Alberta forestry contractors estimate a hundred million tree backlog of unreforested land lost to wildfire is accumulating in Alberta. At the WSCA 2004 conference addressing this Alberta silvicultural deficit was identified as a policy priority for the association.
Alberta Forest Practices and Policies to be Taken Up by WSCA
Notwithstanding any surprises in next week’s provincial budget Alberta forestry contractors will continue to see parts of the province’s forest resource going to waste as thousands of hectares of burned-over plantations and wild fire-damaged land go unrestored. Since 1998 the eastern slopes of the Continental Divide and the northern boreal forests of Alberta have suffered severe wildfires. According to contractors little of that land has been reforested needing as many as 100 million seedlings to match the backlog. But there seems to be little will or money to deal with the loss.
At the same time thousands of hectares of forest are lost in the Alberta oil patch to seismic lines and wellsites. All this amounts to a huge reforestation deficit which needs to be corrected. Other groups including the Alberta Forest Nursery Association are being sought as allies by the WSCA to bring these forestry shortcomings forward to government and industry attention. Safety, stocking standards and opportunities in carbon sequestration are also on the agenda for a series of government and industry meetings planned for April by the Alberta Sub-Committee of the WSCA Board.