Eastern Ontario Model Forest News Update
The Future of the EOMF
Today I would like to provide you some important information about the future of the Eastern Ontario Model Forest.
Some background. We are saying goodbye to our two wonderful staff people; Jim Hendry, in charge of our forest certification program and Astrid Nielsen, our General Manager. Both of them had been with us for almost 5 years and they have decided that it is time to move on. Astrid has been working for EOMF while also building her forestry business. It is now at a point where it needs her undivided attention. Jim although now semi-retired, also has a forestry business that requires his attention.
The executive realized that this confluence of events made for an opportunity to make changes to ensure the future health of the EOMF so that the key programs; forest health network, forest certification program and our educational events could continue to thrive. We entered into discussion with one of our long-term partners, the Ontario Woodlot Association to determine how we might join forces to our mutual benefit.
I can now inform you that the boards of both organizations have agreed to a merger between both organizations, with the intent of preserving the EOMF programs while reducing administration and duplication. We will not re-staff our General Manager position as the OWA Executive Director will take on the role for both organizations. We will re-staff the Certification Coordinator position to support that important program. The Forest Health Network will continue under the stewardship of its partners led by Jim McCready with support from the Rideau Valley Conservation Association. Leadership for the Kemptville Woodlot Conference and EOMF Christmas Meeting will be provided by the current partners, the local OWA and CIF chapters, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville and the South Nation Conservation Authority.
Martin Streit, our Vice President will continue in that role, but he will also be nominated to the OWA board of directors, to represent the interests of the EOMF. Initially we will continue with our present EOMF board, and over time the OWA and EOMF will develop an appropriate model of governance that recognizes our diversity of partners including the Mohawks of Akwesasne, our remaining founding partner.
I see us going forward stronger than ever, with the combined efforts of the EOMF and OWA creating greater value working together than we already do.
So, as we move forward, we should celebrate both organizations and their identities and seek the ways to capitalize on what makes each of us special to create, together, ever more value in supporting the best managed woodlands in our part of the world.
Tony Bull, President of the EOMF