Canadian Geographic
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Atlantic Region


Atlantic forests
In the Atlantic Maritime ecozone, forests make up 90 percent of the total land cover. About half of this area is a mixed forest — a distinctive blend of deciduous (hardwood) and coniferous (softwood) species. Forestry has a long history here, longer than anywhere else in Canada. Old-growth hardwoods once covered much of the fertile land, but today only a few pockets of the true old-growth remain. In the early 1990s, it was estimated that more than 13 percent of the area harvested had been replanted or seeded several times. Unlike other regions, the Atlantic Maritime has a large proportion of privately owned forestland, totaling 90 percent in Prince Edward Island, 75 percent in Nova Scotia, and 50 percent in New Brunswick. In some rural areas, forestry may be the sole source of employment and the chief reason for a community’s existence. The pulp and paper industry is the largest consumer of wood, using 65 percent of the annual harvest. About 24 percent is sawn into lumber. The Atlantic Maritime ecozone has two working-scale model forests — the Fundy and the Lower St. Lawrence — whose objective is the implementation of sustainable forest development. The Fundy Model Forest is described above.


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Which fishery did Newfoundland depend on for 500 years?