Did you know that over 60% of Alberta’s land is forested? And that only three countries in the world have more certified forests than Alberta does? This makes Alberta forests an important contributor to the economy, with the ability to harvest sustainably managed wood and to manufacture forest products that are shipped both domestically and globally.
The Alberta forest products sector supports over 50 rural communities through employment, taxation, and other related economic activity. About 18,000 Albertans are directly and indirectly employed in the sector between 100+ businesses. From 2011 to 2020, Alberta saw a 6.6% growth in the sector, including logging and support activities. The forestry sector requires skills from over 60 occupation streams, providing ample growth opportunities for many.
The Peace Region is one of the top two Alberta regions to manufacture forest products, is first for employment in the forestry sector, and is the leading producer of pulp, paper, and panelboard. The Grande Prairie area and the larger Peace Region benefit significantly from this important resource, which is used to manufacture wood products and provides a bounty of recreational opportunities.
The two Forest Management Agreements (FMAs) within the Peace Region cover approximately 1.8 million hectares of land, held by Weyerhaeuser Company Limited and Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor). Weyerhaeuser and International Paper, as well as Canfor and Norbord, run production facilities within the Grande Prairie area. Timber sourced from these FMAs also keeps several small local-use sawmills and Tolko Industries Ltd. (High Prairie) in operation.
The County and surrounding areas comprise a key regional service centre and are home to many major oil and gas regional headquarters and oilfield service firms. Companies include Seven Generations Energy, Canadian Natural Resources, Haliburton, Schlumberger, and Trican, as well as numerous local entrepreneurs that service oil and natural gas activities in northwestern Alberta, northeastern British Columbia, and the Northwest Territories.
With Alberta containing a vast amount of forested area, this province is a leader in the development and production of innovative and sustainably-produced forest products, accounting for approximately 14% of Canada’s total production. Lumber, pulp, newsprint, wood panels, and engineered wood products produced in Alberta are destined for markets in Canada, the United States, Asia Pacific, and Europe.
Approximately $4.1 billion worth of forestry and forest product exports were made in 2018 by Alberta’s forestry industry to international customers.