The Maritime College of Forest Technology (MCFT), formerly the Maritime Forest Ranger School (MFRS) Fredericton, New Brunswick was established in April 1946 as a co-operative effort of the provincial governments of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and the wood-using industries of the two provinces. The original location for MFRS was on the grounds owned by the University of New Brunswick which housed Alexander College which is known today as the Fredericton Exhibition Grounds. In 1949 MFRS moved to its new location overlooking the Saint John River Valley. The MFRS stood alone at this location until the construction of the new campus in 1986. This current campus is part of the Hugh John Flemming Forestry Centre and is presently shared with the Canadian Forest Service and Department of Natural Resources. In 1980 the college expanded to include a francophone campus in Bathurst, NB. The MCFT Bathurst faculty continue to train forest technicians in French to this day.
From 1946 to 2003 the MFRS operated on a one-year program. The majority of students who enrolled during that time were mature students and came from working backgrounds. For much of this time, it was also a mandatory requirement for students to have prior forestry experience in order to be admitted. In 2003 the college underwent a transition from MFRS to MCFT, and along with this came the adoption of the two-year curriculum currently in place today. Less of an emphasis was placed on prior work experience in order to open the program up to students from across the Maritimes. In 2008 MCFT began offering an Advanced Diploma Program in Forest Technology and Fish & Wildlife technology to students who wanted to have the option of pursuing careers in forestry or wildlife-related fields.
MCFT has graduated over 3,300 students since 1946 and continues to produce quality graduates primed for work in the natural resource sector. They can be found in municipal, provincial, and federal government departments, working for NGOs and non-profits, operating their own businesses, suppressing wildfire, and in many other exciting positions.