The Canadian province of Ontario will permanently protect a gigantic swath of boreal forest in what green group ForestEthics says is the largest conservation deal in Canada’s history and one of the top three forest protection initiatives anywhere, evah. Some 225,000 square kilometers of trees — that’s more than 86,800 square miles in American — will be kept safe from resource exploration and development. The conservation commitment applies to nearly half of Ontario’s boreal forest, which houses more than 200 species of wildlife and sucks up nearly 13.8 million tons of carbon dioxide each year. “It’s unspoiled and undisturbed, and if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s not going to stay that way forever unless we do something,” said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, adding, “We need to prepare for development and plan for it. It’s our responsibility as global citizens to get this right, and to act now.” Wow, foresight! How very refreshing.