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The Price of Compromise: Why We Should Wind Down Our Forest Industry


  • John Cartwright


Canada's forest industry faces two major problems. Biologically, the liquidation of the natural boreal forest and its replacement by even-aged stands of a limited number of species poses major risks of reducing biodiversity, and changing climatic and water-flow patterns. Economically, the slow rate of growth of the boreal forest means that any investment in replanting makes little sense, but without replanting we will run out of wood in the next few decades. On both biological and economic grounds, then, we need to make major changes in our forest industry, specifically by retaining sufficient portions of the natural forest so that if our attempts at artificial regeneration fail, we will have sources for the long-term natural regrowth of our forests. This will entail a shift in focus to high-quality wood supplies, and to an increased emphasis on the non-consumptive uses of the forest.

Suggested Citation

  • John Cartwright, 1999. "The Price of Compromise: Why We Should Wind Down Our Forest Industry," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(2), pages 233-245, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:25:y:1999:i:2:p:233-245

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Samuelson, Paul A, 1976. "Economics of Forestry in an Evolving Society," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(4), pages 466-492, December.
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