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Minister's Message

Honourable Dustin Duncan

I'm pleased to provide the State of the Environment 2019: A Focus on Forests, the second comprehensive assessment of our province's Crown forests. This year's version builds on our 2009 report, and fulfills the government's commitment, in law, to report on the state of our forests at least every 10 years. It also stands as Saskatchewan's 2019 State of the Environment Report.

The 2009 report assessed 23 diverse indicators of forest health, using the best data available at that time. In the decade since, information and technology have evolved, so the report has changed too. The majority of indicators have been modified or replaced to reflect new challenges and information. The shift to an online report supports a more interactive, dynamic presentation.

What has not changed is the fundamental purpose of the report: to check the results of our forest management decisions and to use what we learn to do better.

Overall, the news is good. For example, the proportion of old and young forests in the province more closely resembles what would occur naturally than it did in 2009. Saskatchewan also continues to lead the country in Indigenous involvement in the forest sector. Our forest industry is thriving, and there's room for it to grow, sustainably.

The report also identifies opportunities to improve, and some emerging challenges. The government fulfills its important duty to consult with Indigenous people but we need to build on existing relationships. Our forests, as carbon sinks, play an important role in addressing a changing climate but are also affected by its uncertainties.

As the Ministry of Environment manages and protects Saskatchewan's environment, we strive to balance the social, economic and ecological benefits that forests provide. It is this balance that will allow us to continue to improve and to build on our strengths, for the benefit of all Saskatchewan people.

Dustin Duncan
Minister of Environment

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