It’s not often I would call Sault Ste. Marie a hotspot in February.

But that’s exactly what this northern Ontario city turned into during a productive, collaborative two-day workshop about biomass energy and sustainability.

While locals braved the sub zero weather to attend the Bon Soo winter carnival here, more than 30 representatives from the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), Natural Resources Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry huddled in the warmth of the Great Lakes Forestry Centre, to exchange ideas.

I had the honour to present an overview of work underway at the CBFA and our signatories shared their perspectives on our unique collaborative and ambitious group.

It was an opportunity for the CBFA and NRCan to exchange the latest scientific research in the field of biomass and for NRCan to learn what aspects of that research really matters to the forest companies and environmental organizations that comprise the CBFA. We also shared that research with our Ontario provincial colleagues.

We dove deep into technical discussions on soils, site productivity, biodiversity and forest ecosystem classification. A great deal is known about biomass harvesting that supports current best practices by the CBFA. However, more research is needed, which underscores the importance of our commitment to adaptive management.

The discussions furthered the work the CBFA is carrying out in support of our goals to develop world leading forest practices and climate friendly applications.

With all the constructive energy expended around the table, it was little wonder the Soo became a winter hotspot!

Christine Burow is the CBFA Program Manager and Market Outreach Co-ordinator.