The Association of Registered Professional Foresters of New Brunswick (ARPFNB) presented to our Legislative Assembly a revised version of "An Act to Incorporate the Association of Registered Professional Foresters of New Brunswick", as Bill 22. The main objective of this new Act is to move from Right to Title as Registered Professional Foresters (RPF) to Right to Practice (RTP), for our members. This initiative provides protection to the public by ensuring the competency, independence, professional conduct and integrity of registered professional foresters who manage private and publicly-owned forest resources. It is our belief that all foresters be accountable for their actions in all activities as they relate to the practice of forestry. The Right to Practice will ensure the code of ethics, as defined by the ARPFNB, is abided by producing the highest practicing standard in the province.
The ARPFNB believe all foresters should protect the public interest on private and public lands. We extol the importance of having regulated professionals accountable to the public, employers, clients and profession, subject to continuing competence requirements, a complaint resolution system with a code of ethics.
It is our sincere belief that Right to Practice will achieve the high standards required in the practice of professional forestry for New Brunswick. The professional forestry associations in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec have similar legislation. In addition, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Saskatchewan are currently pursuing legislation with mandatory registration for foresters in their respective province.
The proposed Act does not impose any requirements, restrictions or limitations on forest technicians or forest technologists who may be working within the practice of professional forestry as defined in the Act, and who are competent to do so by virtue of their education and training. Nor does the proposed Act apply to: Harvesting contractors, harvesting equipment operators, manual fellers, clearing saw operators (thinners), tree planters, nursery workers, and other related professions of those working in "forestry" business. They will not be required to be registered with our association. Neither will persons working in a "supervisory" role in forestry-related activities who are managing people, budgets, buildings, vehicles and other equipment.
The RTP is at a critical stage. This change in legislature can only improve the conduct of our professional foresters by holding them accountable to the public, employers, employees or clients and other members by promoting just and honourable professional and human relations, mutual confidence and respect and competence role to society.
Jasen Golding, RPF, is a senior instructor at the University of New Brunswick whose areas of interest includes silviculture, Forest Operations Management and Forest Operations Planning and can be reached at [email protected].
Ed Czerwinski, currently Technical Team Lead at the Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, UNB and Executive Director of the Association of Registered Professional Foresters of New Brunswick and can be reached at [email protected].