In 1998, the Temperate Forest Foundation approached the Canadian Lumberman’s Association and the New Brunswick Forest Products Association and offered to help them develop a comprehensive forestry tour for local school teachers. This tour would bring teachers out to the woods and local mills to see how forests are managed, harvested and conserved, learn how the forest products we use every day are made, and explore career options with in Canada’s forest sector. The tour’s focus was to foster an open and free exchange of information and ideas on the social, economic, and environmental importance of the region’s forest industries.
Tours were held in 1998 and 1999, and based on their success, NBFPA asked the Atlantic Branch of the Canadian Woodlands Forum to adopt the teacher tour program because CWF was better equipped to deliver the program across the entire Atlantic region. The CWF responded enthusiastically, hosting the first Atlantic Teachers’ Tour in 2000 in Miramichi, NB.
Today, the Tour has become recognized as one of the best professional development programs in the region. Tours have been held in all three Maritime Provinces, exposing participants to the extent, vitality, and importance of the region’s forests and the people, industries, and communities who depend upon them. It is a collaborative effort among the forest product companies, academic organizations, governments, land owners, conservation groups and many, many others, as year after year, they come together to contribute their time, knowledge, and passion in the development of one truly awesome program.
The Canadian Woodland Forum hopes that the tours will help foster business-education partnerships between the forest sector and educators, by allowing teachers to make informed choices on sustainable forest management and possible career options for their students.