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Tolko Industries Ltd.: Supporting Forestry Jobs in Alberta

Press Release

A renewed forest management agreement means long-term investment in northern Alberta communities and forests.

This news release originally appeared on the Government of Alberta’s news page. Original link

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 increased 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 benefit through the region.

Tolko has also achieved a variety of third-party certifications, demonstrating their 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 undertakes 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.

Quick facts

  • Tolko directly employs 721 people in Alberta.
  • The total forest management agreement area is 272,441 hectares (632,216 acres).
  • Tolko owns two oriented strand board (OSB) facilities and a sawmill in the province.
  • A FMA is a long-term (20-year), renewable, area-based form of forest tenure and is the most secure forest tenure type in Alberta. There are currently 21 FMAs in Alberta.

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