In British Columbia and Alberta, where West Fraser directly manages forest land, we reached an important milestone in the summer of 2021 with the planting of our two billionth tree, reflecting a 65-year commitment to reforestation.
“It’s a great accomplishment – due to the efforts of generations of our employees, contractors, First Nations communities and of course the government – all of whom are committed to sustainable forestry,” said Hank Ketcham, Chairman, West Fraser.
How forestry management works
As we harvest on public land in western Canada, our sustainable forest plans include reforestation and how we balance the values of different users of the forest. This means that well before we harvest an area, we engage in consultation with Indigenous communities and develop plans to manage a wide range of values including cultural heritage, wildlife, water resources, range, and recreational users. West Fraser develops plans to determine the best way to harvest those trees. Sometimes it means mimicking large natural disturbances such as wildfires; at other times, it means partial cutting or smaller group selection. After harvesting – depending on the forest management plan for the harvested area – we hire contractors to replant those harvested areas promptly, planting a mixture of trees that are native to those forests.
We continue to manage those reforested areas, giving the new trees the best chance at survival, and monitor them until they reach performance milestones, between age 12-20 years. Some of the first stands that we planted in B.C. are now ready to be harvested. As stewards of the forest, we’ve seen the full lifecycle of the trees and will be ready to replant that area again.
Continuing our commitment
Reaching our two-billion-tree milestone has been a rewarding journey for each of us at West Fraser. We look forward to continuing our commitment to the communities in which we operate and sustaining forests for the future.