Guinness confirms local forestry company part of new world record

Fruitvale's Acto Wood Products employees and Greenpeaks Holdings workers set a new record for number of trees planted in an hour.

It’s official.

A Fruitvale forestry company helped set a Guinness World Record earlier this year.

Three ATCO Wood Products employees and 23 Greenpeaks Holdings workers gathered outside of Rossland at Neptune Creek Drainage in May, and planted 7,785 trees in one hour.

The impressive feat was part of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)  that had 29 SFI teams of 25 to 100 people from New York City to Vancouver Island planting 202,935 trees in 60 minutes – setting a new world record.

A certificate of recognition is on the way, says ATCO Silviculture Supervisor Mark MacAulay, referring to SFI’s Tuesday news release confirming the title.

“Attempting to set the record added a little fun and competition to work,” he said.

“And now has added a lot of pride and satisfaction to work knowing that the record is officially confirmed.”

SFI is a voluntary environmental certification standard that requires a commitment to sustainable forestry management and responsible environmental practises.

Becoming a member requires companies to engage partners and communities, so planting a world record number of trees fit the mandate to a T.

“We felt this would be a good opportunity to demonstrate that sustainable forestry is occurring successfully in our community,” MacAulay explained. “And is being carried out by people that comprise our community. People that work in silviculture live here, as do the forestry workers, loggers, truck drivers and mill workers at our local owned sawmill.”

Being listed in the Guinness record book is a notable achievement for ATCO, says MacAulay, adding that planting so many trees will benefit people and wildlife in years to come.

“There is also a great deal of accomplishment knowing that the area is fully planted and will soon become a young forest.”

For the first few years the site will provide habitat for small mammals such as mice, voles and rabbits as well as the animals that prey on them like owls and hawks, MacAulay explained. “The site will also be a good area for recreation and sport such as hunting, snowmobiling and mountain biking.”

As the seedlings grow over a number of years, the area will provide forage for bears and ungulates (hooved animals).

“When the stand becomes more mature, it will provide shade in the summer as well as important winter range and habitat for animals such as weasels, martens, fishers and owls,” he added. “Finally it will once again provide jobs for people that work in the renewable resource industry.”

Also helping set the new record were local teams from Interfor’s Castlegar and Grand Forks Divisions. Sixty-seven volunteers and forestry professionals planted 8,227 seedlings at two Interfor harvesting locations, one near Greenwood, the other at Windfall Creek.

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