Forest Development in Canada

Canada has about 90% of the forested land it had before European settlement. A recent analysis estimated that less than 100,000 hectares of the country’s 400 million hectares of forest land are permanently converted to other uses each year. This includes a small amount of boreal forest that is converted to uses such as agriculture, oil and gas development, and hydroelectric reservoirs.

This vast expanse of woodland supports some of Canada’s most important industries. While forestry is the main industry in many boreal areas, it often vies with other economic activities for use of the same tract of land. The other activities include large-scale industries such as hydro development, mining, and oil and gas extraction, and smaller operations such as hunting, trapping, fishing, tourism and non-timber forest products.

Integrated Land Use Planning

Integrated land-use planning seeks to balance the economic, social and cultural opportunities in a specific area of forest with the need to maintain and enhance the health of the area’s forest. It is a process whereby all interested parties, large and small, come together to make decisions about how the land and its resources should be used and to coordinate their activities in a sustainable fashion. Maintaining the integrity of the ecosystem is always the primary consideration.

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