About Us

The Forest Gene Conservation Association (FGCA) formed in 1994 and since 1997 has been a non profit, genetic resource management corporation, with individual and group members who are involved in southcentral Ontario forest conservation and management.

We are guided by our Constitution and By-Laws (1997), By-law 97-10 – with a Code of Ethics stating that

All members of the FGCA shall sincerely cooperate in promoting the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of the genetic base of the forest and shall place their duty to the forest above all other duties pertinent to the forest.

FGCA Area Map

FGCA Area Map:  pink=private land, green=crown land

The FGCA was first established under the umbrella of the Ontario Tree Improvement Board, and continued under Forest Genetics Ontario (FGO) which disbanded in 2015. As of 2016 the FGCA continues to operate as an independent forest genetics association within the area of the Southern Region of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’ (MNRF).

Our Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan outlines a five-year strategy for the Forest Gene Conservation Association. Each year a FGCA annual operating plan is prepared, guided by the current strategy.

FGCA has a vision of a healthy, productive, sustainable forest across urban and rural southern Ontario that includes the full breadth of natural woody plant genetic diversity and contributes to local ecosystem integrity and the social and economic welfare of current and future generations of Ontarians.

FGCA’s mission is to broadly promote forest gene conservation, and to advise and assist our members and associates to apply genetic resource management principles within their forest conservation and management programs in urban and rural landscapes in southern Ontario.

2016–2021 Goals

  1. Biologically Appropriate Reforestation: Increase the quality and quantity of source-identified, native species seed.
  2. Promotion of Gene Conservation Principles: Increase awareness of FGCA programs among forest management and conservation sectors.
  3. Species Conservation & Restoration: Increase awareness of native species diversity and threats to their status, and develop programs for recovery.
  4. Climate Change Adaptation: Increase awareness and use of genetic resource management principles to help conserve and improve existing native forest resilience.
  5. Effective, responsive, fiscally viable organization: Maintain an NFP corporation and serve its membership.

Board of Directors

The FGCA Board of Directors consists of a minimum of seven members, to a maximum of 12, with representation from Forests Ontario, Conservation Ontario, crown land forest managers, one elected from members in the seed and stock production industry, and the remainder to be filled in accordance to the By-Laws.

An executive committee of the Board consists of the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer and supervises the day-to-day operations. Those operations are carried out by the General Manager who supervises staff and reports to Executive and the Board. The current Board of Directors was elected/appointed at the annual general meeting (AGM) in June 2016 and will hold office until the 2018 AGM.

President: Ed Patchell, Ferguson Forest Centre, Kemptville, elected from seed and stock industry members

Vice President: Gary Nielsen, Climate Change Specialist/Forest Consultant

Secretary: Glenn McLeod, Forest Consultant

Treasurer: Kerry McLaven, Forests Ontario

Board Members 

John Enright R.P.F., Upper Thames River Conservation Authority Forester, London, appointed by Conservation Ontario

Matt Mertins R.P.F.Mazinaw-Lanark Forest Inc., Cloyne, appointed by Sustainable Forest License members (elected in June 2017)

Terry Schwan R.P.F. Forest Consultant, Guelph

Dr. Aron Fazekas, University of Guelph Arboretum Manager, Department of Integrative Biology, Guelph

Steve Smith, Forest Consultant, representing Society of Ecological Restoration, Toronto

Dave Harbec B.Sc. (Agr), Somerville Seedlings Propagation Manager, Everett

Nancy Young R.P.F., City of Ottawa Forester, Ottawa

Rob Davies, Associate Member OPFA, Essex Region Conservation Authority Forester, Essex


General Manager: Barb Boysen R.P.F., Maberly

Species Conservation and Administration Coordinator: Heather Zurbrigg B.Sc.,
Seed Program Coordinator: Melissa Spearing NPD, Bethany