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Saturday, April 01, 2023

Saskatchewan, usually thought of as a prairie province, is actually more than half forests. Most of these - more than 90 per cent - are provincial Crown forests, owned by the people of Saskatchewan. On their behalf, the Ministry of Environment ensures that these forests are sustainably managed.

As part of its efforts to assess progress toward sustainable forest management, the Ministry of Environment has produced the 2009 State of Saskatchewan Provincial Forests report.  As well, for the last several years, major forest companies have been required to conduct independent sustainable forest management audits of their activities. The report and audits showed many areas where the right choices are being made, but they also identify areas for improvement.

The ministry, including the Forest Service, is implementing a new results-based approach, putting the focus on desired environmental and resource management outcomes rather than prescriptive regulation and processes. Results-based reform  is about encouraging innovation, enhancing program and process efficiencies, improving data management and relationships with clients. Many of the opportunities for improvement revealed by the independent sustainable forest management audits are consistent with this new approach.

Recognizing where improvements are possible is step one. The next step, making changes to capitalize on these opportunities, is underway. Amendments to the enabling legislation, The Forest Resources Management Act, are in process. The ministry is also providing enhanced direction and support to forest companies as they develop and implement their forest management plans. To this end, the ministry is developing the Saskatchewan Environmental Code, which will provide a framework for improved environmental management.

Forest Service Branch works to ensure sustainable forest management, through a variety of programs.

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