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Reforestation has been the law in Alberta since 1966. Under the law, a forestry company must "treat" a harvested area within two years of logging. "Treatment" means ensuring either natural regrowth or artificial reforestation. With natural regrowth, or regeneration, a timber company ensures that conditions are right for trees to grow back naturally. This means making sure that existing trees produce adequate viable seeds; or in the case of aspen, that conditions are right for sapling regeneration from roots. It also means making sure that the seeds and very young trees have the proper conditions to survive and grow. Currently, about 20 percent of the total harvested area in the province is regenerated naturally.

Artificial reforestation is accomplished by replanting seedlings, or by direct seeding. Replanting efforts have improved considerably in recent years, both in the methods used and the quality of the seedling stock. Today, replanting accounts for about 60 percent of the area harvested annually. Direct seeding typically accounts for 20 percent of the total area harvested. The total area treated using these techniques continues to increase. A lot of college students go tree planting in the summer to help pay for their education.

Replanted Lodgepole Forest near Luscar

Replanted Lodgepole Forest near Luscar