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At the Cutting Edge
The Fight for Canada's Forests

May, Elizabeth
Publisher:  Key Porter Books, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1998  
Pages:  384pp   Price:  $28.95   ISBN:  1-55013-832-4
Resource Type:  Book

Exposes the overexploitation of Canada's forests and suggests measures to create a sustainable industry.

Abstract:  Not enough lessons have been learnt from the collapse of Canada's East Coast cod fishery. At the Cutting Edge provides a comprehensive analysis of the state of Canada's forests and what needs to be done to address the damage done by the forestry and fibre industries in partnership with government. May explores the historical conflict between managing forest for timber production or preserving it as wilderness. She challenges the pervasive myth that Canada's forests are inexhaustible and endlessly self-renewing and exposes the realities of overcutting. She uses analogy with the cod fishery to show the real danger posed by increasing technology and processing power when combined with misinformation and ineffective regulation. May based her study on the research of 12 experts in forest policy across Canada, using government generated and independent data.

At the Cutting Edge is divided into three main parts: Part I - At the cutting edge - examines myths surrounding forestry practice, the impact on the environment and the culpability of industry and government; Part II - What was once a land of trees - makes up the bulk of the book, giving regionally specific accounts of the state of forests with logging figures and details on corporate players as well as information on biodiversity; Part III - Where do we go from here? - as the title suggests, sets a plan of action, one which includes individuals, government and industry.

May urges the public to take ownership of their resource and to put pressure on government and industry to prevent Canada's forests from becoming another environmental, economic and social disaster. In keeping with this, there is an extensive list of contacts across Canada for people to get involved.

[Abstract by Diana Canning]


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