"TORONTO — The battle between forestry companies protecting their timber supply and environmentalists trying to save the trees has been too fierce to hide in the shade of Canada's vast boreal forest.
But after decades of fighting, the bitter foes have agreed to bury the hatchet.
At the heart of the agreement is an enormous swath of boreal forest spanning about 70 million hectares, an area almost twice the size of Germany.
Some of the country's biggest forestry companies will agree to freeze logging on parts of the northern forest. In return, environmental groups will pull marketing campaigns denouncing logging practices and will even go so far as to give the companies a green endorsement.
"It's safe to say this is the biggest conservation story of the year. It's also the biggest forestry story of the year," said Nicole Rycroft, executive director of Canopy, an NGO dedicated to improving the environmental practices of paper and wood companies, and part of the coalition scheduled to announce the historic agreement in Toronto Tuesday."