History of the regional consultation

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Educate, inform i to raise awareness the regional population to the importance of forests and wood, as well as sustainable forest management, this is how the Saguenay – Lac-St-Jean Forestry Association (AFSL) is rooted in its environment. The people of our region must understand the different forest issues and be proud of their greatest wealth: the forest! Presentation of interactive educational workshops in schools, annual congress, training, knowledge transfer are just a vision of the actions of your Association. From Petit-Saguenay to Chibougamau-Chapais, we will find a real forest culture together!


The Foundation
In order to expand its scope, the Quebec Forestry Association Inc. (AFQ), born March 18, 1939, had to create other representative centers throughout Quebec.

The aim of these organizations was to “inform the population of the importance of protecting and harnessing our forest resources so that they can be exploited in the most rational way possible. To have a better distribution of the forestry notions between cultivators and settlers … ”

These regional organizations will also have the mandate to “carry out propaganda campaigns and forest education in their territory.” A brief history of the AFQ, 40 years of dedication (1979).

Following the wishes of the directors of the AFQ, in 1942 we attended the formation of the Cercle regional du Lac-Saint-Jean / Saguenay as well as that of its youth movement, the 4-H clubs. The central office provides financial assistance to its regional circles.

In the early 1950s, the Lac-Saint-Jean / Saguenay Circle had difficulty maintaining its activities 100%; the Central Association paid him $ 2,500. Since 1952, the activities of the Regional Association have been overwhelmed. At the same time, the Circle becomes an Association and is reorganized.

4-H, the highlight of the youth movement
Operation CP (Conservation and Protection) was born in the early 1960s. The Association presents parades, offers agroforestry days, invites the public to Canadian evenings and demonstrations in works with, as a star, the bear “Smokey”.

On October 11, 1960, a large parade was organized to celebrate the Forest Festival with the sculpture of the Forest Fairy. The Lac Brochet forest camp, owned by the Ministry of Lands and Forests, is available for 4-H. Regional and provincial camps are held there.

Already, during these years, the Association organizes activities around the National Forest Week: wood carving competitions, visits to plantations and visits to factories. From 1968, in collaboration with the AFQ,
a forest rally is organized “to familiarize young people in the city with the forest environment by involving them in specific activities, through the discovery of natural phenomena in order to motivate them to respect the tree and all other elements of nature ”. Young people are invited to take part in this activity in Lac Brochet, Hébertville and Roberval. Over the years, the activity has seen its clientele grow from 1,000 to 5,000 young people. (Forest Conservation 1971).

The Regional Associations prepare their congress annually, under a general theme. From 1975 onwards, our Regional Association prepares the content of its meetings on its own, making this event more lively and instructive. That same year a lease was signed for educational purposes for the occupation of the Lac Brochet camp. The year 1978 was marked by a fire in the kitchen of the Lac Brochet camp.

Looking to the future
It was in 1980 that the Saguenay – Lac-St-Jean Forestry Association became a collaborating organization with the Department of Energy and Resources. Its mandate will be to organize activities of education, awareness and conservation of the forest environment and its ecosystems. These activities will be aimed at primary school students and the general public in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Chibougamau-Chapais.

In order to facilitate the dissemination of its educational programs, the activities team welcomes school groups to Lac Brochet in the spring, then, in the autumn, an educational tour of the schools in its territory. Educational programs and other interventions reach several thousand people annually.

At that time, all the activities of the Forestry Association had the financial support of the Ministry of Energy and Resources. The Association is part of the network of Forest Education Centers of the Ministry and benefits from the experience that is developed there.

A great turning point
In 1984, the board of directors was restructured, from 30 to 15 members, appointed by its company or entity, which had the effect of involving the autonomous community. Each of them works in different commissions with the aim of extending the scope of action of the Forestry Association to their community.

In 1985, the Forestry Association acquired the facilities of Lac Brochet. During 1987, the secretary-manager resigned. Then the board of directors decided to create a permanent position, that of general manager.

Always keeping the course in its goal of promoting the tree, the forest and its ecosystems, it was between the years 1987 and 1990 that various activities were proposed.
• Tree and Forest Week, an event that becomes an integral part of regional culture
• Creation of parks for the 150th
• Tree and forest fair
• Awareness of the general public
• Urban Forestry Competition

1990, towards regionalization
We are witnessing the closure of the Forestry Education Centers of the Ministry. In addition, the Quebec Forestry Association is experiencing major financial difficulties. In 1996, it was the definitive closure of the AFQ.

But our County Association continues to do so and it is thanks to a government grant that it continues to provide educational services to its customers. To ensure its sustainability, it is developing a funding strategy that aims to involve the regional community more and more.
• Fundraising campaign per cubic meter as a paid member
• Important self-financing activities
• Large congress, with between 40 and 60 exhibitors
• Sale of Tree and Forest Week T-shirts
• Subsidy for Component II of the Baie-James CRD and CRCD-02 (for forest education purposes)

The involvement of the Saguenay – Lac-St-Jean Forestry Association in its community earned him two awards:
• Receives the Gold Leaf Award from the International Society of Arboriculture for establishing the annual urban forestry competition.
• On 21 November 1996, the MRC du Fjord-du-Saguenay was awarded a Mention of Recognition for its awareness-raising activities on the management of waste materials.

Collaborate … to educate better
Over the years, the participation of the community gives it new life, allowing the Board of Directors to stay focused on the educational mission of the Association and work on creating new projects such as:
• Christmas tree campaign in collaboration with the four MRCs in the region and the Syndicat des producteurs de bois
• Coordination of forest worker courses with the Department of Human Resources of Canada and Emploi Québec
• The Wood Innovation Gala with the Branché sur le bois group
• Participation in the monitoring and control of Dutch elm disease with the MRC du Fjord-du-Saguenay and Ville de Chicoutimi
• Awareness program on the 3-RV principle with the MRC du Fjord-du Saguenay and Recyc-Québec

2004, the era of the Coulombe Commission
Over the past two decades, the picture of forestry in Quebec has changed a lot. The forest regime has changed, as have the rights and obligations of users. The acquisition of knowledge about our ecosystems, their dynamics and our relationship with the environment has therefore generated great changes. Forestry in Quebec has taken a turn towards sustainable development, with the aim of harmonizing the notions of maintaining ecological benefits with those of socio-economic benefits.

At the same time, Quebeckers want to be heard by the state about forest management options. In the face of this new forestry context, the Quebec Public Forest Management Study Commission, commonly known as the Coulombe Commission, is being set up to enable the public to express their views on forest management and key forest issues. . The Saguenay – Lac-St-Jean Forestry Association (AFSL) presented its paper, which emphasized the importance of developing a forest culture in Quebec.

In addition, the AFSL recommendation is directly related to the fourth topic of the Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean Regional Elected Conference (CRÉ) presented to the Coulombe Commission, namely social acceptability. The aim: to rediscover our forest culture, to promote wood as a real environmental material as well as to revalue the forest-related professions by developing a sense of pride.

2007, the birth of the action plan: Forest and wood, a culture to rediscover …
In 2007, the Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean Regional Elected Conference (CRÉ) awarded a budget that allowed the Association to develop an action plan. This project entitled “Forest and wood, a culture to rediscover…” is the result of three conferences: “Forest and wood, a culture to rediscover…” in 2005, “Forest and wood, social acceptability…” in the spring of 2006 and “Forest and wood, environmental value” in December 2006. It includes 12 general objectives, 19 specific objectives, 12 actions to be promoted and 30 to be developed, the core of this action plan aims to ensure that the Saguenéens , Jeannois and Innu de Lac-Saint -Jean understand the issues of the forest environment as well as its economic, social, environmental and cultural importance in a perspective of sustainable development.

Memorandum Law on the sustainable development of forest territory calls for two requests:
1. That a first objective be added, in Chapter 1 of the bill to the “OBJECT AND APPLICATION” section, which would be the cornerstone of the proposed reform: to arouse the pride of Quebecers for their forests, for, and see in this bond of identity a potential for growth for the community as a whole.

Answer: Law 57 – Preamble:
• Considering that forests occupy an immense territory and that they constitute an invaluable collective asset for current and future generations;
• Considering the importance of promoting forest culture in Quebec, raising awareness in this regard so that it contributes to the sustainable development of forests and their management;
• Considering that forests have helped build Quebec’s identity and should continue to be a source of pride.

2. That, in the framework of the application of the forest regime, the Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean region be designated as a pilot region for the further implementation by the Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean Forestry Association. Saint-Jean of a regional information. , Education and awareness service on the social, ecological, cultural and economic importance of the forest environment and that this pilot project be implemented over a period of five years through the establishment of a specific Agreement.

Answer: In March 2010, the Minister accepted the request for a specific agreement and appointed the negotiator:
• New MRNF education support measure (December 2010);
• Specific agreement signed for the 2011-2015 academic year.

Your Association is a well-established organization in your community, a diverse board of directors, 6 permanent workers, educational activities from early childhood education to college.

All these actions are carried out with the financial support of the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs and that of community partners, among others, the forest industry, MRCs, Pekuakamiulnuatsh, School Service Centers, UQAC, Cégeps, the Producers’ Union. of oxen, forestry companies, service providers, not to mention the non-monetary contribution of other partners such as the media and other collaborators.

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