First Nations north of SL branching into deciduous lumber

Leader staff

Kee Tas Kee Now Sawmill Ltd (KSL) has a new deciduous timber allocation (DTA), says a government of Alberta media release. This allows KSL to harvest aspen and black poplar in the S10 Forest Management Unit (FMU).
For the first three years, KSL can harvest 65,000 cubic metres of deciduous timber. Once a new Forest Management Plan is implemented, the company has rights to 100 per cent of the deciduous annual allowable cut for the remaining 17 years of the 20-year allocation.

This DTA is in addition to two existing coniferous timber quotas. KSL harvests the wood and sends it to local saw or pulp mills.

S10 is the land around the of Red Earth Creek, Loon River, Lubicon Lake, Swampy Lake, and part of Woodland Cree First Nations.

KSL. is owned by four First Nations north of Slave Lake: Loon River First Nation, Lubicon Lake Band, Whitefish Lake First Nation and Woodland Cree First Nation.

The new timber allocation is expected to create 20 permanent jobs, says the media release. These include professionals, heavy equipment operators, log truck drivers and labourers.

Whitefish Lake Chief Albert Thunder, Lubicon Lake Chief Billy Joe Laboucan, Loon River Chief Ivan Sawan, and Woodland Cree Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom released the following statement.

“By being involved in the forest management operations from the ground level and the development of the FMU requirements, we can balance the spiritual and cultural sensitive areas and items while blending it with sustainable forest harvesting practices and economical benefits to the region.”

Logging helps to reduce the risk of wildfires. and pine-beetle infestations, says the media release.

“Alberta’s sustainable forest management practices provide ecological, economic, social and cultural opportunities for present and future generations.”

A timber quota lasts for 20 years. It is renewable.

In Alberta, there are 78 coniferous timber quotas and 37 deciduous timber allocations.

For the first three years, KSL can harvest 65,000 cubic metres of deciduous timber. In the remaining 17 years, it can harvest 100 per cent of the deciduous annual allowable cut calculated by a new Forest Management Plan.

Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Devin Dreeshen says, “the competitive timber allocation process is a great example of how we’re opening Alberta’s forest sector for business. We’re committed to providing our forest companies with long-term access to a secure and sustainable fibre supply as part of the Forest Jobs Action Plan. We’re excited to work with KSL on this opportunity.”

Forest Management Units in the Peace Region. Kee Tas Kee Now Sawmill Ltd.’s new timber allocation is for S10 – north of Lesser Slave Lake.
Map courtesy of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.

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