West Fraser does not convert natural forest to non-native plantations.
- We use innovative approaches to restore and protect places like fish habitats near forestry roads
- We manage habitats and biodiversity within our approach to sustainable harvesting
- We planted 58 million trees in 2018; approximately two seedlings for every tree we harvested
- 100% of the Canadian forestlands entrusted to West Fraser are registered to independent, audited, sustainable forestry certification programs
Our forestry practice is to maintain forest habitat within the natural variation produced by mother nature. It means we aim to regrow forest cover that supplies natural forest habitats in amounts and patterns similar to what would result from a natural disturbance on the landscape, such as forest fires. Where we manage forestland in Western Canada, our operations are subject to regulation by federal, provincial, and local environmental authorities, including industry-specific environmental regulations relating to reforestation, reclamation, and the protection of endangered species and critical habitat.
To be a responsible steward of the forest we must take into account of all these values and develop comprehensive plans to address them, implement these plans and continue to monitor our progress. West Fraser’s foresters and biologists work closely together to manage for many other attributes of a healthy forest. We actively participate in biodiversity conservation and protection. While just 10% of forests globally are independantly certified, 100% of the Canadian forestlands entrusted to West Fraser are registered to independent, audited, sustainable forestry certification programs. For more information see our independently audited forest certifications and view the most current controlled wood risk assessment
We are proud to support science-based approaches to improve our forest practices:
- We support research at the fRI Research Healthy Landscape Program, which operates a "Lessons From Nature" site to educate people about the Healthy Landscapes approach for improving forest management.
- In collaboration with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and other partners, West Fraser is a member of the Forest Management Wetland Stewardship Initiative (FMWSI) which is a visonary project to share knowledge and resources to advance sustainable forest management and wetland stewardship in the working forests of Canada’s boreal.
Our company also has a long and proud history of environmental conservation, preservation and responsibility. To date, we have deferred or relinquished harvesting rights on over half a million hectares (1.24 million acres). That’s an area almost 100 times the size of Manhattan.
In 1994, West Fraser voluntarily relinquished harvesting rights to the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest on earth: the Kitlope.
Now known as the Kitlope Heritage Conservancy, you can access information on the park through BC Park's: Huchsduwachsdu Nuyem Jees / Kitlope Heritage Conservancy.
Sustainable and responsible forest stewardship is much more than trees. West Fraser’s foresters and biologists work closely together to manage for many other attributes of a healthy forest. Within the lands the Company manages, there are a whole range of what we call "forest values" that must be considered such as wildlife, fish, water, visual qualities (like scenery and special places in the forest), wilderness recreation, hunting or trapping and the effects of other industrial uses – just to name a few.
We implement additional steps to recover species at risk. We fund and actively support innovative research to continually improve our forestry practices, including conservation of wildlife habitat. In a number of cases, West Fraser has deferred lands to support the habitats of species at risk. West Fraser funds and actively supports innovative research to continually improve our forestry practices, including conservation of wildlife habitat. Read examples of how West Fraser addresses protection of caribou and grizzlies on our website.
For decades, our foresters and biologists have been observing and tracking caribou along with the government of Alberta and BC. By gathering this scientific data, we can research and apply better forest management practices for caribou.
Read more about one research project that's been ongoing for over 20 years: Growing Lichen for Caribou in the Working Forest