“A properly managed forest protects wildlife habitat, supports tens of thousands of jobs and reduces the risk of disease and forest fires which threaten our communities. These common-sense changes will empower our forest sector, creating jobs for Alberta families at a time when they need it most. Our forest sector is leading Alberta’s economic recovery by creating safe everyday wood products through sustainable forest management practices so that Albertans can enjoy our forests for generations to come.”

Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

If passed, these changes will support the Forest Jobs Action Plan and red tape reduction – two key government commitments.

Alberta’s government engaged in consultation with the forest industry earlier in the year.

“Reducing red tape and costs while creating the conditions for a sustainable and efficient policy framework for the forestry industry will create long-term economic growth and diversification in Alberta, supporting further job creation and investment across the province while preserving our forests for all Albertans to enjoy.”

Martin Long, parliamentary secretary for tourism and small business

Key priorities include:

  • Enhancing the responsiveness and transparency of timber dues to support the competitiveness of Alberta’s forest industry.
  • Enhancing timber supply access and the timber quota system to support long-term supply, continuing sustainable forest management practices and reducing the regulatory burden.
  • Cutting unnecessary red tape for long-term forest tenure to support a more streamlined regulatory framework.                                                                  

Amendments support the long-term competitiveness of the forest sector by ensuring reliable access to timber, providing security for capital investments and maintaining an attractive investment environment. Changes include:

  • Adding a preamble to the Forests Act that demonstrates Alberta’s commitment to the sustainable management of forests and a sustainable timber supply for the forest industry.
  • Increasing the transparency and responsiveness of Alberta’s timber dues by making their calculation methods available to the public and by providing regular updates to promote sector competitiveness.
  • Providing greater flexibility for the forest industry to respond to market and environmental conditions by allowing 10-year harvest control periods as another option to the existing five-year option for timber quota holders.
  • Eliminating the unnecessary red tape for forestry companies to hold a timber licence in addition to their timber quota by adjusting quotas to provide all of the necessary oversight by today’s forest management planning standards.

“Alberta’s forest industry is a major job creator and economic contributor. The industry supports 40,000 jobs and generates $350 million in revenue for the Government of Alberta. These changes will support forestry job creators by eliminating unnecessary red tape. Our industry is about communities, people, and sustainability. By eliminating unnecessary processes, we can focus on the things that matter.”

Janis Simpkins, senior vice-president, Alberta Forest Products Association

The Forests Act provides for and defines the powers to establish regulations related to forestry and allows for the approval of the right to harvest Crown timber or forest tenure.

This legislative and regulatory framework enables the competitive conditions that attract and retain forest industry investment in Alberta and protects the value of our province’s natural resources for the benefit of all Albertans.

Quick facts

  • More than 90 communities and almost 20,000 direct jobs are supported by Alberta’s forest sector.
  • Forestry is an important sector of the Alberta economy, contributing $2 billion to the provincial gross domestic product.
  • 78 per cent of Alberta’s forest lands are third-party certified to ensure forest sustainability.