Since I'm waiting for the bus in the beautiful sunshine, I thought I'd might as well update my blog. Thank you BlackBerry :)
I spent the last three days in Huntsville to attend and present at the annual conference of the Canadian Institute of Forestry. The Monday and Wednesday were filled with technical sessions, while the Tuesday was reserved for a field day. The venue? Deerhurst resort on the edge of Algonquin Park. Deerhurst is probably well known for hosting the G8 last year (and the millions it received for upgrading...). But the location is beautiful, especially with the colours starting to turn as well.
So all in all three days well spent!
A quick recap:
I arrived Monday around noon after a four-hour drive through beautiful surroundings (it made me want to move back to the valley!). Monday evening was reserved for the banquet and award gala. The Canadian Wood Fibre Centre (my group!) won the forest management group award! Pretty cool for sure.
I had signed up for the Hardwood Management Tour which was quite good. I don't work a lot in hardwood, so it was very interesting to see that side as well. The weather was absolutely amazing and it made for a great day in the field! That evening we had the visitor centre of Algonquin Park to ourselves with an outdoor barbecue! We also had the great opportunity to listen to the park naturalist, who gave an incredible presentation on wolves in the park, and the history of the public wolf howl.
*** Algonquin's Public Wolf Howl information ***
The first public wolf howl was organized in 1963 (almost 50 years ago). There were a couple of staff on hand, and expectations were blown out of the water when 565 people showed up!
Since that date 111 public wolf howlings have been held, normally on Thursday evenings in August, and on average 1700 people attend these sessions!! I had no clue! And apparently they are as quiet as can be. It must be quite the sight.
We were treated to our own private wolf howl that evening, but unfortunately no wolf decided to respond.
On Wednesday afternoon, we had our session on partnerships and knowledge exchange, and that went quite well. We decided to shake it up a bit and make it interactive after we finished the case studies. After 35 minutes of conversations, I had a hard time getting people back as a group, since they we're so engaged in their discussions. I guess that's a good sign?
Now it's back in Ottawa, where we are finalizing the details for our component leaders forum next week. Did I mention that I am one of two facilitators? Not sure how, when or why that happened. Hopefully all will go well.
This weekend should be good. We're heading to Brockville on Sunday (or so I think) to celebrate Nolan's birthday. It's his birthday on Tuesday, in case you want to congratulate him. And unlike last year, I'll actually be able to spend the day (or at least evening) with him!