FREDERICTON — A broad range of public interest groups and experts in New Brunswick says new legislation is needed to ensure our public forests are being managed to meet the needs of all New Brunswickers.

The group, which includes representatives from wildlife organizations, the scientific community, private woodlot owners, environmental and conservation organizations, is calling for the urgent development of a new Crown Lands and Forests Act.

In a statement sent to the provincial government today, the group says the existing act, which came into law in 1980, fosters an outdated approach to forest management and fails to reflect the interests of the whole province. Forest management has become more complex, and New Brunswickers now expect forests to be managed for water, wildlife, recreation and other uses as well as jobs and revenue.

The statement referenced Auditor General Kim MacPherson’s June 2015 report on forest management, which stated our public forest should be managed for economic, environmental and social values, and highlighted that the province has lost money from the management of public forests for at least the last five years.

The group says new forest legislation should:

(1) State clear principles for managing public forests to protect the range of life in the forest, nature’s benefits, a wide variety of sustainable, forest-based business opportunities, and recreational values all in the context of climate change;

(2) Clarify and reinstate government as the trustee responsible to the public for the stewardship of Crown lands;

(3) Ensure transparency in setting forestry goals and objectives, and in achieving them, including a robust system of public involvement and consultation throughout the process;

(4) Respect the Peace and Friendship Treaties and establish mechanisms for consultation through free, prior, and informed consent with indigenous peoples;

(5) Support diversification and value-added processing within New Brunswick’s forest products sector; and,

(6) Ensure that private woodlots provide a proportional share of the wood supply and promote productivity from private woodlots through stronger management, pricing and marketing measures.

Read the group’s statement and background information here.

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“Our membership is convinced that opening more conservation land to harvesting of trees in sensitive, stream buffers could endanger vulnerable Atlantic salmon populations by damaging the habitats upon which they depend. It is appalling that such a sweeping change to the forest management regime was forced upon us without any discussion with the concerned watershed groups and conservation groups.   We have deepened our commitment to work cooperatively with the provincial government, First Nations, the forest industry, scientists, conservation organizations and other interest groups to better manage our Crown resources,” says Debbie Norton, President of NB Salmon Council.

“What’s really significant here is the broad range of people who are coming together and saying, ‘this act doesn’t work for us anymore — it doesn’t work for the good of the province. Our forests are very special to New Brunswickers, so when this many people and different types of experts are saying something is broken, it’s time to fix it,” says Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

“Naturalists from across New Brunswick are very concerned about the lack of attention the province pays to wildlife and habitat in our public forests. We see the consequences of this every day, we are ready to work with government in developing a new act that better protects New Brunswick nature,” says Vanessa Roy-McDougall, Executive Director of Nature NB.

“NB lags behind all provinces in Canada except PEI when it comes to protecting nature. New legislation could carefully craft new directives about how to balance investments in forest conservation and other economic interests,” says Roberta Clowater, Executive Director of Canadians Parks and Wilderness – New Brunswick.

“The fundamental flaw in the act is that industrial consumers of wood were made managers of crown land and not customers, there are conflicts of interest, that can only be resolved by creating a new CFLA.Wood lot owners believe that the people harvesting crown wood should have a common interest with us in getting fair market value for  logs and other forest products. It is time to correct the mistakes of the past for the good of all N.B.,” says Andrew Clark of the New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners.

“The New Brunswick Wildlife Federation supports the use of public forests in the province to provide a variety of social and economic benefits. However, those uses should not compromise the integrity of natural habitats and biodiversity,” says Charles LeBlanc, President of the New Brunswick Wildlife Federation.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Jon MacNeill, Conservation Council of New Brunswick: 458-8747 | 261-1353 | jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca  

Sabine Dietz, Nature NB: 536-1260 | 536-7560 | sabine.dietz@bellaliant.net (bilingual)

Andrew Clark, New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners: 459-2990 | 324-3380 | andrewclark@xplornet.com

Peter J Cronin, NB Salmon Council: 444-9012 | 238-4616 | pjcronin18@gmail.com

Roberta Clowater, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, NB Chapter: 452-9902 | rclowater@cpaws.org

Rod Currie, New Brunswick Wildlife Federation: 458-5643 | racurrie@nb.sympatico.ca

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Action Alerts

Conserve Our NB

Friday, 09 February 2018
by Nature Trust of New Brunswick

For countless generations, people in New Brunswick have cherished the wildlife and beauty of their natural surroundings. We have adopted many deeply rooted outdoor traditions that take us to the rivers, lakes, wetlands, forests, and coastlines of our beautiful province in all seasons of the year. Help protect the wild places that you love so that your family, children, and grandchildren will be able to enjoy them forever.

Over 95% of New Brunswick is currently unprotected and open to exploitation that could harm wildlife and damage the natural beauty of our province, and we need to act now to change that.

Through the Convention on Biological Diversity, Canada has signed on to conserve 17% of land and freshwater by 2020.  As Canadians, it is our shared responsibility to hold the government accountable to achieving this target. The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is urging you to speak out to your provincial representatives to declare your support for increased land conservation in the province, and encourage them to set set their own conservation goals for the province and develop an action plan to achieve these goalsThrough Pathway to Canada Target 1, an Indigenous Circle of Experts (ICE) has been identified to ensure all elements of the initiative are guided by Indigenous experts across Canada, which should be reflected in New Brunswick’s efforts as well.

A vast majority of Canadians agree that protecting the environment is one of the most important issues currently facing our country. In a recent national conservation survey, 87% of Canadians support increasing the amount of natural areas protected from development, including at national parks. Join the growing movement of people who are speaking out in support of land conservation.

We’ve made it easy for you to take action! It takes less than a minute with our online template to send a letter to your local MLA. To learn more about what you can do to support land conservation, download the Conserve Our NB toolkit.  

Printable pledge link: http://www.naturetrust.nb.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Conserve-Our-NB-Pledge.pdf  Please help by joining the movement and collecting signatures from your corner of the province to show support for increased land and freshwater protection in NB. 

Please return pledge sheets with original signatures to the Nature Trust of New Brunswick office.
Next Deadline: March 13, 2018

By mail:
P.O. Box 603 Station A,
Fredericton, NB, E3B 5A6 

In person: 404 Queen St. 3rd floor,
Fredericton, NB

Have your say on Draft Water Strategy!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017
by Conservation Council of New Brunswick
A Water Strategy for New Brunswick

On October 6, 2017, the department of Environment and Local Government released a draft water strategy for comments. The draft strategy is available on the government website. Comments can be submitted by email to: waterstrategy-strategiedeleau@gnb.ca or by mail to: Department of Environment and Local Government, Policy and Planning Division, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, N.B., E3B 5H1. Comments will be accepted until November 20, 2017.

In order to help groups with their submissions, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, in cooperation with watershed groups, has put together key elements of a watershed strategy and a sample letter to send to the Department.

Summary​ ​of​ ​8​ ​Key​ ​Elements​ ​of​ ​a​ ​Strong​ ​Water​ ​Protection​ ​Strategy

New​ ​Brunswick​ ​deserves​ ​a​ ​water​ ​protection​ ​strategy​ ​that:
    1. is​​ ​​science-based;​ ​(involving​ ​baseline​ ​data,​ ​tracking​ ​and​ ​taking​ ​into​ ​consideration cumulative​ ​impacts,​ ​environmental​ ​flows)
    2. sets​ ​water​ ​quality​ ​standards​ ​within​ ​a​ ​working,​ ​legal​ ​mechanism;
    3. conserves​ ​all​ ​water​ ​within​ ​​watersheds​ ​including​ ​surface​ ​waters​ ​(lakes,​ ​streams,​ ​rivers) and​ ​groundwater,​ ​by​ ​developing​ ​good​ ​conservation​ ​plans,​ ​policies​ ​and​ ​practices,​ ​and uses​ ​the​ ​precautionary​ ​principle​ ​as​ ​a​ ​guiding,​ ​legally​ ​enforceable​ ​tool;
    4. protects​ ​our​ ​marine​ ​coastal​ ​areas​ ​in​ ​law;
    5. has​ ​a​ ​meaningful​ ​form​ ​of​ ​​co-governance​ ​with​ ​First​ ​Nations;
    6. includes​ ​the​ ​development,​ ​implementation​ ​and​ ​enforcement​ ​of​ ​watershed​ ​protection plans,​ ​developed​ ​in​ ​a​ ​transparent​ ​manner,​ ​involving​ ​government,​ ​businesses,​ ​watershed organizations,​ ​farmers,​ ​municipal​ ​officials,​ ​and​ ​citizens;
    7. is​ ​accountable,​ ​which​ ​includes​ ​ongoing​ ​monitoring​ ​and​ ​annual​ ​reporting​ ​to​ ​the​ ​public​ ​on the​ ​progress​ ​of​ ​goals​ ​and​ ​objectives​ ​outlined​ ​in​ ​the​ ​water​ ​protection​ ​strategy;​ ​and,
    8. is​​ ​enforceable​ ​through​ ​a​ ​modern​ ​legal​ ​framework
Sample Letter
 My name is ______, and I am writing to express my support for a strong Water Strategy in New Brunswick.

I live near ______ OR I live in ___________ watershed

Describe your favourite spot to fish/swim/paddle etc.

Share your favourite water memory.

Clean, healthy water is important to me because _____________.

Have you recently experienced a boil water order? Blue-green algae? Extreme weather? Describe what is of concern to you.

I applaud the provincial government for moving forward on its commitment to protecting our water; however I believe the draft strategy does not go far enough to ensure healthy water for my watershed.

We need a water protection strategy that (Insert one or multiple key elements).

I am afraid that if left unattended, my watershed will face ongoing and increasing treats from (pollution, wetland and coastal estuary loss, loss of adequate environmental flow to sustain aquatic life, and increasing climate change impacts such as floods, droughts, and high temperatures.)

Please protect my watershed by implementing a strong water protection strategy with modern legislation that (note key element(s)) to ensure the health of our water and people.

Thank you,
Your name.

For more information, visit the CCNB's website.
Des groupes préoccupés par la faune, la foresterie et la conservation de la nature s’allient avec des scientifiques pour demander une nouvelle loi sur les terres et forêts de la Couronne