From the very beginning, Forestry was about conservation


The emergence of forestry education in North America is associated with the rise of the conservation movement in the late 1800s, which was fueled by the realization that our seemingly endless natural resources could in fact run out.


Canada needed to start producing professionals that understood how to utilize forests without destroying them. The Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto was Canada’s first Forestry Faculty. It’s first Dean, Bernhard Eduard Fernow, was North America’s first practicing professional forester.


More firsts were to come in the 100-plus history of the Faculty of Forestry. Graduates from the Faculty pioneered the integration of professional forestry into pulp and paper operations, set up Canada’s first commercial reforestation program in Ontario, and pioneered wood preservation (first for railway ties) and wood science as academic pursuits with practical applications and economic rewards. Dr. Eric Jorgensen was the first to use the term “urban forestry” in its present meaning and the first to study it in depth, and in the 90s the Faculty was the first to develop an interdisciplinary, professional Masters program in Forest Conservation.


100 Rings and Counting

The history of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto is intimately tied to the history of conservation and land ethics in Canada and North America.Read more about it in Forest Historian Dr. Mark Kuhlberg’s book about the Faculty’s first 100 Years, “100 Rings and Counting: Forestry Education and Forestry in Toronto and Canada, 1907-2007),” or listen to a podcast about the book.