One-half of Canada and one-third of the United States are covered in forests. The region has long had tremendous forest resources, which have served it well in a variety of ways.
Canada and the United States both have massive forest industries. The two
countries are the leading exporters of forest products in the world.
Many Canadians and Americans are employed in the forest industry. Over 880,000 Canadians work in the forest industry, making it an extremely important part of the nation's economy.
Because the area has had such abundant forest resources in the past and continues to profit greatly from its forest resources, there is concern about depletion of forest resources in the region. The governments of both countries, and companies in the forest industry, are working to make sure that current levels of deforestation are sustainable.
The destruction of the region's last rainforests is a major problem. Canada still has rainforests in British Columbia and the United States has rainforests in the Pacific Northwest.
Policy makers and the public have taken a special interest in preserving rainforests and old-growth forests. As a result, they are less likely to be destroyed than other forested areas.
Both the public and private sectors own forested land in
Canada and the United States. Almost eight million Americans and 425,000 Canadians privately own forest areas. However, in Canada, 94% of the forests are on public property.