Why should The Home Depot protect the boreal forest?

Students across the nation are calling on The Home Depot to put forests first. Why?

Forests

Sammy Herdman | TPIN
Sammy Herdman

Former Save The Boreal Forest Campaign, Associate, Environment America Research & Policy Center

From San Francisco, California to Boston, Massachusetts, students across the nation are calling on The Home Depot to put forests first, especially the North American boreal forest. There are hundreds of reasons why the boreal forest is essential to our climate, communities and biodiversity.

Group of students holding photo petition asking home depot to put forests first
Sammy Herdman | TPIN
Students call on The Home Depot to put forests first.

Unfortunately, the North American boreal forest is under siege. Thirty-percent of the forest is allocated for some form of development, such as logging, especially along its Southern edge. Each year, one million acres of the North American boreal forest is logged – that’s the equivalent of losing 1.5 football fields worth of forest per minute! Logging in the Canadian boreal forest emits as much carbon emissions as the country’s tar sands industry.

Students holding photo petition asking home depot to put forests first
Sammy Herdman | TPIN
Students call on The Home Depot to put forests first.

Despite being logged for lumber, the North American boreal forest …

  • contains 25% of the world’s remaining undisturbed forest and 25% of the world’s wetlands.
  • has more surface freshwater than anywhere else on the planet.
  • spans 1.5 billion acres, 85% of which is in Canada.
  • is 80% undisturbed by industry. However, only 8-13% of the forest is formally protected.
  • is home to more than 600 Indigenous communities – and has been for thousands of years.
2 students hold signs calling on the home depot to put forests first
Sammy Herdman | TPIN
Student calls on The Home Depot to put forests first.

Despite being logged for lumber, the North American boreal forest is essential for birds. The boreal is …

  • relied upon by 325 species of birds. That’s half of all species in Canada and the U.S.
  • North America’s bird nursery: after breeding in the boreal, 3-5 billion birds fly south to our backyards and parks every winter.
  • relied upon by 53% of North American warbler species and 63% of North American finch species.
2 students hold signs calling on the home depot to put forests first
Sammy Herdman | TPIN
Students call on The Home Depot to put forests first.

Despite being logged for lumber, the North American boreal forest is essential for biodiversity. The boreal forest is …

  • home to mammals that have lost habitat further South, including wolves, cougars, lynxes, caribou, moose, and elk.
  • has some of the healthiest fisheries for trout, pike, and walleye left on Earth.
  • is home to woodland caribou. Logging presents an existential threat to these caribou.
  • is a precious habitat for grizzly bears, black bears and polar bears.
2 students hold signs calling on the home depot to put forests first
Sammy Herdman | TPIN
Students call on The Home Depot to put forests first.

Despite being logged for lumber, the North American boreal forest is essential for the climate. The North American boreal forest…

  • stores more than 200 billion tonnes of carbon.
  • stores twice as much carbon as tropical forests per acre.
  • and other boreal forests around the world hold 30-40% of the carbon stored on land.

College students tell The Home Depot to put forests first

Topics
Authors

Sammy Herdman

Former Save The Boreal Forest Campaign, Associate, Environment America Research & Policy Center

Ellen Montgomery

Director, Public Lands Campaign, Environment America Research & Policy Center

Ellen runs campaigns to protect America's beautiful places, from local beachfronts to remote mountain peaks. Prior to her current role, Ellen worked as the organizing director for Environment America’s Climate Defenders campaign. Ellen lives in Denver, where she likes to hike in Colorado's mountains.