The Boreal Deal - A new era of joint leadership in the boreal forest

Theme: Canada’s forest cover

Our home and forested land

From the shores of the west coast to the Atlantic Ocean, as far north as the tundra and extending to the U.S. border, Canada is blanketed in forest. Roughly 10 percent, or 397 million hectares, of the entire globe’s forest cover lies within our nation.

These woods are home to more than half of the country’s wildlife species, from tiny micro-organisms to monolithic red cedars. Coniferous, broadleaf and mixed-wood forests grow here.

First to inhabit Canada’s forests were the aboriginal peoples, and they continue to have strong cultural and spiritual ties to it. About 80 percent of the country’s aboriginal communities live in forested areas. Forests provide hundreds of thousands of jobs for Canadians, including First Nations, and sustain hundreds of forestry-reliant communities. Forested parks and protected lands also serve as recreational oases for us.

Industry at a glance

With this massive area of forest cover, Canada holds an incredible national capital asset and has been profiting from it since the early 1800s.

Today, the nation’s forest sector contributes 1.7 percent to Canada’s GDP. While the country is the world’s largest exporter of forest products, it harvests less than one percent of its forests annually. In the past 30 years, provincial governments have instated stringent replanting laws, and the country has virtually zero deforestation. Canada still has more than 90 percent of its original forest cover.

Environmental issues

In the early 20th century, recognizing the importance of preserving Canada’s forest lands, government and forest-industry leaders established the Canadian Forestry Association to begin conservation efforts. From the height of environmentalism in the 1960s and 1970s, when conflicts between green organizations and forest-products companies were highly publicized, to our present-day eco-conscious society, the industry has made vast improvements in its forest-management practices.

For more information, visit

Future of forestry, Basics: Present
FPAC, Forest regions of Canada

Photos

Logs are gathered at a mixed-woods site northeast of Lac La Biche, Alta. to be processed and transported. © Forest Products Association of Canada
Logs are gathered at a mixed-woods site northeast of Lac La Biche, Alta. to be processed and transported.
© Forest Products Association of Canada