The Legault government intends to almost double the amount of wood harvested each year in Quebec forests within 60 years.
This is what provides for the National Wood Production Strategy presented by the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, Pierre Dufour, on Wednesday.
The volume of wood harvested annually in Quebec would thus drop from 29 million cubic meters (on average over the last five) to 52.9 cubic meters at the dawn of 2080. To do this, the government wishes in particular to make larger areas available. to foresters.
Quebec’s forests are under-exploited and the pressure on them has never been so low for nearly 30 years, argued Minister Dufour, pointing to the conclusions of the last report of the Quebec Chief Forester.
“In the short term, Quebec must however deal with the deterioration in the quantity and quality of wood available in its forests, a trend that has been accentuated in recent decades,” it is however noted in the Strategy documents. presented Wednesday.
To prevent this issue, the government will increase, among other things, by $ 300 million over five years, the amount invested to carry out silviculture work, which will amount to $ 1.43 billion.
Minister Dufour announced a “Policy for integrating wood in construction” which will soon be detailed in order to use all the additional volumes thus made available. However, no target has yet been set.
This announcement comes a month after the publication of a vitriolic letter from the Action boréale and its co-president, the singer-songwriter and filmmaker Richard Desjardins, who accused Minister Dufour of being in the pay of civil servants only. concerned about providing timber companies.
Faced with the lack of social acceptability surrounding logging, the Associate Deputy Minister for Forests, Alain Sénéchal, believes he can convince the population of their merits. In particular, he says, by emphasizing the interest of using wood rather than other materials to fight against climate change, including in the construction of houses.
“There is an angle there that we should exploit more by giving more explanations and I would tell you that at this time, the environmental groups are following us in that line, they are ready and understand that the forest, a once I cut it, it grows back, ”he explained.
855,174 housing units could be built with the additional amount of wood that will be harvested annually from 2050