Grade 1 students from St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School in Innisfail with Minister Dreeshen, Christie Tucker and their new Lodgepole pine saplings. Photo supplied

Agriculture and Forestry minister Devin Dreeshen talks to students on Alberta Forest Week

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Devin Dreeshen mingled with central Alberta students to talk about the importance of the province’s forests.

The agriculture and forestry minister was in Innisfail to kick off Alberta Forest Week, May 5 to 11.

“Our government was elected on three main priorities: getting Albertans back to work, making life better for Albertans, and standing up for Alberta.

“Alberta Forest Week embodies all three of these priorities,” he said in a statement.

Forest companies in Alberta develop 200-year plans that demonstrate a commitment to managing forested land for future generations, he explained.

“These are multi-generational plans that require our youth to carry these commitments forward and ensure wildlife habitats, recreation opportunities and well-paying jobs are preserved for generations to come.”

There are more than 40,000 Albertans working either directly in the forest industry or in jobs that exist as a result of forestry.

Alberta’s forest industry is recognized worldwide for its quality and its professional, sustainable harvesting methods. In 2018, buyers from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the EU and other export markets purchased more than $4.1 billion of Alberta forest products, he said.

“This is good, but we can do better.

“Our government is working with forest companies to advance the interests of the province’s forest sector by fighting for Alberta’s proper national share of trade-allocated export quotas and improving export opportunities, especially in Asia.”

Dreeshen said this week is also an opportunity to learn more about Alberta’s Crown forests, wildfire prevention and suppression, tree planting, managing mountain pine beetle, and more.

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