PRIVATE FORESTS, AN IMPORTANT TOWNSHIP ECONOMIC DRIVER
The eastern township forests are omnipresent, they occupy 78% of the territory and are among the most diverse in Québec. Our forest sector is a major force in maintaining economic activity in many of our towns and villages.
This economic activity is present through 92 wood mills and permits truck drivers, forest contractors and workers to earn their living as well as for the 9,200 woodlot owners to generate regional wood production. The Township forest sector is 2 Billion dollars worth of economic activity, counting salaries, industrial production, professional services, wood sales, recreational activities, hunting, etc.
Despite its financial impact, private Township forests often pass under the radar. They are owned by a diversity of woodlot owners and the region is the second most productive in Québec in terms of wood production. They cover hillsides, occupy valleys, wrap us in their fall colors, their odors and offer multiple wildlife habitats. Wood is the perfect ecological material since thousands of years. It has always responded to human building needs and can even be used in clothing and food additives. Its environmental impact is even greater when replacing more polluting building materials such as plastic, cement, aluminum or steel.
Despite the good work done in our forests, they could give us even more in a sustainable manner. Only half of the yearly growth is harvested every year. Which makes a lot of wood not generating economical, social or environmental benefits. To increase forest production, without neglecting the environmental standards, forest owners could become more active and use the forest improvement programs that are specifically in place for them.
The owners, guided by the best forest professionals, manage their woodlots by protecting streams, soils, wildlife and biodiversity. Forest work is now done in a sustainable forest management process. We are the north American region holding the largest area of certified private forests under the FSC C015405 environmental norm, the stringiest one in the world.
The Township wood mobilization group has given itself the objective of making our forest potential better known. It has created a website to help owners and forests enthusiasts find information concerning this unique resource.
Township forests are calling you! Discover them at www.foret-estrie.ca and follow us on the Facebook page (Propriétaires de boisés de l’Estrie). Two tools to discover this great collective resource!
« Listen to the forest grow, instead of the falling tree»
– Friedrich Hegel