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Forests Ontario’s Annual Conference Brings Experts Together to Address the Challenges and Opportunities Facing Canada’s Forests

Press Release

Barrie, Ont. (January 17, 2024) – Canada’s forests are facing extraordinary challenges, including climate change, increased fires, biodiversity loss, and invasive species. As the largest conference in the province about the importance of healthy, resilient forests, Forests Ontario’s 2024 Annual Conference will provide opportunities to meet, learn from, and be inspired by those most passionate about our forests.

“Our natural world is facing some of its greatest challenges, including the unprecedented wildfires that raged through Canada’s forests last summer. We know there are smart, sustainable, nature-based solutions that support healthy communities and healthy economies. We want people who come to our conference to feel energized and excited by what they can all accomplish together,” Jess Kaknevicius, CEO of Forests Ontario and Forest Recovery Canada, says.

The in-person event takes place on February 28, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Universal Eventspace in Vaughan, Ontario. Topics will include hearing and learning from diverse youth perspectives, new forest health tactics for landowners and forest managers, opportunities with the 2 Billion Trees program and an important look into this year’s unprecedented forest fires.

While the discussions will appeal to those interested in managing, restoring and conserving our natural environment, as well as everyone who cares about resilient, healthy forests that sustain biodiversity, healthy people and a healthy economy, the real highlight is the diverse and engaging lineup of speakers, including:

  • Jabee Wu, Fire Crew Leader, Parks Canada (A Cruel Summer session)
  • Elder Garry Sault, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (Opening session)
  • Phil Green, CEO, First Resource Management Group Inc. (Fire and a Wildly Changing Climate session)
  • Catherine Langille, Indigenous Relations Coordinator, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (The Power of Youth – Breaking Barriers and Carving New Pathways session)
  • Ken Farr, Manager – Science Integration, Natural Resources Canada, and author of “The Forests of Canada” (The Forest’s History session)
  • Susy Domenicano, Senior Manager: Policy, Reporting and Outreach for 2 Billion Trees program, Natural Resources Canada (2 Billion Trees: Seeds of Change session)
  • Chris Kornacki, President, Wild Hog Farming Company (Calling all Landowners & Forest Managers session)
  • The full list of sessions and speakers is available on the Forests Ontario website.

“One of the most unique aspects of this Annual Conference will be our youth session, which will explore diverse perspectives on career development. This session will feature a high schooler with minimal sector experience, a university student exploring career options, and a young forest and conservation sector professional,” Kaknevicius says. “The discussion will focus on barriers faced and what appeals to youth about the sector, including integrating Indigenous perspectives and strategies to engage Indigenous youth.”

Also new for 2024 is a pre-event Evening Social of networking and laughter with comedian Graham Chittenden on February 27 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Tickets for the 2024 Forests Ontario Annual Conference are available on the Forests Ontario website, with Early Pricing in effect only until January 22, 2024.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Matthew Brown
Communications Manager
Forests Ontario / Forest Recovery Canada
Cell: 519-471-4751

About Forests Ontario & Forest Recovery Canada

Forests Ontario is the province’s leading charity dedicated to the creation, preservation, and maintenance of forest and grassland habitats. Our ambitious, large-scale tree planting initiatives, extensive educational programs, and decades of community outreach result in millions of trees being planted each year.

Together with our national division, Forest Recovery Canada, we work with our many partners across the country to plant native trees and ensure our efforts today thrive and grow into tomorrow’s diverse, healthy, and resilient forests.


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