The Forestry Industry on PEI
Forests cover about 45 percent of PEI’s land surface. Most of our forests (88 percent) is owned by private woodlot owners. The remainder is public forest held and managed on behalf of all Islanders for timber harvesting, wildlife habitat, protection of high-value ecological sites, recreation and wetland conservation.
Island forests have experienced two centuries of poor harvest practices, extensive clear-cuts for farming and other development fragmentation and the loss of some native species and the introduction of new species. On the other hand, Island forests also have some of the highest growth rates in Canada. The diversity of species allows owners to manage and produce a wide range of products and services.
Some forestry companies, contractors, and jobs on PEI
The J. Frank Gaudet Tree Nursery is PEI’s largest nursery facility. Millions of native tree and shrub species are grown each year for reforestation, forest restoration, and beautification. Visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/environment-water-and-climate-change/j-frank-gaudet-tree-nursery-services.
Chatham Biotecis a company that purchases Canada Yew, also called ground hemlock. The pharmaceutical industry extracts a substance from the yew which is used to treat cancer. Canada yew is only harvested in the spring and then again in the fall until the first snow fall. The harvest of Canada yew is regulated on PEI so we can only harvest from August 15th through April 30th. All harvesters are trained before they start work in order to ensure that the product is harvested sustainably. They are paid the set rate per pound for the product. Landowners also receive a fee. Other jobs related to this industry include buying station representatives, engineers, and scientists in research and processing. For more information, visit www.chathambiotec.com.
MacPhail’s Woods in Orwell is managed by Gary Schneider. His job is to demonstrate sustainable forest management, which includes forest restoration, running a native tree and shrub nursery, and holding information sessions for the public. For more information, visit www.macphailwoods.org.
For a list of forestry contractors/technicians, click here
Université de Moncton– Campus d’Edmundston – BA in Forestry | www.umoncton.ca/umce-foresterie
University of New Brunswick – Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management
UNB offers continuing education programs, undergraduate programs, and graduate programs www.unb.ca/fredericton/forestry
Maritime College of Forest Technology – Fredericton – offers a two-year program with a summer work practicum. www.mcft.ca
For further information
The PEI Department of Agriculture and Land | www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/agriculture-and-land
Environment, Energy and Climate Action| https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/environment-energy-and-climate-action
MacPhail Woods Ecological Forestry Project | www.macphailwoods.org
PEI Ecosystem-Based Forest Management Standards Manual | www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/EBFMSummary.pdf
Prince Edward Island Woodlot Owners Association (PEIWOA) – www.peiwoa.ca
Canadian Institute of Forestry | www.cif-ifc.org