Forest pact raises ire

The lack of public consultation surrounding the renewal of a Forest Management Agreement (FMA), between Sustainable Resource Development and West Fraser’s Sundre Forest Products Inc., has raised the hairs of conservation specialists.

The lack of public consultation surrounding the renewal of a Forest Management Agreement (FMA), between Sustainable Resource Development and West Fraser’s Sundre Forest Products Inc., has raised the hairs of conservation specialists.

The agreements provide companies with the rights to establish, grow, harvest and remove timber from a particular areas. Alberta has 20 Forest Management Agreements.

The agreement between Sundre Forest Products Inc. was established on Sept. 1, 1992, and is set to expire on Aug. 31.

It covers 1,382,193 acres (559,354 hectares) of forest between Sundre and Nordegg, east of the Banff and Jasper National Park.

The company has a laminated veneer lumber plant near Rocky Mountain House and a sawmill and wood treating facility in Sundre. “This is a legal negotiation and the government has the lead on it,” Tom Daniels, Sundre Forest Products forestry superintendent, said on Monday.

Madeline Watson, Alberta Wilderness Association conservation specialist, said that the 20-year agreement should allow for public consultation.

“The forests in this area are really important habitats for a lot of wildlife as well as those are the headwaters for most of our major rivers in Alberta,” she said on Monday.

“The government is meant to manage public lands in the best interest of all Albertans but without consulting them, I’m not sure how they plan to do that.” Bruce Cartwright, Sustainable Resource Development area manager of the Clearwater lands division, does agree that there is no public consultation in the Forest Management Agreement renewal process but equated the agreement to that of a lease agreement.

“If things are going well, it is pretty routine,” he said.

“It is an opportunity to update issues that have occurred over the last 20 years but it is a fairly standard process,” he said on Monday.

Under Alberta law, Forest Management Agreement holders are responsible for planning and reforesting two years after harvest. But Watson said the company is not necessarily required to manage the forest from an ecosystem perspective, something the Alberta Wilderness Association — a conservation group dedicated to protected areas throughout the province — is hoping to ensure.

“What we would like to see is forest harvesting practices to emulate natural patterns,” she said.

“We are also looking for a transparent public process to ensure that Albertans views are accommodated within long-range plans that govern public resources.”

Cartwright assured that the conservation group’s input will be negotiated into the agreement where it is appropriate.

“Some of their concerns were at the detailed forest management planning level but the stuff that is appropriate for FMA renewal, we will definitely try to make sure it gets incorporated.”

Just Posted

Candles, flowers, messages of support at scene of Toronto van attack

TORONTO — Candles, flowers and messages of support are being left this… Continue reading

Trudeau calls van attack ‘horrific and senseless,’ says no apparent terror link

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a Toronto man’s deadly rampage… Continue reading

Restaurant Brands announces ‘Working Together’ plan to improve Tim Hortons

OAKVILLE, Ont. — Restaurant Brands International Inc. announced a plan to improve… Continue reading

AP-NORC poll: Privacy debacle prompts social-media changes

NEW YORK — If you’ve made changes to how you use social… Continue reading

Get Into My Car … Amazon begins delivery to vehicles

SAN FRANCISCO — Amazon latest perk … free delivery to your car.… Continue reading

WATCH: Central Alberta dancers take over Red Deer College with their moves

Danceworks Central Alberta Dance Festival is now in its 38th year

Habana, World Cup winner & Springbok record-holder, retiring

Bryan Habana, the lightning-fast South Africa wing and World Cup winner with… Continue reading

Canadians head home after U-17 soccer tournament called off due to violence

Canada coach Bev Priestman was preparing her team for a game Sunday… Continue reading

TV’s ‘Homeland’ feels challenge of competing with real world

WASHINGTON — Members of the cast of TV’s “Homeland” call it “spy… Continue reading

Opioid treatment gap in Medicare: methadone clinics

One in three older Americans with Medicare drug coverage is prescribed opioid… Continue reading

‘RFK Funeral Train’ show: Kennedy’s final journey in photos

SAN FRANCISCO — The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. 50 years… Continue reading

Ten dead, 15 injured in van incident authorities call an horrific attack

TORONTO — The death toll rose to at least 10 late Monday… Continue reading

Andersen leads Maple Leafs in win over Bruins to force Game 7

Maple Leafs 3 Bruins 1 (Best of seven game series tied at… Continue reading

As Osoyoos Indian Band flourishes, so too does Okanagan’s wine tourism

Indigenous practices have driven growth of South Okanagan’s wine history and agricultural influence

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month