The major threat to the Boreal Forest is unsustainable logging and the poor management of public lands by large logging companies. Government inaction and poor regulation allows this mismanagement and destruction to continue. Only 10 per cent of Ontario’s land and eight per cent of Quebec’s is protected from logging.
Logging clears over 700 thousand hectares in Canada’s Boreal Forest each year, often in areas that should be protected. In areas where logging is occurring, over 90 per cent of the forest is being clearcut. Some of these individual clearcuts extend over 10,000 hectares, making them among the largest in the world. This destruction includes building thousands of kilometres of roads, which contribute to the fragmentation of wildlife habitat and increase the risk of forest fires.
Logging companies ignore scientific recommendations from biologists to stop logging in ecologically significant areas where species are at risk. The heaviest logging is taking place in the southern Boreal, some of the most productive and valuable wildlife habitat. At the same time, these companies create the illusion of sustainable forestry by developing or influencing certification systems that allow them to continue with their business as usual without any meaningful changes.