Endangered Forests in the Balance : the impact of logging reaches new heights in the Montagnes Blanches endangered Forest

Publication - February 11, 2016
Located 700 kilometres north of Montreal, the Montagnes Blanches (“White Mountains”) Endangered Forest, encompasses some of the most important Intact Forest Landscapes remaining in Canada’s managed Boreal Forest.

March-11-16 The Montagnes Blanches Endangered Forest

At more than 2.3 million hectares (5.7 million acres, an area equivalent to the State of Vermont), this Endangered Forest is a sanctuary for woodland ca- ribou, a species designated as threatened under Canada’s Species at Risk Act.2 This forest has high conservation and cultural value, is largely unprotec- ted, and has been a key focus of conservation orga- nizations for many years due to threats posed to its unique features by industrial logging.

Between 2000 and 2013, according to an analy- sis of statellite data, nearly 50% of the Intact Forest Landscapes in the Montagne Blanches Endangered Forest have been lost or degraded.

In order to preserve the globally important values of this area, including its significant carbon stores, wildlife habitat and cultural landscapes, this Endangered Forest needs to be better protected and managed sustainably. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, complemented by a robust system of protected areas and Indigenous managed and established ‘tribal’ parks, presents an economically viable and socially responsible pathway to preventing further degradation.

This briefing first examines the impact of current and recent forestry operations on caribou habitat and Intact Forest Landscapes in the Montagnes Blanches Endangered Forest. It then outlines what steps should be taken for long-term solutions in the area and what role forest product customers must play.