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

Call for nominations for the NBEN Awards - 2017

Monday, 31 July 2017
by Annika Chiasson
Every day people and environmental groups take action to protect and restore New Brunswick’s environment.  

Over this past year, who stands out in your mind? 

We invite you to nominate a group or individual deserving of one of the NBEN awards which will be presented in style at Eco-Confluence 2017.  Send an e-mail to nben@nben.ca describing your nominee’s work.  Nominees must be members or associates of the NBEN*.

Nomination deadline is September 13, 2017.

*Current NBEN Steering Committee members are not eligible for awards.

Resquest for letters of support: Proposed name restoration for the Wolastoq

Sunday, 30 April 2017
by Alma
 The Wolastoq Grand Council supports our YOUTH GROUPS on their proposal for changing the name of the Saint John River, back to it’s original and proper name; Wolastoq (the beautiful & bountiful river ). We see this as a good place to begin the process of implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; which was strongly recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  

Proposed Name Restoration: 
  • The name Saint John River back to it’s original indigenous name -  Wolastoq
Purpose: 
  • Wolastoq; (the beautiful river) is the original Indigenous name of the River.
  • Wolastoq is the name sake for the real identity and unique nationality of our People; the Wolastoqiyik.  Respecting the rights of Wolastoqiyik.
  • Scientific studies have now confirmed, what our people have always known; “that water has memory”.    This river will remember its original name.   
  • This deed would begin a process for reconciliation with a show of goodwill on the part of the Government of New Brunswick, and would;
  • Create opportunities for discussions and engagement around indigenous issues.
  • Wolastoqiyik have a right to retain their own names for communities, places and persons. 

The Wolastoq Grand Council is requesting support letters from our Allies; as individuals, organizations, and/or Groups.  For more information, contact Alma Brooks, 506-478-1256, almabrooks.26@outlook.com

Please send support letters to the following addresses:

The Wolastoq Grand Council,
Grand Chief; Ron Tremblay
50 Maliseet Drive
Fredericton, NB, E3A 2V9


David Coon
Office of the Green Party Leader
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB, E3B 5H1

Additional Information

  1. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Carolyn Bennett; Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada; has assured the Wolastoq Grand Council in writing that; - “Canada is committed to a renewed nation to nation relationship with indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.”   Carolyn Bennett also stated that ; - “Achieving full reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people in Canada is at the heart of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s mandate, and that the government of “Canada will engage with Indigenous peoples, provinces, territories, and Canadians on how to implement the Declaration in accordance with Canada’s Constitution”.

  1. Andrea Bear-Nicholas
As described in a 2011 article by Andrea Bear-Nicholas, Maliseet historian:  
  1. The first step in the dispossession for the indigenous peoples in the Maritimes began in earnest immediately after the British capture of the French fort at Louisbourg in 1758.   Where place names and names of First Nations in the entire region had been inscribed on earlier maps; both would soon be erased by colonial cartographers in a process described by J. B. Harley as cartographic colonialism.  The justifications for these erasures was found in the doctrine of discovery.   
  2. The second step in the dispossession of indigenous peoples in Nova Scotia began immediately after signing of the Treaty of 1760 by Passamaquoddy and Maliseet Leaders, and later the signing of the Mascarene Treaty.   Although there was no surrender of any lands in either of these Treaties; 1.5 million acres of Maliseet land which outlawed the surveying and expropriation of lands not yet ceded by the indigenous inhabitants or purchased by the Crown.    


  3. United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:   Articles 1, 2, 6, & 13   support and provide a guide for the implementation leading to reconciliation.

As a distinct ‘people,’ we have a right to our accurate identity and nationality.
  • Indigenous Peoples have the right to the full enjoyment as a collective or as individuals of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and international human rights law. 
  • Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin and identity. 
  • Every indigenous individual has the right to their own nationality. 
  • Indigenous people have a right to retain their own names for communities, places and persons.  “States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected”.