Forest companies outline harvesting plans

Tolko Industries and West Fraser presented draft harvesting plans at an open house May 23 in High Prairie. Left-right, are Tolko northwest forestry superintendent Hilary Wait and West Fraser assistant forester Lyndsay Kohn.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Local forest companies outlined their proposed harvesting plans at an open house May 23 in High Prairie.

West Fraser and Tolko both presented their five-year plans for public comment at the Legion Hall.

Several areas around High Prairie are part of the plans and the Lesser Slave Regional Forest Management Plan that are being developed.

Proposed areas for West Fraser include the Snipe Lake area, south of Driftpile, south of Slave Lake and northeast of Red Earth, says assistant forester Lyndsay Kohn.

Current wildfires in northern Alberta are affecting forest areas planned for harvesting, says planning forester Kyle Rosychuk.

“Some areas we planned for future harvesting burned in the wildfires, mostly between Slave Lake and Wabasca,” he says.

“Some of the areas we logged last winter, but still had some wood, also burned in the wildfires.”

Tolko proposes to harvest in the Salt Prairie area, the Sweathouse area south of Snipe Lake and in the Whitemud area south of Falher, says Hilary Wait, forestry superintendent for the northwest region.

“We have other future plans to harvest north or Utikuma and the Kimiwan Lake area north of McLennan,” Wait says.

All plans must be approved by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.

Other open house sessions were scheduled for Smith on May 21, Slave Lake on May 22, Calling Lake on May 27 and Wabasca on May 28.

West Fraser and Tolko invite interested citizens to review the map and respond to the proposed areas.

For information, visit the West Fraser website at westfraser.com or the Tolko website at tolko.com.

The Lesser Slave Lake Regional Forest Management Plan is a roadmap for forest use and sustainability in the region. The plan is due for submission in 2020 and approval in 2021, and will apply to the region for 10 years.

Slave Lake area forest products companies are jointly developing the plan, creating shared goals, standards, and objectives.

For more information or to comment, visit the website at lslrfmp.com.

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