Forest Industry Lecture Series

View photos of the March 2023 FILS in the gallery
Ellen Macdonald poses outside in a forest

Save the date for our 90th Forest Industry Lecture!

Dr. Ellen Macdonald will present:

"Revisiting ecosystem-based forest management: Do we really want to emulate natural disturbance?"

Thursday November 2, 2023 from 3:00 to 4:30 pm
Location to be determined, University of Alberta Campus

Questions? Contact Stacy Bergheim, FILS Coordinator, Department of Renewable Resources at (780) 492-0447 or email:

FILS History

The Forest Industry Lecture Series (FILS) began and developed as a collaborative event by members of the forestry community in Alberta to enrich the forestry program at the University of Alberta. The first forestry class enrolled in Fall of 1970, initiated as a faculty program through the vision of Fenton MacHardy, then Dean of Agriculture. In 1975, Allan A. Warrack, then Minister of Lands and Forests in the new Peter Lougheed government, made an offer to Dean MacHardy, saying that he had done well in developing the forestry program, but students needed enrichment through speakers from outside who could bring in fresh insights. The offer was that his department would match any outside funds the faculty could raise to support a position or lecture series.

Several of the larger forest products companies in western Canada immediately responded and for two years, 1975 and 1976, this new outside funding supported two visiting lecturers: Maxwell MacLaggan and Desmond I. Crossley, whose expertise were respectively: forest industry, logging and forest products; silviculture and forest management.

In the meantime, Arden A. Rytz encouraged the sawmilling and plywood industries to add their support through the Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA), of which he was executive director. Rytz was a forester, graduating from UBC after wartime service in southeast Asia. This collaborative approach to shared funding enables this lecture series to achieve the success it enjoys today.

The first designated Forest Industry Lecture was in 1977 by the Canadian, internationally respected forester Ross Silversides, who spoke on industrial forestry in a changing Canada. The university and the Department of Renewable Resources, in particular, deeply appreciate the support of its many sponsors.

The above information was written
by the late Peter Murphy.


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