New: 22 Nov. 2006 - Energy Subsidy Falls Short of the Mark.
"We recognize the plight of northern forest dependent communities. However, simply throwing public dollars at the mills will not keep them from closing," says Trevor Hesselink, the Forest Program director for CPAWS Wildlands League, “It hasn’t yet.” Over $900 million in subsidies had already been designated for forest companies with no stemming of mill closures and no satisfaction for northern communities. “When do we have to acknowledge that the strategy is not working?” Read the entire press release.
Ninety percent of Ontario's land is publicly owned - shared by all citizens of Ontario and home to Ontario's Aboriginal people who have lived here for thousands of years. At more than 70 million hectares, this public land area is larger than many countries.
Few places in the world can boast the diversity and extent of wild forests that still exists in Ontario. Across much of our planet, forests and the animals, plants and ecosystems that are part of them have long since been dramatically changed or destroyed by urban development, agriculture or industrial uses.
Similar changes have reduced forest cover in southern Ontario to a fragment of the majestic deciduous forests that covered these lands when European settlers arrived. Half a century of industrial logging has also had an impact on much of the forest in the central and near northern parts of the province. But north of of an imaginary line at around 51 degrees latitude, Ontario's forests are still off-limits to logging and remain mostly unchanged.
Ontario's forests are home to people and communities who use them for everything from recreation - including camping, cottaging, birding, and fishing - to hunting, plant gathering and firewood collecting. These forests also play a large economic role, supporting activities ranging from forestry to remote tourism. In 2001, the Ontario forest industry produced $5.7 billion worth of wood products and $11.1 billion worth of paper products.
We need to manage our forests carefully - protecting intact ecosystems and wildlife, preserving traditional lifestyles and livelihoods, and by balancing the public interest in public forests with resource activities like mining, hydroelectric power generation, logging and road building.
At CPAWS Wildlands League, we believe that we must develop new approaches to forestry and land use that better protect ecosystems, habitat, wild species, indigenous culture and resource-dependent communities. We are deeply engaged in efforts to reshape current forest policy and practices and we pointing the way toward better methods of caring for the land and managing our resources.
Fundamentally, we believe we must stop eroding the natural capital of our forests that provides us with so many different benefits.