In 1987, Willie Peters purchased a small sawmill from Wilhelm Zacharias for $12,000
and operated it west of the town La Crete until 1990. They then moved it to Wilson Prairie. In
1993 it was started under the company name Evergreen Lumber and then became a member of the Alberta Forest Products Association . In 1996, Willie bought land (Evergreen’s present location) in hopes of relocating but in 1997,
the sawmill burned down in Savage Prairie. They again purchased another sawmill, this time from McLennan and proceeded to set it up at the new location where it is still today.
In 2007, Willie’s son, Frank purchased a share and now manages the
operations. It has grown considerably from where it began. They now employ over thirty staff and also provide benefits and safety programs for employees. Evergreen provides jobs for different logging and trucking companies throughout the year. The mill brings in between 65,000-75,000 metres of timber each year which is roughly 1,600 loads of logs. Currently the timber is harvested by Nortrac and hauled in by Tranzwood’s self loading trucks. Evergreen receives 23, 500 cubic meters of timber from crown land each year, the rest is bought from Little Red River Forestry and private land owners which has contributed tremendously to Evergreen’s success and sustainability.
In 2012 Evergreen again expanded by buying Precision Lumber which included various
equipment and a small Timber Tenure which again expanded their operations. Evergreen’s products are shipped to various destinations, their wood chips go primarily to Mercer in Peace River, sawdust and shavings go to
La Crete Sawmills for the pellet production and their wood products are sold all over the country and to various destinations. Evergreen completes a tree planting program annually of about 225,000 seedlings to ensure the trees cut from the forest land base are replaced to enhance the sustainability of the forest. Ninety percent of Evergreen’s fiber supply comes from land bases where reforestation is required. The other ten percent comes from private landowners. Evergreen Lumber Inc. works carefully with the surrounding Indigenous communities and listens to feedback from the public to ensure Alberta’s forests and land base are protected and managed responsibly. Evergreen is proud to call this strong working community home and relies on workers that La Crete provides to sustain and prosper.