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Dryden Trappers Council

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Fur Trade History

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The fur trade is part of Canada’s resource-based economy and one of Canada’s oldest and most historically significant industries.  Four hundred years following its start, the commercial fur trade continues to utilize a plentiful, sustainable Canadian resource in a responsible manner and is an important contributor to the Canadian economy and ecology.

Canada’s fur trade contributes more than $800 million to the Canadian economy.  Canadian trappers and fur farm owners earn more than $120 million annually in pelt sales.

Provincial and territorial governments receive nearly $1.6 million in annual royalty and license revenues paid by fur trappers.  Of this, 42% goes directly to government managed wildlife habitat conservation programs.

Canada’s most important fur markets are China, Russia and the Ukraine, Europe (Italy, Germany, UK, Greece, France, Spain), Turkey and Korea.

The Canadian fur trade directly employs 70,000 Canadians.

Roughly 250 families, or 750 individuals and family members per federal riding are directly reliant on the fur trade for their income.

Full and part-time employment in various fur trade sectors is additional to spin-off employment in the supply and services sector, including feed and equipment suppliers, veterinary and research services, by-product production, marketers, business services, transport, crafts and design sectors, fuel, food, building products, etc.

“It is recognized that on the same area of land over a 100 year time period, the value of fur production is higher than forestry value.”

Soure:  Fur Institute of Canada

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources there are approximately 140 registered licensed trappers and helpers in the Dryden District alone.

These trappers contribute to the local economy by purchasing goods and services used in the operation of their traplines.  As well, they contribute to the sustained and responsible management of furbearers in the region, reducing over-population that results in disease and helping to maintain existing infrastructure such as roads and bridges used by tourist operators, mining and forestry companies and the general public.

For further information, please see the following resources:

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