Ontario boreal forest needs protection
Greenpeace is citing two endangered sections of the boreal forest in northern Ontario as needing immediate, long-term protection.
In a new report highlighting five areas of Canada’s boreal forest under threat, the environmental organization points to northern Ontario’s Trout Lake-Caribou forest near Sioux Lookout and the Ogoki forest surrounding Marten Falls as in imminent danger from logging leases.
“According to a provincial forest audit of the Ogoki Forest, woodland caribou habitat will decline in the forest by 57 percent if operations continue as planned,” the report states.
It also cites the effect on woodland caribou and wolverine populations from loss of habitat in the Trout Lake-Caribou forest under current management plans.
Both forests are at the northern edge of Ontario’s boreal forestry zones. Wood from the Trout Lake-Caribou forest is processed in Thunder Bay’s Resolute forestry mill, and wood from the Ogoki forest is processed in the Terrace Bay pulp mill that was recently bought by Aditya Birla Group.
Greenpeace noted that less than 8 percent of the Trout Lake-Caribou forest is currently protected, while only 5 percent of the Ogoki forest is protected.
Both forests have high conservation values, according to Greenpeace, due to the presence of endangered caribou herds, their relative intactness, carbon storage, presence of wetlands and proximity to a large protected area.
The report, Boreal Alarm: A wakeup call for action in Canada’s endangered forests, also highlights two forests in Quebec and one in Manitoba needing protection.
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