Impacts of Silvicultural Herbicides on Indigenous Ethnobotanical Species of the Boreal Forest Region of Canada
Silvicultural herbicides are used in Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) to suppress vegetation that competes with trees for growing space, light, nutrients, water, and other resources in managed forests. While the toxicity and environmental impacts of silvicultural herbicides have been widely studied, far less is known about their effects on culturally significant plants important to Indigenous Peoples in the Canadian Boreal Forest Region. The main objective of this thesis is to assess the silvicultural use of herbicides on ethnobotanical species in the Canadian boreal. I identified 914 ethnobotanical plants in the Canadian boreal, including plants used as food, medicines, tools, art and culture, and for spiritual purposes. Most of these plants are not considered threatened globally or in Canada but are vulnerable to decline or elimination following herbicide spraying in managed forests. The results of my thesis support restricting herbicide spraying as an IVM practice in areas important to Indigenous Peoples.