Agriculture to forestry in western Canada's northern grain belt : impacts on rural communities
This study investigates impacts on Western Canada’s rural communities that may result from land usage change from conventional agriculture to that of forestry, in part or in whole. Many of Western Canada’s rural communities in the agriculture regions near the tree line have developed around cash crops (cereal/oilseeds) and livestock production. Through the Government of Canada’s commitments to achieve targeted greenhouse gas emission levels, a market may develop where landowners will be adequately compensated to initiate a switch from conventional agriculture to that of forestry. This study finds that forestry and agricultural regions have over time developed different business structures to support local industry demands. Because of this, converting land use to forestry from agriculture will likely have a significant impact on the rural communities that serve the local economy. Results also showed that population change is significantly influenced by the percentage of people employed in agricultural and by proximity to larger urban centres.
communities, rural, agriculture, impacts, forestry
Master of Agriculture (M.Agr.)