2017/18 Edson and Area Visitors Guide 2017 Visitor Guide electronic - Page 54

IN Coal Mining has been a key player in the Edson area for many years, but when oil became the fuel of choice, coal mining started to decline. Mines gradually shut down in the 1950s and the industry slowed dramatically until the late 1970s when coal became a viable product again. Oil & Gas Edson is located on one of the largest gas fields in Alberta which have provided plenty of opportunities in this field. Exploration, drilling, collection, transportation and servicing of the oil and gas industry continues to be a driving force and major contributor to Edson’s economic prosperity. Forestry In 1983, an OSB manufacturing plant opened in the Edson area — Pelican Spruce Mills (now Weyerhaeuser). Weyerhaeuser uses the abundant supply of Aspen and Black Poplar to manufacture structural panels used for flooring and sheltering in residential home construction. In the early 1990s a second mill, Sundance Forest Industries (formerly Erith Tie Company) built a new state- of-the-art sawmill which soon expanded. The mill is now known as Edson Forest Products, a division of West Fraser. Agriculture Edson was once the wheat capital of western Canada. Since then, agriculture in the area has flourished to include cattle and bison ranches, small hobby farms and various grain farms. Photo by Giles Merriott (www.365photography.com) and Leanne Sharman (www.leamanexchange.com) 52 www.gallowaystationmuseum.com