Minister Ponder New Approach To Forest Management

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at 13:00



A deputy minister with Saskatchewan Environment says the province could lower greenhouse gas emissions if it limited forest fire activity in the commercial timber zone.


Bob Wines says the idea came up at a recent meeting of forest ministers in the Maritimes.


Wines says because the boreal forest is well-adapted to disturbances, if the government starts putting out more fires, it has to compensate by harvesting timber in the area.


He says the province can put out forest fires for only so long without risking a fuel buildup and subsequently causing “really intense” fires down the road.


Wines adds, if the harvested timber isn’t processed right away, the carbon is essentially “locked up” in “long-term storage”.


He notes processing the timber at a pulp mill will release that carbon — but at least it won’t be the quick release that occurs in a forest fire.