By Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky and Nicholas de Pencier
Forests are indispensable to life on this planet. Nearly 1.6 billion people rely on them as sources of food, income, or shelter. Humans have altered over 75 percent of ice-free land on the planet with agriculture, mining, urbanization, and industrialization. And around half of the world’s original forests have been cleared, fragmented, or degraded for human use. These are hard statistics to conceptualize, especially in Canada, where forest spans coast to coast. The boreal, which is the primarily coniferous stretch of dense forest that spans the northern hemisphere above the fiftieth parallel, is a complex landscape of vibrant biodiversity supporting not only the lives of flora and fauna but humans as well.
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