2021 was a record-setting year in Saskatchewan forestry, a whopping $1.8 billion in product sales broke the 16-year record set for sales in 2005.
Wait a minute… Saskatchewan has trees???
The northern half of Saskatchewan is the provincial forest and 65 per cent of this area is forested.
Saskatchewan has been considered a sleeping giant in the forestry industry for years, despite its massive and mature forests.
The increased demand for lumber products globally caused the provincial government to realign timber allocations in 2021 to support four major forestry projects.
These four projects will bring in over $1 billion in new investment in the industry over the next two years:
- One Sky Forest Products’ – $250 million into a new OSB facility in Prince Albert.
- Dunkley Lumber- $100 million to expand its Carrot River sawmill.
- Carrier Forest Products- Several million to upgrade the Big River sawmill
- The grand daddy of “good news” for this industry was Paper Excellence’s announcement that it would re-open Prince Albert’s pulp mill by 2023.
(The re-opening of Prince Albert’s pulp mill is expected to generate 1650 direct and indirect jobs for the province.)
The change in timber allocations combined with expansion of these production facilities will spur on more job and growth opportunities for the industry.
Greater efficiency at two of the province’s largest sawmills, gives softwood lumber producers a local market for their wood chips.
This means both softwood and hardwood resources will be harvested, resulting in better forest management as well as greater logging efficiency.
Not only will jobs be created at the processing plants, but also in logging, trucking and all the services needed to support a growing forestry sector.
The Great White North is no longer a sleepy giant but wide awake and poised for an economic boom!
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