The implementation of this…

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Commenting on behalf of

As as the Director of Operations at Forests Ontario and as a board member of the Forest Gene Conservation Association

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The implementation of this policy will require technical expertise and knowledge transfer within the ministry. If this does not exist, and even if it does exist, it is recommended that organizations like the Forest Gene Conservation Association (FGCA), genetic associations and Forests Ontario (given their long history in managing, procuring and deploying source identified seed and working with practitioners) be sought as knowledge keepers and educators in the subject matter.

One must be careful about the use of the word ‘mixing seed’ as many will do this without understanding the risks or repercussions of mixing and the challenges with respect to monitoring. By mixing you may be limited in your ability to monitor the success or failure of your decision as well as the long-term success of a planting project. Currently, Forests Ontario manages seed so that seed collected or obtained can be tracked from source to planting site; which can inform us, our nursery partners and our planting delivery agents about performance and risk.

Forests Ontario and our partner the Forest Gene Conservation Association, have developed a tree seed database which was replicated after the Ontario Tree Seed Plant Database. The custom, online database was created to be more accessible for seed managers than the previous OTSP database. The tool is meant to function like 'online banking' for seed. The database allows any seed manager to manage their inventory of seed (including the intake of collection, processing and testing data), and sell it to other buyers making the seed procurement process easier for practitioners. We feel strongly that this tool will be useful for practitioners who must follow this new seed transfer policy as it will aid them in data collection, give them greater access to seed from sources where they are not working with collectors or orchards and will reduce administrative costs of managing seed.

Comments and suggested changes within the policy itself are located in the document uploaded.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this critical aspect of forest restoration and management in Ontario.