Photo of John Bacher (on right) receiving award from David Milton, Executive Director of Ontario Professional Foresters Association
By Dan McDermott
Sierra Club Ontario Greenbelt campaigner, Dr. John Bacher received the Ontario Professional Foresters Association’s Edmund Zavitz Award “in recognition of significant contribution to forest conservation in Ontario”, at the OPFA May 1st award ceremony in Thunder Bay. Dr. Bacher received the Zavitz Award, appropriately enough, for his book, Two Billion Trees and Counting, The Legacy of Edmund Zavitz. Mr. Zavitz (1875-1968) held the positions of chief forester of Ontario, deputy minister of forests, and director of reforestation. He is credited with rescuing Ontario forests from environmental and human caused disasters. More than two billion trees were planted under his guidance. In presenting the award to Bacher, OPFA’s David Milton also noted John’s work with foresters across the province, who are tree by-law enforcement officers. Within Niagara Region, where John lives, this work contributed to securing an improved tree by-law and the protection of a forest that contains two Threatened Species, the Round-leaved Greenbrier and the White Wood Aster.
John’s Niagara Region Greenbelt work involves raising Greenbelt awareness and support for the Greenbelt Act heading toward the 2015 Review of the Act. He currently is involved in Ontario Municipal Board hearings addressing natural ecosystem protection and the threat of encroaching sprawl development in Niagara.