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CANADIAN PEAT HARVESTING
& THE ENVIRONMENT


 

“In 1990, 749,000 metric tonnes, or about 20,000,000 bales of peat were sold by Canadian producers. This volume of peat harvested each year is small in comparison to the estimated 50 million (50,000,000) tonnes or more of peat that accumulate naturally each year in Canada. On a volume basis, there are an estimated three trillion (3,000,000,000,000) cubic metres of peat deposits in Canada.

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“Canada’s vast wetland and peatland resources are gradually being subjected to increased development pressure. Wetland conservation due to urbanization, industrial development, and agricultural practices has been substantial , exceeding 20 million hectares since the early 1800’s. "

“The need to protect natural resources and to ensure wise, sustainable us of the environment is greater today than perhaps at any point in our history. Like natural resource sectors, the harvesting of peat moss around the world has attracted the interest of concerned environmental groups in government and the public. “At present less than 16,000 hectares of Canada’s 111 million hectares of peatlands are being used for peat or peat moss harvesting. The majority of companies involved in this industry, through their association with CSPMA (Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association), has articulated a policy for environmentally-sensitive peatland use and for site restoration or reclamation after use. "

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The industry, in association with government and non-government interests, environmental groups, and universities is developing a national peatland research strategy to promote awareness of peatland restoration technology and restoration. On-going research indicates than new and many existing sites will revert to functioning peatlands with proper site management during and after use. Other older sites can also be reclaimed to valued agricultural, forestry, or wildlife habitat uses.”

Bogsky3 Extracts from a report prepared by David Keys of Maritime Groundwater Inc. for the Secretariat to the North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Canada). “Sustaining Wetlands – Issue Paper, No. 1992-3.”

Copies of this report are available free of charge from:
Secretariat,
North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Canada)
Suite 200
1750 Courtwood Crescent,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2C 2B5

-or-

Canadian Peat Moss Association,
4 Wycliff Place,
St. Albert, Alberta, Canada T8N 3Y8.

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