2020-21 Annual Operating Plan
Millar Western typically holds open houses every spring, to share its Annual Operating Plans, or AOPs, for the year ahead. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Alberta Health requirements for physical distancing, Millar Western is replacing its community open houses with an online version. Here, you will find a plan summary and maps showing the locations of harvesting and forest renewal activities.
If you have any questions or concerns about our proposed operating plans for the year ahead, please contact:
Cynthia Labrecque, RPF
Phone: (780) 778-2221, Ext. 2190
Cellphone: (780) 268-4605
2020-21 Annual Operating Plan (AOP) Summary
An AOP outlines a forest company’s timber harvesting operations and forest renewal activities for a forestry timber year, which runs from May 1 to April 30. These plans not only specify annual harvest volumes, but also harvest locations, infrastructure needs to access the timber (e.g. roads, water crossings), reclamation requirements post-harvesting, and forest renewal activities (e.g., site preparation, herbicide application, and tree planting).
AOPs are developed within the framework of higher-level plans, called detailed forest management plans. DFMPs model forest resources over 200-year planning horizons and set out sustainable harvest levels over those time frames. They also consider a range of environmental, economic and social forest values, including habitat conservation, recreational opportunities, areas of cultural importance, and jobs. Before plans are finalized and executed, Millar Western consults with First Nations and other stakeholders (e.g., trappers, recreational groups, other industrial forest users) to identify and mitigate concerns, and then seeks approval of the Alberta government to proceed.
Millar Western estimates that, for the year ahead, it will require 2.1 million m3 of timber to meet the fibre requirements of our sawmills in Whitecourt and Fox Creek, and pulp mill in Whitecourt. Millar Western anticipates harvesting approximately 7,500 hectares in 2020-21, which equates to 350 cut blocks. Approximately one quarter of the fibre harvested will be delivered to our sawmill in Fox Creek, while the rest, approximately 1.5 milion m3, will be transported to our sawmill and pulp mill in Whitecourt. Weather permitting, Millar Western plans to conduct harvesting within the Whitecourt, Fox Creek, Fort Assiniboine and Swan Hills forest districts in 2020-21.
Because frozen conditions are needed to access much of our wood, about 75% of our harvesting will be conducted during the winter, between the months of November to March. Millar Western hires local contractors to harvest and haul logs to its manufacturing sites. The log-haul routes are shared with local authorities, and all log-hauling is carried out in compliance with applicable requirements and conditions imposed on road networks.
Once harvesting is concluded, temporary roads and watercourse crossings will be reclaimed. Forest renewal activities such as planting, site preparation treatments to enhance new forest growth, and burning of harvest residuals (slash) must be completed within two years of harvest.
In 2020-21, we will be planting in the Edson, Whitecourt, Fox Creek, Fort Assiniboine, and Swan Hills forest districts. We expect to plant approximately 5.5 million coniferous tree seedlings over approximately 5,000 hectares; about 1,500 hectares will be left to natural regeneration. Planting is carried out by independent contractors and typically takes place during the months of May, June and July, depending on weather.
Millar Western must meet the Alberta government’s forest regeneration standards. Planted areas are closely monitored using establishment and performance surveys to ensure that new healthy forests are re-established for the next generation.
Please refer to the following maps for more detailed information about our planned harvesting and silvicultural (forest renewal) activities.
Note to stakeholders: The information provided in the following maps is based on careful planning; however, we wish to advise all interested parties that our activities are subject to change, depending on variables such as weather and wildfire. Any material changes to our AOP will require the consent of the Alberta government.
|Blue Ridge Lumber W14 East|
|Blue Ridge Lumber W14 West|
|Millar Western W16 Central|
|Millar Western W16 East|
|Millar Western W16 North|
|Slave Lake Pulp S20 South|