Restoring Old-Growth Features to Managed Forests in Southern Ontario

Most of the old-growth forests of southern Ontario were removed by logging, forest fires and European settlement between the mid-1700s and the early 1900s. The land is recovering from these catastrophic events and new forests cover much of Ontario. However, today’s second-growth forests are less diverse than the original mixed-hardwood forests and provide habitat for fewer and different forms of life. Today’s forests support more deer, but they provide fewer homes for warblers, wood ducks, saw-whet owls, blue-spotted salamanders, bats, wolves, grey foxes and many other species. Some species, like elk and woodland caribou, are no longer found in southern Ontario.

This Extension Note provides information on ways of restoring the diversity and increasing the number of old-growth features in managed forests, while maintaining their ability to provide timber, fuelwood, maple syrup, nuts and places for recreation.

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