Lab Canada

Forest manager tests biological vegetation treatment developed in Canada

Parry Sound, ON December 17, 2003 Westwind Forest Stewardship says it has tested a novel biological silvicultural technology for hardwood vegetation control in Ontario’s crown and private forest land. Westwind says it thus becomes first in the Ontario forestry industry to use this low-risk alternative to chemical pesticides, further promoting sustainable development of forests in Canada.

The project involved the use of Myco-Tech Paste to release a white pine forest stand from deciduous broadleaf competition, planting white pine seedlings to complement natural regeneration, and preparing the stand for future selective harvests. When applied to cut wood surfaces of undesirable species, Myco-Tech inhibits sprouting and regrowth and supports young trees, thus allowing them to grow .

“By testing Myco-Tech Paste, the first biological hardwood vegetation control product in the world, developed and registered by Myco-Forestis Corporation, a Quebec biotechnology company, Westwind Forest Stewardship confirms its determination to maintain a leadership position in forest management in Canada,” says Steve Munro, general manager of Westwind Forest Stewardship.

On behalf of the Government of Ontario, Westwind manages 1.7 million acres of public or crown forestland in the Georgian Bay to Algonquin Park regions. “The implementation of this new biological silvicultural tool marks a milestone for Westwind Forest Stewardship and follows Westwind’s receipt last year of a prestigous award from the International Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).” Munro noted. Based in Bonn, Germany, the FSC honoured Westwind Forest for meeting internationally recognized standards for sound forest management.

Developed over many years of research and development, the Myco-Tech technology is a biological control method based on Chondrostereum purpureum, a naturally occurring fungal organism readily found in the temperate deciduous forest. Unmodified cultures of the fungal mycelium are incorporated into a biodegradable gel formulation that protects and nourishes the fungus. When applied to freshly cut stems or stumps, the natural wood decay process is triggered, thus inhibiting sprouting and regrowth. Consequently, the efficiency of mechanical cutting of undesirable brush is increased by 70% to 100%, depending on the species treated.

Human health and environmental safety testing, and over 10 years of field efficacy trials, support the use of Myco- Tech Paste as a reduced-risk product that does not pose a health or environmental risk when used according to label instructions. The product was registered in 2002 by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency. The technique meets sustainable forestry management guidelines, as well as the objectives of government and environmentalists concerned with the use of chemical pesticides.

“We are convinced that this novel biological tool for forestry vegetation management will help government authorities maintain a sustained yield of forestry products while respecting the environment, biodiversity and sustainable development,” says Norbert Major, president and CEO of Myco-Forestis. “Since 1998, several industrial forestry companies, such as Bowater and Tembec, as well as public utilities such as Vermont’s Green Mountain Power, have experimented with Myco-Tech. Today we are very proud to note that an industry leader such as Westwind Forest Stewardship sees value and potential in our technology,” he adds.

Westwind Forest Stewardship manages 1.7 million acres of public forest resources, over a territory that extends from Georgian Bay to Algonquin Park. The organization promotes sustainable forestry practices and in 2002 was awarded an international recognition award from the international Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for meeting globally recognized standards for good forest management.

Myco-Forestis researchs, develops and commercializes value-added biological products and services that support sustainable forest management. Its laboratories and facilities are based in L’Assomption, Quebec.