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The Boreal Forest  >  The Boreal Forest
The Boreal Forest

Industry and Enviros Agree on Business Certainty and Caribou Conservation

September 12, 2011  Toronto -Tembec and CPAWS Wildlands League agree on a path forward to provide enduring business certainty and habitat protection for caribou in the Abitibi River Forest.

Read the full release here.

Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement Celebrates First Anniversary

Toronto, May 18, 2011 -- Environmental groups and forest products companies that signed the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) say significant strides have been made in the past year to turn the landmark agreement into concrete steps to make change on the ground that will protect the Boreal Forest and the people who rely on it for their economic prosperity and traditional way of life.
Read the full release here.

Province Fails to Protect Caribou Forest

January 25, 2011 -- Toronto - Leading conservation organizations are concerned that the McGuinty government has placed woodland caribou and its own North American-leading species legislation at risk by exempting a swath of industries...

Read the full release here. .

Caribou and Economy Win with New Hydro Line Route in NW ON in Throne Speech

Wildlands League applauds decision to avoid intact boreal forest

November 23, 2010 - Toronto –CPAWS Wildlands League, a leading conservation group in the province, applauds a decision today by Minister Brad Duguid to re-route a permanent transmission line in north-western Ontario along existing roads and infrastructure. In particular, the group is pleased that healthy intact Boreal Forests and habitat for threatened caribou populations will be avoided.

Read the full release here

Conservation Group Welcomes Reference to Boreal Forest
in Throne Speech

Wildlands League sees hope and encourages immediate action


November 30, 2007 - Toronto –A leading conservation group in Ontario is pleased that the important role the Boreal Forest plays in shielding us from global warming was referenced in yesterday’s Throne Speech. Yesterday, The Honourable David C. Onley Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, read that the Ontario government, “will work with northern and native communities in Ontario’s far north to implement a plan that protects the boreal forest — a key contributor in the fight against climate change.”



 Voters Looking for Leadership on Green Issues - Poll
Environmental issues could swing election

July 30, 2007 - TORONTO - With less than three months until election day, no political party has yet won the confidence of Ontario voters on their No. 1 concern - the state of our environment - says an Environics poll released today by a coalition of environmental organizations.


Ontarians want forest protection in climate plan
New poll highlights need for Boreal planning, protection of endangered species

May 15, 2007 - TORONTO - New polling released today by two leading conservation groups shows that 90% of Ontarians want the provincial government to protect more forests as a defence against global warming.  "This polling shows that the public is leading on this issue" say Janet Sumner, Executive Director of CPAWS Wildlands League, one of the groups releasing the polling.   


March 27, 2007 -  TORONTO – Conservation groups are responding to an alarming report released today that highlights a growing ecological crisis in Ontario’s Boreal Forest.  Read the full press release here.

As seen in the Globe and Mail, Feb. 17, 2007

Chorus of celebrities join conservation groups.

The Earth was once a forested planet, with vast expanses of tropical, temperate, and boreal forests enveloping almost half the Earth’s surface.

OriginalForests 8000 years ago, Courtesy  World Resources Institute, 1997

Remaining Frontier Forests

By the late 1990's, half of the forests that once covered the Earth - almost 3 billion hectares - had already been lost. Another 16 million hectares are being destroyed every year. That's almost 44,000 hectares a day. The World Resource Institute (WRI), which published these findings in a 1997 report, suggests that these annual estimates are actually conservative figures, and the real numbers are likely to be higher.

The only remaining forests of any significant size and health are in Canada, the Amazon, and Russia. Canada’s boreal forests constitute 25% of the planet’s remaining original forests, and collectively compose the second largest expanse of intact forest left on Earth.

Why is the boreal forest important?

Canada's boreal forest makes up a key piece of what is one of the world's largest remaining, still wild "frontier" or "intact" forests. Intact forests are large, undivided forest areas that are free of large-scale industrial influences such as logging, mining, roads and power lines. Not only physically intact, these areas of forest are ecologically intact. They are primarily shaped by natural forces, like fire, wind, insects and natural succession, and function in much the same way as they did centuries ago.

The survival and protection of Canada's boreal forest may well be critical to every living thing on Earth.  

The boreal forest is an important carbon reservoir. It traps carbon and stores it, thus helping to protect against global climate change.

It supports large functioning ecosystems, including large predators and thousands of plant, mammal, bird and insect species.

Download our fact sheet for more information on the boreal forest and climate change. (pdf)

Wetlands in the boreal forest filter millions of litres of water every day and play an important role in the regulating the hydrological system or 'plumbing' of the boreal forest.

The boreal forest is also home to hundreds of First Nations communities whose members are integrally tied to this ecosystem, shaping it and shaped by it.

The future of the boreal forest

The management practices that have altered the southern boreal forests are poised to move northward. New logging allocations and plans, proposed diamond mines, hydro electric dams and transmission lines, coalbed methane projects, and road networks are proposed or being approved. Development in the north will bring with it devastation to wildlife and northern lifestyles, unless it is planned for appropriately.

CPAWS Wildlands League is leading an effort to protect the values that are identified with northern forests. With your help, we can generate the momentum to make sure that development in northern Ontario is properly planned and managed.

Join us, Protect the places you love.


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