The Forest

The boreal forest of Alberta is an important contribution to Canada's aboriginal and rural economies through resources, industries, recreation, hunting, fishing and eco-tourism. Its home to trees such as the black and white spruce, balsam fir, larch, lodgepole pine, jack pine, trembling, large-toothed aspen, cottonwood, white and balsam poplar. The vast wetlands that absorb 40-50% of the boreal landscape are larger than any ecosystem in the world. Among the oil sand's 1.5 million lakes are some of the largest in Canada.

Wild Life

The forest is a prime habitat for many species ranging from wolves to moose. Over five billion land birds live within the forest and 12 million water fowl inhabit the wetlands. The boreal forest also provides housing for endangered species such as the woodland caribou and whooping cranes.

Oil Production

In the boreal forest, more trees are cut for oil and gas exploration than for timer. Over the next few decades, 10% will be destroyed and permanently removed from the landscape due to tar sand operation. Reclaiming of wetlands has not been successful thus far seeing as there are no remnants left to recover. Areas up to the size of Portugal and Denmark combined, destroying a key factor in protecting the planet against global warming. The oil production process creates 52 billion tons of carbon and releases huge amounts of GHG emissions. The boreal forest holds 22% of total carbon stored on earth's surface (that's twice as much carbon per unit as tropical forests!). This is equivalent to 27 years worth of the earth's carbon emissions. It is critical to protect this rare environment.

map.jpgBoreal Forest Video