Mills seeking public input into 20 year regional forest plan

Leader staff

The three forest products companies in Slave Lake and High Prairie are in the final stage of drafting the Lesser Slave Lake Regional Forest Management Plan. Public engagement is a key component. Instead of in-person open houses, the final session of public engagement is online.

The draft Spatial Harvest Sequence (SHS) maps can be downloaded from July 31 to August 31, says lslrfmp.com. Community members can send feedback to the companies by September 15.

The SHS maps show the proposed harvest for the next 20 years, says lslrfmp.com. “The maps cover the entire extent of the plan and identify areas for harvest for both Decade 1 (2021 to 2030) and Decade 2 (2031 to 2040) of the plan.”

This regional plan is being developed by Tolko, Vanderwell, and West Frasier, who operate forest product mills in both Slave Lake and High Prairie. It is for both coniferous and deciduous logs.

The SHS range is on forested areas excluding First Nations and Métis Settlements and provincial parks and protected areas.

The northern boundary starts north of McLennan, Peavine and Gift Lake Métis Settlements. It extends to southwest of Wabasca and Bigstone Cree Nation.

The eastern boundary includes the area around Cross Lake Provincial Park, but moves west south of there.

There is a short portion of the southern boundary from Cross to Fawcett lakes. The majority of it is a relatively straight line north of the Town of Swan Hills. This line continues to a section south of McLennan, but with most of the land between McLennan and the boundary farmland. There are also two small sections southwest of Falher.

A news item dated June 17 on lslrfmp.com says, “in lieu of public open houses, this website will be used as the primary means of communication for the LSLRFMP. All material, including the Spatial Harvest Sequence, will be made available through the website for a predetermined amount of time. It is important to remember that the material presented will be in draft form and subject to change.”

There will be no open house, so all feedback needs to be through the lslrfmp.com or by emailing lesserslavelake@forcorp.com.

Lesser Slave Lake Forest Regional Management Plan area is in green. The public can download the maps of the proposed tree harvest over the next 20 years at lslfmp.com until August 31. Courtesy of Forcorp.

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