Can the cultivation of industrial hemp spare forested habitat for wildlife in Canada?
Journal of the International Hemp Association 6(1): 10-13. The Canadian forestry industry is responsible for cutting approximately 1 million hectares of forests annually, and this level of harvest is affecting the integrity of wildlife habitat. A significant percentage of the annual harvest is directed to the pulp and paper industry and Canadians are becoming increasingly critical of forestry’s old-growth policies and clearcutting practices, and are demanding alternatives to wood pulp. Hemp is an annual, sustainable, source of fibre and could replace the use of wood fibre for pulp and paper. Annual productivity of hemp stems surpass that of spruce-dominated forests in the Boreal region of the province of Ontario, on average, by a factor of 4.9:1. The fibre obtained from the entire pulpwood harvest in Ontario in 1996 could have been met by cultivating approximately 11 500 ha of hemp. The use of hemp fibre for pulp and paper could present an opportunity to conserve forested habitat for w