It is an honor to be the incoming president of an organization that has been so dedicated to gathering scientific knowledge and turning it into practice. That focus is one of the many things that struck me the most as I began working with the board and all the different program leads and researchers. Each and everyone involved is dedicated to understanding the questions posed to them by government and partners; no-one less than Rick Bonar, who has worked tirelessly in his career and as president of fRI Research. Rick, on behalf of all of us on the board and everyone at fRI Research, I want to congratulate you on an exceptional career. Your efforts on behalf of fRI Research over the years and your dedication to the environmental research community and the community of Hinton as well have been remarkable. Thank you.
Looking forward as president of fRI Research, the potential and opportunities of the organization to continue to thrive is evident even in tough economic times. Society is demanding that we manage our environment and landscape in a sustainable manner, yet develop our natural resources at an ever increasing rate. New challenges such as the outcomes of the upcoming caribou recovery plan and the impacts of mountain pine beetle will be front and center in the coming years. This is where the efforts and expertise of the programs that operate under the fRI Research umbrella have shown themselves to be of exceptional value to governments, academia, and the natural resource industries. By relying on partners who recognize the importance of peer reviewed science, the fRI Research programs can provide a solid knowledge basis for practical solutions to today’s real-world challenges.
2017 is also the 25th year anniversary of fRI Research. I want to take the opportunity to recognize all of those dedicated individuals that have contributed to the success of fRI Research over the years, whether a current funding partner (or past), board member, field technician or GIS specialist, without your hard work and dedication we would not be in the position we are today. I look forward to building on the traditions of the organization and finding new paths to pursue.