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 2016, an estimated 767,000 hectares (ha) of forest were harvested.
- This is a 1.7% decrease from 2015 levels, when 780,000 ha were harvested, and is well below the average area harvested each year during the peak period of 1995 to 2005 (1 million ha).
- The decline is largely due to a decrease in the area of public forest land harvested, primarily in British Columbia as harvesting was reduced in mountain pine beetle-impacted areas.
The area harvested each year is less than half of 1% of Canada’s 347 million hectares of forest, significantly smaller than the areas impacted by insects and burned by fires each year.
Forest area harvested on private and Crown lands in Canada, 2006–2016
|Year||Provincial crown land
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 remain strong over the near term, as US housing starts and expenditures on repair and remodelling increase, and offshore exports, particularly to Asia, rise.
- The area of forest harvested, however, is not expected to increase above pre-recession levels.
What reporting frameworks does this indicator support?
- Montreal Process (MP): 3.b [157 Kb PDF]
Sources and information
- National Forestry Database. Harvest, Table 5.2 Area harvested by jurisdiction, tenure, management and harvesting method (accessed July 3, 2018).
- 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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