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Alberta renews Tolko, Norbord and La Crete jointly held forest management agreement

September 29, 2022  By CFI staff, Government of Alberta

Photo: Annex Business Media

The Alberta government has renewed the forest management agreement (FMA) jointly held by Tolko Industries Ltd., Norbord Inc. (West Fraser) 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,” said Alberta Forest Minister Nate Horner.


Tolko CEO Brad Thorlakson said the company is pleased with the decision. “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,” he said.

“West Fraser understands the responsibility entrusted to us by Albertans in managing public forested land,” said D’Arcy Henderson, vice-president of Canadian woodlands for West Fraser (Norbord Inc.) “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.”

John Unger, president and CEO, La Crete Sawmills, said the company is proud of its strong local working relationships that support its 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.”

According to government figures, the companies directly employ 688 full-time employees and about 1,080 contract employees in logging, transportation, and other forestry support services.

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, nearly 211 million seedlings have been planted under this joint FMA

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