Learning from the Forest: A Fifty-Year Journey Towards Sustainable Forest Management

The book tells of the evolution of forest management and the continual process of learning from the forest itself. Learning from the Forest is part history, part forestry survey, and part proposal for the future of silviculture.

People from around the world have visited the foothills near Hinton in northwestern Alberta to absorb the land ethic of the company that took on stewardship of the area’s publicly owned forests in 1954. Learning from the Forest is part history of the company (now called Hinton Wood Products, a division of West Fraser Mills Ltd.), part forestry survey, and part proposal for the future of silviculture—the art and science of growing trees. 

From the outset, the managers of the Hinton forest recognized the challenges of managing forests whose life cycles are measured in centuries. Learning from the Forest describes the evolution of the forward thinking necessary to successful forest management—from the 1950s ideal of ensuring a perpetual timber supply to today’s goal of maintaining a forest that sustains multiple uses and values. In Hinton this includes the extraction of other natural resources; recreation, including public parks, camping, hiking, skiing, and canoeing; and the protection of wildlife habitat and Aboriginal cultural sites.

Most important, Learning from the Forest tells of a work in progress and the continuous process of learning from the forest itself. Here is the story of the first fifty years of the journey.

Learning from the Forest is available for purchase in softcover by contacting fRI Research, or for free download as an eBook.

Learning From the Forest eBook
Scientific Publications | Books
Interactive ebook version of the book Learning From the Forest
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Robert Bott
Senior Association
Peter Murphy
Peter Murphy
Researcher & Author
Bob Udell
Bob Udell
Forest History Program Lead