Elmwood reclaimed wood, which is an essential ingredient in wood pulp, is coming back to forested areas after a decade’s worth of neglect and destruction.
The forest is coming alive again, and a new partnership is being forged to restore the forest.
“It’s been very, very slow in terms of our recovery,” says Elmore Woods, president of Elmore Woodlands, which owns and manages the Elmwood Timber Trail and Elmwood Creek Trail in northeast Alberta.
“We had to wait two years, so we’re excited to see it come back to the forest, to the land.”
Woods says the Elmore River Restoration Trust, a partnership of forestry associations, will oversee the project.
The restoration of the Elmwoods Timber Trail was part of a $2-billion plan that was announced last year to reforest more than 20,000 hectares of forest in the province.
Woodlands was among those who advocated for the project, which was first announced in 2008.
It was intended to restore a 2,000-hectare section of forest and restore the area to forest cover.
In October, the project began in Alberta’s Northlands.
The Elmore Creek Trail and the Elmridge Timber Trail were completed last spring, and the remaining timber from the Elm Woods Timber Trail will be planted on the area’s remaining forested land.
“In terms of the timber supply chain, the process is very straightforward,” says Woodlands.
“The landowner is paying for the timber, so it’s just a matter of paying the timber that’s being harvested, which they have to do in order to complete the project.”
Woodlands says the Forest Stewardship Council of Canada (FSCC) is working closely with the Elmhurst Timber Trail Trust to ensure the Timber Creek Trail meets all regulations.
The Forest Steward Inventory of Forest Resources (FSIR) requires that timber harvested from the Elwood Creek and Elmwoods Trail is managed and managed responsibly, and is maintained at least 10 years.
The Forest Stewarding Council of Alberta (FSCA) is the province’s environmental protection agency.
The FSCA regulates the use of forest lands.
Woodworks and other forest operations in the forest are also regulated under the Forest Practices Act.
The Forestry Act provides for the protection of forest resources.
Forest management in the Alberta landscape is managed through a number of provincial and federal agencies, and Woodlands is hoping to leverage that knowledge and expertise to ensure timber harvested on Elmwood Forest Trail and on the Elm Trees Timber Trail is properly managed.
The timber is being harvested on the eastern edge of the Elmwood Creek area, and then sent to a wood processing facility in the northeast.
The process involves cutting through the wood to remove its needles and leaves.
The wood will be shipped to a processing plant in B.C. for the removal of the bark, which will be used to make timber for other wood products.
The Elmore Tree Timber Trail also has an east-west branch.
Wood is harvested from trees growing along the Elsmore Creek, but is sent to the wood processing plant for removal of bark and needles.
It is also shipped to the processing plant at the Elspeth Creek Timber Trail in northern Alberta.
“It’s an environmentally sound process, but it is very labor intensive and it’s a very labour intensive operation,” says Glen Ellyn-based forestry expert and former MLA David Thomson.
The Elspoth Creek Timber and the Oak Creek Timber Trails are being managed as separate programs under the Forestry Act. “
They’re also going to have to take care of the needles and the leaves, so you’re dealing with lots of work.”
The Elspoth Creek Timber and the Oak Creek Timber Trails are being managed as separate programs under the Forestry Act.
Wood and timber will be harvested along the two forested sections, but there are no plans for the trees to be planted in one of the two sections.
Woods said the timber being used in the Elm Wood Trail will have been used for many years, and will not require extensive treatment.
“This will be a piece of wood that’s been in the ground for many, many years,” he says.
“If it’s not treated properly, it could end up being harmful.”