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The thriving forests of Ontario offer a multitude of avenues for economic growth. From responsible timber harvesting that supports local industries and empowers rural communities to eco-tourism ventures that invite visitors to immerse themselves in nature's embrace, the possibilities are endless. Every step taken towards sustainable forest management is a step towards creating jobs, fostering innovation, and ensuring a harmonious balance between the economy and the environment.

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Delve into the data that unveils the thriving biodiversity, conservation efforts, and sustainable practices that safeguard these precious natural treasures. Unearth the vital role our forests play in combating climate change and preserving the delicate balance of our environment.

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Delve into the data that unveils the thriving biodiversity, conservation efforts, and sustainable practices that safeguard these precious natural treasures. Unearth the vital role our forests play in combating climate change and preserving the delicate balance of our environment.

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Delve into the data that unveils the thriving biodiversity, conservation efforts, and sustainable practices that safeguard these precious natural treasures. Unearth the vital role our forests play in combating climate change and preserving the delicate balance of our environment.

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Delve into the data that unveils the thriving biodiversity, conservation efforts, and sustainable practices that safeguard these precious natural treasures. Unearth the vital role our forests play in combating climate change and preserving the delicate balance of our environment.

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Founded in 1943, the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) is a provincial trade association and the home of CLA Grading and Inspection. The OFIA currently represents over 40 companies that operate world-class assets and sustainably manage over 15 million hectares of public and private forests in Ontario.

The OFIA provides a forum for its member companies to discuss issues of common interest and concern. Through various Boards and Committees, the OFIA serves to provide a unified voice for Ontario’s forest industry with the government and the public. A Board of Directors governs the Association, which includes a representative from each voting member company.
As stewards of Ontario’s forests, OFIA’s members are committed to the sustainable, responsible use of this renewable resource. Close to 90% of Ontario’s forests are publicly owned and known as Crown lands; 44% of these Crown lands are world-class, sustainably managed forests. By sustainably harvesting less than 0.5% of our Crown trees annually, Ontario’s forest sector is able to generate stable returns and directly employs over 143,000 Ontarians across the province.

Globally, deforestation is a major issue. However, Ontario’s forestry practices are proof of how a strong and sustainable forest industry actually fights deforestation and provides a model for the rest of the world. For every tree harvested in Ontario, three new trees are planted.

Sustainable forest management is a way of using and caring for forests in order to maintain environmental, social and economic values over time. According to the Ministry of Northern Development, Mining, Natural Resources and Forestry (MNDMNRF), sustainable forest management helps Ontario’s forests remain healthy and productive while supporting a strong forest industry and provide people with jobs and forest products. It also conserves biodiversity and enhances and protects wildlife habitat and watersheds. Sustainable forest management practices also help to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Ian Dunn R.P.F.

President & CEO

Ian has a long history in Ontario's natural resource sector. Before the OFIA, he worked as a consulting forester and environmental scientist, undertaking projects for clients in the oil and gas, mining and exploration, nuclear energy, government, and forestry sectors.

Since joining the OFIA in 2015, Ian has served in various forestry, manufacturing, and environmental policy roles. Appointed as the OFIA's President & CEO in 2021, Ian currently oversees Association strategy, governance, public relations, and business administration. Working closely with Association membership, Ian developed a comprehensive strategic plan for the OFIA, representing a new direction and approach for the Association.

Ian championed the development and continued implementation of Ontario's Forest Sector Strategy and Biomass Action Plan, focusing on competitive measures designed to attract capital investment and strengthen the sector. He represents OFIA softwood lumber producer's interests in the ongoing trade dispute with the United States, developing strategy with members and coordinating legal efforts with counsel.

He actively engages in forest management planning and conservation-related files, including parks and protected areas, species at risk, carbon markets and pricing, and Indigenous relations. Serving as a public appointee to Ontario's Species at Risk Program Advisory Committee (SARPAC), and the Boreal Caribou Conservation Agreement Working Group, Ian provides strategic advice to the province on its species at risk program.

In 2019, Ian was recognized by Canadian Forest Industries magazine as one of the "Top 10 under 40" within the forest sector. He frequently speaks on behalf of the Association to the media, including interviews with the CBC, CTV News and Consumer Alert, Toronto Star, Northern Ontario Business, and many other local radio stations and newspapers. He has provided guest lectures at the University of Toronto and Lakehead University on forest policy and current issues in forest management.

Ian is a registered professional forester and has been a full member of the Ontario Professional Foresters Association since 2013. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.

Lauren McBride

Operations Coordinator

Lauren McBride makes significant contributions to Ontario’s forest sector and the Association, streamlining day-to-day operations, planning Ontario’s largest event for the industry, managing communications, and overseeing strategic initiatives.

Lauren has led the development of OFIA’s Communications Strategy and rebranding efforts at the Association. With a passion for the people who work in the sector, Lauren also manages the Human Resources Committee, with a mandate to attract and retain new talent in the industry.  Lauren coordinates the OFIA’s Algonquin Park Committee, ensuring that sustainable forest management continues to provide important social, economic, and environmental values to the surrounding region.

With an Honours B.A. in Environmental and Geography from Wilfrid Laurier University, Lauren began her professional career in environmental consulting working in the field, project management, environmental site assessments, and data analysis. Lauren expanded her career joining the OFIA in 2016, working in communications and policy-related roles.

Lauren’s core passions are her family and being outdoors. She lives in the small village of Orono with her husband and three children.

Mark Saranpaa

Chief Grader & Inspector

Mark Saranpaa is the Chief Grader and Inspector at the OFIA Home of CLA Grading and Inspection.
Mark co-ordinates and performs inspections at member facilities, instructs grade courses, and ensures the standard of the grading activities are maintained.

Mark has worked across the province gaining 30 years experience in the industry. Currently he lives in Kenora Ontario with his wife Char and enjoys the outdoors and winter sports.

Sarah Todgham, R.P.F.

Policy Manager

Growing up in the ‘Forest City’ of Ontario (London, ON), Sarah valued the role that forests play in the urban environment. It wasn’t until completing her Masters Forest Conservation (MFC) at the University of Toronto that she gained a greater appreciation for the role that forest professionals, regulations, and third-party forest certification programs play in maintaining and conserving values across Canada’s managed forests to support carbon, water, and biodiversity – all while providing a sustainable alternative to essential products that support society’s needs. This passion for advocating for the robust governance structure in the forest sector, along with learning about the continual advancements in sustainability over the years, led her to seek a career in the forest sector and become a Registered Professional Forester with the Ontario Professional Foresters Association.

Sarah has held various roles within the forest sector, developing her strong expertise in sustainable forest management planning frameworks in multiple jurisdictions across Canada. Key legislative and conservation initiatives that most of her reviews and analyses focused on included topics such as climate change, species at risk, and biodiversity conservation. In her previous roles, she has also had experience with third-party voluntary forest certification programs, leading a certification program for a company operating across North and South America. Sarah has also held a consultant role where she provided strategic support to a broad range of clients across many sectors related to sustainability and climate change regulations and policy – including developments in the Clean Fuel Regulations.

In her current role with OFIA, Sarah is responsible for monitoring, tracking, evaluating, and reporting on policies, emerging issues, and government initiatives relevant to Ontario’s forest sector. This includes keeping members informed and developing submissions responding to key government proposals. Sarah also acts as the Secretariat for the Woodlands, Manufacturing, Algonquin Park, Biomass, and Indigenous Relations OFIA Committees.

In her free time, Sarah enjoys hiking, skiing, and paddleboarding with her husband and two Australian Shepherds.

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