Canada’s provinces and territories help manage millions of hectares of Boreal Forest. In recent years, several have begun to call for protecting at least half of the forest and devoting the rest to careful development—the vision laid out in the Canadian Boreal Forest Framework.

In 2010, Ontario passed the Far North Act, setting targets for strict protection and sustainable development of 44 million hectares of boreal forest. The bill provides for community-based land use planning by First Nations, working with the province.

The next year, Quebec pledged to protect at least 50 percent of its boreal region over the next 25 years and place the remaining half in careful development. This measure led directly to the creation of the Tursujuq National Park in July 2013. Straddling the zone between the Boreal Forest and Arctic region, it’s about three times the size of Yellowstone National Park. More protected areas have been established since, including the Montagnes Blanches—one of the most vibrant woodland caribou ranges left in the province—in 2017.

Meanwhile, Manitoba committed to fund and support Indigenous-led land use planning across about 56 million hectares of the Boreal. And the Northwest Territories has adopted legally binding interim protections for 18.9 million acres of Boreal parks and refuges.

These actions confirm that planning for protection and sustainable development can occur on a comprehensive, landscape level. This broader approach ensures more waters remain clean, more lands protected and more communities sustained for the long-term.