Team Torch River Forest – Working in Harmony Towards Sustainable Use and Development

(Last Updated On: October 15, 2017)

Team Torch River Forest Report by Brennan Jardine

Since the last activity on here a few things have happened which are both positive and negative depending on your point of view.

Torch River Fire May 2015

2015 Torch River Fire

After the fire, August 2015

Forest fire burning a pretty good chunk of the forest on the south and southeast areas. ( I don’t have the exact numbers at this time).
The good thing is it’s healthy for the forest and it was contained well by the government efforts through firefighting.
Thanks to the efforts of team torch river forest and all of your support, according to sources, the Torch Forest was given a high priority. This was great considering how many fires were burning at the time. In the past it seemed the Torch fires didn’t get the priority according to my recollection and to many local firefighters that were interviewed. So this is positive, and the government efforts to protect the forest and the job of the water bombers and local contractors, and everyone involved, should be commended for their efforts.
Thanks to everyone for efforts and support!

Clear Cut Regrowth

The area that was clear cut before and replanted is coming along better now. Initially, it didn’t look good. Also, historically the trees planted by the dump didn’t do well.
So, this is doing better which is good. However, this method is still less than ideal and we are looking at trying some other methods of management besides clear cut and replant! But at least it looks like the planted trees are going to make it.

Fundraising & Incorporation

We raised some money through the party in the park at Love. I don’t have the exact figures but it helped out. This helped us to get incorporated as a nonprofit corporation. “Team Torch River Forest”. Which is also helping to form an Eco museum / Eco forest.

Training & Restorative Work

Jim Hayes -proprietor of Hayes Development and Training did some training / restorative justice initiatives while fire smarting part of the forest at the same time. Hats off to Jim Hayes and his crew for their efforts to make things better.

UNESCO Recognition

The Lieutenant Governor presented us with a certificate of recognition from UNESCO (UNESCO’s Global Action Program on Education for Sustainable Development), which basically gives us their support and recognition locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally! This might not seem like much right now but it could be moving forward in efforts to do management and/or efforts for development. It can also help to put the Torch and the area more on the global map so to speak. It’s a good thing to say the least!

Working with Forestry & Island Forest Management

Because of all the efforts we are making together with the forestry department, they have informed me that it has changed the way they are approaching and managing the island forests. I asked if this was good or bad, and they assured me it was a good thing!!
This change that is being created is all thanks to everyone on the team. Everyone’s support is needed in order for this to work and improve. Thanks again to everyone for hanging in there.

Forest User Groups and Protecting the Forest from Damage & Garbage

The quadders and the pickers have improved in terms of not disturbing the forest floor, and not littering, which is good. However, for some it’s still an issue. This isn’t coming from the government or the loggers. This issue is coming from individuals in other user groups along with random people in the forest throwing garbage out and so on.
So, this is both positive and negative.
We are looking at things such as posting signs and maybe a spring cleaning drive with volunteers and so on. We also ask people to keep in mind that this place needs to be treated with respect.
Also, we are discussing ways of community monitoring and for leaders of the user groups to police your own! As a community we should be able to collectively make this better. We are having discussions about positive ways to deal with this issue without necessarily getting the authorities involved!
I don’t think we need the government to tell us how to clean up our act! This is Torch River still, after all! In other words, it’s improving, but more needs to be done!!

Preventing the Spread of Worms & Mistletoe

The most recent serious development with the forest is worms in the trees which is killing most of the pine trees. It showed up last year and this year it’s terrible. We all knew this could happen and now, that time has arrived. I flew over it this summer and the effects are obvious. The pine trees north of the fire are bad and the more north, the more severe the damage.
On a positive note, have been in discussions with the forestry department about applying some different updated methods of harvesting / mistletoe disease removal/reforesting/ fire guarding/ reforestation.

A Tour with Bruce Walters

We will be doing a tour with Bruce Walters, Area Forester for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, Forest Service Branch, Compliance Field Operations, Prince Albert, to assess and brainstorm on how to move forward to rectify, manage, and improve. So far, it all sounds pretty promising!

I may have missed a couple things but that is all for now! Thanks again for all the continued support! It is no longer the people against the government, or the loggers against the mushroom pickers and so on! For now, at least, it appears we are all on the same team! Wow, what a concept! Let’s see if we can maintain the unity as we move forward!!

Thanks again to everyone and will try to personally get back on track with my efforts in this noble cause!

Brennan Jardine
Team Member – Team Torch River Forest
Founder – Friends of the Torch River Forest Facebook Group

The Torch River Forest is an Island forest which occupies an area of 9,920 acres in Townships 53 and 52, Ranges 14 and 15, west of the 2nd Meridian in Northeastern Saskatchewan. The Torch River Forest is a Transitional Boreal Forest. You can learn more about Boreal Forests on the Natural Resources Canada website

About Friends of the Torch River Forest
The Friends of the Torch River Forest is a Facebook Group used to share and discuss issues affecting the forest. Their goal is to encourage ecologically sound and responsible forest management practices and keep supporters and volunteers up to date with the work of Team Torch River Forest. Their group is open to anyone who is forest user or interested in supporting or volunteering in the Team efforts.

About Team Torch River Forest
Team Torch River Forest is an incorporated non-profit organization. The Team is made up of many individuals who have contributed to their efforts to protect and manage the Torch River Forest, including Brennan Jardine, Bud Jardine, Jim Hayes, George Frost, Howard Shacklock and Paul L’Heureux, among many others who contribute and support the cause.

Pictures from the 2015 Torch River Fire

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