Harvesting plans presented

Tolko Industries and West Fraser presented draft harvesting plans at an open house Nov. 5. in High Prairie. Left-right, are West Fraser planning forester Constance Schanzenbacher and Tolko harvesting supervisor Holly Florence.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Forest products companies operating in the High Prairie outlined their proposed harvesting plans at an open house Nov 5.

West Fraser and Tolko Industries presented their proposed plans as part of the Lesser Slave Lake Regional Forest Management Plan.

“We’re still on track to submit the regional forestry management plan to the provincial government before October 2020,” West Fraser planning forester Constance Schanzenbacher says.

“The map shows the potential forest stands that could be harvested in the next 20 years.”

West Fraser operates High Prairie Forest Products.

“We have quotas in the area from Snipe Lake to Calling Lake, north of Utikuma Lake and south down to Swan Hills,” Schanzenbacher says.

Tolko has a smaller territory in the plan area.

“We don’t have as much land base as West Fraser does in the plan,” Tolko harvesting supervisor Holly Florence says.

“We have quotas in all those areas.”

The open house was part of community consultation.

“We presented the proposed eligibility map to the public to see if there are any areas of concern,” Florence says.

Another open house will be planned for the spring to further consult the community, she says.

“We will present the proposed harvest spatial sequence, which includes a map of areas that will be harvested in the next 20 years,” Florence says.

Other open house sessions were scheduled for Nov. 4 in Slave Lake, Nov. 7 in Wabasca, Nov. 8 in Swan Hills and Nov. 13 in Valleyview.

An open house on the plan was held May 23 in High Prairie.

Wildfires in northern Alberta last spring in the Wabasca and Slave Lake area destroyed forest areas planned for harvesting.

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

The Lesser Slave Lake Regional Forest Management Plan is a roadmap for forest use and sustainability in the region.

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

For more information on the management plan or to comment, visit online websites at lslrfmp.com, westfraser.com or tolko.com.

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