Dynamic Forest


Nearing the end of a lifetime in the boreal forest, a retired forester writes a passionate plea for rational, science-based forest management.

The boreal forest is constantly changing, often dramatically. We like to picture it as a stable, balanced system. Really, it is anything but stable.

For over sixty years, forester Malcolm F. Squires has seen mature forests within protected areas devastated by insects, moose, wind, and wildfire. While the forests often return from this destruction, they are never quite the same. A naturally balanced boreal forest is a human notion that does not match the reality of nature. The boreal forest is always changing. The boreal forest is dynamic. If we don’t soon collectively recognize and accept this reality and stop making irrational demands that a forest be “protected” from change or human management, we may be conditioning it to succumb to disaster in the future.

About the Authors

Malcolm F. Squires

Posted by Dundurn Guest on October 18, 2016

Malcolm F. Squires

Malcolm (Mac) F. Squires graduated in 1963 from the University of New Brunswick with a B.Sc. in forestry. He worked first in Newfoundland and then in Ontario for thirty-four years as an industrial forester. He then moved to forestry consulting, while advocating for the boreal forest through visual art, writing, and speaking. He lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario.