Building Prosperity in Northwest Alberta

The prices for Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and lumber remain strong across world markets. Northwest Alberta forestry activities are centred around High Level and La Crete, and employ a significant portion of the region’s labour force.

The industry comprises both small operators (loggers, transport, and service) and large companies.

The Tolko Industries sawmill is one of the largest mills in Alberta and the oriented strand board (OSB) mill owned and operated by Norbord Inc. is the largest of its kind in the world.

La Crete Sawmill produces kiln-dried lumber and specialty wood pellets.

The sector provides direct year-round employment to some 800 people, and up to another 600 in seasonal positions.

In 2021, Drax and Tolko Industries are partnered to build a new industrial wood pellet plant, The new $54-million plant, Northern Pellet Limited Partnership, produces up to 200,000 tonnes of pellets annually.

Tolko Industries also make a second large investment in 2020 with the construction of a new energy plant at its lumber mill. There are many benefits to the new energy system, including the consumption of most of the bark produced by the High Level sawmill; enabling the sawmill to significantly reduce natural gas used in the lumber drying process by replacing it with bioenergy; and, provide green bioenergy to the new pellet plant at the site.

Northwest Alberta has a sustainable Forest Management Area (FMA) of 4 million hectares that stretches from the BC Border to the west, Wood Buffalo National park on the east, and Northwest Territories border to the north. It is the same size as the Canadian Province of New Brunswick.

The Upper Hay Regional Forests Woodlands Group is made up of several independently owned and operating companies committed to being a cooperative team to preserve forest health. Working together and with the public, the Woodlands Group ensures a balance of social, economic, and ecological values to support sustainability for future generations.


Comprehensive data and information on our forestry industry.

Forestry Industry Snapshot

An overview of forestry industry here in the REDI Region. Great as a quick reference, with all the relevant details.


The Economic Sustainability of Forestry

From MoveUp Magazine Issue #29 - Forestry has long been a thriving industry in the REDI region. What does the future hold for forestry in Northwest Alberta?


Northwest Alberta Commodities

What are the products? How much is produced? Where are the products exported? How are the products transported?



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