Driving along the Trans-Canada Highway, with its endless succession of spruce, aspen, fir and birch trees, it’s easy to assume that our country is bursting with forests. This article is part of La Conversation Canada’s series The boreal forest: A thousand secrets, a thousand dangers. Although we might see a few logging operations and traces of forest fires here and there, we probably wouldn’t imagine that our forests could some day disappear from the landscape. Yet the reality may be quite different. The issue at stake is not so much the loss of forests, but rather, the loss of intact forests, i.e. forests where no harvesting activities have ever taken place. …Our research in recent years on boreal forest ecology and the impact of forest management shows that we must pay special attention to protecting old-growth forests within intact forests.