Private Woodlot Survey Results for Northwestern Saskatchewan

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  • There are approximately 37 million acres (15 million hectares) of productive, non-reserved forest land in Saskatchewan of which 2.6%, or 961 000 acres (389 000 hectares), is privately owned. It is estimated that this private forest land is owned by 15 000 landowners (Forestry Canada, 1988). Private woodlot owners in northwestern Saskatchewan have historically had few options when marketing wood. Limited markets existed for firewood and rough lumber but there were few stable markets. Aspen had generally been considered a weed species with no commercial value. The recent construction of a pulp mill in Meadow Lake that uses Aspen as its primary input has created a long-term demand for Aspen pulpwood. Although the pulp mill, and other industrial forest products companies, are allocated public timber reserves through Forest Management Licence Agreements, increasing pressure from other forest users, such as native groups and recreationalists, has placed uncertainty on the long-term availability of current fibre allocations on public lands. This has caused industrial timber managers to look to alternative sources for sustainable timber supply. The private woodlot sector offers a potential long-term supply of fibre. Private lands as a source of timber supply has a number of advantages. Woodlots are generally located on the agriculture/forestry fringe and are served by an existing transportation infrastructure; this reduces the cost of accessing timber and frequently puts woodlots in close proximity to processing facilities. In addition, woodlots are generally close to towns and thus have readily available labour forces. If the forest industry is to take advantage of this resource there is a need for more information about the private timber resources and their attitudes of the relevant landowners. The objective of this project was to identify characteristics of landowners that have motivated them to manage and supply timber in the past and may be related to a willingness to consider timber management and harvesting in the future. The project also investigated the use of various contracts to encourage private forest management and sustainable timber harvesting. A survey was developed and in-person interviews conducted to collect the relevant information. Survey design and sampling procedure are outlined in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 summarizes the results of the survey and a discussion of the results is included as Chapter 4. A copy of the survey questionnaire is included in the Appendix.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 International