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National Forest Strategy

The National Forest Strategy Database evaluates provincial/territorial progress towards meeting key commitments in the National Forest Strategy (NFS). The NFS is a voluntary road map towards more ecologically and socially sustainable forest management.

NFS Report Card Database

Note: The 2005 version of the database can be viewed here.

The NFS was developed collaboratively by a diversity of stakeholders across Canada, including provincial and territorial forest ministers and Sierra Club Canada. The Sierra Club is committed to its implementation. To read the entire National Forest Strategy, visit:

How to use the National Forest Strategy Database

From the home page, you can click on each category to be taken to its database. Once in the database, you can click on the abbreviated indicator, and scroll down to the details box at the bottom to read the indicator in full. Then you can click on the box that marks the intersection between the indicator and the province that you are interested in, and read the data in the details box.

The ecosystem-based management database has some special features. It is the only section that was graded in 2005-- in 2006, all of the categories will be graded.You can read the evaluation of both policy and practice in the details box.

The ecosystem-based management page also has an interactive map that ‘toggles’ between policy and practice grades. To view this map, click on the icon of the leaf beside the indicator that you are interested in viewing. The default setting on the map is the combined grade; click on ‘show policy grade,’ to see a map of policy evaluations across Canada, and on ‘show practice grade,’ to see how provinces and territories fared in implementing their policies.

The Cutting Edge

In 2005, Elizabeth May, then executive director of Sierra Club of Canada updated the book At the Cutting Edge: The Crisis in Canada's Forests. At the Cutting Edge, which is published by Key Porter Books and is available in most major and independent bookstores across Canada, compliments the database, providing detailed information on all of the categories the database addresses.

Additional NFS-related materials

Ecosystem Based Management: Reality or Rhetoric?

The first objective of the National Forest Strategy (NFS), 2003-2008, is a commitment to manage Canada’s natural forest using an ecosystem-based management (EBM) approach that maintains forest health, structure, functions, composition and biodiversity.

The NFS does not include indicators or thresholds for EBM implementation. Indeed, one of the action items listed under the EBM objective, action item 1.1, is to: Develop guidelines for integrating watershed-based management and wildlife habitat conservation into forest management practices across Canada and measures for evaluating implementation.

In Ecosystem Based Management: Reality or Rhetoric?, Sierra Club Canada, and the Innu Nation of Labrador, drawing on extensive work that has already been done in this area especially the newly released Forest Stewardship Council’s National Boreal Standard, have developed a set of indicators for EBM policy as an initial step under action item 1.1.

Read the Report (pdf, 2 MB)

Integrated Land-Use Planning and Canada’s National Forest Strategy

The National Forest Strategy identifies ecosystem-based management of Canada’s forests as its first objective.

Unfortunately, in Canada, planning processes have generally operated without regard for ecosystem-based management, often resulting in land-use allocations that have fragmented and impaired forest ecosystems.

In contrast, integrated land-use planning processes can help to ensure that development activities fit sustainably within ecological limits and that conservation objectives guide land-use decisions. Integrated land-use planning processes have the potential to bring together those who are affected by land-use decisions so that they can participate in decisionmaking, coordinate their activities and mitigate negative impacts.


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