Canada Loses Forest Champion

Private Forest Landowners Across Canada Mourn the Passing of Christopher Lee

Ottawa, Ontario – Private forest land owners and managers lost a true champion of Canada’s forests with the passing of Christopher (Chris) Lee, Registered Professional Forester (RPF), on September 17, 2021.

For more than four decades, Chris was a tireless advocate for Canada’s forest sector that included nearly 30 years resolving complex forest policy files for the federal government as well as leadership roles at the Canadian Lumber Standards Accreditation Board and at the Canadian Institute of Forestry.

It was this in-depth understanding of Canadian forestry and the respect he garnered both nationally and internationally that landed him at the helm of the Canadian Association Forest Owners. Over the ensuing eight years, Chris became a fixture and champion for private forest land advocacy in Ottawa and beyond.

In 2020, Chris led the amalgamation of the Canadian Association of Forest Owners and the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners into the Canadian Federation of Forest Owners – an organization today that represents more than 450,000 woodlot owners and land management companies across 25 million hectares of private forest land.

“Chris’s optimism and grace were only matched by his deep understanding of forest policy and his commitment to advancing his members’ interests across the country,” said Domenico Iannidinardo, Chair of the CFO Board of Directors. “I encourage everyone who knew Chris to take a moment and salute a dedicated forester who always appreciated how a great resource that requires good policy requires precise advocacy.”

“The Canadian Federation of Forest Owners exists today because of Chris’s vision and his belief that we are stronger together,” said CFO Vice Chair Susannah Banks.  “We remain committed to continuing Chris’s vision and his passion for the interests of private forest landowners and honour his legacy by approaching these issues as Chris would – with humility, thoughtfulness and kindness.”

CFO members plan to do more in the coming weeks to honour Chris’s legacy. In the meantime, our hearts go out to his wife Bonnie Braithwaite-Lee and their son Scott. At this time, flowers are gratefully declined, and instead friends and colleagues are asked to consider a donation in Chris’s memory to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre Foundation or to the Queensway Carleton Hospital.

About the Canadian Federation of Forest Owners
The Canadian Federation of Forest Owners (CFO) promotes the economic and social interests of forest owners by representing their views through a united national voice.