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Early MNR Involvement

by treelady94,

Jim McCready R.P.F (retired Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry) writes:

It was when I was a forestry student in the late 60’s that a number of us would be travelling through Sudbury to our summer jobs in the Kenora area. It was so barren we all said we would never work in Sudbury when we graduated.

Guess what; I graduated in 1971 and where did they send me but to Skead. It was at that time I inherited the Greening of Sudbury project from Ed Kraker the forester of the day. The project was a joint effort of the Ministry of Natural Resources (Lands & Forests in those days) with Professor Keith Winterhalder and Dr. Gerard Courtin of Laurentian University. A number of plots where being studied on flat very dry sites between Skead and the airport. We were studying a number of species as to what could best grow in the Sudbury sites. We knew we had to put down lime and it was up to Keith and Dr. Courtin to come up with how much. Later we new we had to put down grass as the surface temperatures of the soil were frying the trees we were trying to plant. The results; Jack pine was the best choice of tree and 2 tons of lime/acre.

  Keith had set up a number of grassing trials north of Coniston, which were limed to see what grass seed would do the best. The Ministry was experimenting with containers and I knew Jack Pine containers would go well at this site. We planted these trial sites with these new containers. Keith at the time was not pleased, as we had miss communications planting on his grass trials. The rest is history, as those earlier trials in Coniston showed we had the right lime mixture, success with the grass and have an established Jack pine plantation.

  In 1976 funding was still coming from the Ministry of Natural Resources and I hired John Negusanti to work on the program. When the Land Reclamation Program became operational in 1978, I attended one meeting of VETAC and then was transferred to Eastern Ontario.

  I worked for Tree Canada from 2007 – 2016 and partnered with Tina McCaffrey on a number of projects during that time planting trees in the Sudbury area. I could not get over the species she was planting and the success she was having especially with white pine, I would have never thought back in the Skead days. Sites were too hot.

 Great job all around to everyone involved in this project over the past 40 plus years.

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