05/18/2010 - After years of conflict, 20 timber companies and nine environmental groups reached an agreement Tuesday to begin negotiations on a plan to protect 170 million acres of boreal forest in Canada.
The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement covers an area the size of Texas and includes a logging moratorium on 70 million of those acres (roughly the size of Montana) while plans are developed to protect endangered caribou. Also suspended will be "Do Not Buy" campaigns by Canopy, ForestEthics and Greenpeace.
"The importance of this agreement cannot be overstated," said Avrim Lazar, president and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) in the announcement. FPAC members, who manage two-thirds of certified forest land in Canada, commit to environmental standards for an area twice the size of Germany while environmentalists agree to support those efforts.
The Pew Environment Group, which facilitated negotiations between the two sides, said Canada's boreal forest rivals the Amazon in size and ecological importance. Pew says it captures and stores twice as much carbon as tropical forests and it supports the world's most extensive network of lakes, rivers and wetlands.
Read the full article, 170 Million Acres of Canada's Boreal Forest to be Saved, at the USA Today Web site.