Defend Alberta Forests

Unsustainable forestry practices threaten the ecological integrity of public forests

When it comes to forestry in Alberta, timber supply is consistently prioritized above — and often at the expense of — social and ecological values. As a result, in Southern Alberta, we are increasingly seeing projects that reflect this distorted valuation, and which are putting the health of our forests at ever-greater risk. It's time to take action and Defend Alberta Forests.

Celebrating Your Efforts

In 2023, we launched and supported numerous calls to action on forestry in Alberta — including in Horse Lake in the Ghost Watershed and in the Upper Highwood in Kananaskis Country — and you've answered.




Albertans have taken action to Defend Alberta Forests

Our laws should help protect forests

The underlying legislation for forestry management in Alberta is the 1971 Forest Act. It explicitly states that timber yield is the priority for forestry management: “[a forestry company may] enter on forest land for the purpose of establishing, growing and harvesting timber in a manner designed to provide a yield consistent with sustainable forest management principles and practices.” 

Moreover, 20-year Forest Management Agreements are made with companies for timber harvesting rights, and a company must produce a Forest Management Plan every 10 years. The Forest Management Planning Standard guides this process, and it too explicitly puts timber supply first – “FMPs shall focus on how activities (i.e., establishing, growing and harvesting timber) … will be managed in order to reduce the negative impacts on other resource users and resource values.”

Rather than asking how we can maximise benefits to other values, we instead only try and minimize the damage done. By defining ecosystem values as constraints, we fail to prioritize them – they are something to be “managed for,” rather than goals to strive for. 

Forests should be managed for the public good

CPAWS Southern Alberta is working with communities and stakeholders to advocate for an ecosystem-based forest management plan for the Southern Eastern Slopes. This updated management approach incorporates both the social and ecological objectives of the region — such as clean water, biodiversity, connectivity, and local economic opportunity — for a sustainable approach to forest use.

We encourage all Albertans to demand a better future for forests in their region. Support changes to forest policy that prioritize ecosystem values over timber values, and that preserve the structure, function and composition of the natural system.

Explore Alberta's at-risk forests

Use our interactive StoryMap to explore, and learn more about, current, historical and proposed logging operations in Alberta's public forests. While far from an exhaustive list of all the activities taking place across the province, the examples included are emblematic of just how unsustainable our current forestry practices are; the StoryMap also includes links that you can use to take action.
Explore the Defend Alberta Forests StoryMap


Learn more about the logging projects threatening Alberta forests


Upper Highwood, Kananaskis Country
Over 1,100 hectares of clearcut logging planned



Horse Lake and Aura Sand Hills, Ghost Watershed
298 hectares of logging planned



C5: Livingstone/Porcupine Hills
Coming soon

Photo Credits [Header, Upper Highwood]: Amber Toner