Alberta renews 20-year FMA with West Fraser, Tolko in Slave Lake, High Prairie region
By CFI staff
By CFI staff
The Alberta government has renewed its 20-year joint forest management agreement (FMA) with West Fraser and Tolko Industries covering 245,527 hectares in the Slave Lake and High Prairie areas.
According to a government news release, the FMAs will potentially contribute $3.2 million in holding and protection charge payments, $69.4 million in timber dues and $1.2 billion to Alberta’s GDP.
West Fraser’s sawmill and Tolko’s OSB facility in High Prairie employ a combined 300 people directly and provide another 750 indirect jobs.
Alberta’s Forests Minister Nate Horner said the renewed FMA allows West Fraser and Tolko to make long-term investments in Alberta. “Secure access to wood fibre is a critical component of Alberta’s Recovery Plan and ensures our forestry sector remains competitive in a globalized economy,” he said.
The FMA renewal process involved a thorough assessment of the companies’ compliance with relevant legislation, regulations and policies, as well as their sustainable forest management plans. West Fraser and Tolko’s recently approved forest management plan is in place until 2031.
“West Fraser understands the responsibility entrusted to us in managing public forest land and balancing the many values ranging from job creation to biodiversity that are important to the Indigenous Peoples and communities in the region,” said D’Arcy Henderson, vice-president of Canadian woodlands for West Fraser. “By following strong stewardship principles with a focus on long-term sustainable resource management, we look forward to renewing this and other agreements with the province of Alberta for years to come.”
Tolko president and CEO Brad Thorlakson said they are pleased to see the FMA renewal. “This is great news for our employees and the many partners that work closely with us in the northern Alberta region. Tolko appreciates the strong support that we receive from the community and are proud to be working with our Indigenous community and business partners, providing employment opportunities and investing in the people and areas where we operate.”