By: The Working Forest Staff
The renewal of this forest management agreement (FMA) allows Tolko Industries Ltd. to maintain the right to establish, grow, harvest, and remove Crown timber from the forest management area for the next 20 years. Over its lifespan, the FMA will potentially contribute:
- $3.6 million in holding and protection charge payments
- $29.7 million in timber dues
- More than $864 million to Alberta’s GDP
The company provides well-paying jobs, sponsorships, donations, and jobs training to residents in the area, solidifying Tolko as a major benefactor for the Town of High Prairie and surrounding communities.
“Tolko is a staple of the High Prairie community. By renewing this forest management agreement, Alberta’s government is providing the security they need to make long-term investments – creating jobs and growing our economy. Secure access to wood fibre is a critical component to Alberta’s Recovery Plan.”
– Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development
Tolko’s renewed agreement provides the company with continued, secure access to sustainable wood fibre.
The renewal of Tolko’s FMA also supports initiatives to solidify meaningful relationships and increase economic opportunities with Indigenous communities. This includes awarding logging contracts to Indigenous-owned logging contractors and enabling partnerships such as Driftpile First Nation’s operation and management of the mill’s log yard, further spreading economic and social benefits through the region.
Tolko has also achieved a variety of third-party certifications, demonstrating its commitment to sustainable forest management practices.
“We’re very happy to see the renewal of the forest management agreement. This is good news for our employees and the many partners that work closely with us in the northern Alberta region. We appreciate the strong support that we receive from the community, and Tolko is proud to be here to provide employment opportunities while investing in the people and areas where we operate.”
– Brad Thorlakson, President & CEO, Tolko Industries Ltd.
Alberta’s government is committed to the responsible management of our natural resources, which includes sustainable forest management.
Before an FMA is renewed, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Rural Economic Development undertake a thorough assessment of the company’s compliance with relevant legislation, regulations, and policies, as well as the company’s sustainable forest management plans for the area. The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Rural Economic Development reviews all relevant factors surrounding the agreement and has the final decision to renew, or not renew, the FMA.
Well-managed forests reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and mountain pine beetle outbreaks, increasing the resiliency of Alberta’s forests.
Forest Jobs Action Plan
The renewal of this FMA supports the Forest Jobs Action Plan initiative to provide companies with secure access to wood fibre, which in turn helps maintain and protect thousands of jobs.
The Forest Jobs Action Plan plays a key role in Alberta’s Recovery Plan by committing sustainable, long-term fibre access for forest companies while ensuring our forests continue to provide ecological, economic, social, and cultural benefits for Albertans, including Indigenous peoples, that can be enjoyed by future generations.
Forest management planning
The development of forest management plans is an important legal obligation for FMA holders, turning commitments into environmentally sound actions in the field. FMA holders are subject to strict reforestation requirements that require them to reforest harvested areas within two years. On average, FMA holders plant two trees for every tree harvested, establishing healthy young forests and restoring wildlife habitat.
Tolko’s current forest management plan was approved in 2005 and is based on and implements sustainable forest management principles and practices. The company has submitted a new forest management plan, which is currently being reviewed by Alberta Agriculture, Forestry, and Rural Economic Development.
This news release originally appeared on the Government of Alberta’s news page. Original link