Snapshots of Deforestation and Forest Degradation in NB
New Brunswick’s native Acadian forest is under threat. Clearcuts wipe out swaths of forest and wildlife habitat, reduce biodiversity, and cause run off into rivers and streams. In a time of climate change, we should be conserving and restoring our Acadian forest. Forests trap and store carbon dioxide and therefore play a major role in mitigating climate change.
Check out the following images of regions of deforestation or degraded forests in New Brunswick. Two disturbing observations stand out in these maps: 1) There are no large blocks of ecologically intact, undisturbed natural forests in the province of New Brunswick outside of protected areas, which cover only three per cent of the province; and 2) None of our major watersheds have more than 25 per cent intact forest cover.
The maps were generated using data and a mapping tool developed by Global Forest Watch.
This map by Global Forest Watch Canada in 2000 revealed that no remaining large intact forests (of 500 square kilometres or more) exist in New Brunswick. The remaining 299-500 square kilometre blocks of forest in New Brunswick disappeared between 2000 and 2006, according to access data from Global Forest Watch.
Here’s a close up of New Brunswick showing no large intact forest (500 square kilometres or larger):
According to Global Forest Watch’s 2010 Report, Atlas of Canada’s Intact Forest Landscapes, New Brunswick has 7.3 million ha of forest ecozone area, of which only 215,993 ha (or 3.0%) are intact. Only fragments of intact forest remain in New Brunswick. There are no large intact forest landscapes of 50,000 hectares or more. New Brunswick and PEI have the least amount of remaining intact forest landscapes — each with less than 1 per cent of Canada’s total forest landscape. Global Forest Watch Canada used medium-resolution satellite imagery as well as some medium-resolution Landsat data and ground and aerial photography verification to generate the following maps.
Here’s a close up of New Brunswick showing no large intact forest areas of more than 50,000 ha:
Forest Cover Maps
Explore what the deforestation or degraded forest looks like in your region of the province:
Places where it is done differently, more sustainably…
Sustainable forestry can be found in the Rush Creek Natural Area in Wisconsin. Forested slopes are harvested sustainably and wetlands are protected. Agriculture applies soil conservation practices. They do this by managing the forest through a series of thinning processes. These processes remove the lower quality trees and give more growing space for quality trees. After thinning the land, the hardwood tops are left to decay and recycle nutrients back into the soil. The tops also provide bedding and nesting for wildlife. The thinning processes allow light to enter the forest which allows seedlings to take and begin another generation of trees. Check out a map here showing forest cover.
The Rush Creek State Forest in Allegany County, New York state covers a total of 1,404 acres. Unlike many of the State Forest areas in New York’s Allegany County, most of Rush Creek State Forest has been in continuous forested cover throughout its history. Some of the largest unbroken areas of hardwoods on State Forests in Allegany County can be found here. Forest cover types in the Rush Creek State Forest are primarily native hardwoods, with a smaller component of planted conifers.