Study Finds Logging Endangers Woodland Caribou in Ontario and Quebec

A new study reveals the severe depletion of the boreal forest in Ontario and Quebec due to clear-cutting. This poses a serious threat to the endangered woodland caribou, who feed on lichen, which grow on the floor of older forests. The findings, published in the academic journal Land, highlight the impact of logging practices from 1976 to 2020, resulting in the depletion of more than fourteen million hectares of forest and adversely affecting the caribou's natural habitat. Criticism from Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault towards Ontario and Quebec has been ongoing, accusing them of insufficient efforts to safeguard caribou habitat. Guilbeault has even threatened to use the Species At Risk Act, invoking a rarely-used provision that empowers Ottawa to impose more stringent regulations on provinces. The study concludes that major changes are needed in boreal forest management in Ontario and Quebec for it to be ecologically sustainable, including a greater emphasis on protection and restoration for older forests, and to lower the risks for caribou populations.