Indicator: Area harvested

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.

Forest area harvested on private and provincial Crown lands in Canada,
2005–2015
Graph displaying the area harvested in hectares on private and provincial Crown lands for each year between 2005 and 2015.
 
Graph data
Table displays the area harvested in hectares on private and Crown lands for each year between 2005 and 2015.
Year Crown land
(hectares)
Private land
(hectares)
2005 919,889 134,875
2006 731,643 102,394
2007 691,634 102,158
2008 595,115 97,692
2009 536,359 75,654
2010 612,046 76,014
2011 614,661 61,308
2012 651,569 58,878
2013 672,421 73,189
2014 640,660 73,671
2015 703,563 75,722

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.
Source