Compendium of Best Urban Forest Management Practices
Chapter 2. Brief History of Canadian Urban Forests
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The history of Canada and the history of its forests are very much intertwined: from the use of the forest by First Nations, the colonization by Europeans, the era of logging white pine for the British navy, the expansion of land clearing in the 1800s, to the birth of the conservation movement at the turn of the last century. It was during this last era that Canadian urban forests began.
The development of the major park systems in Canada often incorporated forest elements:
All prominently featured aspects of the Coast, Deciduous, Great Lakes-St. Lawrence and Acadian forest regions. However, aside from roadside planting projects and the most rudimentary protection of natural forests within the scenario of a suburbanizing Canada, no major efforts to develop urban forest programs in Canada were developed until the 1960s, when Dutch Elm Disease struck. Here, the effects of invasive pathogens and monoculture plantings came to roost, as thousands of kilometres of roadsides were effectively denuded as a result of the effects of the disease. This resulted in a chain of events which quickly developed urban forestry, including:
Jorgensen, E. (1974). Towards an urban forestry concept. Proceedings of the 10th Commonwealth Forestry Conference. Ottawa, Canada; Forestry Service.