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About the Boreal Forest


Take a Walk Through the Boreal Forest

The Canadian boreal forest is a vast 1,000 kilometre wide belt of mixed vegetation, rocky outcrops, muskeg, and lakes which form the second largest forest biome on the globe. It is comprised mainly of needle-leaf trees, spruce and jack pine, and deciduous trees, birch and poplar.

The forest’€™s wide variety of flora and fauna has provided sustenance for Aboriginal people for thousands of years.

The boreal forest provides economic benefits for independent cutters, trucking firms, and tree planters who contribute to make the forestry industry an important part of northern Manitoba’s economy.

For many years Thompson’s forest was an international centre for research into global warming. Current scientific models suggest that the boreal forest could increase 4 to 6 °C over the next 50 -€“ 100 years. The Boreal Forest Warming Experiment studied what changes the forest will undergo in a warmer climate.

Recreation activities in the boreal forest are enjoyed by visitors and residents. Camping, fishing, hunting, boating, and other park facilities continue to attract thousands of people a year to the North.

Take this short, but delightful walking tour along Spirit Way. Can you notice the difference between virgin forest and secondary regrowth after an area was cut down in the 1970s for housing development?

Did You Know

  • Manitoba’€™s forest is/has been a major factor in Aboriginal life, recreation, industry, and now global warming
  • The boreal forest is the world’€™s 2nd largest biome and covers 40% of Manitoba.
  • 70% of Manitoba’€™s forest is not road accessible and in pristine condition.
  • For thousands of years flora and fauna of the forest provided sustenance for Aboriginal people for food, fuel, clothing, medicines, canoes and housing.
  • Northern timber supplies a source of high grade fibre for a pulp and paper mill in The Pas.
  • Birch tree wine is now made from Manitoba’€™s trees.
  • The temperature of the boreal forest could increase 4-6 degreesš over the next 50 years due to global warming.
  • Spirit Way partially overlaps the 15 km Millennium Trail which circles which circles the city.

As you walk north along Spirit Way, can you see the difference between virgin boreal forest and secondary natural growth after trees were cut down in the 1970s. What type of trees grow back first?

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