Canada will soon have the largest protected boreal forest - an area twice the size of Belgium - on the planet. Some 1.6m hectares of remote land in the province of Alberta are being made into new or extended provincial parks. A 6.7m hectare conservation zone will now be protected and free from logging or oil and gas exploration. Boreal (or coniferous) forests occur in northern climes with long, cold winters and short summers. They are among the world's densest forests.
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Canada's boreal zone is home to threatened wood bison, peregrine falcon and woodland caribou populations.