Lumberman Jamie McRae was one of several award winners announced at Forests Ontario’s annual conference today. McRae took home the 2018 Ontario Wood Award for his contributions to the positive promotion of the Ontario Wood brand.

A fifth-generation forestry professional, McRae’s family history dates back to the forestry boom of the mid-1890s. He currently manages the McRae Lumber Company, based out of Whitney, Ontario. In recent years, McRae began volunteering with Forestry Connects, a Forests Ontario program dedicated to educating high school students about the forestry industry via field trips.

“Jamie McRae continues to be a very positive force within the forestry sector,” said Rob Keen, Forests Ontario’s CEO. “His family founded the McRae Lumber Company in 1922, and the family lumbering tradition extends back two generations before that. Clearly, wood is in Jamie’s blood. Now, his expertise sparks passion in the next generation of environmental stewards through our Forestry Connects program.”

The 2018 Green Legacy Award – given annually to a visionary corporate partner that has been instrumental in ensuring a green legacy for future generations – was awarded to TD Bank Group. As the official sponsor of the Heritage Tree Program that celebrates historically significant trees, TD Tree Bee, an interactive tree-identification website, and community tree planting events, TD Bank is recognized for its commitment to re-greening our communities.

Other awards given at Forests Ontario’s climate change-themed conference included the Ontario Forestry Association (OFA) Award – presented to individuals for outstanding achievements in forestry education – awarded to Steve Hounsell, Chair of the Ontario Biodiversity Council. The Susan Wiecek Forestry Education Award went to Kelly Durant, a teacher at North Dundas District High School. Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve in Huntsville, Ontario, was honoured with the Robert De Pencier Award for their outstanding forest management practices, and Most Valuable Planter was awarded to Anne Lennox, formerly of Grey Sauble Conservation Authority.

Every year, Forests Ontario brings together landowners, forestry professionals, students, educators and those passionate about our natural landscapes to discuss key issues at their Annual Conference. It was held in Alliston, Ontario, at the Nottawasaga Inn and drew more than 300 attendees.