Canada is home to one of the largest forests in the world. The boreal region contains about one third of the earth’s forests, much of which is completely untouched. In order to help conserve the ecosystem while still maintaining a healthy economic situation by providing forestry jobs and necessary resources, Canada has implemented a sustainable forest management plan.
How does Canada support sustainable forestry?
The Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) enforces strict policies in the forestry industry. These regulations ensure that the forests are not being overly forested. The CCFM also aims to maintain the economical situation of the forestry industry to ensure that workers have jobs and that the economical situation is doing okay because this affects the entire country, not just the locals or the workers.
Clear cutting can have a negative impact on:
Lakes, rivers and streams
Clear cutting can decrease the water quality of lakes, rivers and streams due to excess erosion and sediment and increasing water temperatures because a lack of shade from the trees. All of this affects the aquatic life dramatically and can even lead to the extinction of some species.
Increasing the likelihood of landslides
In areas that have been clear-cut, the ground contains more moisture and the underground root system has been weakened so they can no longer hold the soil together. This can cause devastating landslides especially when clear cutting is done near roads and highways.
Since trees take in carbon dioxide from the air and they omit oxygen trees are very important for air quality. Cutting down large groups of trees at one time can lead to a decline in air quality with an increase of carbon dioxide gas. Wildlife and humans depend on trees to provide clean air.
Natural habitats for wildlife
Deforestation of land causes the sudden removal of the natural habitat for many different species. This causes the wildlife in an area to be forced to relocate if possible. The forests provide protection and shelter for some animals, so without the forests this leaves them more vulnerable and has led to many species becoming endangered.
If today’s loggers went ahead and clear cut much of the forests, then what would be left for future loggers to harvest? Even if they replanted a new sapling for every tree that was cut down, there would still be a period of time to wait for those trees to grow. During that time there would be a hit to the economy due to lack of jobs. This type of foresting not only affects future jobs for loggers it would also cause a shortage of resources for the next generation.
How long does it take for trees to grow?
The time it takes for trees to grow varies based on the climate and the type of tree. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant that can be used much like wood for many purposes including building materials for houses. Bamboo has been recorded as growing between 2-4 feet in one day. This is tremendously faster than trees that take between 40-120 years to grow before harvesting.
Here are some sustainable forestry techniques:
- Selective forestation: with selective forestation techniques loggers cut down mature trees that are larger and worth more and let the young trees grow larger before cutting them down.
- Avoid clear cutting: Clear cutting is the fastest way for the lumber jacks to collect wood, but it is not good for the environment or ultimately for the economy and future generations.
- Use fast growing woods like bamboo that doesn’t take as long to grow before harvesting.
- Use wood from trees that are no longer functional. Mango trees only produce fruit for 15-20 years, after that they can be used primarily for their wood.