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Kari Stuart-Smith Receives Women in Forestry Award for Exceptional Contributions to Canada’s Forest Products Sector

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As National Forest Week is celebrated across the country, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is announcing the winners of its 2023 Awards of Excellence program.  Today, FPAC announced that Kari Stuart-Smith, Manager of Biodiversity and Wildlife for Canfor Corporation, is being honoured with the Women in Forestry Award.

Photo: Pictured (Left to Right): FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor, Kari Stuart-Smith, Kate Lindsay.
Pictured (Left to Right): FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor, Kari Stuart-Smith, Kate Lindsay.

“The Women in Forestry Award is dedicated to recognizing a female leader who contributes to the dynamic and ever-evolving forest sector while championing workplace diversity and inclusion,” said FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor.

“Kari Stuart-Smith embodies the spirit of this award through her dedication, leadership, and exceptional contributions to the field of forestry. She has a brilliant scientific mind and represents the best of our industry’s commitment to supporting every living creature and ecosystem in our forests. She is a leader among her peers and a model for both younger women and men who aspire to a career and making a positive difference in Canada’s forests,,” he added. “This award is a celebration of Kari’s impactful journey, as well as a testament to the power of women like Kari in leadership positions who are shaping the future of forestry.”

With an impressive 30-year tenure in the forest sector, Kari Stuart-Smith serves as the Manager of Biodiversity and Wildlife for Canfor Corporation. Her illustrious career is marked by a proven track record of successful project leadership, characterized by collaborative efforts with federal and provincial governments, Indigenous communities, industry, academia, and stakeholders.

Kari’s profound impact has been instrumental in formulating practical, cost-effective forest management strategies that prioritize wildlife habitat conservation and biodiversity preservation.

Kari’s professional journey began in 1993 with Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries after earning her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Carleton University. She further enhanced her expertise with a Master of Science in Zoology from the University of Alberta, followed by a PhD in Forest Science from Oregon State.

Throughout her journey, she has authored numerous scientific publications focusing on diverse wildlife species, including songbirds, red squirrels, moose, mountain goats, and caribou.

Her commitment extends beyond academia, as she has also played a pivotal role in executing significant projects such as a wildfire fuel reduction initiative in Jasper National Park and the development of an innovative approach to identifying high-quality old forests in the East Kootenays.

Kari’s contributions extend to policy advisory roles as well; she was appointed to BC’s first Minister’s Wildlife Advisory Council in 2020, where she continues to provide essential advice on wildlife strategy and related provincial policy and legislation.

Kari resides near Cranbrook with her family, and outside of her professional commitments, she indulges in outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, bird-watching, and diving.

“I feel truly honored to receive this award. I feel very fortunate to work in an industry that provides such a rewarding and challenging career, and one that offers the opportunity to work with incredible and diverse people on creative and innovative strategies that not only maintain healthy ecosystems and habitat for wildlife, but also provides the renewable wood products we need to help address a changing climate,” said Kari Stuart-Smith.

“Over the last 30 years I have seen a tremendous advances in forest management practices. With the challenge now of a changing climate, every group our sector touches — industry, government, First Nations — need to work together to develop the strategies and incentives to build resilient forests so these forests can continue to support the human and wildlife communities who rely on them, now and into the future,” she added.

About FPAC

FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. As an industry with annual revenues exceeding $72 billion, Canada’s forest products sector is one of the country’s largest employers operating in hundreds of communities, providing 205,000 direct jobs, and over 140,000 indirect jobs across the country. Our members are committed to collaborating with Indigenous leaders, government bodies, and other key stakeholders to develop a cross-Canada action plan aimed at advancing forest health, while supporting workers, communities and our environment for the long term.


Kerry Patterson-Baker – Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs – – (613) 563-1441 x 314

Source: Forest Products Association of Canada