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Grant MacEwan leaves no topic unexplored when sharing his thoughts on safeguarding Canada's resources. In Entrusted To My Care, MacEwan urges all Canadians to take greater responsibility for preserving our natural resources. MacEwan dedicates over 40 pages to the protection of trees, a resource MacEwan describes as one of the Creator's greatest gifts to mankind. Versatile and multi-functional, trees are both necessities and luxuries. Trees, dotting the landscape of frontier Canada, marked the gateway to new opportunities in the settlement of the Canadian West. Trees supported a thriving natural community of plant and animal life.

Forestry remains one of Canada's most important industries. When MacEwan was writing this book, pulp and paper was Canada's leading export. In British Columbia, for instance, forestry accounted for roughly half of the province's economic wealth and provided a plethora of jobs. Forests have many uses, and their varied importance in Canadian life raises concerns over their future. As with other resources, society can be either a destroyer or saviour in forest regeneration.

MacEwan believes that every Canadian should have an interest in the future of North American forests. The objective of protecting our trees is to constantly attain a sustainable yield, a balance between annual tree growth and annual depletion. The challenge, as MacEwan points out, is to maintain a sustainable yield while accomodating the ever-growing demand for wood. MacEwan wanted to see a strict protocol in place so that if a tree is cut down another one should be planted.

Forestry is a highly diversified enterprise. An important component of the West's economy, forestry has created a plethora of jobs. Its vital importance in the day-to-day lives of all Canadians should reinforce their priorities particularly concerning conservation. Like other resources in Canada, forestry requires sound resource management so that it is not wasted. 


MacEwan, Grant. Entrusted To My Care. 1966; Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books, 1986

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