicultural Ground Rules


Harvested Forest Unit BW1 SGR Code Future Forest Unit (North) PO1 Future Forest Unit (South) PO1 Treatment

The preferred SGRs shown in Table 13 serve as the preliminary prescription for harvest, renewal and tending operations since FMP-4 may have more than one preferred prescription per forest unit (e.g., for each silvicultural intensity). Prescriptions for all possible site conditions have been documented and it is recognized that certain treatments will be rarely selected for use. Table FMP-4 presents that entire suite of acceptable silvicultural treatment combinations that are available for implementation. However, as indicated in Table FMP-4, the most common treatment package(s) in each SGR will be the most likely treatment. This information represents the best estimate of proposed operations at the time of plan preparation, and will not limit the selection of any other acceptable alternative silviculture treatments in the SGRs at the time of implementation. The SGRs are consistent with the Silvicultural Guide recommendations (not recommended and conditionally recommended). Individual stands portrayed on the Areas Selected for Operation Maps found in Section 6.1.13 of the Supplementary Documentation identify the preferred SGR for that site at the time of plan preparation. The information products for harvest, renewal and tending operations will serve as the stand list. None of the proposed silvicultural treatment combinations proposed in Table FMP-4 present an exception to the applicable silvicultural guides.

BW1 Intn1

Mechanical Site Preparation, Plant & Tend Fill Plant, Tend Natural Regeneration Natural Regeneration Mechanical Site Preparation, Plant & Tend Natural Regeneration Natural Regeneration Natural Regeneration Mechanical Site Preparation, Natural Seeding, Tend Mechanical Site Preparation, Natural Seeding, Tend Natural Regeneration

LC1 MWD OH1 PJ1

LC1 Basc1 MWD Exten OH1 Exten PJ1 Intn1

LC1 MWD OH1 PJ1

LC1 MWD OH1 PJ1

PJ2 PO1 PO3 PRW (Clearcut)

PJ2 Exten PO1 Exten PO3 Exten PRW Basc1

PJ1 PO1 PO3 NA

PJ1 PO1 PO3 PRW

PRW (Shelterwood)

PRW SH Basc1

NA

PRW

SB1

SB1 Exten

SB1

SB1

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Harvested Forest Unit SB3 SF1 SGR Code Future Forest Unit (North) SB3 SF1 Future Forest Unit (South) SB3 SF1 Treatment

SB3 Exten SF1 Intn1

Natural Regeneration Mechanical Site Preparation, Plant & Tend Natural Regeneration

SP1

SP1 Exten

SP1

SP1

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A complete range of the most common and acceptable alternative silvicultural treatments have been developed for each forest unit and ecosite combination likely to be encountered on the Abitibi River Forest. These SGRs were developed using pertinent silvicultural guides and local knowledge to ensure their effectiveness. The use of forest ecosystem classification (ecosites) provides information on tree species composition, understory vegetation and the soil, and allows for the uniform application of the silvicultural systems within the specific forest unit types. The ecosite is the fundamental element in determining post-harvest succession and provides a link between the silvicultural treatments available for an individual and/or group ecosite(s).

Within certain forest unit/ecosite combinations, the selection of the harvest and logging method provides for the preferred regeneration method (e.g. seed tree, coppice). Most notably, the SB1 forest unit occupies a range of ecosites. The SGRs have identified restrictions associated with the timing of activities (i.e. harvest on frozen ground or during frost free season) while the other ecosites associated with this forest unit do not have restrictions. Full tree is the main logging method for all forest units, however, treelength and cut-to-length logging are considered as options in some forest unit silvicultural ground rules.

In the development of the SGRs all possible site preparation, regeneration and tending combinations were considered within the limits of the silvicultural guides recommendations. Site preparation options include, either in combination or individually, mechanical, chemical and prescribed burning treatments. Slash management of conifer and hardwood roadside slash is carried out where applicable on harvest areas in order to maintain the area available for regeneration. In specific circumstances, slash material at roadside may be utilized for the production of biofibre. It is expected that the management of slash will continue for the period of the management plan as long as it continues to prove economically feasible. Regeneration options include planting, seeding, conifer cone scattering and natural regeneration. Tending treatments include chemical, manual and pre-commercial thinning.

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Table FMP-4 provides recommendations for logging methods and sets out general parameters to guide forest operators when deciding on the appropriate logging methods to be used. Where a wildlife habitat management objective has been identified as the preferred option, a logging prescription which considers protection of the regeneration of a specific tree species will be selected. In certain instances for example, the retention of higher than normal advance regeneration species will be considered acceptable where it meets the criteria identified in other management objectives. This may include objectives such as the retention of greater than 40% balsam fir for moose habitat or careful logging around advance regeneration to enhance caribou habitat within DCHS mosaic blocks. In other situations, the objective may be to maintain the white pine advance growth where natural variation within the stand would facilitate establishment of PRW forest units.

In those forest units (e.g. MW1, MW2, BW1) where components of OH1 or PRW have not been delineated by the FRI (e.g. concentration of White Pine within a MW2 stand), these portions of the stand will be delineated and managed by applying silvicultural treatments that will promote its presence on the forest where it is ecologically and economically feasible to execute. In an effort to take full advantage of silvicultural opportunities at the sub-stand level (i.e. lowland area within stand or pockets of white and red pine not delineated by FRI), small amounts of any other target tree species may be planted where site conditions are appropriate.

White Pine incidentals found on the landbase during operations will be harvested following the list of approved species within the Authority to Haul documentation. White Pine trees encountered during operations will generally be left standing and will contribute towards the residual standards for the forest management area. White Pine may be harvested for safety reasons, e.g., adjacent to loading areas, and may also be harvested during road construction activities which includes right of way clearing and landing areas.

In consideration for cedar, in non-cedar working groups, single cedar trees and groups will generally be left standing.

SGRs are directly linked to the post-renewal succession rule sets identified in the SFMM of which the inputs are detailed in Section 4.0 of the Analysis Package found in Section

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6.1.1 of the Supplementary Documentation. Similarly, the regeneration standards found in Table FMP-4 correlate directly with the requirements needed to achieve the indicated future forest condition. Regeneration standards were developed based on local experience gained from past management practices on the Abitibi River Forest, the Regeneration Survey Manual for Ontario (OMNR 1981), the approved document Free-Growing Regeneration Assessment in Ontario. (OMNR 2005) and the Silvicultural Effectiveness Monitoring Manual for Ontario (OMNR 2001).

The SGRs are the basis for the development of silvicultural strategies. Each silvicultural treatment package for each forest unit and silvicultural intensity is represented by a yield curve that is used to predict the development of the forest unit over time. Each combination of silvicultural treatments with a similar expected outcome is intended to direct forest development over time towards the desired future forest condition. An individual silvicultural treatment combination can therefore be considered as a unique silvicultural strategy. Each silvicultural ground rule and associated available silvicultural treatment combinations has development information corresponding to relevant yield curve information in SFMM.

For each forest unit managed under the clearcut silvicultural system, a range of silvicultural treatment packages have been developed that may be subdivided into the following four silvicultural intensities: Extensive These are lower-cost treatments that generally rely upon natural regeneration following harvest. They may or may not specify careful logging around advanced growth (CLAAG), depending on the forest unit. The natural regeneration of MW2 forest unit on selected sites will benefit from a CLAAG treatment where the advanced conifer component will be maintained. They also include modified clearcut techniques such as group seed trees for black spruce. Extensive treatments are most suitable for forest units whose major species possess the capacity to regenerate naturally (e.g. pure poplar stands). Typically, they only require modified harvest practices and the completion of regeneration surveys. Extensive treatment packages have been developed for all forest units. Basic These are medium cost treatments associated with assisted natural regeneration, aerial seeding, partial cutting and/or fill plant treatments. Basic treatments may also include site preparation or tending. They will be applied to those forest units where the likelihood of success is high. Basic treatment packages have been developed for all the forest units except PO1.

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Intensive These higher-cost artificial regeneration treatments characteristically include classical site preparation and planting techniques. They always involve planting nursery stock at normal to high densities and usually include some form of site preparation (e.g., mechanical, chemical, prescribed burning, or combinations) and tending. In some cases, more than one tending application may be necessary to achieve free-growing status. Intensive treatments maybe applied to portions of previously treated areas that fail to respond adequately to extensive or basic treatment. Intensive treatment packages have been developed for all the forest units except OH1. Elite These are considered the highest cost artificial regeneration treatments due to the initial investment required for tree improvement seed production. They always involve planting nursery stock at normal densities and usually include some form of site preparation (e.g., mechanical, chemical, prescribed burning, or combinations) and tending. In some cases, more than one tending application may be necessary to achieve free-growing status. Elite treatments will be applied to richer sites and take advantage of geographic aspect when considerations of treatment combinations are finalized. Elite treatments may be applied to portions of previously treated areas that fail to respond adequately to extensive or basic treatments. Elite treatment packages have been developed for PJ1 and SP1.

4.2.2.2. Conditions on Regular Operations

Section 6.2.1 of the Supplementary Documentation contains specific modules found in the Implementation Toolkit that document the conditions and procedures on regular operations that have been developed through the application of the SSG. As described in Section 4.2.1, in some specific situations, operational prescriptions for AOCs are referenced in these Modules as they address the operational practices available to forestry operations personnel. Conditions on regular operations as well as any operational prescriptions for AOCs referenced in Table FMP-10 apply for the entire management unit and are defined in the Implementation Toolkit. The following Modules are available in the Implementation Toolkit and are intended to be used as field implementation references/guides; Standards, Guidelines and Best Management Practices Primary, Branch and Operational Road Conditions and Procedures Forest Aggregate Pit Conditions and Procedures

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Water Crossing Planning, Design and Installation Conditions and Procedures Conditions and Procedures for Road and Water Crossing Decommissioning Road and Water Crossing Monitoring for Assigned Roads Identified in the FMP Procedure for Dealing with Identified Road and Water Crossing Hazards for Assigned Roads in the FMP Conditions of Regular Operations within Residual Forest Cover Conditions of Regular Operations within Identified Features Standard Operating Conditions for Soil and Water Conservation Standard Operating Conditions for Salvage and Biofibre Harvest Changes to Operations Protocol Line Marking Reference Manual Assessing Potential Impact of Forest Management Operations on Nesting Birds Forest Workers Field Guide for Determining Stream Permanency Fire Prevention and Preparedness Abitibi River Forest Aerial Herbicide Application Program Licensing and Wood Measurement Glossary for Conditions on Regular Operations

The Implementation Toolkit also includes an introduction and glossary which describes the intents of the Toolkit and the terminology used for the purposes of plan implementation.

4.2.2.3. Silvicultural Treatments of Special Public Interest

There are no candidate areas for high complexity prescribed burns identified in this plan. Although an effective site preparation option, prescribed burning is currently cost prohibitive. However, if social-economic conditions do become favorable during plan implementation, the appropriate measures would be undertaken to pursue high complexity burns. If any substantial infestation is detected, then an insect pest management program will be initiated. Areas proposed for aerial application of herbicide and areas available for fuelwood are portrayed on the composite map available with the

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information products submitted with the FMP. This information represents the best estimate of proposed operations at the time of operational planning, and will not limit the selection of any other approved alternative silvicultural treatments in the silvicultural ground rules at the time of implementation of operations.

4.2.2.4 Slash Management Strategy The management of conifer and hardwood roadside slash generated by harvest operations is carried out, where applicable, on harvest areas in order to minimize loss of productive forest areas available for regeneration (refer to Section 3.5, management Objective No. 10). Slash management concerns were noted in the three independent forest audits (IFA) carried out in 2010 and in previous IFAs as well. In 2010, recommendations were received directing that the SFL develop a slash management plan that will support this FMPs objectives and guidelines focused on minimizing the loss of productive land.

There are a number of management options available for the treatment of roadside slash including: Mechanical piling (most common method used to date) and/or burning Corridoring (alignment of slash into windrows parallel to roads Redistribution of slash across the harvest block, Roadside chipping; and Grinding of roadside slash for use as bio-fuel of other bio-fibre products.

Slash management will be carried out on 100% of the sites that will be regenerated using elite and intensive treatments and on sites where basic silvicultural treatments include tree seedling planting or aerial seeding. There may be operations constraints or situations that preclude slash management on these sites however this will be considered the exception and not the normal practice. Examples include early winter break-up, water crossing removal to name a few. For the sites being regenerated through extensive treatments (i.e. natural regeneration in hardwood or conifer forest units) a minimum target of 50% of the harvested area will receive direct slash management treatments. Consideration for aesthetics and fuel loading reduction along primary access corridors will contribute to the selection of extensive renewal sites that receive slash management treatments. As well, caribou management objectives and site quality will be considerations for determining slash management in extensive areas. Slash management

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usually coincides with harvest but on occasion may also occur after forest operations are completed. Slash management on elite, intensive and select basic regeneration treatments will occur prior to regeneration activities. All slash management activities will normally be completed within three years of the completion of harvest activities and will be tracked by ARFMI and summarized in the year 3 and 7 annual reports prior to the next independent forest audit. Once pending results are available on an updated forest information manual Technical Specification, the tracking of slash management will align with the new direction. Sites from previous FMPs that were not subjected to slash management, but remain economically accessible, will remain eligible treatment areas. ARFMI will actively pursue Forestry Futures Trust funding to treat previous slash accumulation areas.

Slash management within the winter harvest sites in the Clay belt are often problematic due to constrained timing within the winter period. The preferred option for the management of slash in these areas will be corridoring so that the linear slash piles occupy less area next to the roads. Corridors will also include periodic breaks to facilitate movement of wildlife through harvest areas.

The amount of slash management that is undertaken annually on the Abitibi River Forest will be reported within the Annual Report.

4.2.2.5 Operations within the Northern Strategic Management Zone

The northern SMZ comprises the portion of the Kesagami caribou range within the Abitibi River Forest. For the appropriate conifer eco-sites either a CLAAG or HARP treatment will be the preferred harvest treatment. Retention of advanced conifer residual is expected to contribute significantly to existing and future caribou habitat levels.

For operations within DCHS A-blocks (not including Z-blocks), silvicultural treatments that will promote the maintenance of current landscape level caribou habitat levels in the future forest will be emphasized. In areas that currently have conifer dominated stands, silvicultural effort will be directed at limiting the amount of non-coniferous browse species that are considered attractive by moose. Pure conifer forest units will be targeted for these treatments however there may be limited opportunities to convert hardwood or mixedwood areas to conifer if these sites are surrounded by conifer areas that are capable

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of producing future caribou habitat. Limiting the amount of browse species is expected to make the sites less attractive to moose which, in turn, will limit the presence of predator species such as wolves and bears that prey upon caribou. Aerial tending treatments will be the principal tool utilized to control browse species within identified caribou habitat sites.

In addition, all roads identified for decommissioning within caribou blocks as per Module 5: Road and Water Crossing Decommissioning Conditions and Procedures of the Implementation Toolkit (refer to Section 6.2.1 of the Supplementary Documentation) may require silviculture work. The treatment options include mechanical site preparation, planting, aerial seeding and/or an aerial tending treatment.

Although no specific areas are targeted for a prescribed burn in this plan, ARFMI is receptive to prescribed burn proposals designed to improve future caribou habitat. The use of this silvicultural tool can be very effective in creating future habitat, specifically through the control of competition as well as the reduction of balsam fir. The SFL is prepared to work cooperatively with MNR to reintroduce fire as a management tool across the landscape. Any proposals that are likely to become operational would be incorporated in to the plan through an amendment.

4.3 Harvest Operations 4.3.1 Harvest Areas

Table FMP-11 in Section 9.0, describes the available harvest area and the planned harvest area for the ten-year period, and the planned harvest area for the first 5-year term. These areas were selected based in part on public comments received on the preferred and optional harvest areas during the review of the LTMD and subsequently operational planning. A ten-year total available harvest area of 137,528.2 hectares was calculated during the development of the LTMD. The ten-year total planned harvest area is 135,794.1 hectares. A total of 65,911.8 hectares are scheduled as planned harvest for the first 5year term. As detailed in Table FMP-11 and listed in descending order from largest to smallest, the planned harvest area for the 5-year term is: SB1/SB3, SP1, PO1, MWD, PJ1, PO3, LC1, PJ2 and BW1. The distribution of harvest area between the two 5-year terms is closely balanced and every attempt was made to allocate to the available harvest

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levels for each forest unit by each age class with those considerations described in Section 6.1.

During the development of the LTMD it was noticed that area was left unharvested within blocks of the scheduled mosaic. This was concerning to the planning team due to the objective to create an even age forest condition that is favored by caribou. It was determined that the mature conifer constraints were limiting the harvest of area within the DCHS. This was specifically prevalent in the SB3 forest unit. This non-spatial constraint (mature conifer) conflicted with the spatial objective of maximizing the harvest area within a scheduled block to achieve the caribou habitat management objective of an evenage forest distribution. To address this issue, the planning team concluded that the caribou management habitat objectives would be realized through operational planning efforts by maximizing the available harvest area in a spatial arrangement within a scheduled mosaic block ensuring that the spatial configuration and distribution of the disturbed areas is conducive to caribou habitat. This resulted in the AHA for the SB1 and SB3 forest units being allocated interchangeably to address this need in the North SMZ. As indicated in FMP-11 the SB1 and SB3 forest unit AHAs were not balanced by individual forest unit but as a combined forest unit. Within the North SMZ the allocations were distributed across the A and split blocks (e.g., AC, AD) as a whole as opposed to being allocated by the individual DCHS block. It was determined by the planning team that by allocating as SFMM had indicated that fragmentation would increase as a result. In some DCHS blocks SFMM indicated that small proportions of forest units be allocated in the specific block and by following this recipe it was felt that the overall intent of the CCP (creating large contiguous blocks) would not be met. This approach was supporting by the MNR regional advisors. The smaller forest units exhibited the most fluctuation while the larger units exhibited the least fluctuation. This is due primarily to the decreasing availability of options for stand selection on the smaller forest units and larger stand size relative to the AHA. At the same time it was difficult to achieve the desired AHA age class structure within the 10-year planned harvest area for a number of reasons. Of particular note is the substitution of younger age classes that occurs across the entire forest. No significant effects on utilization and volume recovery are anticipated since most of these areas occur within larger blocks of mature stands and are certainly operable within this context (e.g., 61-70 year old poplar; 81-90 year old spruce). Furthermore, its logical to allocate these stands if the larger disturbance areas can be used to address specific size class disturbance deficits and contribute to the overall forest diversity objectives. Otherwise, in some instances, the failure to allocate such stands may actually fragment the forest and work

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against the emulation of natural disturbance patterns and the achievement of landscape patterns. This is especially relevant in the North SMZ, where the Caribou Conservation Plan (CCP) dictates that large contiguous tracts of land are to be harvested to create even aged forest for the species. Also, in cases where allocating stands outside the desired ageclasses specified was necessary due to constraints described below, where possible effort was made to allocate area within 10 years of the 20 year age class of the available area. There are also instances where the substitution to older age classes is observed (e.g., SB3, MWD and SF1). Although their selection is inconsistent with the desired LTMD ageclass distribution for the allocations, these stands are similarly operable within the context of larger blocks and will present few challenges in terms of utilization, volume recovery or the implementation of silvicultural treatment packages. In similar situations, the area within 10 years of the age class was preferred within the 20 year age class. Although every attempt was made to attain the AHA and the desired age-class targets for each forest unit, a number of factors worked to confound these objectives, often in a synergistic fashion. They are listed as follows: a) AHA age-class targets are determined from non-spatial wood supply models while harvest allocations are restricted by spatial limitations and operational factors, b) Objectives for moving towards the disturbance template (see Section 3.6.1) require spatial consideration of harvest block size and frequency configurations that best meet the template rather than non-spatial AHA age-class distribution targets, c) Based on the NDPEG standard requiring that eighty percent of planned clearcuts determined by frequency should be less than 260 ha in size, this spatial consideration forces the planning team to deviate from the desired age-class targets to achieve this policy, d) Residual retention requirements from the SSG by disturbance requires that a greater amount of area is operationally encountered to achieve the same AHA levels, e) Allocation to the AHA for 14 forest units has the effect of reducing average block size and fragmenting the forest, f) It is particularly difficult to achieve the target AHA age-class structure when allocating smaller forest units. For example, 6 of the 15 forest units are under 60,000 ha in size, three of which are under 10,000 ha, g) There are fewer available options for stand selection with smaller forest units and larger stand size relative to the AHA,

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h) The deferral of large areas for marten habitat limits the availability of certain forest units and mature age classes for the economical configuration of an allocation, i) It is difficult to design operationally feasible blocks without compromising strict SFMM allocation criteria since candidate stands in mature and over-mature age classes are often widely scattered, small and poorly accessed in the case of LC1 and SB1, j) Significant portions of the Abitibi River forest is highly disturbed and fragmented, making it difficult to find operationally feasible aggregations of eligible stands for many forest units, k) Where concentrations of mature stands do exist, they are often interspersed with stands belonging to younger age-classes, making it difficult to plan harvest block configurations without age-class substitution, l) Lack of local access and seasonal restrictions constrained the selection of stands to meet the target age-class structure for many forest units, m) Stands/block must be economically accessible. The number of water crossings, proximity to a gravel source, topography, drainage (i.e. summer vs. winter access) and the total length of access road construction will determine economic accessibility.

In consideration of the above factors and their accumulating effects, variations in the proposed planned harvest area by forest unit and age class were deemed to be acceptable by the planning team, regional advisors and steering committee members. The proposed allocations were modeled using SFMM and the impacts and issues resulting from the ageclass substitution are further described in Section 4.9.

The required area of stand level residual was determined using the direction and standards from the SSG. Implementation of residual planning is consistent with the achievement of biodiversity objectives. Residual is defined explicitly in Section 8.1 of Module 8 of the Implementation Toolkit.

Although this plan has incorporated the many science-based components of the draft Landscape Guide for Ecoregion 3E, it is officially written without an approved Landscape Guide. For that reason, the operational planning ensured the area of residual forest averaged over all planned clearcut harvest areas is greater than or equal to 20% of

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the Crown forest area, with the exception of the North SMZ, where leaving residual stands is not required due to caribou management. The evaluation of forest residual gaps was completed consistent with specifications in the SSG. This assessment was calculated using the SSG: Evaluate Forest Residual Tool Version 3.0. With the current disturbance pattern on the forest, there was only one area in the South SMZ requiring residual. After verifying the patch with imagery, a large treed bog area lies to the north of the required residual patch and therefore no planned residual patches are within this FMP. The level of stand residual in the South SMZ is 41.1%.

Due to conditions set out with the Caribou Conservation Plan, and the use of the CLAAG and HARP harvesting patterns in the North SMZ, residual planning is not needed for this section of the forest. Within the South SMZ, only one method of residual forest condition is needed to address the achievement of biodiversity needs. Residual will be established during implementation of the harvest by ensuring that any point within a new clearcut harvest area will have at least 0.5 ha of residual within a 50 ha circle about that point, referenced hereafter as Point Residual. Conditions and procedures on the application of this type of residual are available in Module 8 of the Implementation Toolkit.

The disposition of harvest is addressed externally from the FMP with ARFMI shareholders and is governed by a shareholders agreement that sets out each shareholders rights relative to harvest allocation. All wood supply directives and agreements previously granted by MNR to shareholding companies are replaced by the ARFMI shareholder agreement as long as the individual shareholders remain signatories. However, this does not mean that Ministry commitments or directives are eliminated. Ministerial volume commitments and directives are determined by application of the MNR approved ARFMI business plan and Shareholders agreement which reflects these conditions and that ARFMI will attempt to meet these volumes.

FORECAST HARVEST AREA

Forecast area refers to areas that were approved in the previous FMP, the 2010-2012 CFMP, that were projected to be depleted at the start of the 2012-2022 FMP process. These areas received a depletion code of FORECAST for modeling purposes. During the allocation process there were a number of these forecast blocks that were identified by the operators that likely would not be harvested prior to the end of the previous FMP (2010-2012).

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Table 14. Summary of the forecasted harvest area by strategic management zone and forest unit.

As part of the allocation strategy following draft plan submission it was determined that it would be beneficial to reallocate some of these areas in order to reduce the level of age class substitution. As these blocks had previously gone through the public consultation process (through the previous FMP) it was believed that these would be non-contentious if allocated again. Table 14 provides of summary of the forecasted areas that were allocated by strategic management zone and forest unit. A total of 6,952.9 hectares of forecasted area was re-allocated.

N_A

N_Z

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

MWD PJ1 PO1 PO3 SB1 SB3 SF1 SP1 Subtotal MWD PJ1 PO1 PO3 SB1 SF1 SP1 Subtotal TOTAL

351.0 22.6 49.3 10.2 2159.1 1521.7 289.8 1611.8 6015.4 399.7 15.5 97.5 32.0 140.6 239.6 12.6 937.5 6952.9

4.3.2 Surplus Harvest Areas

Surplus harvest areas are those that are in excess of the projected industrial wood requirements and wood supply commitments for the forest. The available harvest levels identified in this FMP do not exceed the projected industrial wood requirements and wood supply commitments and therefore there is no harvest area being declared surplus in this plan.

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4.3.3 Completion of On-going Harvest Operations from Previous Plan

There are no bridging harvest areas within this plan, as these areas would have been carried forth into the 2012-2013 Abitibi River Forest Contingency Forest Management Plan. New allocations within the Contingency plan will be carried forth into Phase 1 harvest allocations, and do not need to be bridged.

4.3.4 Planned Clearcuts

Each clearcut exceeding 260 hectares in size is recorded in Table FMP-12, available in Section 9.0. For each clearcut identified to exceed 260 hectares in size, the location identifier, the area of planned clearcut and planned harvest area for first 5-year term are detailed in Table FMP-12. The largest planned clearcut scheduled during Phase 1 of plan implementation is 13,212 hectares. On average, the planned clearcuts greater than 260 hectares are approximately 2,085.3 hectares for the 10 year period. The following details the accompanying silvicultural and/or biological rationale for the establishment of clearcuts greater than 260 ha in size.

The Abitibi River Forest has an extensive history of very large natural disturbances from natural forest fires. This has led to an unbalanced age class structure with large areas of the management unit falling in the 61 to 80, and to a lesser extent, 101 to 120 year age class. The result of past forest management policies and human settlement activities has led to an unnatural fragmentation of the landscape. The establishment of planned clearcuts greater than 260 ha in size is required in an attempt to move closer to a more natural disturbance landscape pattern while considering social and economic desires. Recognizing that larger (i.e. 15000 30000 hectare) core habitat areas are a desired future landscape condition on the forest, similarly sized disturbance areas must also be planned for and created today. Within the next 20 years, 15,000 to 30,000 hectare patches (on average) will be harvested within the North SMZ to create large, even aged disturbances in accordance with the CCP and known caribou habitat preferences across the Abitibi River Forest. However, size and configuration of a planned disturbance area are not the only characteristics that ensure natural disturbance emulation. Individual prescriptions and appropriate silvicultural ground rules will ensure that the future forest, within the perimeter of these disturbance areas, contributes towards appropriate interior

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characteristics. This FMP attempts to emulate landscape patterns that existed preEuropean contact, which contributes to flora (e.g. jack pine) and fauna (e.g. woodland caribou) that require a less fragmented landscape. No data was collected on the frequency and spatial distribution that occurred during Pre-European settlement landscape disturbances. The notion of pre-European settlement conditions therefore assumes that a number of uncontrolled fire disturbances (natural and human caused by the peoples who occupied the land during that time) as well as other disturbances caused by blowdown or pest infestations, disturbed forest patches that ranged from a few very large to many smaller sizes. To some degree these patches were randomly distributed, but were in many cases influenced by the type of vegetation and topographic conditions that existed on the landscape, which will be transposed across the South SMZ of the forest.

4.3.5 Harvest Volume

Table FMP-13 available in Section 9.0 describes the available harvest volume, and an estimate of the planned net merchantable volume and undersize and defect that may be available for bioproducts for the planned harvest area, for the ten-year period. The method used to estimate the volume for the planned harvest area is based on information supported in SFMMTool 3.15 Northeast Region pure-species yield curves to calculate and aggregate individual stand volumes by species. These volumes are then used to generate a total volume by species for each stand selected during the allocation process. As shown in Table FMP-13, there are no significant differences between the available harvest volume and the planned harvest volume, by conifer (128%) and hardwood (100%). These achievements are well within the expected variation that will be encountered as a result of the forest resource inventory.

Undersized and defect volumes also known as unmerchantable volume represents all of the volume that is not merchantable by the minimum utilization standards defined in the Scaling Manual. In general, this includes components of the tree that have not traditionally been utilized (i.e. stem tops (below minimum diameter limit), defect or cull, branches, leaves, twigs and bark).

Science based estimation techniques are currently under development by the Ministry of Natural Resources with FP innovations and various sponsored trials across the province to substantiate the methodology used. Currently, two approaches are being developed for use in forest management planning. Both approaches utilize a mean tree approach to

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predicting tree biomass. The first approach is soon to be integrated into the Modeling and Inventory Support Tool (MIST) and enhances the existing empirical yield curve approach to allow the development of yield curves for unmerchantable volume. This approach is expected to be available for future Forest Management Plans. The second approach which is used in this forest management plan is an interim approach that utilizes net merchantable volume factors that can be applied to the forecast or planned harvest volumes.

Net merchantable volume factors were developed using individual tree biomass equations based on Alemdag (1983, 1984). The individual tree biomass equations relate mensurational variables for the average tree (i.e. diameter at breast height (DBH) and tree height) to oven-dry mass for each biomass component. Biomass components predicted using these equations include: whole tree, stem wood, branches, twigs and leaves, and bark.

Average tree values (DBH, Height) were selected using normal yield tables for site class two and an average harvest age for each species (generally reflect mid-point of the operability range). Stem biomass predictions (Stem wood and bark) were further divided into merchantable (bole) and unmerchantable (top) sections using Honers equation of stem form using top diameter limits and stump height limits from the minimum utilization standards defined in the Scaling Manual.

Net merchantable volume factors are calculated using the predicted oven-dry weight of tree components relative to the merchantable stem wood component.

Since not all of the predicted biomass associated with each tree is recoverable due to site, variability and operational factors etc, netdown factors were applied to the volume factors. 1. In order to account for post-harvest residual stand structure requirements, operational losses at the stump as well as inaccessible stem volume a netdown of 30% has been applied. An additional 30% netdown has also applied to account for roadside operational recovery losses in biofibre operations within the collection, grinding and loading operations. This 30% operational net down is

2.

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equivalent to recovery information observed in trials and biofibre operations in various jurisdictions. 3. Further to these netdowns, volumes from branches, twigs and leaves for tree species typically managed under shelterwood and selection silviculture systems have not been included due to the predominance of cut-to-length harvesting method for these sites.

The finalized results have been discussed with FP innovations, and some members of industry with experience in biofibre operations. The results approximate the unmerchantable volume recovery information from biofibre operations. As more experience is gained with operations in Ontario and more information is available volume estimates will be adjusted as well to reflect the most current knowledge.

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4.3.6. Wood Utilization

Utilized and unutilized planned harvest volume is summarized by species and product in Table FMP-14 as shown in Section 9.0. Net reductions for planned residual were estimated by species using SFMM planned residual values by forest unit and species consistent with the approach documented in Section 4.3.2 of the Analysis Package found in Section 6.1.1 of the Supplementary Documentation. The intent of these reduction factors is to reflect anticipated long-term utilization trends. Estimates of non-utilized species were derived from past experience and knowledge of which species are retained for silvicultural or wildlife habitat reasons (e.g. Merchantable Volumes Left Unharvested screen in SFMM) vs. non-utilized species from the area of planned harvest. Generally a 2% reduction for all conifer and poplar was made for use for snags, habitat and utilization trends. Pw and Pr volumes were reduced consistent with meeting objectives for the retention of these two species across the landscape. A 15% reduction for white birch was made for snags and habitat as well as historical utilization trends and when used for the purposes of silviculture (i.e. shades for Pw and Sw). Fifty percent of all Oh products are shown as unutilized.

A total combined conifer and hardwood volume of 7,167,016 m3 is forecast for utilization (based on realized volume) during the five-year planning term, while it is estimated that 1,969,229 m3 from the area of planned harvest will not be utilized (primarily Oc, Po, SB and biofibre). Included in these estimates is the total volume of undersize and defect volume. It is estimated that approximately 5% of the 10 year planned harvest of undersize and defect volume will be utilized. Utilization of biofibre material on the Abitibi River Forest has begun however, at a very small scale. It is expected to increase over the implementation of this FMP and future FMPs will refine estimates as utilization increases.

The following assumptions were used to produce this table: A 20% reduction factor was applied to the total poplar and total birch volumes. Sawlog volumes are 100% of the jack pine, white spruce, black spruce and balsam fir

Table FMP-14A has been included in order to address the surplus and shortfalls volume expected during FMP implementation. The table is adjusted based on realized planned harvest volume and wood utilization. There is a 20% reduction in Po and Bw volumes in

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Table 15. Summary of the forecasted harvest area by strategic management zone and forest unit.

Table FMP-14A to reflect changes seen in the field between actual harvest volumes and what the outdated forest resource inventory predicts. This a better estimate of the projected volumes coming off of the ARF. Table FMP-15 reflects the appropriate modifications completed on Table FMP-14A.

FORECAST VOLUME Included in the above volumes are the volumes associated with the forecast depletion areas (previously described in section 4.3.1). Associated with the 6,952.9 hectares of forecasted area is 695,292 m3 of hardwood and conifer volume. Table 15 summarizes the volume by strategic management zone and forest unit.

N_A

N_Z

13 14 15 16 17 18

MWD PJ1 PO1 PO3 SB1 SB3 SF1 SP1 Subtotal MWD PJ1 PO1 PO3 SB1 SF1 SP1 Subtotal TOTAL

35100 2256 4927 1017 215905 152169 28982 161183 601540 39972 1550 9748 3204 14057 23965 1257 93753 695292

Wood Utilization by Mill

Table FMP-15 available in Section 9.0 shows the forecast of wood utilization by mill for the five-year term of the plan. The commitment types are based on the SFL which

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authorizes the harvest of timber from the forest and is determined by the application of the MNR approved ARFMI business plan which states that the ARFMI will attempt to meet traditional volumes from the license area to the facility. The calculation of this breakdown for each mill originates from the relative allotment of harvest volume in the ARFMI shareholders agreement as well as a projection of independent shareholder harvest volume deliveries based on recent history. In addition, delivery of volume to non-ARFMI shareholder mills is predicted based on ARFMI business plan direction and historical movement of wood from the area. Although the approval of a forest management plan is not an agreement to make areas available for harvest to a particular licensee or supply wood to a particular mill, Table FMP-15 forecasts the Abitibi River Forest contribution towards meeting the wood supply requirements of the various companies. It also identifies any wood supply commitments applicable to the Forest. ARFMI will address these wood supply requirements and commitments to various companies through the ARFMI shareholder's agreement or negotiated memorandum of agreement with respective commitment holders. Based on current and recent history, net merchantable volume types are expected to be fully utilized by those processing facilities identified in Table FMP-15.

4.3.7. Salvage

The salvage of 2500 hectares of poplar damaged by the forest tent caterpillar is planned for this 10 year FMP, as per objective 6.2. This will occur in areas where the damaged poplar is economically and operationally feasible for harvest, as succession has begun in some of these areas. If further occurrences of damage to the forest resulting from natural disturbances such as windstorms, wildfires or insects occur, there may be opportunities for salvage operations. Should other potential salvage opportunities arise during the implementation of this FMP, amendments will be prepared to that effect.

4.3.8. Contingency Area and Volume

Unforeseen circumstances such as blowdown, wildfire, insect damage or disease may cause some of the planned harvest area to become unavailable for harvest during the tenyear period of the FMP. In order to accommodate such circumstances contingency areas for harvest have been identified. The contingency area is intended as replacement area for lost harvest opportunities planned for in the FMP. Often contingency areas are later

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proposed as regular allocation harvest areas in the following FMP. The contingency areas are identified and portrayed on the Areas Selected for Operations Maps in Section 6.1.13 of the Supplementary Documentation. The area and volume of the contingency area is summarized in Table FMP-16 (available in Section 9.0) and represents approximately two-years of harvest operations. A total of 32,069.1 hectares has been selected for contingency with an associated total volume of 3,728,754.7 m3. In general, contingency areas were selected for the proximity to existing roads or adjacent to proposed allocations to provide operational flexibility.

It should be noted that some AOC operational planning in contingency blocks was completed during the development of this FMP to facilitate an amendment to the FMP, if required. Residual planning and remaining AOC planning will be confirmed during the preparation of an amendment to the FMP for inclusion of contingency area.

4.4 Renewal and Tending Operations

4.4.1 Renewal and Tending Areas

The types and levels of planned renewal and tending operations for the ten-year period and the proposed levels for the five-year term of this plan are summarized in Table FMP17 and are available in Section 9.0. The levels projected are based on the projected levels of the long-term management direction as determined through the forest modeling but are modified to include anticipated harvest utilization levels as well as projected silvicultural activities required to renew pre-2012 harvest areas to free-growing status. Considerable work has been completed by the SFL prior to final FMP submission to quantify the areas that were previously harvested and require silvicultural treatment or surveys. The result of the recent survey work are summarized below and shows that an estimated 8.38% of the total surveyed landbase is either currently treated but not yet free-to-grow (FTG) or is awaiting treatment. Table FMP-1 shows that approximately 11% of the production forest is below regeneration standards and does not reflect this more current survey data.

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1 Table 16. Estimate of outstanding silvicultural work for the Abitibi River Forest as of April 2012
Estimate of Outstanding Silvicultural Work for the Abitibi River Forest as of April 2012
Areas not FTG (silvicultural history documented) No treatment applied to date (but treatement scheduled) Treatment applied (Natural) Treatment applied (Artificial) Area (ha) 17,894.31 62,628.24 47,734.33 % 14% 49% 37%

Subtotal
Areas not reported to be FTG (depleted between 1980 and 2002 ) Treatment (natural and artificial combined) Natural depletions (not scheduled to be artificially regenerated)

128,256.88
63,141.20 20,017.10

100%
76% 24%

Subtotal
Estimate of Outstanding Silvicultural Work Areas not FTG (silvicultural history documented) Areas not reported to be FTG (depleted bwt 1980 and 2002 / silvicultural history undocumented) minus Natural Depletions

83,158.30

100%

128,256.88 63,141.20

67% 33%

Total % percentage of the landbase

191,398.08 8.38%

100%

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Through the recent economic recession, harvest levels were reduced due to poor market demand for forest products and overall silvicultural effort was reduced correspondingly. The Abitibi River Forest is an amalgamation of three former SFL areas and one former Crown management unit. To ensure that all past harvest areas were accounted for, a survey was completed assessing the regeneration status of past harvest blocks and silvicultural treatments scheduled to address any outstanding requirements.

Renewal and tending levels have been determined in part by using the clearcut area renewed by forest unit and silvicultural intensity results from the long-term management direction (LTMD). The proportion of area renewed by forest unit and silvicultural intensity resulting from the LTMD was applied to the area planned for harvest for each forest unit, which is the basis for the planned ten-year period of renewal and tending operations. These figures were then adjusted by projecting the planned silvicultural program for the 2012 and 2013 operating years, based on proposed operations in the existing plan and any outstanding treatments from previous FMPs as determined from the recent survey results. The remaining three years of the first five-year term were based on the planned renewal and tending operations projected in the LTMD

The 2010 independent forest audits noted that in some lowland sites that the regeneration of larch was too prevalent and that a future forest with increased levels of the species would result. Control of larch can occur if the sites are aerially treated with herbicide however, this prolific seeder will continue to form a part of the future forest species composition on harvested sites. As well, balsam fir will continue to be prevalent on certain post harvest sites. The only silvicultural treatment known to remove balsam fir

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from a site is to utilize prescribed fire. Increased utilization of balsam fir and more aggressive mechanical site preparation can have a mitigating impact on future stocking levels however neither of these treatments are known to be adequate since advanced regeneration in the understory will grow post-treatment. Cyclical spruce budworm infestations will have an impact on future fir levels however the infestation will not remove the species from the site.

Finally, the analysis of renewal and tending was used to adjust the planned levels consistent with results of the analysis. The analysis considered recommendations from the ten-year annual report, the trend analysis results and any relevant independent forest audit recommendation. The past harvest levels, old forest units and related silvicultural ground rules, and unplanned depletion areas from natural disturbances, were considered in projecting the planned levels for the ten-year period and subsequently the first fiveyear term. Associated expenditures of the planned renewal and tending operations are consistent with the projections from the LTMD. These planned expenditures in support of the renewal and tending operations for the first five-year period are detailed in Table FMP-20 and described in detail in Section 4.6.

There are no areas managed using the clearcut silvicultural system with planned two-pass harvesting.

As seen in FMP-17, a total area of 94,573 ha will be naturally regenerated, or a combination of natural regeneration and careful logging (CLAAG) treatments for the tenyear period. A total of 1,010 ha in aerial seeding are scheduled over the ten-year planning period, while a total of 31,660 ha is planned to be planted for the ten-year period. A total of 28,400 ha mechanical site preparation, 11,250 hectares of aerial chemical site preparation and 725 hectares of ground chemical site preparation are planned for the ten-year period. Finally, a chemical aerial tending program of 52,360 ha, a chemical ground-tending program of 725 ha and a pre-commercial thinning program of 1,000 hectares is anticipated for the ten-year planning period. Pre-commercial thinning activities will focus on seeded or planted jack pine sites in the south strategic management zone (SMZ) that are found to have over-achieved desired SGR stocking levels.

On those sites which support desired advanced regeneration, Careful Logging Around Advanced Growth (CLAAG) and Harvesting with Advanced Regeneration Protection

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(HARP) will occur to protect this regeneration and reduce the requirement for tree planting and subsequent tending treatments. Efforts for these harvesting methods will be directed towards lowland black spruce sites, lowland cedar sites as well as upland sites that sustain advanced spruce and pine regeneration. In the NMZ, a strategic priority for conifer regeneration to meet caribou habitat objectives and targets will guide silvicultural decisions on a site by site basis. CLAAG and HARP will be the preferred regeneration methods as these site types respond well to these treatments and the high winter road usage deters planting activities This treatment also creates ideal caribou habitat. Where sufficient advanced regeneration is not left on the site to meet minimum stocking standards or increasing the level of conifer is a priority for effective caribou habitat, the site stocking will be augmented using an artificial regeneration treatment, referenced in Table FMP-17 as a supplemental treatment or refill plant.

Several vegetation management techniques will be employed to ensure the achievement of the desired future forest condition set out in the LTMD. These include careful logging to reduce the need for planting stock (and subsequent tending) as well as site preparation methods to minimize the production of competitive seed bank species. Chemical ground tending (mechanical and possibly manual) may be employed where the site objective is to maintain an overhead canopy, particularly for white pine or for the production of a future mixedwood stand. Aerial and ground tending activities are carried out to control competing vegetation that threatens the establishment of the desired species. A herbicide approved for use in Ontario will be applied either as a broadcast treatment (with boom equipment, mist sprayers and boomless sprayers) or may be applied with high volume hand-held sprayers. Each annual work schedule will contain an aerial tending project summary for OMNR and MOE approval. ARFMI continues to investigate economically viable alternatives to the aerial application of herbicides for the control of competing vegetation and ensure that the decision process that has led to the application of herbicide is documented, transparent and available for review. Any alternatives will need to be economical and generate equal or better results than current treatments in order to support the overall objectives of the LTMD.

Aerial chemical site preparation will be utilized for effective preparation of a site for planting while maintaining any advanced conifer regeneration on the site.

Renewal Support

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Renewal support includes activities such as tree seed collection, planting stock production and tree improvement operations, which will be carried out on the management unit. The majority of cones will be collected on harvested trees during scheduled harvested operations identified in the AWS. Cones will be collected from seed zones 18 and 24. Seed collection for white spruce, white pine and red pine will be targeted for a bumper crop year that can be expected to occur during the planning period. Since there will be limited harvest of white and red pine on the unit (incidental harvest during forest operations), should an acceptable cone crop occur, the company will actively locate and harvest selected trees in order to secure seed for use in the renewal program. The number of white and red pine trees harvested for cones will be limited and all attempts will be made to utilize the tree. Tree seedlings for planting on the Abitibi River Forest are generally grown and procured from local nurseries. Depending on the requirements for a particular year, stock type will primarily be white spruce, black spruce, jack pine, white and red pine grown as overwinter container stock with spring and fall current stock produced when necessary.

Additionally, ARFMI will continue their active involvement as a member of the Northeast Seed Management Association (NESMA) and will be utilizing improved seed (1st generation) for jack pine and black spruce nursery stock production when improved seed is available. Currently, improved seedling stock (1st generation) is available for black spruce and jack pine. Planting of improved seedling stock will be targeted in the South SMZ as well as in Z-Blocks within the DCHS rather than within caribou zone where the benefits of regenerating sites with improved stock are diminished with 140year return periods.

4.4.2. Renewal and Tending Information Products

Where applicable, Areas Selected for Operations Maps will include; the operational prescriptions for areas of concerns; the applicable silvicultural ground rules; the tree improvement activity; and silvicultural treatments of special public interest

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4.5. Roads

4.5.1. Primary and Branch Roads

Primary and Branch roads that are required to provide access to and within the areas selected for harvest, renewal and tending operations for the ten-year period are detailed on the Areas Selected for Operations map. Documentation of the environmental analysis of the alternative corridors for each new Primary road corridor, the rationale for the selected corridor and associated use management strategy is documented in Section 6.7 of the Supplementary Documentation.

Table FMP-18 shows the forecast (10-year) and planned (5-year) road construction, reconstruction and use management for each new primary and branch road, and network of operational roads. These roads may be winter (i.e. organic), un-surfaced or thinly surfaced. Planned construction, maintenance, monitoring, access control and future use management are recorded in the table. Thirty-seven (37) Primary road corridors were identified by the planning team following the review of the LTMD (Stage II) and Review of Proposed Operation (Stage III). The selected road infrastructure is intended to significantly reduce hauling distances for resources extracted on the forest while still meeting the FMP objective related to road densities on the landscape.

The planning team considered many options in order to minimize the potentially negative impacts of the existing road infrastructures. Selected Primary road corridors, rationale and associated use management strategies have been included in this FMP with their respective use management strategies available in Section 6.7 of the Supplementary Documentation.

Individual documentation, including an individual map for each selected Primary and Branch road corridor and its associated use management strategies is included in Section 6.1.6 of the Supplementary Documentation.

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Table FMP-18 (available in Section 9.0) documents all planned new Primary and Branch road construction and references the use management strategies for each road or associated road network. A total of 334.4 km of Primary road and 1,217.9 km of Branch road will be constructed during the ten-year term of this FMP. A total of 923.2 km of Primary and Branch road is planned to be constructed in the first five year while the balance will be constructed in the following five years. The length of existing Primary and Branch road to be maintained during the ten-year period of the forest management plan is also detailed in Table FMP-18. Planned Primary and Branch road construction is shown on the Areas Selected for Operations Maps.

As for Branch corridors, the selected corridors will normally assume the existing use management strategy from the associated road or road network unless otherwise indicated. Section 6.1.6 of the Supplementary Documentation includes the proposed Branch road corridors, the rationale for the selected corridor and reference to the associated network for details on the use management strategy.

The intended year of transfer for all roads, including Primary and Branch roads is identified in Table FMP-18 with transfer protocol further described in Module 6 of the ARFMI Implementation Toolkit found in Section 6.2.1 of the Supplementary Documentation.

Conditions and procedures on Primary and Branch roads or landings are available in Module 2 of the ARFMI Implementation Toolkit found in Section 6.2.1 of the Supplementary Documentation. These conditions on regular operations are consistent with the SSG.

4.5.2. Operational Roads

Operational roads are roads within operational road boundaries (ORB), other than Primary or Branch roads that provide short-term access for harvest, renewal and tending operations. Operational roads are normally not maintained after they are no longer required for forest management purposes, and are often decommissioned. Operational roads may occasionally be site prepared and regenerated as required and consistent with

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the FMP objectives and use management strategies. They are used to access harvest blocks and are built for shorter-term use for harvest and subsequent renewal operations. These roads may be winter (i.e. organic), un-surfaced or thinly surfaced. Culverts and/or bridges may be removed following operations.

For each harvest block identified on the Areas Selected for Operations Maps, an Operational Road Boundary (ORB) has been established and required for accessing this area. Each use management strategy for individual ORB is recorded in Table FMP-18, and consistent with the harvest block identifier and cross-referenced with the UMS. If necessary as a result of unforeseen circumstances and in recognition of the data used for the establishment of ORBs, the configuration and refinement of ORBs will be updated for the AWS. ORB for the 2nd five-year term of this FMP have been planned and will be reviewed, confirmed and updated if necessary during Phase II planning preparations.

Similar to Branch road corridors, use management strategies for ORBs inherit the use management strategies of the associated road or road network. Section 6.1.6 of the Supplementary Documentation describes the proposed use management strategies, a summary of public comments and the use management strategies for Operational road networks. In situations where the use management strategy restricts public access, the rationale for the restriction is provided in Section 6.1.6 of the Supplementary Documentation.

Conditions and procedures on Operational roads are available in Module 2 of the ARFMI Implementation Toolkit found in Section 6.2.1 of the Supplementary Documentation. These conditions on regular operations are consistent with SSG.

4.5.3. Area of Concern Crossings Primary and Branch Roads

Where a Primary or Branch road is proposed to cross an AOC, detailed documentation of the determination of the preliminary crossing location and acceptable variation crossing location is described in Module 4 of Section 6.2.1 of the Supplementary Documentation. Table FMP-10 identifies any conditions that may exist on a Primary road or Branch road crossing of an area of concern, or landings within an area of concern. Table FMP-19 (available in Section 9.0) details the conditions on construction and acceptable variation to the locations for each Primary and Branch road corridor crossing an area of concern.

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Conditions on a landing within an area of concern are also detailed in Table FMP-19.

The Areas Selected for Operation Maps portrays the preliminary 100 meter wide crossing location and the respective documentation analysis and any public comments received are described in Section 6.1.6 of the Supplementary Documentation.

4.5.4. Area of Concern Crossings Operational Roads

Where an Operational road is proposed to cross an AOC, detailed documentation of the determination of the preliminary crossing location and acceptable variation crossing location is available in Module 4 of Section 6.2.1 of the Supplementary Documentation. Table FMP-10 identifies any conditions that may exist on operational road crossings of an area of concern, or landings within an area of concern. Table FMP-19 details the conditions on operational road crossings of areas of concern, condition on the location(s) or construction of the crossing(s) for individual areas of concern, or groups of areas of concern. Conditions on a landing within an area of concern are also detailed in Table FMP-19. The location and conditions for Operational roads will be finalized during implementation consistent with the acceptable variation described in Module 4 of the ARFMI Implementation Toolkit found in Section 6.2.1 of the Supplementary Documentation. Any public comments received concerning a crossing of an area of concern by an Operational road was noted in Table FMP-19 and documented in Section 6.1.6 of the Supplementary Documentation.

The preliminary crossing location(s) of operational roads are included on the Areas Selected for Operations Maps in Section 6.1.6 of the Supplementary Documentation.

4.5.5. Existing Roads

For the purpose of road planning and forest management, the Licensee, in collaboration with the MNR, developed a road network strategy indicating forest access roads that may be of interest to the Licensee holder for the purposes of resource extraction. The starting point for this process was the Forest Roads and Water Crossing Initiative (FRWCI) which was assigned the task of developing proposed solutions to deal with the long standing problematic subject of roads and implications with respect to public safety, and

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environmental legislation. These general principles were agreed to by both parties to allow for future transfer of road responsibilities in a fair and equitable manner. On the Abitibi River Forest, this strategy resulted in the definition of road networks based on commonalities of the existing road system and their intended uses. Main forest access roads were first used to define the general extent of each road network. Other criteria such as existing use management strategies, types of operations, geographic locations also contributed to defining road networks. Existing use management strategies are available for individual Primary road and/or individual road networks and provides direction to proactively reduce or eliminate public safety hazards and environmental concerns for the entire drivable (i.e. 4X4 vehicle) existing infrastructure with road use strategies, decision to maintain, repair or decommission roads and water crossings.

Cochrane District MNR and the former License holders actively participated in the development of the Water Crossing Inventory system and carried out water crossing inventory work during development of former FMP`s. No water crossing inventories have been carried out on the former Smooth Rock Falls Forest. Water crossing inventories are expected to continue as new crossings are established.

Steps were also taken to update the existing road system on the Abitibi River Forest. A number of roads have been renamed for consistency in the naming of a single road that crosses two or more management units. No change to the UMS was proposed during this exercise. The planning team used the assignment of road responsibility developed during the 2010-2012 Abitibi River Forest Contingency Plan (ARFCP) to establish the benchmark for current assignment or transfer of responsibility. Drivable roads from 2008 and 2009 AR reports have been added to entire forest, however, in certain cases roads constructed by the Licensee during the ARFCP where not assessed for drivability (i.e. Timmins district portion of former Nighthawk Forest). All road segments have been shown, however, Timmins MNR will conduct a review during the summer of 2012 and advise the Licensee of non-drivable segments which will then be removed from the responsibility layer.

Part or all of existing roads within road networks and the associated use management strategies that are required by the Licensee are documented in Section 6.1.6 of the Supplementary Documentation. For those roads that are the responsibility of the Licensee, these are listed in Table FMP-18 with the associated kilometers (where the kilometers indicate 0, this means the road is required by the Licensee but the responsibility lies with another party). All roads that are the responsibility of the

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Licensee are portrayed on the values map which is available in Section 6.1.14 of the Supplementary Documentation and/or the Existing Road Use Management Strategy coverage. Section 6.1.6 of the Supplementary Documentation details any new or revised use management strategies and the rationale for the change. Transfer Protocol

Once allocations were finalized and it was determined that a road was required for use by forest industry during next 10 year period, road responsibility was re-assigned to the Licensee for drivable (i.e. 4X4 vehicle) roads that are currently MNR responsibility. Where no use by forest industry is expected for more than 10 years, responsibility will be transferred back to MNR.

A protocol developed concurrent with the implementation of the FMP will be the mechanism for transferring responsibility between parties. This transfer protocol is further described in Module 6 of the ARFMI Implementation Toolkit found in Section 6.2.1 of the Supplementary Documentation.

Table FMP-18 also documents the expected year anticipated to transfer responsibility for any existing or new road segments or road networks as defined above. These can be transferred either during the operating year, at the end of the first phase or during the second phase. It is recognized that assessment of road infrastructure has been based on the water crossing inventory completed well in advance of the transfer of responsibility to the Licensee. Thus, the status of road bed condition and water crossings in the UMS, prior to use by the Licensee may be adjusted if determined that the existing infrastructure condition is not accurately reflected in the individual crossing inventory.

Monitoring and maintenance strategies identified in the individual road use management strategy define the Licensees responsibility for monitoring and maintenance on designated road segments consistent with the existing infrastructure condition description (see Existing Infrastructure Condition description in individual road UMS).

The following are general principles applicable to any existing roads or segments or road networks that are the responsibility of the Licensee. For detail information regarding an

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existing road or road network, refer to individual use management strategies available in Section 6.1.6 of the Supplementary Documentation.

Maintenance

The Licensee will regularly maintain assigned roads in network during periods of active harvesting. At other times, roads will not be maintained except as to not place the public at undue risk and/or minimize the potential for environmental damage. In the event of failing infrastructure on roads, or road networks that are the responsibility of the Crown during active operations, the Licensee will complete necessary improvements in order to continue operations. Remedial work performed will satisfy conditions and procedures in Module 4 of the ARFMI Implementation Toolkit found in Section 6.2.1 of the Supplementary Documentation.

In most cases the MNR will not have an active interest in upgrading or maintaining roads. The MNR may request that the Licensee remove failed crossings on these roads. The Licensee may accommodate these requests where economically practical and/or operationally feasible. In support of this objective, replacements by the Licensee will also be based on the availability of funding through the Provincial Road Construction and Maintenance Funding and/or other MNR funding sources to address these issues.

Monitoring

Road infrastructure (road and water crossings deemed eligible for transfer) to be monitored at a level deemed acceptable by the Licensee (i.e. at their discretion to meet duty of care). Generally, operations will be limited to monitoring and risk reduction. The Licensee will periodically monitor its assigned roads and water crossings using its own inspection program to ensure the potential for environmental damage is minimized and the public are not placed at undue risk. It is recognized that if a road or water crossing is not used for industrial use for a prolonged periods, its condition will gradually decline and it may require significant upgrading in order to re-establish safe operating conditions for industrial traffic. The Licensee would undertake this reconstruction at its expense in order to meet its needs.

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In those cases where a Licensee representative travels an unassigned portion of drivable segments of a road network, any deficiencies or hazards will be provided to the appropriate MNR District. Similarly, were MNR staff travel roads or road networks that are the Licensees responsibility as indicated in Table FMP-18, and note any deficiencies or hazards, these would be notified to the Licensee holder.

Access Provision / Restrictions

There are no access restrictions or provisions unless specifically identified in individual UMS. Where industry has left infrastructure in good condition and responsibility has been properly transferred, it is reasonable to expect that industry will be entitled to reassume responsibility in the future without unexpected restrictions or constraints that would interfere with forest management (e.g. a cottage association or snowmobile club assumes responsibility and is subsequently reluctant to accept a resumption of Forest Industry use at a later date). It should also be recognized that if a road or water crossing is not used for industrial purposes for a prolonged period, its condition will gradually decline and it may require significant upgrading in order to re-establish safe operating conditions for industrial traffic. The Forest Industry would undertake this reconstruction at its expense in order to meet its needs.

Direction for these roads is described in the use management strategy in Section 6.1.6 of the Supplementary Documentation.

Decommissioning

Directions for all proposed roads are described in the use management strategy in Section 6.1.6 of the Supplementary Documentation. Further details on the decommissioning of roads can be found in Module 5 of the Implementation Toolkit, Section 6.2.1 of the Supplementary Documentation.

Module 5 also explains the decommissioning strategies associated with proposed roads in both the North and South SMZs, explaining how plan objectives will be met in regards to roads decommissioning. This is especially important in the North SMZ of the forest where the CCP and the DCHS determine what road decommissioning activities will take

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place to ensure that there is minimal loss of caribou habitat across the forest. Each proposed road within the North SMZ has been assessed individually for both upland and lowland areas, and the amount of decommissioning has been listed within the individual use management strategy for the road, located in Section 6.1.6. of the Supplementary Documentation.

All access decommissioning provisions have been specifically identified in individual UMS, where applicable. Crossings that fail will be physically removed prior to transfer if subsequent access beyond is not required. Crossings that are the responsibility of the Licensee may be replaced at the discretion of the Licensee if required to access future allocations. Road and water crossings may not be restored in a timely manner if damaged or destroyed by unplanned events (e.g. major storm). There is no obligation on the Crown or the Licensee to undertake this repair work on behalf of other users who may not have the resources to replace failed infrastructure and they must recognize that access to their business or property could be disrupted at any time. The following roads will retain existing access restriction provisions which described both passive and active decommissioning strategies developed in previous FMP`s.

In the case of the South Bateman Road, Swartman Creek Road, Chin River Road, Jackman Road, Lamothe Road, Moose Road, Pat Road, Peat Road, Sphagnum Road, Terminal Road and Swartman Lake Road, a decision has occurred that road maintenance will cease and no steps are taken to prevent the use of roads by vehicular traffic through means of physical decommissioning.

In the case of Pouce Road, Mistango River Road, Payntouk Road, Mann South Road, Deception Lake Road, Cork Lake Road, Potter Road, South Road, Moseley Road, Thorning Road, Upland Road, Marceau Road, Upper Kesagami Road, Balsam North Road, Harris Lake Road, Balsam South Road, Balsam South Road, Boundary Road Pioneer Road, Sunset Road, Muskeg Road, Swartman Road, Park Road, Bateman Lake Road, and Noseworthy Road a deliberate act to render a road unusable by vehicular traffic was agreed upon. Appropriate measures will be taken to prevent erosion and sedimentation of water bodies beyond ones created by natural means.

Table FMP-10 documents if there are conditions on the road and/or landing that is planned to be used for forest management purposes during the period of the forest management plan, and the road and/or landing that intersects an area of concern for a

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value. FMP-19 lists those conditions on road and/or landing. Any conditions on regular operations for existing road and/or landing are detailed in Module 2 of Section 6.2.1 of the Supplementary Documentation.

4.5.6. Forestry Aggregate Pits

Forestry aggregate pits (FAPs) are exempt from the requirement for an aggregate permit regulated under the Aggregate Resources Act. Previously operated forestry aggregate pits may be utilized for a ten-year period starting from the initial aggregate extraction from the pit. Forestry aggregate pits must remain within the primary and branch road corridor, area of operations or operational road boundary or aggregate extraction area that are identified in the FMP, and again in the AWS, which may be revised from time to time.

The extraction of aggregate from forestry aggregate pits for use on forest access roads on the management unit will comply with the exemption criteria as outlined in Module 3 of the ARFMI Implementation Toolkit in Section 6.2.1 of the Supplementary Documentation. This section also details the operational standards and conditions of forestry aggregate pits. Conditions of forestry aggregate pits intersecting an area of concern for a value are identified in Table FMP-10. Appropriate forestry aggregate pit conditions on operations are documented in Table FMP-19. Conditions of forestry aggregate pits not intersecting an area of concern for values, including operating standards and guidelines are detailed in Module 3 of the ARFMI Implementation Toolkit available in Section 6.2.1 of the Supplementary Documentation.

Existing Forestry Aggregate Pits will be identified annually in the AWS.

Aggregate extraction areas (AGA) are areas within which a FAP will be established, and located within 500 meters of an existing forest access road. AGAs are identified on the areas selected for operations maps.

4.6 Expenditures

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Table FMP-20, available in Section 9.0, summarizes the forecast expenditures by activity and funding source for the five-year term of the plan. The forest renewal trust fund renewal rate levels used in the calculation to project the required renewal and maintenance activities are $4.25 per m3 for SPF, $0.50 per m3 for poplar and birch, $8.00 per m3 for white/red pine, $5.50 per m3 for cedar, $0.50 per m3 for other conifer (larch), $6.00 per m3 for other hardwood in the south (tolerant hardwoods) and other hardwoods in the north (incidental black ash). These rates reflect the long-term funding required to carrying out the LTMD on this forest, and may not reflect actual expenditures spent during the course of this FMP. These rates are also consistent with the values modeled in SFMM. The calculation of expenditures is based on the renewal activities required to carry out the defined LTMD of the forest management plan but also includes activities scheduled to be carried out on harvest areas from previous plans. The planned expenditures reflect the need to implement the planned renewal and tending activities detailed in Table FMP-17.

Renewal rates are recalculated annually to reflect both the current silvicultural program requirements and the projected program on a five-year basis. This approach assures that adequate funding is available to complete the planned treatments.

4.7 Monitoring and Assessment

4.7.1 Forest Operations Inspections

4.7.1.1 Compliance Goal The goal of the Licensee Holder is to encourage and ensure compliance, with legislative and regulatory requirements, which contribute to the sustainable management of Ontarios forests (Source: A Forest Compliance Strategy, 1997). All references to the Licensee holder below are understood to include the Management Company performing work on behalf of the Licensee holder.

4.7.1.2 Background

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The compliance strategy will guide and direct all companies, overlapping Licensees, shareholders, and contracted activities. Abitibi River Forest Management Inc. continues to develop and improve on its policies related to forest management and the environment. The compliance strategy for the Abitibi River Forest will be to voluntarily achieve higher than expected standards with regards to work practices of all shareholder companies. Individual shareholder companies have developed corporate policy statements on Forest Management, Health and Safety, and the Environment. The framework of all these policy statements is a commitment that responsible work practices are essential in maintaining a successful, sustainable, fully integrated forest products company. A key component of each respective policy statement is incorporated under the ARFMI umbrella policy statement.

The underlying principle that drives the compliance program is that all roads, in relation to the administration of the Abitibi River Forest lead to the Forest Management Plan. Every component of the compliance program must be rooted in the existing FMP to be deemed a valid compliance function.

4.7.1.3 Past and Present Compliance Problems The compliance history of the amalgamated Abitibi River Forest for the 2004-2008 operating periods provides 1349 total inspections; of which 1285 are compliant with 64 reports of non-compliance (4.7 %). The highest number of Not In Compliance reports occurred in 2005 with a total of 21 reports while the lowest number of these reports occurred in 2008 with only 1 report of non-compliance. Operational years of 2004, 2006 and 2007 averaged 14 reports of non-compliance. An assessment of the prevalent compliance issues that have occurred during the 2004 - 2008 operations of the amalgamated units was conducted to determine if any specific trends could be established. No apparent trend occurred during the 5 year period, however it does appear that the compliance record has become better in 2008 but this may be related to the curtailed operations during this year due to downward market conditions. Based on an evaluation of 1349 forest operation inspections during this period the overall average was 95% in compliance.

During the 2010 -2012 Contingency operating period plan a total of 218 inspections have been documented in the provincial database. In keeping with the principles of companies reporting on potential operational issues a total of 29 occurrences have been documented

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(i.e. Harvest: 16, Access: 12 and Renewal: 1). Operations are still ongoing but to date a total of 5 non-compliance reports have been verified. Based on an evaluation of the 218 forest operation inspections during this period the overall average was 98% in compliance.

The compliance history on the forest would then be best described as excellent and continuously improving, however past inspections and compliance reports have identified activities that require improvement and increased monitoring. The majority of the noncompliances occurred during the harvest and access operations which are the most probable given the number of hours devoted to these activities.

A further breakdown of the activities revealed that boundary issues and not following AWS/FMP were the main sources of the non-compliances. Other activity items which showed a higher number than average of non-compliances are associated with water crossings and utilization with the issue being that merchantable timber of any length was left on site.

4.7.1.4 Anticipated Challenges A number of challenges are anticipated with the implementation of the forest management plan as mentioned below (these were derived from approaching paradigm shifts, Independent Forest Audit recommendations and the compliance history): Amalgamation of the ARFMI and implementation of a cooperative Licensee: o function of the Overlapping Licensees business to business relationships; o communication/training issues with operations (another layer has been created o for dissemination of information to operations and MNR); o defining roles and responsibilities both within industry and the MNR regarding compliance monitoring and reporting; o ensuring that all compliance reports are submitted within the timeframes prescribed in Compliance Handbook; o varying levels of operator expertise o operating differences in the various forest types (i.e. organics, uplands clay and sand) Marketability and utilization

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o marketability of underutilized species o marketability of species due to market downturn o roadside utilization (i.e. wood left under snow, leaving merchantable pieces of any length, biofibre) o encourage opportunities for fuelwood Boundary Trespasses: Private land boundaries as well as operational boundaries. Not following plan: Operational changes to AWS/FMPs not approved by OMNR Newly Identified Values: Through the course of FMP implementation, new areas of concern, unidentified on the maps and not apparent on the ground may be identified. These AOCs may in fact only become apparent during or after harvest operations have been completed. Despite all efforts to identify and protect these values as they are found, some may not receive the complete protection afforded to them by the appropriate guidelines. Road and Water Crossings: o implementation of the proper structures, o following installation standards o implementation of the road use strategies and monitoring program for Licensee assigned roads Modified harvest within AOCs will have new direction and prescriptions for canopy cover and riparian reserves. Close monitoring of the operation will need to be done by field supervisors, so that compliance is maintained. Implementation of the endangered species regulations and strategies Implementing the changes to compliance program direction Long-term economic challenges due to the world economy Consistency in approach on the amalgamated Licensee Implementation of the slash management objectives of the FMP Challenges regarding variation in the length of work season as a result of unforeseen changes to the weather (i.e. frost period)

4.7.1.5 Compliance Objectives A number of specific management objectives were included in the Long-Term Management Direction for the 2012-2022 Abitibi River Forest Management Plan (see Table FMP-9). Objectives specific to compliance are listed below:

Resource Protection

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To ensure that Area of Concern planning is completed for all known values in the forest that might be impacted by forest operations and that the resultant prescriptions are implemented so the resource values are maintained; To incorporate new values as they are identified, and conduct any necessary Forest Management Plan amendments in order to continuously improve resource protection; To designate harvest areas by season to maximize site protection though a review and interpretation of site conditions; To continuously evaluate forest operations for impacts on the natural environment; To protect the forest against fire, insects and disease through prevention and remedial action.

Overcoming Historical Compliance Problems To monitor forest operations on a regular basis identifying potential compliance challenges before they occur; To identify any recurring compliance challenges by identifying them as priorities and determine ways to improve compliance in these areas; and To monitor operations and determine if recurring compliance challenges exist through trend analysis. Continuous Improvement To ensure that operations are at par with or surpassing operations when compared to other Forest Management Units in regards to compliance history. To conduct compliance activities in a cost effective and efficient manner; and To ensure the best use of staff resources.

Education and Communications To develop an environment where operating personnel report instances of operational issue openly and honestly; To communicate and report (FOIP) all instances of operational issue in accordance with the timelines specified in the associated policy and procedure (Forest Compliance Handbook 2010 FOR 02 03 and FOR07 02 04); and To report issues in a timely manner to ensure that environmental protection and worker and public safety are not compromised.

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To educate and train forestry personnel, Overlapping Licensees and Contractors regarding work techniques that maximize compliance with the FMP, AWS, CFSA, Fisheries Act, Mining Act, and other provincial standards, regulations, policies and guidelines; and To ensure that all staff and workers are trained in the most environmentally-sound forest practices.

4.7.1.6 Strategies and Actions Resource Protection Strategy: To ensure that compliance activities are delivered efficiently, effectively and in a timely manner, the following actions will be carried out.

Licensee Actions: Provide information to Overlapping Licencees and their contractors to review and update them with current, new or modified prescriptions and associated values present in the AWSs and FMP. MNR will be invited when appropriate. Prepare and transfer approved FMP and AWS information including amendments and revisions Use a web site to provide current forest management information and updates to operators on the Abitibi River Forest Communicate through the Forest Management Planning process, to various partnerships, advisory committees and general public, about the identification of forest values and incorporate these in the approved FMP. Prepare a fire prevention and suppression plan as part of the Annual Work Schedule. The Licensee Holder and the Overlapping Licensees will fully cooperate with MNR in fire prevention and fire suppression activities.

Overlapping Licensees and Contractor Actions: Ensure all AOC prescription boundaries are located and marked in the field by trained personnel familiar with the FMP, AWS and various guidelines used to prepare AOC prescriptions. Ensure any new value identified in the field during operations will be identified, communicated, protected and reported to the MNR as per the Forest Information Manual (FIM) protocol.

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Ensure that operating personnel accurately document and review located boundaries within operating areas and ensure they are familiar with the location and any special conditions that may apply. Ensure that the marketability and utilization standards prescribed in the FMP are understood and followed. Ensure that the prescribed water crossing structures are installed properly and that diligent records are kept for bridges and maintenance monitoring occurs on crossings. Maximize harvest opportunities during the frost and snow season, i.e. harvest more wood on low sites in the winter and early spring months to maximize site protection. Concentrate operations during the summer months on the highest sites.

Education and Communications Strategy: To educate and train shareholder in order to maximize compliance with the FMP and CFSA and to communicate and report all instances of operational issues in a timely fashion to ensure that environmental protection and worker and public safety are not compromised, the following actions will be carried out.

Licensee Holder Actions: Information and indoctrination sessions will be held with Overlapping Licensees and contractors to review and update them with current, new or modified prescriptions and associated values present in the AWS and FMP. Overlapping Licensees and Contractors will be trained on proper compliance/inspection reporting procedures as well as proper operating procedures to ensure compliance with all government laws and regulations. Any changes in government regulations, and/or company standards will be communicated in a timely fashion to appropriate personnel. All identified instances of operational issues will be reviewed with the Licensee Holder and appropriate operating personnel, Overlapping Licensees, and MNR with the goal of continuous improvement so as to minimize its reoccurrence.

Overlapping Licensees and Contractor Actions: All identified instances of operational issues will be investigated and reviewed with the appropriate operating personnel and MNR with the goal of continuous improvement.

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Forest Operators will be trained in proper work techniques through internal training opportunities relating to specific forest management activities (i.e. water crossings, bridge inspections etc). The Ministrys most recent version of its Forest Operations Inspection Program (FOIP) on the MNR Internet website (www.forest.mnr.gov.on.ca/foip/ ) will be used for reporting all compliance and operational issues as per the annual compliance plan schedule. Personnel conducting formal reports to be submitted to the Forest Operations Information Program (FOIP) will have attended and maintained the Ministry of Natural Resources Forest Compliance Inspection certification.

Overcoming Historical Compliance Problem Strategies: To monitor forest operations on a regular basis with the intent of identifying potential compliance problems before they occur and to identify any recurring compliance problems and to implement a strategy to improve compliance in these areas, the following actions will be carried out.

Licensee Holder, Overlapping Licensees and Contractor Actions: Prior to the preparation of the annual compliance plan and the Annual Report, the Licensee Holder, MNR and possibly the Overlapping Licensees as necessary will meet to identify and discuss improvements, and recurring or newly identified compliance challenges. These recurring compliance challenges may be highlighted as priorities for the Forest Operation Information Program in the annual compliance plan with associated action plans. The Licensee, Overlapping Licensees and Contractors will conduct Forest Operations Inspections in accordance with MNR standards and the Compliance Handbook (FOR 07 03 04 and FOR 07 03 05) on all operations. Inspectors are required to submit at least one full report for each active CRA block. Required reports are determined as follows: o When each forest Harvest Compliance Reporting Area (CRA) operation is completed with no operational issue, a report will be submitted to MNR within 20 working days of the completion of the operation or activity. This will form part of a Completed Harvest FOIP report that also includes hauling activities and operational roads construction inside CRA block or the associated Operating Road Boundaries (ORB). o When each Operational Road access operation is completed with no operational issue, a report will be submitted to MNR within 20 working days of completion of the operation or activity. This will form part of a

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Completed Access FOIP report that includes all water installations and aggregate activities, however, ongoing maintenance will continue as required after the initial construction is complete and any physical removal work shall be documented in the final harvest FOIP under Operational Road activity. o When each forest Primary and Branch access operation is completed with no operational issue, a report will be submitted to MNR within 20 working days of completion of an operation or activity. This will form part of the Completed Access FOIP that includes all operations associated with the construction of any Primary or Branch roads identified within the FMP. It is understood that access reports will be filed as soon as all road construction, aggregate and/or all water crossing activity is completed in the corridor. o When each permanent water crossings installations that have watersheds greater than 50 km2 or each special interest crossings designated in AWS are installed with no operational issue, a report will be submitted to MNR within 10 working days of completion of the crossing operation. o Any time an Operational Issue has been identified Inspectors are required to submit the following notices to ARFMI for each active CRA block. The following operation types will be used when providing notification on the status of an operation and is intended to keep MNR informed of progress of operations on the forest. Required notices are as follows: o Startup of Forest Operations (harvest, access, renewal and maintenance) and submitted to ARFMI as soon as activity commences. o Startup of Water Crossing Installations - Notice of each crossing installation will be noted in weekly report as soon as activity at the crossing commences. These notices will keep interested parties informed of progress as access operations can span a significant period of time. o Completed Water Crossing - Notice of the completion of each crossing installation will be provided within 10 days and will serve as a release for the purposes of MNR auditing. Final condition status will also be reported as part of the Completed Access FOIP. o Completed Access (i.e. primary, branch, operational road boundaries) o Completed Harvest (i.e. felling and skidding, hauling) o Suspended Operations Notice provided if suspension of operations is expected to exceed 20 working days (e.g. wood harvested but left in cutover and there are no plans to skid in current year). Operators will provide reason for suspension (e.g. mill has suspended deliveries, breakup,

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no market etc) and include estimated date of restart of operations (e.g. Nov 2010 or winter 2012). No FOIP report is required on suspended area and no submission is required at fiscal year-end. Operators will have the balance of the current AWS and one further AWS period to complete operations; however, operations cannot be suspended beyond this period. In those cases where a notice is provided for the suspension of Access operations, operators will still adhere to the timeframes and conditions specified in the AWS for removal of temporary crossings. Operators will provide notice of start-up when they commence operations again and submit FOIP report when operations are completed. If time period exceeds one further AWS period, An inspection and FOIP report must be completed once the allowable suspension timeframe is reached The area will be considered as released and a Forest Industry FOIP report will be required. MNR may conduct follow-up inspections. o Released Operations - Notice provided if suspension of operations is expected to exceed: a. 10 days and new operations will start on released area such as mechanical SIP or slash pile burning. or b. 20 working days where operators wishes to release area to MNR for compliance audit (e.g. wood has been harvested and skidded to roadside but there are no plans to haul in current year) Operators will describe what is being released (e.g. block is released but excludes access road and wood at roadside). No FOIP report is required on released area as described under the suspended notice, however, the declaration means that the operational activity described for the area released is now complete and MNR is free to go in and assessed for audit purposes (e.g. checking for utilization in cutover). Operators provide notice of start-up when you commence operations again and submit FOIP report when the balance of operations is completed. FOIP will be used to record compliance inspections. This database can then be analyzed to determine compliance trends. Should recurring problems be identified, specific action plans will be developed to prevent the operational issues from reoccurring. Alternatively, where trends confirm that operations routinely have met or exceeded; monitoring and reporting requirements and audits of

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operations confirm continuous improvement in work practices, then a decrease in reporting frequency would also be considered. Either condition could result in revisions to the Annual Compliance Schedule. For any operational issues that occur, a review will be undertaken to assist in improvements to the forestry operations and to decrease the chances of reoccurrence.

Continuous Improvement Strategies: To develop an action plan designed to remedy recurring operational issues and complete all requirements of compliance activities in a cost effective manner, while ensuring the cooperation and therefore the best use of ARFMI, Shareholder Company and Ministry staff, the following actions will be carried out.

Licensee Holder Actions: At a minimum, a biannual meeting between joint ARFMI Compliance Working Group made up of a representative of the industry (Operations Program Manager) and each of the associated MNR district (Forestry Technical Specialist) will occur to discuss compliance, operations and planning. Overlapping Licensees and contractors may also be asked to participate in these round table meetings. Operational issues will be reviewed with the appropriate operating personnel and assessed for trends by the Licensee Holder representatives with the goal of continuous improvement. Information sessions will be held regularly with the Overlapping Licensees and contractors to review the AWS, operating standards and their compliance roles and responsibilities and provides opportunity to train or refresh inspectors on requirements associated with recurring problems. The preparation of the annual compliance schedule by ARFMI for the upcoming year will allow Ministry staff to prepare their individual district compliance plans and audit schedules.

Overlapping Licensees and Contractor Actions: Overlapping Licensees and Contractors inspections and monitoring will be performed on operations as part of their daily tasks. Staff will monitor, make aware, communicate, report and train personnel on the importance of the forest compliance program on the Abitibi River Forest.

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All instances where potential operational issues have occurred will be reported to MNR by the Overlapping Licensee by means of FOIP. Through the use of efficient communication between Licensee Holder staff, Overlapping Licensees and Contractors will increase the efficiency of operations in terms of compliance. Joint MNR/ Licensee/ Overlapping Licensee field meetings will be conducted to assist in the calibration of new and existing plan prescriptions as required. The use of joint inspections between industry and MNR inspectors when and where appropriate will improve communication, reduce conflicts, and facilitate a better understanding of local operating conditions. The use of the Ministrys Internet website and analysis system (FOIP) will reduce the administration associated with compliance monitoring.

4.7.1.7 Roles and Responsibilities There are a number of specific functions related to the preparation and implementation of the compliance strategy. Currently there are no proposed overlapping Licensees with compliance responsibilities under an Enhanced Compliance Arrangement (ECA) but may be reviewed during implementation of FMP. The Licensee has considered the following in the delivery of the forest compliance program to ensure that forest compliance monitoring is delivered in an effective and efficient manner. The following are the roles and responsibilities for those functions:

1. Compliance Strategy The ARFMI will take the lead role in preparing the compliance strategy. The MNR will also provide advice and information to the ARFMI as required as part of the Abitibi River Forest Compliance Working Group. 2. Company Inspector - Forest industry employee/worker who has attended and successfully completed an approved forest operations compliance inspection training and certification course and all requirements for maintaining certification. Based on the compliance history and self-monitoring experience of each shareholder company a combination of the following six (6) alternatives may be employed: a. Compliance inspections for harvest and access will be carried out by an employee of the Overlapping Licensee (i.e. dedicated position/experienced

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foreman) who currently is responsible for the operations of the designated block. This individual will be qualified to Ministry compliance standards. b. Compliance inspections by a Contract Forest Inspector. This individual shall be qualified to Ministry compliance standards and must be certified. c. Other Contractor Personnel such as harvest foremen for the third party contractors on the individual Shareholders operations which will be involved in daily operations monitoring and take part in some inspections and reporting. This individual will be qualified to Ministry compliance standards. d. Periodic spot checks and advice will be provided by Sustainable Forest Licensee holder representative to ensure a consistent approach between Overlapping Licensees. e. A Sustainable Forest Licensee holder representative will carry out compliance inspections for all renewal and maintenance activities. f. Sign-off Responsibility on Inspection Reports The Overlapping Licensee or Contractor supervisor in charge of each operation will be responsible for their compliance functions. Ultimately the sign-off on FOIP Inspection Reports will be by a representative of the Sustainable Forest Licensee holder. These FOIP reports will be approved by the Licensee Holder as required by MNR for operations conducted by Overlapping Licensees who do not have the approval to submit directly to the FOIP system. The approval is based on the information provided by the Overlapping Licensees Certified Inspector. The Licensee Holder has not necessarily audited this specific report in the field and is relying on the professionalism and ethics of the Overlapping Licensees Certified Inspector to conduct the inspection and report in an accurate and unbiased manner. 3. Responsibility for Prevention, Monitoring and Reporting The SFLs responsibility for these compliance functions will be delivered through the Overlapping Licensees and Contractor supervisor in charge of each operation or activity. 4. Responsibility for ensuring preventative and/or mitigative action and follow-up Operational Issues are generated by the Company inspectors within FOIP reports. Certified inspectors may direct immediate preventative action where warranted. Where additional corrective action is required, it will be assigned by the Sustainable Forest Licensee. Overlapping Licensees and Contractor representatives responsible for the operation or activity will undertake the

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corrective action. The operational issue will be tracked by the Licensee Representative until resolved. The Overlapping Licensee will conduct follow-ups. 5. A representative of the Sustainable Forest Licensee holder will lead compliance matters. 6. Responsibility for Training Training will be conducted by a variety of Licensee Representative, Shareholder Company and outside personnel to address specific circumstances

Abitibi River Forest Management Inc. will ensure the implementation of the compliance strategy. Any changes to the roles and responsibilities occurring on a year to year basis will be communicated to the lead District, if required. Forest Management activities carried out by third party operators on the Abitibi River Forest will be subject to the same objectives and strategies as those of the Abitibi River Forest Management Inc.

4.7.1.8 Notification of the Status of an Operation A status report of forest operations will be prepared and used by ARFMI to document operations. A summary of this report will be sent weekly (i.e. normally Friday) via email to the Cochrane District Forest Compliance Contact, and will be designed to meet the requirement to notify. Notices must be submitted by Overlapping Licencees to ARFMI as soon as activity commences and/or is completed. Notices are considered reports and can be used by MNR to conduct verification inspections. (i.e. when considered as a release). Once advised by the shareholder representative the notice is tracked by ARFMI. Required notices for each CRA are as follows:

a. At start-up of each CRA (i.e. harvest, access, renewal and maintenance, and protection operations) b. At the start-up of each individual water crossing. c. When each water crossing is completed and, d. When each forest operation (i.e. specific CRA block) is completed and, e. When each forest operation (i.e. specific CRA block) is suspended and, f. When each forest operation (i.e. specific CRA block) is released and, g. At any other time as specified in or directed by the forest management plan.

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These notices will also serve as the requirement to advise MNR when harvest operations are completed sufficiently to be released for inspection prior to the commencement of a renewal operation (Release Notice).

4.7.1.9 Prevention, Avoidance and Mitigation Emphasis will be on prevention of undesirable activities or occurrences and mitigation of any loss or damage. The root cause of an undesirable activity or event will be determined and appropriate action prescribed. Action will be consistent with the potential for nonconformance to legislation and the ability to adapt so that operational issues do not become a recurring problem. This positive action will be delivered by forest industry staff and will focus on learning and adapting.

The Ministry of Natural Resources will verify the identified Operational Issue, while ensuring that action occurs will be the responsibility of the Licensee. . MNR may then determine and assign Corrective Action as appropriate. In instances where the Industry inspector determines a situation to be clearly non-compliant, the direction will be that work will stop on that part of the operation and the inspector will submit a report of an Operational Issue. In the event that any operating personnel identify possible operational issue during ongoing monitoring of operations, the person will undertake one of the following actions to meet legislative requirements: a. In the event that the operational issue is in violation of an approved plan or a threat to the environment, the person will immediately stop the activity and take the necessary steps to stop further operational issues. The occurrence will be immediately reported to the Operations Program Manager who will conduct a formal compliance inspection with the foreman of the operation. MNR and MOE (as required) will be notified within 24 hours of the incident; b. In the event that the operational issue is not in violation of an approved plan or a threat to the environment the member company and foreman will take the necessary preventive action to remedy the operational issues and report to the Operations Program Manager. c. Prior to conducting any remedial action within areas of concern, water bodies, water crossings etc., the MNR will be contacted for advice, assistance and approval of remedial action.

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In all cases the Operational Issues function, which forms part of the FOIP report system, will document decisions related to the remedial plans and subsequent work related to the occurrence.

4.7.1.10 Compliance Reporting Area(s) Compliance Reporting Area(s) (CRA) are areas of land described for the purposes of forest compliance reporting and for which a forest operations compliance inspection report will be submitted. a. Harvest: CRAs will be identified according to the block numbers as identified on Areas Selected for Operations Maps available on the Abitibi River Forest Management Inc. website. In all areas where proposed harvest blocks exceed 500 hectares, these blocks will be broken down into CRAs of less than 500 hectares. Each CRA will be reported on separately in FOIP. b. Access: CRAs will be identified according primary road names or branch numbers identified on Areas Selected for Operations Maps available on the Abitibi River Forest Management Inc. website. Operational Road CRAs will correspond with ORB associated with the Harvest block CRAs. c. Silviculture: Renewal and maintenance will be reported at the completion of the activity (e.g. site preparation, tree plant etc). A final inspection report for the entire program will be entered into FOIP within 20 working days of the completion of the last site.

4.7.1.11 Monitoring Compliance of Forest Operations The responsibility for the monitoring and prevention of operational issues on forest operations will remain with a representative of the Overlapping Licensee and/or field staff of the Contractor companies. These functions will be carried out as part of their regular duties.

The Annual Work Schedule provides inspectors on each forest operation with information on known values, operating prescriptions and expected inspections.

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The onsite supervisors, for whom the activity is to be undertaken, will carry out regular monitoring of operations as set out in internal policies and procedures. Overlapping Licensees will continue to make operators aware of sensitive issues or concerns (e.g. eagle nest, timing restrictions) prior to the commencement of operations. Where Overlapping Licensees have established a proven compliance record for forest operations, alternative methods of inspections (e.g. remote sensing versus ground inspections) will be pursued in each year, in order to improve cost effectiveness and efficiencies.

Sign off responsibilities for Operational Issue Reports is the responsibility of the Sustainable Forest Licensee representative. The Sustainable Forest Licensee will assign follow-up actions and remedial work related to Operational Issues or non-complaint occurrences to the Overlapping Licensees.

4.7.2 Exceptions There are no exceptions planned for the 10-year Abitibi River Forest Management Plan.

4.7.3 Assessment of Regeneration Success

A summary of the area, which will be assessed for the determination of free-growing achievement by forest unit, has been provided in Table FMP-21 shown below and available in Section 9.0. ARFMI schedules an assessment on all areas that were currently regenerated (either naturally or artificially) a minimum of five years after harvest operations are completed. A total of 118,718 ha are forecast for assessment during the ten-year period. The forecast is an estimation of the area to be assessed by the forest unit based on the following criteria; All areas currently treated and scheduled to be assessed within the course of plan implementation (actual) All areas remaining in the previous FMP that will be treated and eligible (forecast) All areas scheduled to be harvested during plan implementation and expected to be eligible to be assessed within the course of plan implementation (forecast)

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This forecast also includes the assessment of natural disturbance areas originating from various such as recent infestations, blowdown and/or fire events.

Effectiveness monitoring is used to determine if management activities are producing the expected results. Effectiveness monitoring enables the forester to determine whether the current forest units are being changed to the desired forest units in the proportion described in the FMP. It also permits the forest managers to examine whether certain treatments are meeting expectations and, if they are not, to investigate why they were not successful as expected and make appropriate modifications in the future.

Regeneration will be considered a silvicultural success when all the standards contained in the SGR applied to that stand have been met. A developing stand will be assessed as a regeneration success when regeneration meets all standards of an SGR other than the one originally associated with that stand. If standards are not met, and the treatments are deemed to be a failure, the forest manager will determine whether re-treatment is required.

Section 6.1.5 of the Supplementary Documentation includes a detailed monitoring plan for assessment of regeneration success. It includes the overall program objectives, the methodologies used for assessment, a description of the timing and duration of assessments, documentation and reporting requirements and LCC roles and opportunities with the silvicultural effectiveness monitoring program. A silvicultural exception monitoring program is not required for this FMP, as none of the proposed silvicultural treatments are exceptions to the recommendations identified in the silvicultural guides. 4.7.4 Roads and Water Crossings

The roads and water crossings associated with each road or road network that is the responsibility of the Licensee will be monitored consistent with the conditions described in Module 6 of the Implementation Toolkit available in Section 6.2.1 of the Supplementary Documentation to ensure no environmental and/or safety risks are present at the time. Detailed description on the method used to inspect the physical condition of roads and water crossings to determine if there are environmental or public safety concerns is also available in Module 6.

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4.8. Fire Prevention and Preparedness

Module 16 of the Implementation Toolkit in Section 6.1.3 of the Supplementary Documentation includes the Abitibi River Forest Fire Prevention and Preparedness Measures. These measures are to be implemented by the shareholders of the Abitibi River Forest Alliance Inc. for the ten-year period. They describe how the SFL intends on preventing the start of wildfires, and how forest workers will be prepared to take immediate action to suppress small fires. The measures also include details business practices and guidelines for modifying industrial operations; developed for fire prevention, preparedness and suppression purposes. Described in the Fire Prevention and Preparedness Measures is; a. a description of communication plans, equipment standards and inspections, monitoring compliance and how prevention efforts will increase during periods of high fire danger; b. a description of how forest workers will be made aware of fire prevention plans and initiatives; c. a description of how forest workers will be trained to take part in fire suppression

4.8.1. Promoting Fire Prevention and Fire Prevention Efforts during Periods of High Fire Danger on the Abitibi River Forest

4.8.1.1. Promoting Fire Prevention on the Abitibi River Forest

The Fire Prevention and Preparedness Measures will be governed by the general principles outlined in the AFFES Policy FM 2.15, Forest Operations by Forest Industry Business Practices. This protocol has been developed with the understanding that the Forest Industry is a partner in forest fire management with a vested interest in fire prevention and effective fire suppression. The ARFMI will work closely with the Ministry of Natural Resources and its member shareholder companies to facilitate a comprehensive and effective Forest Fire Prevention and Preparedness Plan. Shareholders will be encouraged to continue building upon their existing fire prevention measures to minimize risks and increase efficiencies. A comprehensive fire plan including the minimum standards for fire equipment and 25% trained personnel will enable member

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shareholder companies to modify their harvesting operations during times of high to extreme fire danger ratings. Training opportunities will be offered on a regular basis. Equipment and trained personnel lists will be maintained by ARFMI and provided as required.

Fire Prevention Rules and Regulations for forest operators on the Abitibi River Forest have been prepared and will be available to forest workers as part of the Implementation Toolkit in Module 16 in Section 6.1.3 of the Supplementary Documentation. These rules and regulations will be in place during the fire season.

4.8.1.2. Communication

MNR is notified of completion through submission of the weekly status report prepared as part of the Annual Compliance Plan requirements. ARFMI provides fire staff with access to maps that can be utilized in the event of a wildfire. These maps are posted on the Abitibi River Forest website at www.abiriv.com and include details that would support overall protection of the resources in a fire situation. Insets provided on the map include; field ready GPS maps with grid overlay, harvest block size and available water sources locations, proposed road locations, stand listing with estimated volumes by species, closest primary road location in relation to the block, known values requiring additional protection and/or consideration and a relief map of area indicating terrain in and around the block. This web-based information is part of the SFLs response to providing other resources users and partners on the Abitibi River Forest with operations information.

An updated list of emergency contacts for fire hazard reporting is also developed and submitted to Fire Management prior to the commencement of each fire season as part of the Annual Work Schedule submission. In addition, shareholders are capable of communicating in the field with 2-way FM frequency radios, usually monitoring the Common Logging Radio Channel. Further to this capability, cellular phones cover a large portion of our SFL land base. Many contractors also now provide satellite phones to front line supervisors when operations take place in remote locations.

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4.8.1.3. Equipment Standards

As a minimum Shareholders will maintain the required suppression equipment required by operations as specified in Table 1 of the Modifying Industrial Operations Protocol. Vehicles normally licensed for highway travel are not considered heavy equipment (e.g. pickup, haul or gravel trucks) when determining the required suppression equipment on the operation.

4.8.1.4. Inspections

Shareholder operators will remain responsible for routinely assessing the fire hazard situation on each site as operations progress, contacting Kirkland Lake or Timmins Fire Indices Hotline for Fire Intensity Codes, determining level of response to fire hazard and notifying ARFMI of fire status of operations for each harvest block on Areas Selected for Operations maps. Contractor fire-ready capabilities continue to improve over time. Although the reporting arrangements may adjust to meet an ever-changing business environment, both Shareholder and primary forestry contractor capabilities related to the forest fire prevention and preparedness are updated and provided as required during the term of the plan.

ARFMI silvicultural operations are generally deemed as low risk. Similarly, ARFMI contractors are responsible for assessing fire hazard situation on each site, contacting the Hotline for Fire Intensity Codes, determining level of response to fire hazard and notifying company of current operating conditions.

Companies will ensure sufficient staff and equipment is available on site for each particular harvest block in order to meet or exceed limits specified in the Modifying Industrial Operations Protocol. Certified inspectors will ensure that Forest Operations Inspection Program (FOIP) reports are used to document the final compliance status of fire prevention and preparedness on operations during the fire season.

4.8.1.5. Monitoring Compliance with the Forest Fires Prevention Act

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Refer to the Implementation Toolkit in Module 16 for the Fire Prevention Rules and Regulations for forest operators on the Abitibi River Forest. These rules and regulations will be in place during the fire season with operational modifications made as specified in the Modifying Industrial Operations Protocol which details operating and patrol requirements in response to site and equipment risk as well as fire intensity. Companies will ensure that forest operations adhered to fire prevention measures as part of conditions on normal operations; Training to determine operational risk and fire danger under the Modifying Industrial Operations Protocol will be carried out periodically to ensure forest worker competency in the use of decision tables provided. In addition, the ARFMI and its shareholder company employees may patrol work areas on weekends. If tourists are encountered they will be advised of the extremely hazardous conditions. Refer to Module 16 of the Implementation Toolkit for fire suppression measures to be carried out by the shareholders and their contractors. In the event of High Fire Hazards Shareholders will ensure that operators are aware of rising hazards and remind them to check that all fire suppression equipment is in working order and on site. Once the Fire Hazard has reached the high hazard designation then additional precautions will be put in place consistent with the Modifying Industrial Operations Protocol. During high hazard each shareholder company will be required to patrol the work area after all workers have left the site. In the event of Extreme Fire Hazards each shareholder company will be required to patrol the work area for at least one (1) hour after all workers have left the site. In addition, the ARFMI and its shareholder company employees may patrol work areas on weekends. If tourists are encountered they will be advised of the extremely hazardous conditions. Fire suppression measures to be carried out by the shareholders and their contractors are detailed in Module 16 of the ARFMI Implementation Toolkit.

4.8.1.6. Fire Prevention Efforts during Periods of High Fire Danger

During periods of high fire danger all operations on the Abitibi River Forest will follow the Modifying Industrial Operations Protocol. These guidelines allow for forest operators to become trained and capable with respect to fire suppression. With this

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designation an operator can continue to operate under slightly higher fire danger conditions.

The ARFMI will be the primary contact for the MNR and its member shareholder companies. All situations and inquiries will be handled out of the ARFMI office in Englehart, ON. In the event of a fire or a high fire danger rating the ARFMI will facilitate these conditions between the MNR and its member shareholder companies as required to ensure an effective safety and response package. During preparation of the AWS a list of ARFMI and Shareholder primary contacts for all the member shareholder companies will be provided.

4.8.2. Forest Workers Awareness of Fire Prevention Plans and Initiatives

The AWS will indicate which companies have sufficient staff and fire suppression equipment available to be deemed Trained and Capable as well as provide an itemized list of fire suppression equipment that will be available and maintained on areas where operations are occurring. As well, Module 16 of the Implementation Toolkit provides specific direction to forest workers on the fire prevention rules and regulations for operations on the Abitibi River Forest. These conditions and procedures will be posted on the Abitibi River Forest website www.abiriv.com and will include details that will support overall protection of the resources in a fire situation.

4.8.2.1. Forest Workers Fire Suppression Training Initiatives

ARFMI shareholders are encouraged prior to commencement of operations to train their contractors according to MNR forest fire, prevention and suppression policies. During periods of high fire danger all operations on the Abitibi River Forest will follow the Modifying Industrial Operations Protocol. In order to be certified as trained and capable, at least 25% of the workers on a particular site must have completed the MNR SP-102 training course. ARFMI currently holds a training agreement with the MNR to provide for the initial SP102 Firefighting Training for Forest Workers. The ARFMI will recognize staff trained at the SP-102 level for three (3) seasons following the point at which the course was taken. Re-certification of the forest industry employee competency

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will be carried out every three years. Additionally, ARFMI has participated in the train-the-trainer session related to implementation of the decision keys related to the Modifying Industrial Operations Protocol. The SFL has actively delivered training to forest workers on determination of operational risk and fire danger and will continue on an as needed basis over the term of the FMP.

4.9. Comparison of Proposed Operations to the Long-Term Management Direction

The following is a description of the projected effect of proposed harvest, renewal and tending operations on the achievement of progress towards the Long-Term Management Direction (LTMD). Reference should be made to Table FMP-13 and Section 3.6.3 for a complete assessment of FMP objective and desired level achievement. This assessment compares the planned harvest operations detailed in Table FMP-11, renewal and tending operations detailed in Table FMP-17, the stand conditions of the planned harvest areas to the eligible harvest areas and examines the effect of the age-class distribution and the projected harvest volume of the planned harvest area on the achievement of the Long-Term Management Direction. Infeasibilities A total of 27.52 ha of infeasible solutions did not achieve the planned harvest operations, and an additional 308.1 ha (approximate) did not achieve the planned harvest operations inoperable classes. The infeasibilities are described in section 8.3 of the Analysis Package (Supplementary Documentation Section 6.1). The main source of infeasibility solutions originated from application of the DCHS mosaic areas in the North SMZ, but other reasons for the substitution include attempting to improve the overall spatial distribution of harvest blocks. Only one infeasible solution was recorded in the South SMZ for a total of 0.077 ha. This is not considered to have any significance. All other infeasible solutions were in the North SMZ. The results of the planned operations (1.3.9) scenario in comparison to the LTMD are described below as well as in section 8.3 of the Analysis Package (Supplementary Documentation Section 6.1). All objective indicator results from the planned operations

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(1.3.9) scenario, which were reviewed during the development of the LTMD, are shown to be trending very closely to the approved LTMD, concluding that the overall planned operations would yield similar desirable and target levels than those planned for the majority of the objectives. Annual Harvest Area Figures 123 and 124 provide a comparison of the available harvest area between the proposed operations and the LTMD for both the North and South SMZs. The following graphs indicate that the proposed operations closely mimic that of the long term management direction. There are subtle differences throughout the planning horizon but all are within expected levels. Throughout the allocation process the planning team attempted to select harvest area that followed the age class, forest unit and submanagement unit that was indicated in the LTMD. In the North SMZ age class substitution occurred primarily due to trying to minimize the amount of fragmentation occurring within the DCHS. The objective during the allocation process was to create large contiguous harvest areas, and in doing this, there were stands selected that fell below the recommended SFMM age classes. Within the Z blocks and the South the amount of age class substitution was higher, primarily due to the extensive harvesting history (100+ years) and the high concentrations of infrastructure and private land, which has resulted in a highly fragmented landscape. Within these areas the objective was to move towards reducing fragmentation while having operations remain economically viable. While there was some age class substitution that had taken place, as described in section 3.6.2.1, the following assessment indicates that age class substitution had a minimal influence on AHA levels in the future. The assessment of the available harvest area for the proposed operations indicates achievement of the LTMD and progress towards the desired future forest conditions. Figure 123 indicates a lower AHA level in Term 1 when comparing the proposed operations to the LTMD. This resulted in reallocating 6,952.9 ha of area in the North SMZ that was allocated in the previous FMP (2010-2012 CFMP) but was not harvested prior to plan completion. The forecasted harvest areas are described in section 4.3.1. This area was preferred for harvest during the exercise that the planning team undertook in order to reduce the level of age class substitution. It was preferred as the public has already viewed and commented on the area during the development of the 2010 CFMP, and it was subsequently illustrated to the public as depleted during the development of the 2012-2022 FMP. As such, the planning team felt that these areas would be noncontentious.

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Figure 123. Comparison of annual harvest areas between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red) for the North SMZ.

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Figure 124. Comparison of annual harvest areas between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red) for the South SMZ.

Harvest Volumes

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Figur 125 throu to 130 portray a com res ugh p mparison of t projected volumes in the the d n Propo osed Operati ions scenario results (in red) to that o the LTMD scenario (in blue) o of D which include adj h djustments to include the volumes fro the forec o om casted areas. These volum only aff mes fected the ach hievement le evels in the N North SMZ. With the ad djustments made to the volum from the forecast de e mes e epleted areas being reallocated by sp s pecies group p, the va ariation betw ween planned and actual volumes is within 11% of the LTM d MD projections, whic would be considered well within t acceptab level. Th forecasted ch w the ble he d volum are furth described in section 4.3.6. There are slightly lower volu mes her d 4 e y umes in the plann operation compared to projected volumes in the LTMD for T1 for a species ned ns d d n D all group With the exception of the hardwo in the N ps. ood North SMZ, th overall tr he rending tende ency of plann operatio volumes over the nex 140 years is consisten with that o ned ons xt nt of the LTMD. Ther is wider variation with overall har L re h rdwood volu umes compar to the red LTM in the late stages of the planning horizon. Th is not con MD er t his nsidered to h have any signif ficance in meeting the desirable futu forest con m ure ndition as it is trending i a similar in fashio to the LT on TMD.

17 20 21 22 21 e vement of ann nualized spruce/pine/fir (S SPF) species g group volume (m3) through e h Figure 125. Achiev propo osed operation compared to the long-term managem ns t ment direction in the North and South s. SMZ

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2 4 5 5 e vement of ann nualized Popl (Po) specie group volu (m3) thro lar es ume ough propose ed Figure 126. Achiev operations compared to the long g-term manag gement directi in the Nor and South SMZs. ion rth h

6 9 10 11 10 Figure 127. Achiev e vement of ann nualized White Birch (BW species gro volume (m through W) oup m3) propo osed operation compared to the long-term managem ns t ment direction in the North and South SMZ s.

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2 4 5 5 e vement of tota annualized conifer volum (m3) thro al d me ough proposed operations d Figure 128. Achiev compared to long-t term managem direction in the North and South S ment n h SMZs.

6 8 9 9 e vement of tota annualized hardwood vo al d olume (m3) th hrough propo osed operation ns Figure 129. Achiev compared to long-t term managem direction in the North and South S ment n h SMZs.

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2 4 5 5 6 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Figure 130. Achiev e vement of tota annualized volume (m3) through pro al d ) oposed operati ions compare ed to lon ng-term manag gement direct tion in the No and South SMZs. orth h

Fores Unit Comp st position The area of fores units over time is one of importa a st r e ance in achie eving movem ment toward ds the management objectives of the LTM m MD. Figure 131 throu 144 dem es ugh monstrate th he achie evement leve in compa els arison to the LTMD for e each of the f forest units p present on th he mana agement unit Again, th t. here is no si ignificant va ariation betw ween the LT TMD and th he propo osed operati ions scenario, confirming that th proposed harvest allocations ar he re consi istent with the planning teams expe t g ected outcom of the f me future forest condition a t as descr ribed in the LTMD. Fig gure 140 co onfirms that the propose operation support th ed ns he objec ctive to main ntain the pres sence of whi and red p ite pine on the m management unit.

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Figure 131. Comparison of All Area for the BOG forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red).

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Figure 132. Comparison of All Area for the BW1 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red).

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Figure 133. Comparison of All Area for the LC1 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red).

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Figure 134. Comparison of All Area for the MWD forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red).

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Figure 135. Comparison of All Area for the OH1 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red).

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Figure 136. Comparison of All Area for the PJ1 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red).

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Figure 137. Comparison of All Area for the PJ2 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red).

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Figure 138. Comparison of All Area for the PO1 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red).

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Figure 139. Comparison of All Area for the PO3 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red).

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Figure 140. Comparison of All Area for the PRW forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red).

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Figure 141. Comparison of All Area for the SB1 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red).

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Figure 142. Comparison of All Area for the SB3 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red).

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Figure 143. Comparison of All Area for the SF1 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red).

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Figure 144. Comparison of All Area for the SP1 forest unit between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red).

Tables 17 through 20 provide a comparison of the weighted average stand conditions for species composition, age, stocking and site class between the proposed allocations and

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Table 17. Comparison of the weighted average species composition between the proposed allocations and total eligible area.

the total eligible area. A comparison of the species composition indicates that the proposed allocations selected for the 10 year period are consistent with the average conditions of the eligible area. While there are subtle differences amongst the forest unit species compositions, overall the species compositions are consistent.

Forest Unit BW1 LC1 MWD PJ1 PJ2 PO1 PO3 SB1 SB3 SF1 SP1
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Proposed Allocations Species Composition Bw55Po21Sb7Sw6Pb6Bf4Pj1 La37Sb37Ce19Bf4Sw1Po1Bw1 Po33Sb22Bw17Bf15Sw10Pj2Ce1 Pj83Sb11Po3Sw1Bw1Bf1 Pj54Sb31Po8Bw5Bf2 Po79Sb7Bf5Bw5Sw3Pj1 Po71Bw10Sb7Bf6Sw4Pj2 Sb92La4Ce2Bf1Po1 Sb96La4 Sb35Bf28Sw14Po10Bw7Ce3La2Pj1 Sb82Po7Pj4Bf3Bw2Sw1La1

Forest Unit BW1 LC1 MWD PJ1 PJ2 PO1 PO3 SB1 SB3 SF1 SP1

Eligible Species Composition Bw56Po19Bf7Sb7Pb5Sw4Pj2 La38Sb31Ce25Bf4Po1Bw1 Po35Sb20Bf16Bw16Sw9Pj3Ce1 Pj83Sb13Po3Bw1 Pj55Sb32Po8Bw3Bf2 Po76Bw7Sb6Bf6Sw4Pj1 Po73Sb9Bw8Bf6Sw3Pj1 Sb92La4Bf2Ce1Po1 Sb94La4Bf2 Sb37Bf29Sw12Po9Bw7Ce3La2Pj1 Sb78Po7Pj5Bf5Bw2Sw1La1

Table 18 provides a comparison of the weighted average ages by forest unit between the proposed allocations and the eligible area. Similar to the species composition assessment, the average condition for the proposed allocations is consistent with the average condition in the eligible areas. The forest unit with the largest difference was LC1 which was one of the more difficult forest units to allocate, which resulted in an increased amount of age class substitution of younger stands. The comparison of the weighted average stand age for LC1 is consistent with age class substitution. The analysis of the weight average age indicates that the proposed allocations are of a consistent structure to that of the eligible area.

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1 2 Table 18. Comparison of the weighted average age between the proposed allocations and total eligible area.

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Proposed Allocations Forest Unit Age BW1 89 LC1 101 MWD 95 PJ1 91 PJ2 87 PO1 87 PO3 87 SB1 115 SB3 125 SF1 90 SP1 103

Eligible Forest Unit BW1 LC1 MWD PJ1 PJ2 PO1 PO3 SB1 SB3 SF1 SP1 Age 82 111 89 84 87 80 82 110 134 91 97

Table 19 provides a comparison of the weighted average stocking between the proposed allocations and the eligible area and indicates that the average stocking is consistent with each forest unit. Similar to weighted average age described above, LC1 has the largest difference in stocking (0.9 lower than the eligible area) indicating that the stands allocated were lower stocked that those in the eligibility layer. The result of allocating lower quality stands could be a potential impact of wood supply but given the small area associated with this forest unit there appears to be minimal impact of volume.

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1 2 Table 19. Comparison of the weighted average stocking between the proposed allocations and total eligible area.

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Proposed Allocations Forest Unit Stocking BW1 0.86 LC1 0.61 MWD 0.71 PJ1 0.90 PJ2 0.89 PO1 0.87 PO3 0.86 SB1 0.72 SB3 0.77 SF1 0.67 SP1 0.80

Eligible Forest Unit BW1 LC1 MWD PJ1 PJ2 PO1 PO3 SB1 SB3 SF1 SP1 Stocking 0.85 0.70 0.73 0.91 0.87 0.84 0.86 0.71 0.72 0.70 0.79

Table 20 provides a comparison of the weighted average site class between the proposed operations and the eligible area. As indicated in the table below, the site classes of the proposed operations are consistent with that of the eligible area.
Table 20. Comparison of the weighted average site class between the proposed allocations and total eligible area.

10

Proposed Allocations Forest Unit Site Class BW1 2.4 LC1 1.9 MWD 1.9 PJ1 2.0 PJ2 2.1 PO1 1.9 PO3 3.0 SB1 1.8 SB3 2.7 SF1 1.2 SP1 1.4

Eligible Forest Unit BW1 LC1 MWD PJ1 PJ2 PO1 PO3 SB1 SB3 SF1 SP1 Site Class 2.4 2.2 2.0 2.0 2.2 1.9 3.0 1.8 2.6 1.2 1.4

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When comparing the average stand conditions by forest unit between the proposed allocations and the eligible area, it is clear that that two are consistent. This exercise ensures that the allocations arent composed of higher quality, high stocked and better site classes than those of the eligible area. It also ensures that stands are not selected based on the composition of more favourable tree species (ie higher proportions of SPF). This assessment is additionally confirmed by the assessment of volume (figures 3 to 8) and the fact that volumes are consistent between the proposed operations and the LTMD. This assessment of average stand condition confirms that the forest is moving towards the desired future forest condition that is consistent with the LTMD. Wildlife Habitat of the Selected and Featured Species Figures 145 through 162 illustrate the comparison of proposed operations to the LTMD for both the North SMZ and South SMZ for preferred wildlife habitat. As shown in Figure 152, the moose browse for the North SMZ is slightly lower for T3 and T4 by 1% and 6%, respectively as compared to the NBS. Similar trends are seen in the South SMZ in figure 160. This is not considered to have any significance especially given that the overall trend is very consistent with the LTMD. There are other similar but insignificant differences with the other objective indicators, but all trend very closely to the LTMD over the entire planning horizon. None are considered to be significant. A comparison of the proposed operations to the LTMD for the remaining objectives is included in section 8.3

North

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Figure 145. Comparison of area of the projected Caribou Mature Conifer habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

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Figure 146. Comparison of area of the projected Caribou Winter Suitable habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

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Figure 147. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Black-backed Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

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Figure 148. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Black Bear Foraging habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

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Figure 149. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Lynx Denning habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

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Figure 150. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Ruffed Grouse habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

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Figure 151. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Marten habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

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Figure 152. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Moose Browse habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

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Figure 153. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Moose Winter habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

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Figure 154. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

South

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1 2 3 4 Figure 155. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

5 6 7 8 Figure 156. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

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1 2 3 4 Figure 157. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

5 6 7 Figure 158. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

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2 3 4 Figure 159. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

5 6 7 Figure 160. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

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2 3 4 5 Figure 161. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Figure 162. Comparison of area of the projected preferred Pileated Woodpecker habitat between the LTMD and Proposed Operations (139 Results).

Renewal and Tending Table FMP-17 outlines the planned renewal and tending program for the ten-year period, and Section 4.4 details the planned renewal and tending program for the first five-year term of the FMP. Figures 163 and 164 compare the expected revenues and expenditures between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red) scenarios. Table 21 compares the renewal intensities by forest unit between the LTMD and Proposed Operations scenario results. There are no significant variations in the achievement of renewal intensities between the LTMD projections and the proposed operations scenario when comparing Table 22 and 23 except when looking at SB1 and SB3. The differences between SB1 and SB3 can be attributed to the allocation strategy of harvesting SB1/SB3 interchangeably in the North SMZ and these renewal areas should be combined for comparison purposes. Supporting these results is the expected revenues and expenditures between the LTMD and proposed operation scenarios shown in Figures 67 and 68, respectively. There are differences when comparing proposed operations to the LTMD in Term 1 for both revenues and expenditures and this can be attributed to the forecast area not being included in the 139 analysis. It can be assumed that this area would be apportioned amongst the renewal program as well as within the expenditures and revenues. A comparison of the overall renewal program between the LTMD and the proposed operations scenario demonstrates

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little differences in renewal program and therefore confirms that the proposed operations are consistent with the objectives set out in the achievement of the desired future forest condition.
Table 21. Projections of the Renewal Program (in hectares) for the LTMD
Forest Unit BOG BW1 LC1 MWD OH1 PJ1 PJ2 PO1 PO3 PRW SB1 SB3 SF1 SP1 Total Total 0 160 305 1286 0 641 196 1459 465 0 4644 543 1914 2064 13677 Prsnt 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Exten 0 50 19 824 0 217 122 1459 465 0 3881 543 641 1236 9457 Basc1 0 0 287 138 0 96 29 0 0 0 67 0 0 103 720 Intn1 0 109 0 324 0 128 44 0 0 0 697 0 1272 593 3167 Elit1 0 0 0 0 0 200 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 132 333

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Table 22. Projections of the Renewal Program (in hectares) for the Proposed Operations
Forest Unit BOG BW1 LC1 MWD OH1 PJ1 PJ2 PO1 PO3 PRW SB1 SB3 SF1 SP1 Total Total 0 145 286 1193 0 609 190 1435 434 0 3574 1192 1796 1891 12744 Prsnt 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Exten 0 43 19 748 0 211 148 1435 434 0 2971 1192 585 1261 9047 Basc1 0 0 267 195 0 91 29 0 0 0 66 0 0 95 743 Intn1 0 102 0 251 0 107 13 0 0 0 536 0 1211 403 2623 Elit1 0 0 0 0 0 199 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 132 331

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1 2 Table 23. Comparison of the Overall Renewal Program (in hectares) between the LTMD and the Proposed Operations
Total ha/yr 13677 12744 Prsnt 0% 0% Exten 69% 71% Basc1 5% 6% Intn1 23% 21% Elit1 2% 3%

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LTMD Proposed Operations

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Figure 163. Comparison of Revenues between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red)

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Figure 42: Comparison of Expenditures between the LTMD (blue) and Proposed Operations (red)

Surplus Harvest Area There is no harvest area identified as surplus and as such there will be no impact on the achievement of the long-term management direction. The planned operations (1.3.9 scenario plus allocated forecast depletion) volume and area results combined with the overall achievement levels of non-timber objectives which were both consistent with the LTMD, concludes that the allocation strategy was consistent with the LTMD and will contribute to moving towards the desired future forest condition.

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5.0 DETERMINATION OF SUSTAINABILITY

The determination of sustainability considers the collective assessment of objective achievement (using the results of the assessment of objective achievement in Section 3.6.3 and Table FMP-9), the spatial assessment, the social and economic assessment and prescriptions for the protection of values. The determination of sustainability aims to conclude whether the forest management plan provides for the sustainability of the Crown forest, specifically the long-term Crown forest health that provides for ecosystem complexity while providing for the needs of the people of Ontario. It also assesses whether, on balance, the objectives are being achieved and progress is being made towards the desired forest and benefits.

The assessment of objective achievement is detailed in Section 3.6.3 and summarized in Table FMP-9. As described in this section, these assessments were based on the extent to which the established desirable levels for each indicator have been satisfied. All of the indicators assessed either achieved and/or maintained desirable levels into the future. Alternatively, the assessment may conclude that progress has been made but desirable levels were not achieved in consideration of other objectives to balance the achievement of management objectives. However, the vast majority of the objectives assessed were within and/or moving towards the desirable levels and targets. In those cases where the target levels were not achieved (e.g. texture of the mature and older forest matrix in the 500 and 5,000 hectare size class), the deviation was mainly due to limitations resulting from the current forest age-class imbalance, in combination with conflicting achievement levels with another objective, mainly with the non-spatial SFMM direction contradicting the spatial Dynamic Caribou Habitat Schedule (DCHS). The assessment was made that the difference between the achievement levels and desirable levels was not substantial. The majority of the desirable levels and targets not achieved were as a result of the planning teams efforts to balance multiple objectives in the context of the legacy forest condition resulting from past policy direction. Section 3.6.3 provides rationale for those management objectives for which targets and or desirable levels were not achieved. There were a number of positive achievements noted in the assessment of objective achievement;

Incorporating draft Landscape Guide for Ecoregion 3E spatial indicators and overall achievement in demonstrating movement towards SRNV for all of the

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following measures; frequency distribution of forest disturbances by size class, young forest patch size, landscape classes, forest unit groupings, total amount of young forest, total amount of mature and old forest. Most of the measures have been achieved for the amount and distribution of overmature forest in both SMZs. Desirable level and target to increase the amount of the PWR forest unit has been met Most selected wildlife species habitat levels achieved their desirable levels and targets. The only area where this was not the case was in the North SMZ where caribou habitat planning reduced moose browse habitat. Caribou habitat desired levels and targets were met. A balanced level and good distribution of Marten core areas and retention of area preferred by Marten has been achieved Although Aboriginal community participation varied throughout the planning process, all six communities were given an opportunity to provide input on the protection of Aboriginal values. Most communities were represented at the Desired Forest and Benefits Meeting to assist in the development of plan objectives.

This plan reviewed five spatial objectives (with associated desirable levels and targets) affected either by the configuration of harvest areas or by the frequency distribution of forest disturbances, which are used as measures of spatial objective assessment;

Disturbance template Young Forest Patch Size Mature and Older Forest at the 500 ha and 5,000 ha signatures Marten habitat Dynamic Caribou Habitat Schedule

Overall, the planned harvest blocks and resulting disturbance perimeters have demonstrated a movement towards a frequency in each disturbance size class that progresses towards the disturbance template. The challenge in achieving movement in all size classes is largely due to the time required to implement a range of disturbance sizes

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on a landbase that has been fragmented from implementation of a variety of past policies (e.g. Moose guidelines) and past forest related activities (i.e. fire suppression, mining, private land, harvesting).

The young forest patch size is a structure-based indicator used to characterize landscape pattern. Although young forest patch size is related to the texture of the mature and older forest in both structure (the amount and distribution of young forest patches can affect the texture of the forest matrix) and function (e.g. wildlife species preferring interior vs. wildlife species preferring edge), both are often the result of different scales of forest management planning (e.g. harvesting vs. maintaining). Managing pattern involves the distribution (concentration or dispersal) of young and mature forest across the landscape. Improvement in each individual size class was not achieved due to the temporal-spatial configuration (i.e. age, size and distribution) of all forest younger than 36 years of age; again the result of the implementation of previous forest management policies. As described in Section 3.6.3, there is an overall neutrality towards the prescribed template as thee size classes moved towards the desired levels, three moved away and three did not see change. It is anticipated that this objective will be further distorted for the next forest management plan, as large disturbance patterns in the North SMZ for caribou management will contribute to a higher patch frequency for larger scale areas.

Also described in Section 3.6.3, the mature and older forest texture is a structure-based indicator used to characterize landscape pattern. The overall movement towards the desirable levels detailed in the draft Landscape Guide 3E simulated range of natural variation was not achieved. Decreases in the smaller proportion classes (for both the 500 and 5,000 hectare size classes) and increases in the larger proportion classes is a function of defragmenting the landscape through the application of the DCHS, coupled with the current forest composition and structure in the central and southern portions of the forest.

Although not forming part of the assessment of sustainability, the assessment of planned clearcuts influences the achievement levels of the three spatial assessment objectives discussed above. A total of 73% of all planned clearcuts in the forest management plan are less than 260 ha.

A social and economic assessment was prepared for the development of the LTMD. It was prepared to identify the expected social and economic impacts of implementing the LTMD. The assessment examined how the quantity of timber supplied to wood-

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processing facilities, and the silvicultural investment requirements for the LTMD may have consequences to the communities identified, including Aboriginal communities. The social and economic assessment concluded that there is a decrease in social and economic benefits projected for the first term of the 2012 FMP in comparison to the current plan. It should be noted that although a decrease is planned, the projected levels are higher than the actual levels seen from 2000-2010. The assessment also concluded that no immediate impact to employment due to harvest levels is projected for the next 10 years. However, it is important to note that reductions in wood supply are anticipated over the next 40 to 60 years. These projected reductions in wood supply could have negative consequences to employment levels assuming resource facilities continue to operate at full capacity.

A qualitative assessment of the impacts that the LTMD may have on non-timber activities concluded that all appropriate measures have been taken to minimize negative impacts. These measures include area of concern prescriptions designed to address concerns related to non-timber values.

On balance, the plan objectives are being met and progress is being made towards the desired forest and benefits. The determination of sustainability for the forest management plan has been achieved as confirmed by the results of the assessment of objective achievement, the spatial assessment, the social and economic assessment and the presence of prescriptions for the protection of values. The forest management plan continues to have regard for plant life, animal life, water, soil, air, and social and economic values, including recreational values and heritage values.

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6.0 DOCUMENTATION

6.1. Supplementary Documentation

As part of the forest management plan a series of supplementary documents are included as a separate file in the main directory of the electronic FMP as per the Forest Information Manual, 2009. These documents summarize the information used, and the documentation and analyses made in the planning process. Note that Section 6.1.1 Analysis Package is available in a separate file in the main directory of the electronic FMP, as per the Forest Information Manual, 2009.

The following is a list of the Supplementary Documents (including maps) included in the forest management plan.

Analysis Package Area of Concern Prescriptions Implementation Toolkit Primary Road Corridor Supplementary Documentation Branch Road Corridor Supplementary Documentation Operational Roads Supplementary Documentation Existing Roads Supplementary Documentation Conservation Strategy for White Pine on the Abitibi River Forest DFBM Summary Results Forest Landscape Pattern Map List of Source of Information on Values Map Mineral Resource Assessment Maps Summary of Rationale for Desired Levels and Target Social and Economic Description Terms of Reference for the Development of the 2011-2021 Abitibi River Forest Management Plan

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MNRs Statement of Environmental Values Monitoring Program for the Assessment of Regeneration Aboriginal Background Information Reports Summary of Aboriginal Involvement Summary of Public Consultation in the Preparation of the Plan Final List of Required Alterations Local Citizens Committee Reports Areas Selected for Operations Maps Values Maps Early and late winter moose habitat and marten habitat distribution at plan start and plan end Distribution of capable and suitable marten habitat and Marten Cores Areas Scheduled for Renewal and Tending Operations FMP Summary and Summary Map

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6.2. Other Documentation

Other documentation of information which, because of its sensitive nature, will not be incorporated in the plan, includes the public correspondence related to the development of the plan, the Report on the Protection of Identified Aboriginal Values, planning and task team meeting minutes are retained at the Cochrane District office, as the lead district.

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7.0 FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN SUMMARY

The Forest Management Plan Summary will be included as a separate file in the main directory of the electronic FMP 30 days prior to the 60 Day Public Review Period, as per the Forest Information Manual, 2009.

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8.0 PLANNED OPERATIONS FOR THE SECOND FIVE YEAR TERM

This section serves as a place holder for planned operations for the second five-year term to be completed for 2017.

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9.0 FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN TABLES

Forest Management Plan tables are included as a separate file in the main directory of the electronic FMP as per the Forest Information Manual, 2009.

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