Making a small effort today will make a huge difference in the future. This morning, Environment Minister Scott Moe unveiled the province’s forest renewal project for the year.

It involves planting 2.2 million seedlings in areas of the province currently not covered by agreements with forestry companies.

The trees will be planted in Saskatchewan’s northern forest.  Scott Moe says they are an investment in the future.  They are part of the millions of new trees planted every year by forest companies and the government to maintain a healthy and thriving forest industry.  In addition to the Ministry of Environment’s renewal efforts, the minister says the industry will be planting about seven million trees.

“We are actually planting more trees than we are cutting this year,” he says.  “So it actually speaks to the sustainable forestry agreements that we have in place with the companies and the sustainability of our forests as we move forward.”

It is a lot of hard work for anyone on a crew.  Ashley Gilbert is from Big River and has been involved in the reforestation program for the past seven years.  On average, she will hand plant 3,500 trees a day.

Despite the back-breaking work, she loves it.

“You have so much time for yourself and your work very hard,” she says.  “And people that do it like the outdoors and meeting so many new people.”

Saskatchewan’s forest industry shares the responsibility for forest renewal with the company.  They are responsible for reforesting areas they harvest, while Saskatchewan Environment covers areas not covered by the agreements.

Since the 1930s, more than a half a billion trees have been planted in the province.