By: The Working Forest Staff
The provincial government says changes to the outdated five-decade-old Forests Act will bolster Alberta’s competitive forest sector by supporting reliable and consistent access to trees. These changes come at a time when North America is experiencing record demand for wood products.
“As the third-largest resource sector in Alberta, forestry is playing a critical role in our economic recovery. At a time when mills across North America are experiencing uncertainty, these important changes increase our forest sector’s competitiveness and lay the foundation for generations of growth,” says Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.
Key updates include:
- Setting timber dues in a more timely fashion so that the fees forestry companies pay the government in exchange for being allowed to cut down trees on Crown land better reflect current market and industry costs.
- Giving companies more flexibility in deciding when to harvest those trees they have been given access to.
- Cutting unnecessary red tape for forest tenure holders, encouraging innovation and advanced practices.
- The province says these amendments will bolster the forest sector’s success while improving the health of our forests so Albertans can continue to enjoy them for generations to come.
“Alberta’s forest industry is committed to our forests and our communities. We take our responsibility to ensure healthy forests for future generations very seriously, make detailed plans for sustainability and plant two trees for each tree harvested,” says Jason Krips, president and CEO, Alberta Forest Products Association. “We also take our role to provide well-paying, sustainable jobs for Albertans seriously. By eliminating unnecessary red tape and supporting forestry job creators, the Government of Alberta is supporting a vibrant forest industry and healthy forests that benefit Albertans.”
Forestry companies and industrial partners, including six companies owned by Indigenous communities, were consulted to discuss potential changes to the Forests Act.
The Forests Act was last substantially updated in 1971.