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Cheryl Regehr

Office of the Vice President & Provost

Cc: Robert Wright


Dean, Faculty of Forestry

Cc: Joshua Barker


Vice-Provost, Graduate Research and Education
Dean, School of Graduate Studies

March 30, 2019

Re: Restructuring of the Faculty of Forestry

Dear Dr. Regehr,

We, the Faculty of Forestry alumni, are pleased to submit comments as part of ongoing discussions
about the future of forestry at the University of Toronto. We are alumni working in a variety of positions
in urban forestry, research, civil society, industry, government and more. We are united by a common
belief in the value of forestry education and research. We offer the following comments with respect to
what we see as vital elements for success under any administrative structure.

Forestry matters. In Ontario the forest products industry generated $13.2 billion of revenue in 2017 and
provide direct employment for 44,000 people1. Ontario’s parks welcomed 10 million people, and
Ontario’s forests support rich biodiversity and were the playground of over 1.5 million anglers and
roughly 800,000 hunters2. In Toronto alone, the value of the urban forest has been estimated to be as
high as $7 billion3. Yet today’s forest managers face new and fundamental challenges, at home and
abroad. To name just one example, wildfires consume >6.5 million hectares a year of forest in North
America alone, and there is a critical shortage of fire managers and researchers to meet this growing
threat.4

Stewarding our natural wealth requires trained foresters and world-leading forestry research, needs
made more acute by Ontario’s growing population and the transformative global effects of climate
change. Toronto is one of just two accredited Universities in Ontario that is capable of training foresters
for entry into the profession and is without equal in delivering breakthrough research5. The graduates of
the Faculty of Forestry have become leaders in forest policy, research and industry in Canada and
around the world. We hope that this tradition of excellence will be maintained.

1
Natural Resources Canada, https://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/statsprofile/overview/on
2
Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, https://www.ofah.org/
3
TD Bank, https://www.td.com/document/PDF/economics/special/UrbanForests.pdf
4
Congressional Research Service, https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/IF10244.pdf and Natural Resources Canada,
https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/forests/fire-insects-disturbances/fire/13143
5
2016 Independent Review of The Faculty of Forestry

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The practice of forestry is inherently interdisciplinary - ecology, economics, political science, and
geography are just some of the fields which forest professionals study. Much of the value of a school of
forestry lies in convening experts from these disparate fields, united by a shared passion. This diversity is
necessary to adequately train graduates, as well as allowing the synergies between specialists that
deliver research breakthroughs. We urge you to consider these facts as you commit to a new
administrative structure. To succeed, Forestry must retain a distinct identity and meaningful
administrative autonomy within the larger Daniels Faculty.

As you are aware, the practice of forestry is a regulated profession. We believe that permanently
maintaining accredited status is a baseline for the success of forestry at the University. This is necessary
not only to meet the need for skilled professionals in the forest industry, but to create a vitalized
research environment. Forestry is an applied science, and the excellence and relevance of forestry
research will be substantially improved by the close integration of practitioners within the academic
environment. We further urge you to explore accreditation of the undergraduate program, as is
standard at leading forestry schools worldwide, and to place the administration of this program within
the new Forestry unit. We can see no benefit to students or staff of housing the undergraduate program
in a separate Faculty.

Lastly, we believe that branding and vision are essential to attract high-quality national and international
students and faculty. Global forest management is undergoing a transformation, and Canadian
leadership in forest-focused research and innovation attracts the attention of the world. The prestige of
our training and research programs is essential to maintaining this tradition of excellence. We therefore
urge you to maintain the visibility of forestry at the University, and by so doing maintain a strong and
vibrant community that can meet the challenges of 21st century forestry at home in Toronto, in Canada,
and in the world.

Sincerely yours,

Marcin Lewandowski Patricia Baldwin


President, Faculty of Forestry Alumni Association Forester in Training
Director of Risk & Analytics, Ecostrat Inc.

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Phil Breakevett Ian Dunn
Project Forester – Retired Vice-President
Hydro One Faculty of Forestry Alumni Association

Ben Filewood Anisul Islam


Consultant and PhD Student, Faculty of Forestry Research Scientist
Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research

Lisa Caroline Leung Rachele Levin


Policy Advisor
Ontario Energy Board

Dorothy Maguire Owner


Scientific Officer Plant’s Power Inc.
Office of Environmental Sustainability
Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland

L.S. McCoy Forester Intern


Crown Forests and Lands Policy Branch
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry

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Brian John Myers Nona Phillips
Senior Principal Research Scientist
CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products

Danijela Puric-Mladenovic Jack Radecki


Senior Analyst – Settled Landscapes
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry

Shardul Raval Janani Sivarajah


Acting Deputy Regional Forester PhD Candidate
State and Private Forestry Faculty of Forestry, UofT
Director, Fire and Aviation Management
Southern Region, USDA Forest Service

Jack Sloggett Truc-Lam Tran


Paul Piascik Educational Coordinator
Research Assistant LEAF
Faculty of Forestry, UofT

Martin Watts Paul Piascik


President Research Assistant
FORCOMP Forestry Consulting Ltd. Faculty of Forestry, UofT

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