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New president wants to educate the public and improve industry's image.

New president wants to educate the public and improve industry's image

Public education and the image of the forestry industry are the main targets of the Ontario Lumber Manufacturers' Association under the guidance of recently elected president Michael Auld.

Auld, of Buchanan Forest Products of Thunder Bay, took over as president from Robert Lafreniere, general manager of A & L Lafreniere Lumber Ltd. of Chapleau. His term is two years.

Also elected to the executive board were first vice-president Roger Fryer, president of R. Fryer Forest Products Ltd. of Monetville and second vice-president Gaetan Malette, director of forestry planning for Malette Inc. of Timmins. David Milton was re-elected as executive director of the association and Lafreniere was elected treasurer.

The new president is a registered professional forester and the woodlands manager for the Thunder Bay company, a position he accepted in 1976. A long-time resident of Lakehead, he is also vice-president of woodlands for Northern Wood Preservers.

In a telephone interview following his election, Auld said an education program will be the most important of the two focal points for the association under his presidency.

"We must promote our product and our industry to the people," he said. "There is a perception across the country that cutting trees is bad, and that if you leave a tree alone, it will just go on living. But trees grow old and die just like people."

Auld commented that many people do not realize the role the forestry industry plays in their lives.

"If we can't convince people how valuable the forestry industry is, then we'll be washed away by a great wave of ignorance coming across the north. And we'll have no one to blame but ourselves."

While the details of the program haven't been completed, Auld said the emphasis will be on educating school children about the work of the sector.

"Foresters are the greatest conservators of the forest," he commented, noting the finite amount of forest in the world. "We need the forest to survive.

"We're not doing it (replanting) because we're nice guys. We're doing it because we have to."

Auld said his company employs fourth- and fifth-generation lumbermen who are working the same acreage that their great-great-grandfathers did.

Auld said the association will also be working on maintaining the wood-grading system used by its membership in order to "produce the highest-quality product possible."

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Title Annotation:Forestry Report; Ontario Lumber Manufacturers' Association Pres Michael Auld
Author:Krejlgaard, Chris
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Jun 1, 1990
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