4.4 Million Acres of New Parks and Protected Areas Designated in Canada's Boreal Forest

4.4 Million Acres of New Parks and Protected Areas Designated in Canada's Boreal Forest

The Pew Environment Group today congratulated the Government of Quebec for continuing its commitment to set aside eight percent of its land base for Boreal forest conservation. Specifically, Quebec designated a total of 4.4 million acres, an area twice the size of America's Yellowstone National Park, in 11 new national parks and other nature preserves.

Among the highlights of Quebec's announcement are 2.2 million acres of additions to the Temiscame/Otish Mountains National Park and a new 1.7 million acre park along the George River, protecting the home range of a sensitive woodland caribou herd. 

“With these actions, Quebec is moving toward global boreal forest conservation leadership,” said Steve Kallick, director of the Pew Environment Group's boreal initiative. “We look forward to continuing to work with the government to see more of these kinds of bold, visionary decisions.”

This announcement is the second of three expected actions designating large tracts of boreal forest wilderness as new parks and protected areas.  Another comparable announcement is expected by the end of 2008.

Canada's Boreal is the world's largest remaining unspoiled forest and teems with caribou, moose, bears, wolves, waterfowl and songbirds.  It harbors vast quantities of pure fresh water in its countless lakes, rivers and wetlands and plays a critically important role in cooling the Earth by sequestering and storing carbon in forests and soils. 

Unfortunately, much of the forest remains unprotected and threatened by logging, mining, oil drilling, roadbuilding and other forms of destructive development.  Without a comprehensive, overarching conservation effort, most of the Canadian Boreal Forest could be lost in a generation.  The Pew Environment Group and its Canadian partners advocate protecting at least 50 percent of the forest in parks and wildlife refuges and strictly managing and limiting development in the remaining parts.  The Government of Ontario recently agreed with this approach and dedicated most of its northern lands to a new conservation planning process.

For more information, please visit The International Boreal Conservation Group Campaign's website.