WOODLANDS
Regional Companies to Share Forestry Plans at 2022 Virtual Open Houses

This spring, forest companies ANC Timber (Alberta Newsprint Company), West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (Blue Ridge Lumber and Alberta Plywood), and Weyerhaeuser Company - Pembina will be holding virtual “joint open houses”, to share forestry operating plans for the year ahead.

These events provide the general public and stakeholders with the opportunity to review each company’s planned activities in road development, harvesting, hauling, reforestation and herbicide treatment for the current forestry year. This year, for the 2022-23 forestry year, the process is taking place virtually and online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Public stakeholder input is gathered and utilized to influence operations where site specific concerns are identified such as trails, camping areas, recreation areas etc.

We would like to invite you to visit the document and map links below to view our upcoming forest activities. We will have a variety of plans available for review including: Annual Operating Plans for 2022-2023 season; Company Reforestation Plans; and Herbicide Treatment Plans.








If you have feedback on the 2022 VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE please contact us at:ANC 2022 VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE

ANC WOODLANDS: MISSION STATEMENT

"We and our contractors are a safe, responsible, professional team accountable to the environment, community and customers."

OUR PEOPLE

ANC's Woodlands team is comprised of Foresters and Forest Technologists trained in all aspects of forest management. Our contractor force is integral to our field operations and are active in research, planning, harvesting, hauling, forest protection and reforestation activities.

WOODLANDS - THE FOREST

Though ANC uses wood chips from sawmills for its paper, our company does harvest trees. We have a Forest Management Agreement (FMA) (link to map below) with the Alberta Government. An FMA is "an area-based tenure system" giving the right to establish, grow and harvest the trees from a designated area.

Our FMA is approximately 374,000 ha in size and is located to the south and west of the town of Fox Creek. In addition ANC also has a Quota Area (a volume-based tenure system) located east of Edson in the Wolf Lake area.

ANC's FMA is comprised of 4 natural subregions: central mixedwood (8,800 ha), lower foothills (171,000 ha), upper foothills (179,300 ha) and subalpine (14,400 ha). Included in these areas is a special management area, the Little Smoky Caribou Zone (172,000 ha). The FMA area comprises 94% of productive forests, 5% of non-forested and 1% of recreational areas.

Tree species found within the FMA include Lodgepole Pine, Black Spruce, White Spruce, Balsam Fir, White Aspen, Balsam Poplar and Birch. Within the subalpine region Engelmann Spruce and Alpine Fir can also be found.

ANC operates on our FMA lands in conjunction with other stakeholders. Oil & gas activity is evident throughout the area, as are trapping, hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreational activities. ANC is committed to working with these stakeholders and ensuring they have opportunities for input into our operational planning.

ANC's woodlands operations have been certified under the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) and ForestCare program. As a certified member of Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) and ForestCare, we submit ourselves to review by external auditors and community stakeholders. We have always passed these audits and reviews with flying colors.

WOODLANDS FIBRE SUPPLY

ANC's Forest tenure allocations in conjunction with independent Alberta sawmills provide a reliable supply of quality fibre.

Our facility requires approximately 250,000 Bone Dry Tonnes of wood fibre annually.

The vast majority of our wood fibre is obtained indirectly from our forest tenure allocations through saw log / woodchip trade agreements with Alberta sawmills. Saw logs harvested from our forest tenure allocations are provided to Alberta Sawmills and, in return, woodchips, derived as a secondary product from the sawmill's lumber making process, are provided to ANC. This supply strategy ensures optimum utilization of Alberta's timber resources

WOODLANDS PLANNING

Sustainable yield levels of wood fibre over a 160 year period are first identified and then developed into comprehensive operating plans for harvest operations in specified locations.

Plans include:

Detailed Forest Management Plan (10 yr plan)
A General Development plan (5 year plan)
Annual Operating Plan (yearly plan indicating activities for harvest, road construction and reforestation for the year)
FMA Access Map
RESEARCH
  • Fisheries Studies
  • Wildlife Habitat
  • Forest Engineering
  • Insects and Disease
  • Foothills Model Forest
OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT
  • Open Houses
  • Regional Forest Advisory Committee (RFAC)
  • Contact Alberta Newsprint Company via email
WOODLANDS OPERATIONS

Harvest & Haul

ANC's logging and hauling operations are unique in many aspects. ANC does not have a sawmill operation. Instead our mill uses chips which are shipped from various sawmills located throughout the Province. In exchange for these chips, the sawmills receive the sawlogs harvested from ANC's woodlands operations. ANC will ship logs to mills in Slave Lake, Fox Creek, Whitecourt and Grande Prairie, to name a few. The key to these trades is to keep the transportation costs down and to consider the receiving mill prior to harvesting commencing in an area to ensure that their needs are also met.

Harvesting does not commence in a specific area without approval from the Alberta Government. Areas to be harvested are layed out in the field using GPS technology to ensure accuracy and pre-harvest assessments are done to determine proper harvesting and reforestation techniques.

Silviculture

Silviculture is a forestry term used to describe the science of growing trees and managing the vegetation in a forest environment. Prompt reforestation of all areas harvested is not only required by law, but is also required to ensure that ANC's operations remain sustainable and viable into the future.

Before a site is harvested, field inspections are done to determine the tree species present, ground conditions, topography, soils, drainage patterns and any other factors which may be limiting to successful reforestation following harvesting.

Cones are collected throughout the FMA to supply the necessary seed for growing suitable seedling stock. The seed is germinated and the seedlings tended at contract nurseries until such time as they are ready for planting in the field.

Our responsibility does not end there, however. Provincial regulations stipulate that a company with an FMA monitor and tend the trees for 14 years. This helps ensure reforestation success.

The harvested sites may often require site treatment to ensure suitable ground conditions for planting. ANC utilizes different site preparation techniques depending on eco-region, species and other factors.

Trees are planted at a ratio of two seedlings for every stem cut down. This helps ensure adequate survival against insects, disease and other causes of mortality.

Safety

All phases of our harvesting, hauling and reforestation operations are conducted with safety considered first and foremost. All our contractors and staff undergo the required training necessary for their jobs. ANC undertakes mock drills in the field with our contractors to ensure adequate response times are met and all protective equipment is in.

Environment

Environmental training is essential in all levels of our operations, from management staff to the equipment operator in the field. ANC is committed to following all regulatory requirements for environmental protection. We are also dedicated to further study and research initiatives that can help improve our day to day operations and minimize our environmental impact. Monitoring and improvement of all phases of our field operations are key and a fundamental element of ANC's success.

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY - ANC TIMBER LTD.

Revised November 24, 2021

Social Law Commitment Policy

Revised 2022

Indigenous Peoples Policy

Revised 2022

WOODLANDS LINKS
REPORTS & PUBLICATIONS
Annual Stewardship Report
Detailed Forest Management Plan (DFMP)
General Development Plan (GDP)
Annual Operating Plan (AOP)
These reports are available upon request. Please contact Ian Daisley at 780-778-7090 or by email for access.
What is a DFMP?

The DFMP is a technical document that describes forest management objectives, strategies and commitments. It identifies methods of cutting, reforesting and managing timber resources within the defined area of responsibility. The forest management planning time frame considered is 200 years which generally represents two full life cycles or "rotations" for trees in the Forest Management Agreement. Although a 200-year time frame is used, greater detail on where harvesting will take place over the first 20 years is shown in the Spatial Harvest Sequence (SHS). In addition to where timber harvesting will take place the DFMP determines how much wood can be harvested each year or Annual Allowable Cut (AAC).

The AAC is determined through a combination of determining what lands are contributing to the cut calculation and how fast the trees are growing. The first step in determining the contributing landbase or net landbase is the completion of an updated Alberta Vegetation Inventory following a standard set out by the Government of Alberta. The next step is to remove lands that may be sensitive such as areas near watercourses, near key wildlife features such as grizzly bear dens or raptor nests, inaccessible due to steep ground, of key cultural significance, occupied by other disposition holders or other operational considerations. These areas will not be harvested. The rate that the trees are growing is determined by measuring trees at different ages and determining volume available. The rate of growth is the difference in volume between the two ages and is calculated as cubic metres of volume per year or mean annual increment (MAI).

DFMP's are prepared and implemented through the collaboration of the forest industry, provincial government, First Nations, Metis Settlements, other resource users and the public.

Five key characteristics of DFMP's are:

1. They look beyond sustainable timber yield.

2. They embrace the concept of sustainable forest management.

3. They recognize other resource values and uses.

4. They explain how the harvesting plan take place.

5. They explain how performance will be measured.

ANC submitted its 2021 DFMP on September 30, 2021 to the Government of Alberta for approval. We thank all those that submitted comments and participated in the consultation process. For information on the submitted DFMP please see the link below.

Values, Objectives, Indicators and Targets (VOIT's) As part of the DFMP process and as a way to ensure that the DFMP considers a wide range of values a number of performance criteria/elements are used. For each criterion/element a value, objective, indicator and target are stated. The elements are based upon a framework laid out in the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers and embedded in Annex 4 of Alberta's Planning Standard. The VOIT's land in one of 6 broad categories 1) Biological Diversity, 2) Ecosystem Productivity, 3) Soil and Water, 4) Global Ecological Cycles, 5) Multiple Benefits to Society and 6) Accepting Society's responsibility for sustainable development.





Commentary on the Spatial Harvest Sequence

The SHS consists of the stands that are planned to be harvested over the next two decades. The SHS is developed to balance and large number of values including wildlife, water, seral stage, harvest level and forest health. Habitat needs of five different songbirds, varied thrush, black-throated green warbler, brown creeper, Canada warbler and ovenbird have been modeled to ensure sufficient habitat continues to exist. Other wildlife species that directly influence the SHS by incorporating Government of Alberta wildlife modeling include caribou, barred owl, American marten and grizzly bear. Water impacts are modeled using an equivalent clearcut area (ECA) model to ensure that harvesting does not unduly affect water quality and quantity. Seral stage is modeled to ensure that specific levels of older forests are maintained. This helps to ensure wildlife species that do not have species-specific wildlife models are accounted for. This seral stage modelling includes ensuring that habitat for species that prefer older forests is present. Modelling forest age also ensures that there is sufficient young habitat for species that thrive in younger forest such as moose and grizzly bears. The harvest level, AAC, is a good proxy for jobs and is balanced along with the non-timber values. The projected harvest level is >30% lower than was approved in the 2011 DFMP which has cost jobs but is a trade-off against reduced harvest in the caribou zone. Forest health considerations include targeting harvest in areas where MPB is present and/or where there are stands that are susceptible to MPB attack. Harvesting is also targeted in areas that have a high wildfire risk and where forests are decadent.

One of the things that may catch your eye is the pattern of harvest on the west side of the FMA, within the Little Smoky and A la Peche caribou zones. Traditionally, forest harvesting is dispersed with a lower intensity of harvest over a larger area. In this plan, within the caribou zone, the harvest is “amalgamated”. This amalgamated harvest pattern is in response to direction from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) as well as Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. The belief is that concentrated harvest in a small area is better for caribou than an equivalent level of harvest dispersed over a larger area. The idea is not new and forest harvest patterns have trended in the direction of larger openings since the idea of a two-pass system that created a checkerboard pattern across the landscape fell out of favour in the late 1990’s and was replaced by harvest patterns that were designed to look more like natural forest fire patterns.

The plan is that harvesting in these amalgamated areas would be completed in a single entry. These areas would then be left alone for an entire harvest rotation, 70-100 years. The goal of this approach is to increase the area that is considered “undisturbed habitat.” Specific details can be found in the ECCC recovery strategies but in a basic sense, undisturbed habitat is defined as area more than 500m away from an anthropogenic disturbance less than 40 years of age.

Although there are a variety of human activity across the caribou zone the dominant feature is seismic lines. Much of the caribou zone is crisscrossed by seismic lines and as such has been estimated to be 95-99% disturbed. Reforestation of these lines is difficult as the native tree species are adapted to forest renewal through forest fire or similar disturbances that create open areas where pine cones can open and seeds have a suitable seedbed. In the Preferred Scenario, a balance is stuck between harvesting within the caribou zone on the west side of the FMA and outside of the caribou zone on the East side of the FMA. The western portion of the FMA is where, on average, the forests are most impacted by MPB. It is also the area with the highest risk for large wildfires and has an age class structure farthest from natural. In addition to addressing these forest health risks, the added benefit of having some of the harvest on the west end of the FMA is that it reduces the impact on the East side of the FMA where most of the harvesting over the past thirty years has been concentrated. Some harvest on the East side of the FMA ensures that undue pressure is not put on the caribou zone. Another highlight of the Preferred Scenario is that it preserves a “core” caribou habitat though long terms deferrals, which has been a foundation of caribou plans for the past several decades. This long deferral, planned to be at least 20 years, will allow time to see if the Little Smoky caribou population will continue to be stable or increase in numbers as seismic reclamation activities occur. The Preferred Scenario was developed in conjunction with independent forestry experts and informed by work on MPB by the Dr. Allan Carroll from UBC, Dr. David Andison’s Healthy Landscapes work with fri Research and the Caribou Land Management Association’s work on caribou. ANC believes that this scenario achieves a balance between social values, environmental issues and economic considerations. The Preferred Scenario also reflects what we have heard in Phase 1 of First Nations and Metis Settlement Consultation with respect to addressing MPB risk. More information on what we have heard to date can be found in Section 9.0 of this document.

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AAF) asked that ANC include the scenario titled “Forestry Directive” as AAF’s desired scenario. The Forestry Directive’s harvest pattern, within the caribou zone, reflects the direction that ANC and the quota holders were provided by the Government of Alberta in June 2018. The forest companies have been operating under this direction since then, while the new DFMP has been under development. Similar to the Preferred Scenario this Scenario follows an amalgamated harvest pattern within the caribou zone but with a different spatial arrangement. AAF did not provide any background information as to how the proposed harvesting sequence within the caribou zone was determined. There is some commonality with the stands between the stands in the two scenarios but the main difference is where the wood within the caribou zone is scheduled. The biggest concern with the Forest Directive scenario, from ANC’s perspective, is that the stands that are scheduled in the next ten years are on average younger, have less MPB and are at lower fire risk than the forest stands in the Preferred Scenario. The Forestry Directive does not reflect, nearly as well as the Preferred Scenario, what we have heard from consultation to date with respect to addressing MPB risk.

It may be worth noting that the Forestry Directive was anticipated to be interim direction until a Caribou Range Plan was completed. Work on trying to a complete Range Plan for the Little Smoky and A la Peche caribou herds has been ongoing since 2013 but a plan has not yet been completed. While the timeline on the completion of a plan is unknown at this time a new Regional Caribou Task Force is expected to be convened in the spring of 2021. This new Task Force is expected to provide recommendations on caribou management that may in turn create new direction that may necessitate an amendment to the DFMP. Maps of the two spatial harvest sequences are at the links below.



DRAFT Final DFMP

ANC submitted its 2021 DFMP on September 30, 2021 to the Government of Alberta for approval. We thank all those that submitted comments and participated in the consultation process. For information on the submitted DFMP please see the links below





If you have feedback on the 2021 DFMP please contact us at: ANC 2021 DFMP

Regional Companies to Share Forestry Plans at 2022 Virtual Open Houses

This spring, forest companies ANC Timber (Alberta Newsprint Company), West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (Blue Ridge Lumber and Alberta Plywood), and Weyerhaeuser Company - Pembina will be holding virtual “joint open houses”, to share forestry operating plans for the year ahead.

These events provide the general public and stakeholders with the opportunity to review each company’s planned activities in road development, harvesting, hauling, reforestation and herbicide treatment for the current forestry year. This year, for the 2022-23 forestry year, the process is taking place virtually and online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Public stakeholder input is gathered and utilized to influence operations where site specific concerns are identified such as trails, camping areas, recreation areas etc.

We would like to invite you to visit the document and map links below to view our upcoming forest activities. We will have a variety of plans available for review including: Annual Operating Plans for 2022-2023 season; Company Reforestation Plans; and Herbicide Treatment Plans.








If you have feedback on the 2022 VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE please contact us at:ANC 2022 VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE