05/18/2010 - Timber companies and environmental groups said Tuesday they agreed to work together on a conservation plan for 170 million acres of boreal forest in northern Canada, in what both sides called the largest and most significant deal of its kind.
The agreement brings together 30 companies and organizations, from logging giants Weyerhauser Co. and AbitibiBowater Inc., to environmental activist Greenpeace. It calls for a three-year suspension of logging on 75 million acres of land while the parties hammer out a permanent plan to protect endangered caribou there. It also gives the group three years to come up with and implement mutually acceptable standards for logging the remaining unprotected land.
In return, environmental groups say they will call off boycotts and campaigns while the planning process continues.
Environmental groups say the agreement is important because it advances conservation in what is already one of the world's most forest-friendly countries. Canada has around a third of the world's boreal forests—northern stretches of mostly coniferous wood such as pine and spruce, said Steve Kallick, director of the Pew Environment Group's International Boreal Conservation Campaign. With this agreement, about two-thirds of that will be covered by commitments or plans for conservation and sustainable development, he said.
Read the full article, Canadian Activists, Timber Outfits Strike Deal on Boreal Forests, on the Wall Street Journal's Web site (subscription required).