Let's Get the Story Straight on the State of North American Forests and Deforestation
Over the last 15 years annual deforestation in Canada has averaged about 45,000 ha (excluding reservoirs) with about 20,000 ha due to land clearing for agriculture and 5,000 to 11,000 ha due to expansion of the oil and gas industry.(viii) Flooding forested areas to create reservoirs for large hydroelectric projects caused 35,000 ha of deforestation in the mid-1990s and a further 28,000 ha in the mid-2000s. Since 1990, 0.33 percent of Canada’s total forest area has been converted to other uses.
Unlike deforestation, sustainable forest management changes the forest but does not destroy it. Well-managed forests can be used and enjoyed forever. Forest products, like lumber, pulp and paper provide an essential incentive for forest owners to keep their forest land instead of selling it for development.
* 1 hectare (ha) = 2.47 acres
(ii) Oswalt, Sonja N.;Smith, W. Brad; Miles, Patrick D.; Pugh, Scott A. 2014. Forest Resources of the United States, 2012. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-xxx. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington Office. (in preparation)
(iii) US Forest Service, 2012 (FIA Program data)
(iv) The Conference Board of Canada 2014. http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/details/environment/forest-cover-change.aspx
(v) Masek, J. G., et al. (2011), Recent rates of forest harvest and conversion in North America, J. Geophys. Res., 116, G00K03, doi:10.1029 /2010JG001471.
(vi) Sung Bae Jeon, Pontus Olofsson & Curtis E. Woodcock (2014) Land use change in New England: a reversal of the forest transition, Journal of Land Use Science, 9:1, 105-130, DOI: 10.1080/1747423X.2012.754962. To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1747423X.2012.754962
(vii) Nowak, DJ and Walton, JT. 2005. Projected urban growth (2000-2050) and its estimated impact on the US forest resource. J of Forestry:103: 383-389
(viii) Natural Resources Canada, 2013. State of Canada’s Forests
Phil has over 28 years of international experience related to sustainability and the forest products industry. He currently leads Two Sides North America, a non-profit that promotes the unique sustainable features of print and paper, as well as their responsible production and use. Two Sides operates globally in five continents with members that span the entire graphic communication value chain. Phil has written extensively on sustainability and environmental topics related to the forest products sector. He received his Bachelor and Master's of Science degrees from McGill University in Montreal. He is a private forest owner and sustainably manages over 200 acres of forestland for both recreational and economic benefits.