Commentary - February 27, 2014
Scientists Concerned Upcoming New Brunswick Forestry Plan will Eliminate too Much Habitat

We are writing as a collective of concerned scientists and professionals who have spent many decades studying the needs of wildlife, healthy forests, and rivers in New Brunswick. Less than two years ago (March 2012), the Minister of Natural Resources announced a new 10-year Crown forest management plan that, while not acceptable to all, at least attempted to hold the line on keeping a minimum amount of habitat for wildlife, and appropriate buffers along rivers and streams. This was a plan that the Department developed after a year of consultation with wildlife researchers, forest companies, hunting and angling groups, environmental groups and First Nations. It was supposed to have set the amount of forest managed for conservation goals at 28% of the public forest. This was the bare minimum deemed necessary by government wildlife managers to make sure we have enough old forest to maintain healthy populations of our wildlife. The 2012 plan would have reduced clearcutting in certain Acadian mixed-forests, and reduced the amount of wood logged from hardwood stands to make sure there will be enough hardwoods to log in the future.

We thought the 2012 plan was the path forward. Now we are deeply concerned to learn that a new plan has been in development behind the scenes, government is apparently ignoring previous recommendations from their own staff, and did not ask for input or feedback from wildlife researchers or others who could speak on behalf of the public’s stated priority values - water, wildlife and basic sustainability of the forest.

The Premier in his 2014 State of the Province address, and Minister of Natural Resources in recent media interviews, both alluded to a new strategy that will allocate more wood to the province’s mills. Having not been part of the discussions that led to these decisions, we cannot be sure where this wood will come from. Since all Crown forest is already allocated, we are concerned the wood will come from buffer strips on brooks and wetlands, from deer yards, and from the small pockets of forest used to maintain wildlife and old forest. We are left to wonder if the wood will come from these previously conserved habitat areas, taking us below the minimums that are deemed necessary for wildlife and the health of our rivers. If this is what is being proposed, we believe it would be an irresponsible plan that will have serious negative consequences for the sustainability of our public forests for a long time to come.

Roberta Clowater (Executive Director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society-NB Chapter); Dr. Tom Beckley (Professor, Forestry and Environmental Management, UNB); Dr. Tony Diamond (Research Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Biology Dep’t and Faculty of Forestry & Environmental Management, UNB); Dr. Graham Forbes (Director, New Brunswick Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Centre, Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, Faculty of Science, UNB); Dr. Roger Roy (Professor and Interim Director, School of Forestry, UdeM); Dr. Marc-André Villard (Professor, Biology, Université de Moncton).

www.cpawsnb.org



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Action Alerts

ACTION ALERT: Reinstate funding to the Canadian Environmental Network

Friday, 03 February 2017
by Raissa Marks
The Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks need your help!

Historically, the Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks including the NBEN received annual core funding from the Government of Canada. This was used to facilitate networking on environmental issues across the country, coordinate national and provincial issue-based caucuses, coordinate ENGO participation in federal public consultation processes, and maintain open lines of communication between ENGOs and the federal government.

In 2011, as part of the across-the-board cuts to civil society organizations by the previous federal government, all federal funding to the RCEN and its provincial affiliate networks was cut. This left the national network and most of the affiliates with functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work.

There is hope that the current government will provide for renewed funding in its upcoming budget. This funding is crucial for the survival of the national network and many of the provincial affiliate networks. A proposal has been submitted. It now needs strong and immediate support from environmental groups and individuals across the country.

This is where you come in!

Please take a few minutes to write to Prime Minister Trudeau and your MP telling them why you value the RCEN, your provincial affiliate network, or environmental networking at the national level in general. Feel free to use the template letter provided below. You can personalize it based on your experience or simply copy and paste.

Trudeau’s email is justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca and you can find your MP’s email here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members

Let’s show our federal politicians that a strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada!

Draft Template Letter:

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

I am writing to ask that annual core funding to the Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) be reinstated.

Historically, the RCEN provided a crucial link between environmental groups across the country, both large and small. This link was vital in helping communities address environmental issues right across the country and ensuring a robust approach to the development of environmental policy in Canada.

Since funding was cut in 2011, the RCEN and most of its provincial affiliate networks have been functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work. This is not acceptable. A strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada. I urge you to reinstate core funding for this crucial work immediately.

Sincerely,

Still Time to Submit Comments - Snowmobile Trail Development up Mount Carleton

Monday, 21 November 2016
by Roberta Clowater, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - New Brunswick Chapter
You can still send in your comments until end of day Nov 21 (Monday) on the environmental assessment report about the proposed snowmobile trail at Mount Carleton Provincial Park. If you're not sure what to say, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - NB Chapter has summarized some of our key messages here: http://cpawsnb.org/images/upload/key_messages_EIA.pdf

Please send comments or questions to: lynn.white@gnb.ca or mail to: Lynn White, Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1.