In these days of unfiltered social media, alternative facts and fake news, Canadians could be forgiven for believing that Canada is running out of trees; that large-scale deforestation is taking place in our own backyard; and that every time the paper industry wants to make a new box or carton, it just grabs and chainsaw and heads for the forest.

None of these claims is true.

 And contrary to popular belief, the act of chopping down a tree does not qualify as deforestation. Nor is the stark image of an ugly clearcut, proof that it has taken place. When paper unfortunately ends up in landfill, it doesn’t automatically mean that fresh trees must be leveled to replace it.

Several common myths, false claims, exaggerations, sloppy reporting, omissions of fact, and just plain ignorance of forestry practices and paper production in Canada, are all laid bare in my newly published book, Deforestation in Canada and Other Fake News.

 It examines the national and international data and concludes that claims about massive deforestation in Canada are nonsense; that our deforestation rate has been declining steadily; that we are doing a far better job than most other countries; and perhaps surprising to many Canadians, that forestry is not the major cause.

This is not to say that deforestation and degradation of the world’s forests are not very serious global issues. They are. But the focus here is on Canada and the facts on the ground here. And those facts include knowing something about who owns and controls Canada’s forests; the impact of natural disturbances such as insects, disease and fire; how much forest is logged; and what happens to it afterwards.

To get your own copy of my book click here