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Forestry Branch

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Forest Management and Development


Manitoba's Forest Industry Overview

Manitoba's forests have played a crucial role in developing our economy and society. Early in history, the Aboriginal people depended on the forest for food, shelter and spiritual well being. Later, pioneers from Europe considered forested land to be a barrier to agriculture, yet they depended on trees for building materials and fuel.

During the Twentieth Century, Manitoba developed a successful forest industry that produces a variety of wood products for local and export use. And today, Manitoba's forest industry is the fifth largest manufacturing sector in the province.

In 1997, forestry contributed $418 million in gross domestic product (GDP) to Manitoba's economy. Approximately 9,000 people are employed directly by the forest industry.

More than 2.6 million cubic metres of softwoods and 1.3 million cubic metres of hardwoods are currently allocated via Forest Management Licence (FML) agreements with forest products companies or through quotas to small forestry companies and individuals.

There are approximately 3.0 million cubic metres of unallocated softwoods and hardwoods of productive quality, but much of that wood is in remote northern areas which do not have road access.

Manitoba is not a major primary forestry jurisdiction compare to other northern regions of similar size, but it remains a desirable destination for secondary forest product development.

Of Manitoba's forested lands, about 94% are owned by the province, 1% is owned by the federal government and the remaining 5% is privately owned.

The annual allowable harvest limit for timber on Manitoba's Open Crown Lands is just under 8.9 million cubic meters, while the actual harvest in 1996 was 2.1 million cubic metres, on 15,342 hectares of land.

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