Canadian Forest Service Publications

Canada's timber supply: current status and future prospects under a changing climate. 2016. McKenney, D.W.; Yemshanov, D.; Pedlar, J.; Allen, D.; Lawrence, K.; Hope, E.; Lu, B.; Eddy, B. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service. Great Lakes Forestry Centre, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. 75p. Information Report GLC-X-15.

Year: 2016

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 37783

Language: English

Series: Information Report (GLFC - Sault Ste. Marie)

Availability: PDF (download)

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Plain Language Summary

This report contains an update of certain sections of the 1991 Forestry Canada Information Report Canada’s Timber Supply: Current Status and Outlook and preliminary results of a computer-based national timber supply study examining potential impacts of climate change. We first review historical harvests and allowable cut levels, place Canada’s forests in an international context, and briefly review global timber market studies that examine the implications of a changing climate. The second part of this report uses bioeconomic modelling to examine the national timber supply question from the growing and delivery-to-mills perspective. This analysis, which represents the first effort of its kind at this scale in the country. Although the analysis must be considered preliminary due to various data and computational challenges, it would appear that significant increases in delivered wood costs are plausible over the course of the century under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 greenhouse gas emission pathway. British Columbia and Quebec appear most likely to bear the brunt of the changes, with many mills potentially facing delivered wood shortages and/or cost increases of greater than 25% - even by mid-century. While this analysis identifies numerous challenges for forest managers, ranging from allowable cut determinations to developing climate change adaptation strategies, we note that significant research efforts are required to increase confidence in the results, particularly in refining the inventory and growth and yield components. Disturbance regime changes will always remain challenging to forecast with specific spatial or temporal precision. Actual outcomes in the future will of course be highly influenced by such specifics.