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Discover the perfect setting for entrepreneurs, small to medium-sized enterprises, and large corporations to establish and flourish within the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River. Whether you're running a home-based startup or envisioning global expansion for your company, our support is readily available to propel your ambitions forward.

While everyone can carve out success within our county, the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River is home to four key sectors; agriculture, forestry, oil and gas, and recreation and tourism.

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Key Sectors in the MD

Agriculture

The growth and long-term sustainability of our region's agricultural sector is one of the MD's primary mandates. We coordinate a spectrum of services to area producers and work in tandem with the Agriculture Service Board to deliver programming, information, and stewardship to local producers.

Our region is home to approximately:

  • 125,019 acres of farm and ranchland
  • 24,000 head of cattle
  • 3,500 laying hens 
  • 750 horses
  • 500 sheep, lamb and ewes 
  • 450 bison 

Area farmers primarily grow cereal crops, oilseed crops, and hay. Cover cropping for silage, pasturing, erosion control, and soil health is a sustainable agricultural practice that is increasing in popularity in our region.

Learn about some of our innovative farmers below.


Chickadee Farm 

Located in Flatbush, Chickadee Farm is a second-generation, small family farm that strives for sustainable organic stewardship of the land in harmony with the surrounding boreal forest. Chickadee Farm specializes in growing and wildcrafting herbal teas and culinary herbs. Chickadee Farm products are sold in natural food stores in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. They can also be purchased directly from the farm’s online store.


Common Cheer Flower Farm

Common Cheer is a cut flower farm that serves the region with bouquets of fresh flowers from late May through mid September. All of the flowers in Common Cheer’s bouquets are sown, grown, tended, and harvested on the family farm near Fawcett, Alberta. Common Cheer delivers bouquets weekly to Flower Club subscribers.

Forestry

Our forest industry is thriving. The Municipal District of Lesser Slave River #124 is home to vast forest resources and world-class forest product manufacturing facilities. Combined, the Lesser Slave Lake forest industries provide almost 25% of local employment income supporting the economic, social, and cultural fabric of our region.

Our local forest industries have built world-class manufacturing facilities in Mitsue Industrial Park and we continue to grow. We’re proud to be the home of the state-of-the-art timber processing facilities listed below.


Tolko Industries’ Athabasca Mill

Tolko Industries' Athabasca Mill operates the largest continuous oriented strand board (OSB) press in North America and the only continuous press in North America to produce OSB and laminated strand lumber (LSL) on the same line.


Millar Western

Millar Western's operation produces 240,000 tonnes of hardwood pulp for the global market per year. They have invested in a low-rate anaerobic treatment system that converts mill waste products to biogas that generates electrical power for the mill. This innovative system is believed to be the first of its kind in Canada within the pulp and paper sector.


Slave Lake Veneer

Slave Lake Veneer produces carbon-negative engineered wood panels for domestic and international markets.


Vanderwell Contractors

Vanderwell Contractors produces 2X4 and 2X6 dimensional lumber and converts waste materials into wood pellets and shavings. Once Mitsue’s new biomass facility is operational, Vanderwell’s mill will supply wood waste feedstock to be converted to low-carbon diesel fuel.

Oil and Gas

The Clearwater oil play is experiencing rapid growth. Shallow reservoirs and new multilateral well technology make Clearwater the most economically viable oil play in North America. Return on investment for producers ranges from two to eight months. Recent production growth in the Clearwater formation led to the reactivation of the Pembina Heavy Oil Pipeline in the fall of 2023.

Most of the Clearwater production is in Nipisi and Marten Hills, with additional production to the south, near Jarvie, and to the east, near Peavine. Over 3700 square kilometres of the Clearwater play is located within the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River #124.

With a production horizon of at least two decades, Clearwater continues to draw investment, with companies actively exploring and developing resources in the region.

It is hard to overstate the importance of the oil and gas sector to our regional economy. The sector provides high-paying direct jobs, supports an array of oil and gas service companies, and sustains many local businesses including hotels, restaurants, stores, and more.

Recreation and Tourism

Unveil the hidden gems of Alberta as the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River emerges as a burgeoning tourism and recreation destination. Surrounded by expansive lakes, majestic forests, and unspoiled parks, our region beckons adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Nestled within the enchanting boreal forest, discover Alberta's largest accessible lake and pristine white sand beaches. Embark on outdoor escapades catered to camping, boating, fishing, birdwatching, stargazing, hiking, hunting, cross-country skiing, ATVing, golfing, and beyond.

Investing in the enhancement of our recreational infrastructure, the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River #124 unveils a host of community parks, playgrounds, campgrounds, meticulously groomed beaches, and state-of-the-art boat launch facilities. We eagerly invite private investments into regional tourism and recreational services, extending our full support to facilitate your endeavours.


Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation & Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory

In the spring and fall, thousands of songbirds can be observed migrating along the eastern shores of Lesser Slave Lake. These unusually high concentrations of migrating birds result from a unique funnelling effect: to avoid crossing over Lesser Slave Lake and above Marten Mountain, songbirds migrate through the narrow passage between these natural barriers.

This exceptional migratory route is home to the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation and the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory in Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park. 

The Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation is a visitor centre that operates year-round. The BCBC provides a gallery of exhibits, an interpretive trail, and a gift shop. It is a hub for a variety of programs offered to schools, day camps, and park visitors.

The Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory is dedicated to bird conservation through research and education. It operates an avian migration monitoring program every spring and fall. The LSLBO hosts school field trips and the Songbird Festival, an annual celebration of Spring migration in the boreal forest.


Dark Skies and Northern Lights

Far from city lights, Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park offers a truly dark sky that attracts astronomy enthusiasts and night sky photographers. Our northern location increases the chances of witnessing the natural wonder of the Aurora Borealis.

Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park is situated on the shores of Lesser Slave Lake — a vast body of water that provides an unobstructed view of the horizon and a stunning backdrop for the dancing northern lights. Seeing the vivid Aurora Borealis reflected off a tranquil lake is an experience you won’t forget!


Fishing

Summer or Winter, our lakes offer some of the best sport fishing in Alberta. Lesser Slave Lake is known as “the fishing hub of the north” and is Alberta’s largest accessible lake. It’s a prime destination for anglers and is Alberta’s walleye capital. Of course, there’s abundant opportunity to catch other fish species, including northern pike, yellow perch, and whitefish.

Every year, fishing tournaments like the annual Canadian Tire Anglers' Cup brings hundreds of anglers to the lake in hope of catching “the big one” and cashing in on over $145,000 in cash prizes.

Other top lakes for fishing enthusiasts are Fawcett Lake, Lawrence Lake, and Cross Lake.

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