Forestry is the holistic science and art of managing, conserving, protecting, studying, measuring, restoring and understanding the value of forests and woodlots. Members of the CIF contribute to all of these activities and in their work on the sustainability and use of forests.
Forests provide aesthetic and spiritual values to society. Forests sustain biodiversity and wildlife. Well managed forests provide us with a renewable source of wood and paper products, as well as a surprising range of textile, fuel, and food applications. In the Alberta, the vast majority of forest is located on crown (publicly-owned) land. The forest industry is regulated by the Government of Alberta:
- Forest companies lease the rights to harvest timber in the form of Forest Management Agreements (FMA) which provide economic stability while allowing ownership and regulation of Alberta’s forests to remain in the hands of all Albertans.
- Detailed Forest Management Plans are required from FMA holders every ten years. These plans forecast and model the outcomes of proposed harvesting actions forward 200 years (approximately two life cycles of the average Alberta tree). FMA holders must also pay stumpage (royalties) to Alberta for every cubic metre harvested.
- Forest Management Plans, along with operational rules, protect values including water, wildlife, soils, and diversity. A key part of forest planning involves detailed forest inventories which are used to determine how fast the forest is growing. This knowledge allows Alberta to prescribe each FMA holder’s Annual Allowable Cut: the timber volume eligible for harvest in one year, and estimated to be sustainably replaced by new forest growth.
- Reforestation is a legal responsibility in Alberta. FMA holders must reforest all harvested areas to government standards.
- Public and indigenous consultation are a key part of the Alberta forestry model. FMA holders provide open houses and consultation sessions so that all Albertans can impact forest management in their province.
- The recovery of disturbed lands in the forest region is also regulated by Alberta.
- The Mixedwood Growth Model is used to summarize tree and stand characteristics. Pure or mixed stands of white spruce, aspen, lodgepole pine and black spruce are simulated with data collected from Alberta. Learn more about Mixedwood Growth Model