- Canadian Forest Products Ltd.
- Spray Lake Sawmills
- Sundre Forest Products – a division of West Fraser Mills Ltd.
An Environmental Management Plan (“EMP”; “the plan”) was developed for all lands within the Tsuut’ina Nation Reserve No. 145, located adjacent to the southwest portion of Calgary, Alberta. The purpose of the EMP is to provide a landscape level assessment of natural resource values, objectives, indicators, and targets as specified by Tsuut’ina Nation and guided by recognized forest management standards. Reducing risk to the forest resource from fire, insects, and disease is a primary goal of the plan. In turn, so is the protection of critical infrastructure and human life for communities within the Tsuut’ina Nation Reserve No. 145. Reporting on the economic development potential of the forestry and range resources is also a stated goal. Different management scenarios are presented throughout this plan for the sustainable development of timber resources, with consideration for non-timber values such as water, wildlife, grazing, recreation, and carbon sequestration.
The total land area is 30,011 hectares, with approximately 14,772 hectares (49%) available for sustainable timber production. The majority of the forested area, about 70%, is deciduous dominated. The remaining 30% of the forested area is comprised of coniferous and mixedwood forest types. The deciduous forest is mostly within 40 to 80-year-old age range, while the coniferous forests are almost entirely 80 to 150 years old, which is considered old by Alberta forest management standards. The land area can support a sustainable coniferous timber annual allowable cut (AAC) of approximately 8000 m3 per year. Due to the current old-to-very old forest age class structure, and overarching objective of reducing the risk of wildfire, an elevated conifer AAC of approximately 8300 m3 is recommended over the next 30-years and then a 7700 m3 AAC thereafter. Based on current timber market values it is estimated the coniferous AAC can generate approximately $400,000 in annual revenue for Tsuut’ina Nation.
Due to the lack of a local deciduous fibre market the plan proposes a mainly passive forest management strategy, which focuses on reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires while also establishing the framework for a carbon sequestration program. Tsuut’ina’s land area can store approximately 800,000 C02e/tonne on average over the next 200-years. Based on future projections of the carbon market it is estimated that upwards of $1.6 million (CAD) in annual revenue could be generated for Tsuut’ina Nation.
With approximately 13,000 hectares of grassland and shrubland, and close vicinity to local cattle producers, there is a tremendous potential for an annual grazing program. The plan includes a range health assessment, however, it is recommended that a detailed range inventory assessment be completed to help fine-tune carrying capacity estimates based on current plant communities and management practices.
- A Sustainable Environmental Management Plan for the Tsuut’ina Nation