National Forest Week, September 18 to 24 this year, is an annual celebration highlighting the important role forests play in our environment and economy. National Tree Day, observed on the Wednesday of National Forest Week, focuses on the value of trees, especially in our cities and towns.
“Saskatchewan’s forests cover 34 million hectares, more than half of our province,” Environment Minister Scott Moe said. “National Forest Week is a great time for everyone to consider the many ways that forests and trees add to our lives, every day.”
The week’s theme this year is ‘True North, Strong and Green’, referring both to the band of boreal forest that stretches across the country, and to Canada’s place as a world leader in forest stewardship and innovation. Saskatchewan’s forest industry contributes significantly to the provincial economy, while playing a critical role in sustainable forest management.
“Saskatchewan’s large forest companies develop 20 year forest management plans that demonstrate how they intend to operate while ensuring the forest’s long-term sustainability,” Moe said. “Our diverse forest sector also has the highest proportion of Aboriginal ownership and participation in Canada, providing jobs and economic development for Saskatchewan people, particularly in northern Saskatchewan.”
Saskatchewan’s globally competitive forest industry includes 10 large forest products manufacturing facilities, producing lumber, pulp and panels, and more than 100 small forest businesses producing a variety of forest products.
In 2016, the Ministry of Environment’s forest renewal program planted 1.7 million seedlings in Saskatchewan’s provincial forests, with millions more planted by industry.