By Fritz Reid, Ph.D.
North America's Boreal Forest
is the world's largest remaining intact, productive ecosystem, encompassing more than 1.5 billion acres of pristine forests, wetlands, lakes, rivers, and streams. A keystone habitat for this hemisphere's migratory waterfowl and songbirds, it also supports vast populations of fish and other wildlife. Moreover, this region is the world's most extensive terrestrial carbon sink and reservoir of fresh surface water.
Unlike the world's other great wilderness areas—such as the Amazon rain forest or Siberian taiga—North America's Boreal Forest is governed by two of the world's most stable democracies: the United States and Canada. This makes the Boreal the best place on earth to implement large-scale conservation efforts and sustainable development through the proactive application of sound science and enlightened resource management principles.