With the province’s fibre supply facing significant pressures, including mountain pine beetle and wildfire, the government is taking steps to ensure access to fibre to support a strong and competitive forest industry that attracts investment and provides stable, good-paying jobs for hard-working Albertans.
The Forest Jobs Action Plan supports forest businesses by increasing the AAC by up to 13 per cent, while ensuring continued sustainable forest management principles. These actions include:
- Ensuring a more expedient return of wildfire burned areas to productive forests.
- Increasing the AAC by harvesting unallocated portions of already approved areas.
- Utilizing residual fibre and lumber waste for value-added opportunities.
- Using superior naturally occurring seedlings that are better for the long-term health and resilience of our forests.
- Restructuring forest management plans with foresters to better allocate timber.
“The Forest Jobs Action Plan shows that we are committed to sustainable, long-term fibre access for foresters while ensuring our forests continue to be sustainable and can be enjoyed by future generations of Albertans. We’re giving forest companies the certainty they need by increasing the AAC by up to 13 per cent and exploring additional economic opportunities.”
“We commend Premier Kenney and Minister Dreeshen for taking this important step to secure forest sector jobs in Alberta. As an industry, we take great pride in how we manage Alberta’s forests. We plant more than two trees for every tree we harvest, make detailed plans for wildlife, ensure protection of streams, and grow forests for future generations of Albertans to enjoy. This decision will help ensure a competitive future for our industry and the more than 40,000 Albertans whose jobs are supported by forestry.”
The plan will also involve future stakeholder engagement to drive innovation and develop policy options that use forest management as a risk mitigation tool to benefit all forested lands, in coordination with the Ministry of Environment and Parks, slated to begin in 2021.
Alberta’s forest management plans are designed to align with the work being done by the caribou sub-regional taskforce planning.
When done sustainably, forest management can be used to help restore critical wildlife habitat over the long term.
- About 60 per cent, or 38 million hectares, of Alberta is forested, meaning our province’s forested area is larger than the entire country of Japan.
- In 2018, the forest sector directly supported 946 small businesses and 58 medium and large-sized businesses, which employed 40,000 Albertans.