Alberta renews forest management agreement jointly held by Tolko, Norbord, La Crete for forest management unit surrounding High Level for 20 years in exchange for important stewardship responsibilities

Sample article from our Forestry & Timberland

September 28, 2022 (press release) –

Source: Government of Canada regional news

The Government of Alberta has renewed the forest management agreement (FMA) jointly held by Tolko Industries Ltd., Norbord Inc. and La Crete Sawmills Ltd. for the next 20 years in exchange for important stewardship responsibilities. This agreement establishes the companies’ right to grow and harvest Crown timber from a forest management unit in the northwestern corner of the province, surrounding High Level.

Over its lifespan, this FMA is expected to maintain more than 1,700 full-time, contract and seasonal positions and will potentially contribute:

  • $48.7 million in holding and protection charge payments
  • $433 million in timber dues payments
  • $6.1 billion to Alberta’s gross domestic product

“The decision to renew this joint FMA helps maintain hundreds of good jobs for Albertans, provides our forest sector with sure footing for their long-term investments and ensures sustainable management practices for Alberta’s forests. Supporting the competitiveness of our wood fibre products grows our province’s forest sector and advances Alberta’s Recovery Plan.”

Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development

“We’re very pleased with the decision to renew. Reliable collaboration with government is foundational to the security of our employees and partners across the region, including Indigenous communities. The long-term fibre access provided through an FMA is crucial for our ability to do business in northern Alberta.”

Brad Thorlakson, president and CEO, Tolko Industries Ltd.

“West Fraser understands the responsibility entrusted to us by Albertans in managing public forested land. We work with Indigenous communities and the public to balance a range of values, from job creation to biodiversity. With a focus on long-term sustainable resource management, we look forward to doing business in Alberta for years to come.”

D’Arcy Henderson, vice-president, Canadian Woodlands, West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (Norbord Inc.)

“I am always excited to see job creation in our communities within anchor industries like forestry. Our government’s decision to renew this FMA supports Alberta’s Recovery Plan, and the 1700 jobs that this agreement is expected to maintain is a huge contribution to our region.”

Dan Williams, MLA for Peace River

“La Crete Sawmills is proud of the strong local working relationships that support our operations in the High Level area. We’re a local business, and we feel a deep commitment to providing responsible resource management in our region. With the renewal of our joint FMA, we’re able to continue providing benefits for our community, Indigenous communities and forests well into the future.”

John Unger, president and CEO, La Crete Sawmills Ltd.

Forest management agreements
An FMA is the most secure type of forest tenure, providing companies with rights to establish, grow and harvest timber on Crown land consistent with sustainable forest management principles and practices. FMAs also establish numerous legal obligations for companies, including developing forest management plans that help protect biodiversity, increase forest resilience and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and insect and disease outbreaks, like mountain pine beetle.

Forest Jobs Action Plan
Approval of this joint FMA supports the Forest Jobs Action Plan initiative to provide forest companies with long-term fibre access, ensuring that Alberta’s forests continue to provide ecological, economic, social and cultural benefits for future generations.

Quick facts

  • The companies directly employ 688 full-time employees and about 1,080 contract employees in logging, transportation, and other forestry support services.
  • Tolko directly employs about 376 employees and 400 contract employees.
  • Norbord directly employs 160 full-time employees with about 600 contract employees.
  • La Crete Sawmills directly employs about 152 full-time employees and about 80 contract employees.
  • FMA holders are subject to legal requirements to reforest harvested areas within two years. On average, forest companies plant two trees for every three harvested, establishing young, healthy forests that provide environmental benefits such as habitat for wildlife.
  • To date, almost 211 million seedlings have been planted under this joint FMA

Related information
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