One of Québec’s characteristic features is the abundance of its forests. Nearly half its territory is covered by one of the largest forest reservoirs in the world, accounting for 20% of the total Canadian forest and 2% of the world’s forests. Forest landscapes in Québec dominate an area of 760,000 km2, equivalent in size to the territories of Norway and Sweden combined (Interactive map of Québec).
Collectively, Québecers own 92% of their forests, meaning that the overwhelming majority of the forest is a public heritage. The remaining 8% is divided among 130,000 small and large woodlot owners.
The hardwood forests, with their abundance of sugar maple trees, are spread over roughly 17 degrees of latitude from south to north. They gradually give way to mixed forests, composed of hardwood and softwood species, and then to the boreal forest, dominated largely by black spruce.
Québec has chosen to ensure the sustainability of its forests, preserve their biodiversity and foster their contribution to its economic prosperity. Pesticide use for management purposes has been prohibited in the public forests since 2000.
Forest management in Québec is governed by a rigorous legislative and regulatory framework. The forest regime has been completely overhauled as part of a constantly evolving process. In its present form, it has been in force throughout Québec since April 1, 2013.