Canada State-of-the-Forests Report: 2017

Canada State-of-the-Forests Report: 2017

This year Canada celebrates 150 years as a forest nation. Through The State of Canada’s Forests Annual Report, Natural Resources Canada provides the only national snapshot of Canada’s forests and forest industry. The federal agency has been tracking Canada’s journey towards sustainable forest management for 27 years.

Read about the history of Canada’s forest sector and how the sector is leading the way in the global bioeconomy today.

Canada Forest area

Canada’s forest area of 347 million hectares (ha) has been quite stable over the past 25 years.

• From 1990 to 2015, Canada’s forest area has decreased by 1.2 million ha (0.34 per cent).

• The net reduction in forest area over this period is attributed to the clearing of forest land for new, non-forest land uses (for example, agriculture, roads and hydroelectric developments).

• While forest area is relatively constant, forest cover within is much more dynamic. Forest fires, insect infestations, timber harvesting, growth and regeneration contribute to the ever-changing mosaic of forest cover within Canada’s forest area.

Outlook

• The overall forest area is expected to remain stable over the next 10 to 20 years.

• Over the longer term, the effects of climate change on growing environments could redraw the boundaries within which forests grow.

• Federal, provincial and territorial governments are collaborating to track changes in forest area using a network of permanent photo plots across Canada. This information, paired with additional data from survey efforts focused on monitoring deforestation, is used to report on forest area and how it is changing over time.

Estimated area (hectares) of annual deforestation in Canada, by industrial sector, 1990–2015

• The overall forest area is expected to remain stable over the next 10 to 20 years.

• Over the longer term, the effects of climate change on growing environments could redraw the boundaries within which forests grow.

• Federal, provincial and territorial governments are collaborating to track changes in forest area using a network of permanent photo plots across Canada. This information, paired with additional data from survey efforts focused on monitoring deforestation, is used to report on forest area and how it is changing over time.

 

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