The Central Canada SFI Implementation Committee (CCSIC) is very happy to announce that the Annual Contractor of the Year Award, has been presented Lafond Forestry Inc!

What makes this particularly special is that Lafond Forestry, Inc is the very first recipient of this award based on their exemplary commitment to sustainability and outstanding performance, meeting and surpassing SFI program objectives.

About the Contractor of the Year Award

The Contractor of the Year award was created by the Central Canada SFI implementation
Committee (CCSIC) in 2023. The award was developed to recognize the valuable contributions the contractor workforce undertakes on behalf of the CCSIC program participants achievement of the SFI principles.

The award recognizes and provides appreciation for a CCSIC member contractor that demonstrates their performance and conducts their operations consistently at or above the SFI program objectives, and the commitment it takes to achieve a high standard.

The award is meant to encourage other peers, contractors, employees and logging professionals to continue to help SFI certified organizations meet their goals of sustainability.

The recipient of the award receives an individual COY plaque, receives cash prize, receives an additional $500 to donate to a forestry related organization or initiative of their choice, in their name, as well as a CCSIC merchandise gift pack.

Please note: The nominations for the CCSIC’s 2024 Contractor of the Year will be open soon and will close on December 31, 2024. Reach out to your CCSIC member to recommend or support a nomination.

About Lafond Forestry, Inc.

Lafond Forestry Inc. is a family oriented business comprised of Charles and his wife Melissa Lafond (owners), employs his brother Christian Lafond, Son in-law Hunter Zacharias and, his newest employee, his son Evan Lafond based out of Atikokan Ontario.

Lafond forestry CCSIC award 2024 1
CCSIC COY Representative – Steven Young (left, followed by Lafond members)

The Lafond family has a long history of Logging and Forestry work in Northwestern Ontario.
Charles’ father, Daniel Lafond, owned and operated under Daniel Lafond Logging in the Nipigon area (Northwestern Ontario) since the late 90’s.

Daniel Lafond Logging did site preparation work in the spring and summer and logging in the late fall and winter.

Charles worked with his father until the 2008 forestry collapse at which time he solely went into logging. In 2013 Charles took an opportunity to start his own company and modelled it after the company his father ran. Logging in the winter and site preparation in the summer.

Charles worked mainly as a subcontractor in the first 8 years until an opportunity came up to contract directly with Boundary Waters Forest Management Inc. / Resolute Forest Products in 2021. At this point Charles modified his business to focus more on site preparation, typically seasonally from April tend of November.

At the time Charles was looking to modify his business, he ultimately decided to invest in the M24 mounders as they work particularly well behind cut-to-length logging operations.
Charles invested in 2 Bracke M24 mounders that he ordered from Sweden and custom installed on his machines. Charles has the M24 mounders attached to a Timberjack 660D skidder and a John Deere 848H

Lafond forestry group photo 2023
Lafond members present for the 2023 plaque

This investment meant that Resolute FP could reduce herbicide application as the M24 mounder works in a way that promotes less suckering of poplar and exposes less area for white birch seed to establish compared to passive trenching site preparation.

The M24 mounder improves mineral soil exposure in the heavier slash areas of a cut-to-length harvest system or in areas with thick chipper debris, such as chipper pads. Charles notes the M24 system is very much controlled by the operator is very responsive the adjustments needed for the highly variable working conditions, such as rolling terrain or debris thickness.

Charles also has two other Timberjack skidders with Passive Trenchers attached.
Although Charles works out of Atikokan, he works about 3,000ha of ground a year on 3
Sustainable Forest Licensed areas, those being the Boundary Waters Forest, the Dog River-Matawin Forest, and the English River Forest.

About SFI and CCSIC

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® is an independent, non-profit forest certification program with a mission to advance sustainability through forest-focused collaboration. Regionally, the SFI Program is overseen by a network of SFI Implementation Committees (SICs).

The Central Canada SIC was formed in December of 2003, and its membership consists of SFI Program participants (forest companies who are certified to one or more of the SFI Standards) and supporters (forest companies or non-government organizations who support the SFI principles but who are not directly certified to the program). The committee has several functions that include:

  • Supporting and encouraging landowners to apply the principles of Sustainable Forest Management on their lands;
  • Encouraging landowners to harvest and reforest their lands using Best Management Practices by providing information on the advantages of Sustainable Forest Management;
  • Developing and promoting mechanisms for public outreach, education and involvement related to forest management;
  • Reporting program progress to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc.;
  • Developing and coordinating training programs for Qualified Logging Professionals; and Protecting the integrity of the SFI Program.