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There are different viewpoints on how our forests should be managed and used. • Which one is correct? • How can we harvest the forests for products that we need, and at the same time protect the forest environment? • The answer to this question is complex. • We can gain some understanding, however, if we examine the nature, importance, and use of forests.
Sustained Yield Forest Management • Using forest resources at a rate that does not prevent the resources from renewing
Question 2 • Imagine driving at 100 kilometres per hour for 12 hours a day. • It would take you more than four days to cross the continuous band of forest that stretches from British Columbia to Newfoundland. • Forests cover close to half (4,187,820 square kilometres, or 42%) of Canada’s total area. • This is an area greater than the total area of 15 Western European nations combined! • Only Russia and Brazil have more forest cover than Canada (3rd). • The Canadian government owns approximately 94% of the nation’s forestland – the federal government owns 16% and the provincial government owns 77%.
Types of Trees Coniferous (aka. evergreens) • Are softwood trees – they grow quickly, so their wood is soft • Are used to make framing for houses and paper products • Examples: fir, pine, spruce • 66% of Canada’s Forest Cover
Types of Trees Deciduous (aka. broadleaf) • Are hardwood trees – they take a long time to grow, so their wood is dense and hard • Are used to make flooring and fine furniture • Examples: poplar, maple, birch • 12% of Canada’s Forest Cover
Types of Trees Mixed Forest • As a combination of both coniferous and deciduous trees • 22% of Canada’s Forest Cover
Types of Forests Commercial Forests • Includes forests that are harvested for a profit • Exist in warmer, wetter areas of Canada; trees grow quicker • Are near roads, railways, and waterways – timber can be shipped easily
Types of Forests Non-Commercial Forests • Includes forests that are unlikely to be harvested • Exist farther north where temperatures and precipitation are low; trees do not grow quickly or large enough • Are too far from transportation routes, which does not make their shipment economical (it will cost too much money)
Canada’s temperature rainforest and most productive forest region: • West Coast Forest • Lots of precipitation, moderate temperatures, long growing season results in very large trees • Lumber, cedar shingles, plywood
West Coast Forest Douglas Fir Sitka Spruce
Canada’s largest forest region: • Boreal Forest • Mainly coniferous (softwood) trees • Long winters and low precipitation results in slow tree growth • Pulp and paper production
Boreal Forest Black Spruce White Spruce Balsam Fir Jack Pine Cedar Tamarack White Birch Poplar
The forest region that we live in: • Mixed Forest • Longer growing season • Lots of precipitation • Coniferous trees in north and south; deciduous trees in the south • Conifers harvested for lumber and pulp and paper • Deciduous harvested for lumber, flooring, and furniture • Sugar maples provide most of Canada’s maple syrup
Canada’s most northern forest region – trees are stunted: • Taiga Forest • Thin soil, cool temperatures, short growing season, permafrost – all result in stunted trees • Coniferous trees and some deciduous (hardwood) trees • Inaccessible and far from markets
Canada’s second-most productive forest region: • Montane Forest • Lower precipitation and shorter growing season than west coast • Smaller coniferous trees • Lumber and pulp and paper
Montane Cordillera Forest Ponderosa Pine Engelmann Spruce Douglas Fir
Economic Impact of Forests • The forest industry produces lumber, pulp and paper, and other forest products • Contributes over $81 billion per year! • Over half of this is exported to other countries. • Provides more than 360,000 direct jobs for Canadians. • These jobs are associated with the companies that harvest the timber and operate the saw and paper mills located near the forests. • Provides almost 500,000 indirect jobs • In companies that provide products and services for forestry companies and workers.
Value of Forest Industry Pulp and Paper Products Other Provinces $7286 million Quebec $11575 million British Columbia $7514 million Ontario $10018 million
Clear Cutting Involves removing all trees at one time; leaves barren landscape behind which is sometimes replanted Fastest, cheapest, and safest logging method Most environmentally damaging 90% of Canada’s forests are cut this way Methods of Harvesting Forests
Methods of Harvesting Forests Shelterwood Logging • Involves clear-cutting only a part of a forest; groups of seed-bearing trees are left standing so they can regenerate the logged area • Faster, cheaper, and safer logging method • Moderate level of environmental damaging
Methods of Harvesting Forests Selective Cutting • Involves the cutting of mature trees that are of a certain type, size, and quality only • Is much less disruptive of the forest environment; tends to be more costly because of the extra care and time that is taken
Old Growth Forest? • A space of mature trees which have never been cut down • Clayoquot Sound, a world-famous old growth forest on Vancouver Island, was saved from foresters in the early 1990s by protestors. • About 80% of Aboriginal communities are in forested areas.
Issues Facing Canada’s Forests Insects and disease pose a threat to Canada’s forests.
Issues Facing Canada’s Forests Forest Fires – while naturally they are good for the forest, there are problems when they are caused by humans
Issues Facing Canada’s Forests Air pollution and climate change have an impact on when forests grow, where forests grow, and what types of tree grow.