GRAND PRAIRE, ALTA. — Norbord Inc. and Bigstone Cree Nation have been awarded rights to cut 72,000 cubic metres of this year’s allowable tree cutting for timber.
In 2020 the Province of Alberta organized two competitions for timber quotas in northern Alberta as part of the Forest Jobs Action Plan. These timber allocations are part of the annual allowable cut but had not yet been issued to an operator.
The goal was to allocate this unassigned timber through an open, competitive process that maximizes economic, environmental and community benefits, including benefits to local Indigenous communities.
Norbord Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., will be allowed to cut 51,000 cubic metres of unallocated deciduous within Forest Management Unit G16, about 70 kilometres northwest of Grande Prairie.
Norbord Inc.’s winning proposal received support from the Municipal District of Greenview, the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie and Saddle Hills County.
It included an expected $10.5-million contribution to Alberta’s gross domestic product through direct, indirect and induced economic benefits from the management of this timber. Norbord also pledged hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute to improve biodiversity monitoring and habitat restoration in northwest Alberta. The group also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to support Indigenous consultation efforts.
Bigstone Cree Nation will receive 21,000 cubic metres of unallocated coniferous cut within Forest Management Unit S22, about 300 kilometres north of Edmonton.
Its proposal featured a lump sum payment of $200,000 for the quota, creating new jobs in Bigstone Cree Nation’s communities, projecting $400,000 in local economic activity and the creation of a new scholarship for young community members that will last for the duration of the timber quota.