FPAC & CIF Respond to Opinion Editorial in Globe and Mail

The Canadian Institute of Forestry/Institut forestier du Canada & the Forest Products Association of Canada respond to Opinion Editorial in Globe and Mail.

The following response appeared in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ section on September 23rd of the Globe and Mail.

Re The Amazon’s Forest Fires Are A Global Peril – But So Are Canada’s (Sept. 7) In his article, contributor Arno Kopecky compares Canada’s boreal forest to the recent devastation in the Amazon. But in Canada, we in fact operate under rules designed to keep forests as forests forever. We manage forests for environmental and social values, including biodiversity, carbon and recreation.

Here, we harvest less than 0.5 per cent of our forests each year and replace every tree. Of those we do harvest, Natural Resources Canada numbers show that turning them into products, and replanting younger seedlings, removes 20 million tonnes of greenhouse-gas emissions from the atmosphere a year. In the boreal forest, trees only live for 100 years. As these trees age, they become more susceptible to pests or fires, or simply die and decay over time, thus turning into carbon emitters if they were not harvested.

Canada’s forests are actually facing unprecedented challenges in the face of worsening natural disturbances, devastating pests and fire. In British Columbia, the carbon emitted from the 2017 forest fires was four times higher than in 2003. It is forest management that not only improves Canada’s carbon story, but mitigates fire risks as well.

We invite Mr. Kopecky, and all Canadians, to join us in working with governments to adapt broader approaches to land-use management that advance the health of our forests.

Derek Nighbor President, Forest Products Association of Canada; Ottawa

Colin Carroll President, Canadian Institute of Forestry; Mattawa, Ont.

Please see below for a second version of the original submitted OpEd that includes the following  industry associations:

  • Canada Wood
  • Canadian Wood Council
  • Canadian Institute of Forestry
  • Council of BC Forest Industries
  • Alberta Forest Products Association
  • Forest Industry Association of Manitoba
  • Ontario Forest Industries Association
  • Forests Ontario
  • Conseil de l’industrie des forestieres du Quebec
  • Forest NB
  • Forest NS
  • Maritime Lumber Bureau