Canada - Forestry

Canada's National Forestry Database (CNFD) reports total forestland area at 417.6 million ha (1,031.9 million acres), equivalent to 42% of the total land area. Only about 6% of Canada's forests are privately owned. Of the 94% under crown (public) control, provincial governments manage 71% and the federal government manages 23%. Some 9.6 million ha (23.7 million acres) of the public forest land are for uses other than timber production, including parks, game refuges, water conservation areas, and nature preserves. Most of the provincial crown forestland is in Québec, British Columbia, and Ontario. The crown forests are leased to private individuals or companies. Each province and territory regulates and controls the harvest rate on crown land through an allowable annual cut.

In 2001, an estimated 198.3 million cu m (7 billion cu ft) of roundwood was harvested. Canada ranks as the third-largest producer of coniferous wood products (after the United States and Russia), and is the leading supplier of softwood products to world markets. Chief forest products in eastern Canada are pulp and paper manufactures, especially newsprint. Canada leads the world in newsprint production, with 9,222,000 tons in 2000, accounting for 24% of the world's production. Exports of newsprint were valued at over C $4.7 billion, with about three-fourths going to the United States. In the west, the chief product is sawn timber. Sawn wood production in 2000 totaled 69.6 million cu m (2.5 billion cu ft), with exports valued at over C $8.2 billion. The manufacture of pulp and paper has been a leading industry for many years. Production (and export value) in 2000 included wood pulp, 26.6 million tons ($6.6 billion); paper and paperboard, 20.8 million tons, ($9.7 billion); and wood-based panels, 14.5 million tons ($4.5 billion). According to the CNFD, employment in the forestry sector accounted directly for 353,000 jobs in 2001, when exports in the forestry sector totaled C $34 billion. About 75% of forestry exports are sent to the United States. Exports of wood products contribute about 14% to the value of all Canadian exports.

Other well-known Canadian forestry sector products include Christmas trees and maple syrup. Québec accounts for about 35% of the annual Christmas tree production and 90% of maple syrup production.

With such a large annual forestry output, conservation and reforestation are stressed. Both government and industry promote improvements in management practices and in the use of forest products. New manufacturing methods permit the use of inferior classes of wood.

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