Topic – Canada’s Fabulous Forests

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Canada’s Fabulous Forests

There are few countries in the world that have more forests than Canada. You can find about one-tenth of the world’s forests here.

Air Cleaners and More

Large forest of British Columbia

Trees are important to Canadians and to the whole planet. They produce oxygen, which we need to breathe. Trees also improve our environment by absorbing noise to make our neighbourhoods less noisy. As well, they filter pollution out of rainwater. In winter, trees provide shelter for people and animals. On hot summer days, their shade cools the air. Tree roots prevent soil from washing away in rainstorms. The seeds and fruit from trees provide food for people and other animals.

Lumber and Paper

Canadian boreal forest

Pulp for paper making

More than half of Canada is covered with boreal forests. These are northern forests where you’ll find mostly evergreen trees such as cedar, pine and spruce trees. Most Indigenous communities are in forested areas. In many parts of Canada, people depend on jobs in the forestry industry for work. Every day, trees across Canada are chopped down to provide wood to build houses and other buildings, as well as furniture and many more uses. As well trees are cut down to be turned into newsprint for newspapers. Wood pulp is also used to make paper and cardboard. Canada is one of the world’s top exporters of these products.

Harvesting Trees

Clearcut area of a British Columbia forest

Timber logs, British Columbia, Canada

Today, lumber companies in Canada know the importance of cutting down trees carefully. Workers assess which trees can be harvested and chop down only these trees. However, some companies used to cut down every tree in an area. This practice is known as clearcutting. It’s easier and faster to cut down trees this way, but the effects on the land are devastating. With clearcutting, there are no tree roots left to hold the soil in place. It can be washed away by the rain or blown away by the wind. As well, there are no tree roots to hold melting snow in the spring so there can be much more flooding in clear-cut areas. Clear cutting also destroys animal homes. Everyone wins when Canada’s forests are used carefully and wisely.

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