12/05/2014 11:16 EST | Updated 02/04/2015 05:59 EST

Saskatchewan government plans to make what's old in provincial park new again

REGINA - The Saskatchewan government has signed a 10-year agreement with Weyerhaeuser Saskatchewan Ltd., to log more than 10,000 hectares of Duck Mountain Provincial Park to help renew the forest.

The forest, which straddles the Saskatchewan-Manitoba boundary, is about 120 years old and is primarily made up of trembling aspen.

The province says wildfires in the area have been suppressed for years and without these natural, large-scale disturbances, the aspen will eventually die out and the area will convert to shrubland.

Rob Right, a parks ecologist, says the logging will substitute for the fires to create open spaces and help young trees get established and improve the park's biodiversity.

Right says the harvesting will be done in the winter to avoid compacting soil or causing other environmental degradation.

The logging will start later this month in the north half of the park. (CKRM, The Canadian Press)