Industry says climate change already impacting forests
Governments and all industry sectors in Canada must quickly "re-tool" to deal with climate change, says the Forest Products Association of Canada.
Avrim Lazar, the association's president, said the forestry industry is already witnessing a manifestation of climate change -a mountain pine beetle epidemic -destroy massive tracts of valuable forest.
"Canada has been protected by its cold weather forever," said Jim Fyles, scientific director of the Sustainable Forest Management Network and McGill University professor.
But now, in addition to the pine beetle, "there may be all sorts of bugs ... whose populations, always kept low by these cold winters, will increase as the temperatures rise," he said.
The development of useful policies and practices is required, Fyles said. In the forestry sector, for instance, the creation of a forest that is resistant or resilient to pests, should be a prime goal.
In Western Canada, past practices involving forest management and forest fire management have often worked to create "almost pure stands" of one species of tree.
A mixed forest featuring different species and trees of all ages creates "a landscape that is much more difficult for these epidemics to propagate in," Fyles said.
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