2023 Award Recipients

The 2023 CIF-IFC National Awards Ceremony was hosted on September 25, 2023 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre as part of the 2023 National Conference and 115th Annual General Meeting. Loni Pierce, (incoming) President of CIF-IFC, was the moderator of this long-running annual tradition that recognizes the unique and outstanding contributions made by forest practitioners and professionals to forestry in Canada. In one of his last duties as (outgoing) CIF-IFC President, Doug Reid congratulated and took photos with each of the Award recipients present.


The Forest Capital of Canada Designation was established in 1979, and focuses on the valuable role forests play in the socio-economic and environmental health of our communities – past, present and future. Originally delivered by the Canadian Forestry Association, the CIF-IFC now administers the legacy program, and designates a community or region to host a celebration of its forest resources for a period of 12-24 months.

  • The recipient of the designation for 2024 is Mackenzie Region of Northwest Alberta

The Mackenzie Region is 80,000 square kilometers within the Boreal Forest of Northwest Alberta, and everything they do is connected to the forest or the land in some way. Their land mass is substantial – about the size of New Brunswick – and over 70% of the region’s citizens are involved with, rely on, or work in the forest in some capacity. The Mackenzie Region is made up of forestry, energy, agriculture, trapping, tourism, and a whole lot of history and vibrant cultures.


Recognizes unique and outstanding achievements in forestry in Canada.  This award has the objective of encouraging excellence in the forestry profession.

  • The 2023 recipient is Daniel Macmaster of Midway, BC

Since the beginning of his career, Dan has been passionate about the natural environment. As a former high-school teacher, he taught students about outdoor education subjects like biology and ecology. After teaching, Dan received a Master’s degree in Sustainable Forest Management from the University of British Columbia and managed the forestry department at Vaagen Fibre Canada, a community sawmill in Midway, BC for 10 years. He is active on numerous boards. Currently Dan is the Forestry Manager for the Osoyoos Indian Band and manages a variety of forest tenures including the West Boundary Community Forest. Not only does he believe in the power of community and educating people about all things forestry, he believes in inspiring other foresters to take similar actions. Dan is also passionate about providing educational outreach opportunities to young students. He manages a local Outdoor Education Centre and is rooted in the belief that these learning opportunities are critical to the future well-being of community forests and the forest industry.


Recognition of individuals who have made innovative and outstanding achievements in forestry research in Canada. Recognition can be for developing new practices, process, or techniques, or for demonstrating the practical applications of research in forestry. This award has the objective of encouraging innovation, exploration, application, and excellence in forest research.

  • The 2023 recipient is Dr. Richard Hamelin of Vancouver, BC

Dr. Hamelin is a Professor at the University of British Columbia within the Faculty of Forestry. He studies tree diseases, and uses genetic and genomic approaches to better understand forest disease epidemics and to develop innovative diagnostic and surveillance tools. Richard’s extensive contributions to serving the scientific community are demonstrated through the various roles he has held in several professional societies, publishing over 190 peer-reviewed journal papers, and delivering over 300 presentations around the world. Richard has also demonstrated leadership in mentoring the next generation of research scientists.


This award recognizes groups or teams who have made significant, unique, and outstanding contributions to forest management in Canada. It appreciates the multidisciplinary nature of forest ecosystem management by recognizing the many groups that are required to come together in the process. This award has the objective of encouraging excellence and leadership in group contributions to Canadian forest management.

  • The 2023 recipient is the Forest Management and Wetland Stewardship Initiative

FMWSI is an award-winning, innovative partnership focused on finding sustainable solutions to operating in and around boreal wetlands. The partnership, initiated in 2016, brings together Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries, Canfor, Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Forest Products Association of Canada, Tolko Industries, West Fraser, and Weyerhaeuser. Over two 3-year terms, the group has collaboratively selected wetland and waterfowl stewardship projects with the goal of generating knowledge and developing resources for forest practitioners.


Presented to individuals who have made significant or consistent outstanding contributions to the Institute through their actions in support of the Institute’s mission. This award recognizes the hard work, dedication, and commitment that individuals provide in following the Institute’s mission and the profession.

  • The 2023 recipient is Edward Czerwinski of Nasonworth, NB and the CIF-IFC Maritimes Section

Ed is currently the Director of the CIF-IFC Maritimes Section, as well as the Executive Director of the Association of Registered Professional Foresters of New Brunswick. He recently retired from his full-time position as Technical Team Lead at the University of New Brunswick, Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management. Ed started his career in forestry 42 years ago as a Forest Insect and Disease Survey Ranger for the Canadian Forest Service from 1981-1998. He then proceeded on to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources where he was a Forest Health Technical Specialist and Conservation Officer. Ed originally graduated from the Sault College Forest Technician Diploma program and later obtained a BSc in Forestry from University of New Brunswick.


The Institute recognizes that there are many individuals involved in forestry across Canada who are making outstanding contributions early in their profession. The award recognizes the contributions of those forest practitioners newer to the profession. It has the objective of encouraging excellence in the forestry profession. This award is named the James M. Kitz Award, after a person who was a member of Institute and the Alberta Registered Professional Foresters Association.

  • The 2023 recipient is Nicholas Dormaar of Prince George, BC and the CIF-IFC Cariboo Section

Nick has been involved with the Canadian Institute of Forestry for many years. His work has included Chairing the Cariboo Section as well as the 2021 Conference Planning committee. He has been involved with many National and local committees over the years, and in 2017 Nick started the Prince George International Forest and Ecology Film Festival and Photo Exhibition. During his time at the University of Northern British Columbia, Nick helped bring 130 Forestry Students from around the world to tour the forests of BC with the International Forestry Student Association. Nick is the Prince George Divisional Manager as well as the Manager of Major Projects and New Business with KDL Resource Management. He works closely with First Nations throughout BC and Northwest Territories, ensuring their economic objectives and values are represented in forest management practices.


The Schlich Memorial Prize is awarded to an outstanding student chosen by the university and technical school(s) represented by the Section(s) hosting the annual meeting. The Schlich Memorial Prize is named, after Sir William Schlich, who was born in 1840 and was a German forester who became Inspector General of Forests to the Government of India. He also founded the School of Forestry at Oxford in 1905, and was knighted in 1909 for his many achievements. He passed-away in 1925 and the Oxford Forestry School sponsored a campaign to create a fitting memorial – the Schlich Memorial Fund.

The 2023 recipients are:

  • Ashlynne Moore of Courtenay, BC
  • Mackenzie Guild of Pemberton, BC and the CIF-IFC Vancouver Island Section

Ashlynne Moore didn’t really know what she wanted to do in life and someone suggested forestry. She grew up and lived in a small town where forestry is a large part of it so she figured she should give it a try. She started with Strategic Natural Resource Consultants as an engineer in 2014 with little to no knowledge of what forestry entailed, and slowly learned and moved up and in that time and fell more in love with it. She decided that this is what she wanted to do for her career and it was time to go back to school. She is now a serious engineer and crew lead on wildfires for Strategic working towards her RFT designation and looks forward to what the future brings for her.

Mackenzie Guild graduated from the VIU Forest Resources Technology Program from Vancouver Island University in April of 2023 while maintaining the Dean’s List for both 2022 & 2023. Upon graduation, he received the CIF-IFC Gold Medal Award. In the summers he works as a Wildland Firefighter with the BC Wildfire Service, and is currently continuing his studies at VIU working towards a BSc with a major in Geoscience. Upon completion of the degree, Mackenzie hopes to work towards registration as both an RPF and P.Geo.


This Award was newly added to the CIF-IFC National Awards Program in 2021 and recognizes individuals who make significant, unique, and outstanding contributions to advance gender equity, equality, diversity and inclusion in their community or workplace in the field of forestry in Canada. This Award honours the dedication and commitment of those individuals to increase equity, inclusivity and diversity of underrepresented groups in the forest sector.

  • The 2023 recipient is Apsana Kafle of Edmonton, AB

Apsana has been a dedicated advocate of gender and youth inclusion in forestry decision-making realms over the past 5 years. As a co-founder of the Female Foresters Network, she’s instrumental in mentoring and empowering more than 500 female foresters in Nepal, creating pathways for diversity and growth. Relocating to Canada in 2021, Apsana’s commitment to her cause remains unwavering as she pursues her MSc in Forest Management from the University of Alberta. Her influence spans continents, as she represents North America within the International Forestry Students Association. Apsana’s leadership extends to global platforms and she has led forestry student delegations to prominent events such as the World Forestry Congress, the UN Convention on Biodiversity, and Sustainable Forest Initiative meetings, where she champions youth perspectives. Apsana played a pivotal role in shaping the Women’s Forest Congress by contributing to the gender inclusion strategy. Her engagement also extends to forestry education through IFSA and IUFRO, showcasing her dedication to advancing gender equality across the sector. Currently, she works with Center for International Forest Research (CIFOR), and is also active in IFSA.


This Award was newly added to the CIF-IFC National Awards Program in 2021 and recognizes groups (including volunteer groups and/or organizations) that have made significant and outstanding contributions to advance gender equity, equality, diversity and inclusion in the field of forestry in Canada. This Award has the objective of encouraging the recruitment, retention and advancement of underrepresented groups in the forest sector.

  • The 2023 recipient is Canfor Corporation – Prince George Woodlands Division

Over the past 10 years, the hiring and promotion practices at the Prince George Woodlands Division have supported the inclusion of women and Indigenous peoples in the operational and corporate structures. Canfor’s Prince George Woodlands Team is made up of 38 individuals – Registered Forest Technicians, RPFs, Foresters in Training, and support staff – all practicing in different facets and disciplines of Forestry, 14 of which are women from varied ethnic backgrounds. In addition, Canfor’s participation in a number of diversity initiatives, as well as implementation of broader diversity policies and tools within the corporation across operations in both Canada and internationally, clearly demonstrate a strong commitment to removing barriers to employment and promotion of equity-deserving groups.


The Award recognizes individuals who have made unique and outstanding contributions or achievements in international forestry. It recognizes that Canada is a world leader in the practice of forestry and appreciates the actions of individuals who have shared this leadership with other nations. It can also recognize the actions of an individual to bring nations together to better forestry practices globally. This Award has the objective of encouraging excellence and cooperation in international forestry.

  • The 2023 recipient is Dr. Terry Sunderland of Vancouver, BC

Dr. Sunderland is currently a Professor at the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia, focusing on the biological and human dimensions of the sustainable management and utilization of tropical forests. He was previously a Senior/Principal Scientist at the Centre for International Forestry Research in Indonesia where he coordinated CIFOR’s work on forests and food security, biodiversity conservation, and integrated landscape management. Prior to joining CIFOR in early 2006, Terry was based in West Africa for over fifteen years and worked on numerous conservation and livelihood-focused initiatives. Having both a field practitioner and academic background gives him a wide perspective on conservation, livelihoods, and issues related to sustainable forest management. Terry has a Master’s degree in Forestry from the University of Oxford and a PhD from the University of London. He has published more than 240 research papers, written and edited book chapters, and supervised many graduate studies related to tropical forestry, focusing particularly on the capacity of developing country scientists. Terry is an active blogger, Twitter user, and engages regularly with media on disseminating research for policy influence and outreach.


Developed by the CIF-IFC and the Duchy of Cornwall, this Award recognizes the achievements of an outstanding young forestry professional in Canada. The Award encourages the engagement in and dedication to the principles of sustainable forest management policy, planning and practice, sound science-based land stewardship, and public outreach/knowledge exchange focusing on the wise use and conservation of forests and the ecosystems that they encompass.

  • The 2023 recipient is Ryan Wilkie of Thunder Bay, ON and the CIF-IFC Northwestern Ontario Section

Ryan grew up on the prairies of Manitoba, working and playing in the crop fields and oak pastures where his connection to nature was founded. An interest in remote sensing developed during his undergrad where Ryan majored in conservation planning and management, and his thesis focused on automated detection of raptor nests in forest canopies using drones. This was followed by graduate work studying road reclamation in Ontario’s boreal forests. After a stint on Vancouver Island as forest tech and drone pilot, Ryan went back to Lakehead University to teach the next cohorts of foresters and environmental technicians, working on various research projects with the faculty. This also included truth and reconciliation efforts in collaboration with other partners. Just recently, Ryan started with Parks Canada as the lead Geomatics Technician and drone pilot for the new Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area.


Since 1908, volunteers have played a special role in the growth of the Institute, sharing their time, energy and expertise through activities such as office work, field work, fundraising, knowledge exchange and resource sharing. This award recognizes outstanding volunteers for their efforts and dedication.

The 2023 recipients are:

  • Andres Enrich of Nanaimo, BC and the CIF-IFC Vancouver Island Section
  • Gregory Herringer of Port Alberni, BC and the CIF-IFC Vancouver Island Section

Andres Enrich is an Instructor and Chair of the Forest Resource Technology program at Vancouver Island University here in Nanaimo. He currently teaches Forest Surveying, Biometrics, Inventory, and GIS, and has been part of the Vancouver Island CIF-IFC Section since 2019. He holds a technical Diploma in forestry from BCIT, a Degree in Forest Management from UBC, and Masters from the University of Georgia. With over 20-years of experience as an RPF, he has worked in BC, the US South, and Uruguay in operational and strategic planning roles.

Greg Herringer began his relationship with the forests and forestry industry in the mid- 1980’s as a tree-planter working on Vancouver Island and the Central Interior for the better part of a decade. Fast forward to 2013 when Greg moved back to forestry as a silviculture surveyor on Vancouver Island and the Mid-Coast. From there he moved on to the Forest Technology program at VIU which brought him to his current position as a Forest Technologist with BC Timber Sales. Greg’s passion for big trees encompasses both his professional life where he is the coordinator for the BCTS Coastal Legacy Tree program on the South Island, and his personal life where much of his leisure time is spent in search of the hidden giants in our coastal old growth forests. Greg is a strong advocate for sharing knowledge with the future generation of forest professionals, and one of the founding coordinators of the VIU/CIF-IFC Mentorship Program.


This Award recognizes outstanding involvement of members in the affairs of the CIF-IFC that can result in increased awareness of the importance of forestry in Canada.

  • The 2023 recipient is the Vancouver Island Section

The CIF-IFC Vancouver Island Section is very deserving of this honour for 2023. The Section maintains a strong membership base of around 100 individuals, with about 10% of them being on the Section council. They have two CIF-IFC Silver Ring schools in their region, both of which had Silver Ring ceremonies this year. They hosted several Section-led events including tours, walks, and even a paint night. The Section has shown diligence in membership communications and fiscal responsibility, and it is very apparent that they are working hard to uphold an engaging local presence. In addition to all of these activities and efforts, they also managed to successfully host the CIF-IFC 2023 National Conference and 115th Annual General Meeting in Nanaimo.


This Award recognizes individuals celebrating 50 years of membership with the Institute.

The 2023 recipients are:

  • David Haley of the Vancouver Island Section
  • Dennis I. Anderson of the Vancouver Island Section
  • Bruce Dancik of the Rocky Mountain Section
  • Terry Schwan of the Southern Ontario Section
  • Gordon Murray of the Algonquin Section
  • Dr. Ronald D. Ayling of the Ottawa Valley Section
  • Rodney Smith of the Ottawa Valley Section
  • Steven D. Talbot of the Maritimes Section

David Haley has been a member of the CIF since 1973. He graduated from the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Forestry in 1974, and has been a BC RPF since 1976. He has over 49 years (and counting) of progressive and extensive experience in private and public organizations dealing with land use planning, natural resource management, policy and legislation development, and its subsequent implementation. Since retirement from the BC Ministry of Forests, Forest Tenures Branch, Woodlot Licence Program in 2013, he has continued to manage Agro-Forestry operations on a family farm, established in 1886. He is also an avid volunteer with various organizations.
Currently, David is on a trip to Finland, organized by the UBC Faculty of Forestry, to view commercial thinning and biomass operations. He believes the role of forest professionals is to build climate, financial, and social resiliency through sensitive and thoughtful active management. He regrets that he is not in attendance and thanks the organizing committee for their hard work.

Terry Schwan has been a Professional Forester for 47 years, with degrees from the University of Toronto and from Macdonald College of McGill University. He has worked in Mattawa, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, QC, Kapuskasing, and Guelph as District Forester from 1997 to 2014. He left Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and has since contracted his services to Williams & Associates Forestry Consultants, the Forest Gene Conservation Association, and others. He has extensive experience in all aspects of forestry in southwestern Ontario. He is presently on the Board of Directors of the Southern Ontario Section of the CIF, Forest History Ontario, and the Forest Gene Conservation Association. More recently he has developed and coordinated with colleagues to carry out forest history tours in south-western Ontario. Terry is originally from Hanover, Ontari, is married with three daughters and six grandchildren, and is the author of The Historic Schwan Breweries – a family history of small-town breweries.

Dr. Ronald Ayling graduated in Forestry from the University of Toronto in 1967 and obtained a PhD in Forest Sciences in 1992 from the Australian National University, Canberra. His area of research focused on plant physiology and the effects of growth hormones and herbicides on plant growth and physiological processes. He taught for seven years at the University of Toronto, and for two years at the Universidade de Vicosa, Brazil, on a project for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). He has more than 30 years of experience in international development – identifying and implementing projects in agriculture and agroforestry for Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), as well as consulting for CIDA and the International Model Forest program. Ron joined the Canadian Institute of Forestry in 1973, and has been editor of The Forestry Chronicle since 2004.

Rodney Smith: 50 years of anything is a long time! Having said that, I have been married to the love of my love Villa for 45 of those years and this part has seemed to have gone by far too fast. For those who may know me, I have been happily retired on the Madawaska River near Arnprior for the past 10 years. Although a loyal member of the CIF for so many years, I haven’t been a particularly active member. However, I have had the distinct pleasure of working with or being associated with a very long list of outstanding CIF’ers who have contributed to making the CIF the world class organization it remains as today. And I would suggest that many of these individuals became who they were, in no small measure, because of their association with the CIF and what it stands for. Receiving this milestone honour has of course caused me to reflect. Two things in particular come to mind: firstly, the fact that over these years we know so much more about how and why things in the forest and forest ecosystems actually work which better enables us to do our jobs; and secondly, the very struggle to recognize and institutionalize the importance of forest management in this country now falls within what I believe is the broadly accepted norm across society: that sustaining our forest resource is crucial to our survival. The challenge remains for the CIF to help influence and develop the individuals and leaders within the sector that will guide this positive evolution forward. Thanks so much to those that have worked to honour me as a member of the Golden (Dinosaurs) Year Club. And congratulations to all the staff and volunteers over the years that have actually managed to keep such good records and not given in to cleaning house of old, dusty membership files!


Tree of Life Awards are nationally recognized, but selected and presented by Sections of the CIF-IFC to individuals who have made superior, dedicated or particularly effective contributions to sustainable forest management, forest renewal and sustained yield, or integrated management of the forest and its intrinsic values.

The 2022-2023 recipients are:

  • Gerry Burch of the Vancouver-South Coast Section
  • Scott Formaniuk of the Rocky Mountain Section
  • Trevor Stanley of the Manitoba Section
  • Douglas Paul Drysdale of the Southern Ontario Section
  • Eric Young of the Newfoundland and Labrador Section


This award was newly added to the CIF-IFC National Awards Program for 2021 and provides an avenue for the CIF-IFC Executive Director to recognize outstanding accomplishments of National Office team members in helping to achieve the Institute’s mission to provide national leadership, promote competence, and foster public awareness of Canadian and international forestry/forest issues.

The 2023 recipients are:

  • Natasha Machado, Director of Programs and Initiatives, CIF-IFC
  • Tanisha Rajput, Forest Education Coordinator, CIF-IFC
  • Sharon Yang, Forest Science Program Coordinator, CIF-IFC