The area of forest harvested each year is monitored to ensure that the level of industrial activity in Canada’s forests is sustainable over the long term. In 2015, an estimated 780,000 hectares (ha) of forest were harvested.
- This is a 9% increase over 2014 levels, when 714,000 ha were harvested. This is well below the average area harvested of about 1 million ha per year during the peak period of 1995 to 2005.
- Most of the increase was due to a rise in the area of public land harvested, although the area of private land harvested also increased.
The area harvested each year is less than one-half of one percent of Canada’s 347 million hectares of forest, significantly smaller than the areas damaged by insects and burned by fires each year.
Why is this indicator important?
- Commercial timber harvesting is one of several indicators of the level of industrial activity in the forest sector.
- Harvesting of forests on Crown land, the source of most commercial timber, is regulated to provide a sustainable level of wood supply.
What is the outlook?
- The area harvested will vary as the demand for Canadian forest products varies and forest managers adjust their management objectives.
- The demand for Canadian wood products is expected to increase over the short term as U.S. housing starts rise and offshore exports, particularly to Asia, remain strong.
- The area of forest harvested, however, is not expected to rise above pre-recession levels.
- National Forestry Database. Silviculture – National tables, Table 6.2, Area harvested by ownership, harvesting method and province/territory, 1990–2015. (accessed June 30, 2017).
- Data include provincial Crown and private forest land subject to even-aged management (clearcutting), uneven-aged management (selection cutting), and commercial thinning harvest methods.
- Graph does not display federal lands because their small area cannot be represented at the given scale.
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