The Last Great Forest: Japanese Multinationals and Alberta's Northern Forests


222 pages
Contains Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-920897-77-0
DDC 338.1'749'097123





Reviewed by Ken A. Armson

Ken A. Armson, a former executive co-ordinator of the Ontario Ministry
of Natural Resources’ Forest Resources Group, is currently a forestry


This book is about the development of two pulp mills, the Daishowa mill
in Peace River and the Alberta-Pacific mill near Athabasca, during the
1980s and 1990s. The first two chapters provide a limited history of
forestry development in Alberta and of the government’s moves to
promote pulp mill development and assist in the diversification of
Alberta’s economy. The remaining four chapters deal with the
backgrounds of the companies and their investment records in forestry.

The book is not evenhanded in its discussion of the mills’
development. Biases against transnational companies, a strong
adversarial position on the actions of certain Alberta government
ministers and senior civil servants, and some rather simplistic
considerations of environmental issues color many of the arguments

Nonetheless, the authors do raise important questions that are
pertinent to any consideration of such types of development involving
use and management of forest resources: What is the proper forum for
public participation in the decisionmaking about such developments? How
can environmental and economic sustainability best be provided by such
developments? This last question is particularly relevant when the
development involves the installation of a high-technology facility such
as a pulp mill in a rural area where the population lacks the education
and training to become part of the workforce.

The book is well written and each chapter includes a listing of sources
for the material cited.


Pratt, Larry, and Ian Urquhart., “The Last Great Forest: Japanese Multinationals and Alberta's Northern Forests,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 23, 2024,