Saskatchewan celebrates its ecosystem with National Forest Week

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The Government of Saskatchewan has proclaimed September 18-24 National Forest Week under the theme Canada’s Forests: Solutions to Climate Change.

The week aims to highlight the impact of Saskatchewan’s forests on the environment and economy of the province and around the world.

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“Forestry is, and continues to be, a critical sector for our province,” said Energy and Resources Minister Jim Reiter. “As a major employer in the North and contributor to the continued strength of our economy, we will continue to promote Saskatchewan as the best place in Canada to sustainably develop our natural resources, including our forestry sector.

Over 50% of Saskatchewan is covered in forest. In 2021, sales of forest products in the province exceeded $1.8 billion, a record for the province. More than 60% of forest products were exported worldwide.

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Throughout the week, the Provincial Capital Commission (PCC) will host a series of events to educate people about forestry at Wascana Center and Government House in Regina.

“The CCP is home to a rich ecosystem of exotic trees, plant species, wildlife and animal food sources and offers a rich history of horticulture and forestry in Canada,” said Don McMorris , Minister Responsible for the Provincial Capital Commission.

“In recognition of Canada’s forest heritage, 60 new trees will be planted at the Wascana Centre, including fruit trees and other varieties of trees. In 2022, approximately 250 trees and shrubs will be planted in Wascana Center and on the grounds of Government House. New trees will diversify the ecosystem and attract more pollinators such as bees,” the CCP said in a press release.

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In 2021, approximately $900 million in new investments have been announced, including $400 million to reopen the pulp mill in Prince Albert, $250 million for a new oriented strand board (OSB) mill in Prince Albert and a $100 million sawmill expansion at Carrot River.

“These investments are part of the province’s ambitious growth plan to grow sales to $2.2 billion and exports to $1.2 billion annually by 2030, as well as increase forestry sector employment by 50% to nearly 12,000 direct and indirect jobs,” the province said in a news release.

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Aboriginal people make up 27% of the total forestry workforce in Saskatchewan, with many Aboriginal-owned forestry companies, from sawmills and timber harvesting operations to road construction, trucking and reforestation companies.

For example, the NorSask Forest Products sawmill in Saskatchewan is the largest sawmill in Canada that is 100% owned by First Nations.

“Ensuring the sustainability and regeneration of our forests remains at the forefront of our efforts as forestry continues to be the backbone of the northern economy,” said Environment Minister Dana Skoropad.


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