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Share Ontario’s Forests

Share Ontario’s Forests

The Government of Ontario’s latest proposal is paving the way for sweeping changes to the laws and policies that protect our public forests and the plants and animals that live there. Among other lowlights, Ontario’s Forest Sector Strategy aspires to double the amount of logging in the province from 15 million to 30 million cubic metres of wood per year, with no commitments to set aside more forests to support wildlife conservation. 

Current logging levels are already hampering opportunities for habitat protection. In the face of the global climate emergency, we need to be reducing the industrial footprint ...

The Government of Ontario’s latest proposal is paving the way for sweeping changes to the laws and policies that protect our public forests and the plants and animals that live there. Among other lowlights, Ontario’s Forest Sector Strategy aspires to double the amount of logging in the province from 15 million to 30 million cubic metres of wood per year, with no commitments to set aside more forests to support wildlife conservation. 

Current logging levels are already hampering opportunities for habitat protection. In the face of the global climate emergency, we need to be reducing the industrial footprint. Many species are experiencing unprecedented and unpredictable habitat disruption and need more space to adapt. Scientists have directly linked excessive consumption of the world’s resources to the climate crisis, and are calling for increased protection and restoration of our ecosystems, including remaining primary forests. The government is leading us in the wrong direction.  

The strategy also completely ignores the link between habitat fragmentation and species decline. In its proposal to further subsidize and expand the logging road network, it misses the opportunity to use those tax dollars to incentivize actions which better address the legacy of these roads, landings and slash piles, and increase habitat restoration efforts. Subsidies to forestry companies for building and maintaining logging roads have been costing the public approximately $60 million per year, totalling more than half a billion dollars between 2005 and 2015. The government boasts the length of these roads is enough to drive across Canada and back. 

The way forward lies in sharing the forest, and there’s room for that. Due to market factors such as the high cost of hauling timber from remote northern locations to mills, only half of the forest currently available for logging is actually being cut.  

Please sign our Action Alert to let the Government of Ontario know that we need a sustainable, forward-looking strategy for managing our forests that honours our commitments to address biodiversity loss while supporting northern communities. We don’t need a strategy designed to further limit conservation opportunities. 

Photo © iStock shaunl

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Email the Government of Ontario demanding a forest strategy that supports sustainable logging and cares for nature

The deadline for submissions is February 5, 2020. Your letter will be sent to:

 

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