The days of bucksaws and bush whacking are long gone.

Nowadays, forest professionals use high tech equipment to manage the millions of hectares of forest in Alberta. In fact, today’s forest sector is the largest consumer of new technology in Canada. Forest operations depend on cutting edge technology, like GIS and GPS mapping systems, to develop integrated forest management and operating plans on a regular basis.

Canada’s forest industry is the most successful in the world and it gives more to our nation’s GDP than the plastics, aerospace and chemical industries. Alberta’s forest industry generates direct, indirect and induced revenue of more than $5.5 billion annually, making it a significant economic, environmental, and social contributor to the province.

Alberta’s forest industry provides more than 18,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Today’s manufacturing includes the production of lumber, panel board (plywood, oriented strand board, etc.) newsprint, pulp, and secondary manufactured products such as furniture components. Alberta’s mills are some of the most advanced anywhere in the world and will continue to supply products for generations to come.

Bio-energy is helping to sustain and revitalize Alberta’s forest industry. Alberta’s forest products industry now has the ability to produce energy, fuel, and chemicals from wood fibre. This bio-fuel technology, and a tree’s capability to remove carbon from the atmosphere, is changing the nature of the industry. Alberta’s vast forests give it the potential to become a bio-energy and bio-product powerhouse.


Albertans are tied to the land, value their forests, and demand that they are sustainably managed. A healthy forest produces economic, environmental, aesthetic, recreational, and social benefits.

Many of us perceive that trees are only used to make conventional forest products like softwood lumber, newsprint, or wood pulp. These are essential products that support Albertans economic and social well-being but the forest can produce so much more.

New technologies have the ability to transform wood fibre from unmarketable trees, brush, and debris into liquid form so it can be used as bio-fuels, bio-chemicals, and bio-materials.

Bio-fuels can be used for home heating, powering vehicles, or for manufacturing and industrial processes. Bio-chemicals produced from wood fibre can be used to make cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, neutraceuticals, solvents, food additives, and renewable plastics. These are relatively new areas that are now under development.

Examples of Other Forest Products

  • Cabinetry
  • Shoe polish
  • Lipsticks
  • Automotive waxes
  • Furniture
  • Furniture polish
  • Maple syrup
  • Rubber products
  • Tires
  • Adhesives
  • Latex gloves
  • Gaskets
  • Shoe soles
  • Musical Instruments