The Simcoe County Forest — A Century of Growth and Renewal

Orillia Matters
February 28, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: Canada, Canada East

The Orillia Museum of Art and History Speaker Series hosted Graeme Davis, registered professional forester, County of Simcoe, to speak about The Simcoe County Forest — A Century of Growth and Renewal. He shared what has been done over the last century to restore a landscape once devastated by logging and forest clearing practices to the vibrantly reforested Simcoe County Forest we have today, now Ontario’s largest community forest. Way back, this land was covered in stands of massive, stately white pine. Those who came to log the white pine forests claimed there was enough pine to last at least 700 years. There were over 200 sawmills in the county and railways to ship the pine during the heyday of logging. By the late 1800s [the] white pine forests were gone. The pine had been felled, cut and shipped on boats to England to be used as masts for British Navy ships.

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