December 5, 2014 4:11 pm

Weyerhaeuser, government sign provincial park logging agreement

Ten-year agreement between Weyerhaeuser, Saskatchewan government to renew Duck Mountain provincial park forest.

David Giles / Global News

REGINA – The forest at Duck Lake provincial park is undergoing a renewal. Weyerhaeuser and the Saskatchewan government have signed a 10-year agreement that will see logging operations commence this winter.

The first of its kind agreement in the province will see ecologically responsible logging operations emulate natural growth patterns of the forest. In total, approximately 10,000 hectares in the north half of the park will be renewed.

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“The protection and conservation of Saskatchewan’s natural environment is incredibly important,” said Mark Docherty, minister of parks, culture and sport. “This forest renewal project will ensure that the forest at Duck Mountain Provincial Park will remain healthy for many years to come.”

The forest is approximately 120 years old and primarily made up of trembling aspen, which require a large scale disturbance such as wildfire to regenerate naturally. Wildfires in the area have been suppressed leading to the forest becoming uncommonly old, and without a large disturbance, the trembling aspen forest will die and the land will convert to shrubland.

Weyerhaeuser will carry out logging operations during the winter months when the frozen ground will minimize the impact of machinery on the environment. Removing trees while they are dormant will prompt new suckering on their roots, allowing the forest to regenerate in its own natural pattern.

The company will begin logging operations in mid-December.

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