Unsustainable forestry practices threaten the ecological integrity of public forests
Celebrating Your Efforts
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
WHAT'S AT STAKE