• How far is it from your home to the nearest clearcut? And is that clearcut on the list to be sprayed this year? You can check out the online map and zero in on this piece of information if you want. But, let me warn you, you really don’t want to know. For me, the spray planes will be about 2 km away. And the runoff from the sprayed area will go downhill into the brook that runs right by me and hey, guess what else, water from the brook irrigates my vegetable garden. Hmmm…..yum. Not to mention any aerial drift that makes it my way.

    Blog spray MA aug 2016
    Never mind! The government’s new report on glyphosate didn’t look at New Brunswickers’ health data although they acknowledge that there are outstanding health questions. And, according to our 2014 forest strategy, we don’t seem to be worried about the health of all the other species who used to live in the once-upon-a-time-woods-but-now-a-clearcut.

    One of the more amazing things about this whole scenario is that we pay for the spray with our tax dollars. The Auditor-General, in her 2015 report, criticized the government for losing $53.67 million in the last 5 years on its forest operations due to silviculture costs, including spraying. She didn’t have anything good to say about clearcuts and recommended that we do less, not more. She noted that selective and partial cutting methods are recognized as the best management practices and they also protect water, wildlife habitat and preserve biodiversity.

    What is the connection between clearcuts and spray? Clearcuts are sprayed with herbicides and then they are planted in softwood trees. In NB, the natural forest includes both hardwood and softwood trees. After a cut, both types of trees will grow back on their own from the seeds and seedlings that are in the area naturally. Herbicides kill hardwoods, but not softwoods. Softwoods make better lumber so the goal of spraying is to kill the hardwoods - dead in their tracks.

    And what happens in other places? According to the government’s report, glyphosate use here is different from everywhere else. Worldwide, 90% of glyphosate is used in agriculture. In NB, 61% is used in forestry, 27% industrial (think NB Power and DTI), and 11% is agriculture. The report found that 40% of the forest land cut in NB in 2014 was sprayed with glyphosate. The Canadian average is 11%. And Quebec, which cut almost 3 times more woods than NB, did not spray at all!

    Blog2good MA spray aug 2016
    Imagine what might happen if we stopped paying the forest companies to dump this poison on our heads? Would that improve our province’s financial bottomline? Could those millions of dollars be better spent on health and education? I think so!
     

    More info

    Link to the GeoNB online spraying map (When you get into GeoNB, click the okay button on the bottom right. If you click on the hyperlink, you get a forest company perspective video. Once you are on the map, to see the planned spray areas you will need to zoom in and wait a bit.)

    Link to government report on glyphosate and responses from environmental organizations

    Link to November 2015 Statement from groups calling for a new Crown Lands and Forests Act

    Link to Stop Spraying NB

    Link to Conservation Council of NB
 © 2018 NBEN / RENB