half of Canada’s 9.9 million square kilometre land area is
covered by forest, making up 9% of the world’s forests. Much
of this forested land is boreal, adapted to cold northern temperatures
and rich in biodiversity. Stretching across all the provinces of
Canada – and in a belt across the northern hemisphere –
the boreal is the world’s largest forest ecosystem.
In Eastern Canada, most of the natural forest has been replaced
with artificial tree farms, and what little remains of the original
Acadian forest is threatened by clearcut logging. Canada’s
boreal and temperate forests are under siege from relentless industrial
exploitation, in the form of massive clearcut logging and oil and
gas development. Approximately 65% of Canada’s boreal forests
are under long-term tenure for clearcut logging.
ecologist Dr. Stan Rowe says that “the boreal may become known
as North America’s last abundant forest and the lungs of the
nation. These trees breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen.”
Scientific evidence also shows that global warming will be increased
As well as being home to species such as grizzlies, moose, black
bears, and caribou, the boreal is the critical summer home of tens
of thousands of birds, whose migratory paths bring them up from
the tropical forest of central and South America. Today, birds are
declining as never before, and more than 1,000 species are in danger
of extinction. The International Council of Bird Preservation has
identified the key problem as habitat loss – primarily of
forests and wetlands both in the boreal and tropical forests.
Clearcut logging and oil and gas developments are devastating for
native communities that have, until recently, lived in very remote
areas and are dependent on the forest to survive. Transnational
corporations continue to reap profits in the billions of dollars
from the trees of Canada’s boreal, yet very few indigenous
people have even been given jobs in the timber industry.
Through the work of Colleen McCrory, the Valhalla Wilderness Society
has been the mainstay of support for the Boreal
Forest Network (BFN), the Canadian affiliate of the worldwide Taiga Rescue Network.
The BFN has been set up to assist and support grassroots environmental
groups and First Nations working on boreal forest issues. For the
past five years, the Valhalla Wilderness Society has provided funding
as well as outreach and research in the various provinces.
Take Action Now!
The Valhalla Wilderness Society needs your help to continue our
Find out how you can help prevent
further destruction of our precious wilderness and wildlife.