Saskatchewan’s forest industry is having a bounce-back year, seeing 30 percent increase in sales.

Recent statistics suggest that over $1.1 billion worth of forest products sold in 2020.

In northern Saskatchewan, 8000 people work in the forestry sector, with seven major companies producing lumber and pulp.

Saskatchewan is also home to the largest, 100 per cent First Nations-owned forest products mill in Canada, and Indigenous people comprise over 27 per cent of the province’s total forestry sector workforce – the highest of any province.

There are also dozens of Indigenous-owned forestry businesses, ranging from saw mills and timber harvesting operations to road construction, trucking and reforestation.

“Proudly owned by the Meadow Lake Tribal Council, profits from our NorSask Forest Products operation drives capital investment to increase the mill’s production capacity, as well as supporting economic development, providing jobs and social programs, as well as infrastructure for the nine First Nations communities represented in the Tribal Council,” Meadow Lake Tribal Council Industrial Investments LP President and CEO Al Balisky said.

Last year, the province exported 75 percent of its lumber products, accounting for $700 million in export value.

Lumber, treated wood products for decks and fences, new home starts and renovations drove the demand for Saskatchewan timber.

The provincial government is predicting record year for lumber and a potential increase of jobs to 12,000 associated with the industry.