• OBITUARY OF THE ACADIAN FOREST

    OBITUARY OF THE ACADIAN FOREST - With great sadness we mourn the sudden, tragic death of more than 12,600 acres/year of Acadian Forest which, until this year, had been placed in the care of its Trustee, the Province of New Brunswick, for heritage conservation purposes. The death was caused by a routine case of what the Province of New Brunswick calls “carefully managed clear cutting." The amount cut is equivalent to cutting Mactaquac Provincial Park 10 times every year and for the next 25 years.

    This part of New Brunswick's forest had been entrusted to the Province for perpetual care by rural and urban residents alike for the benefit of all generations. Felled by the tens of thousands, primarily along rivers and streams, the premature and suspicious death means this forest will no longer be able to provide much needed water flow, temperature and flood control.

    Along with more severe soil erosion and increased flooding in its communities, this tragic 'death by clear cutting' will further reduce fish populations, notably that of the pride of New Brunswick rivers, the Atlantic Salmon. As well, thousands of deer and countless other species of animals and plants associated with Old Growth Forests will now die because the shelter and food they need to survive that had been provided by the forest was, of course, also destroyed by the clear cut.

    The Acadian Forest is survived by a very distant relative, the Tree Plantation, unable to provide the same type of life-giving function of its now dead relative. Meanwhile, yet another 'unnatural death by clear cut' in New Brunswick is prompting calls for an inquest into what has been called the reckless endangerment of all the New Brunswick Forests by their Trustee, the Province. In a stunning admission, the Province of New Brunswick has admitted to openly colluding with serial clear cutters. Adding to the concern is the fact that the Forest estate was stripped of assets by 'serial clear cutters' before its death and so left nothing to the residents of New Brunswick.

    The dead forest, more than 10,000 years old and now gone forever, was predeceased by northern cod stocks off the Atlantic coast who also fell victim to "careful management" by their Trustees.

    In lieu of flowers and other tokens of mourning for this beloved member of New Brunswick's Natural Family, letters, e-mails, tweets and other expressions of outrage directed to Premier Brian Gallant, Natural Resources Minister Denis Landry, and your MLA are requested.

    Rest in peace Acadian Forest.
  • Take Action: Use of public land against the public’s wishes

    Public Forest Conservation Campaign – Fall 2011

    The provincial government will be deciding this fall whether to go ahead with the previous government’s plan for public forest use and conservation. The plan that was on the table would decrease the amount of forest that is managed specifically to conserve deer wintering habitat, old forests and stream bank buffer zones.

    Based upon what we have learned from the Department of Natural Resources, this could mean a reduction of as much as 25% (one quarter) of some of these habitats. At the same time, the amount of plantations on public land would be increased to 28% of Crown forest.

    The new Minister of Natural Resources has announced he will re-examine the previous plan this fall, and will announce a new forest plan after December.

    New Brunswickers have rejected this before

    The majority of the public told the Select Committee on Wood Supply in 2004 that they do not want fish and wildlife habitat to be sacrificed to increase wood supply. The Select Committee rejected industry’s request to put a cap on conservation zones, and instead recommended that the amount of clear-cutting be reduced.

    A 2007 survey of the New Brunswick public showed that the overwhelming majority of people surveyed place highest priority on the forest’s protection of fresh water, air and wildlife habitat (Public views on forest management in New Brunswick: Report from a provincial survey).

    Both the Select Committee hearings and the survey of New Brunswickers showed that our citizens expect government to stand up for what the people want, and to work with the natural forest we have.

    The public also expressed they want more say in how forests are managed. Government has still not implemented any real public consultation strategy to involve the public in the public’s forest.

    Will the government listen this time? We think yes.

    We believe there is a real opening for New Brunswickers to speak up on behalf of our forests once again. This is a new government, and the Minister said he wants to hear more from conservationists and First Nations.

    Please write a letter that tells government what is important to you about our forest, and what you expect government to do.

    Send your letter to: Bruce Northrup, Minister of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1, and a copy to your MLA. We can provide a list of MLAs if you are not sure.

    Make a short version of your letter and send it as a letter to the editor to your local newspaper, or one of the daily newspapers.

    If you are part of a community group or NGO that would like to invite one of us to speak to your group on this topic (to answer questions, provide more detail), please contact us, as below.

    For more information, please contact forest@ccnbaction.ca. More detailed information can be found on the following web sites: www.acadianforest.ca; www.cpawsnb.org.

    Prepared by Crown Lands Network steering committee (CCNB Action, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society-NB Chapter, Meduxnekeag River Society, Nature NB, Public for the Protection of the Forests of NB), a caucus of the NB Environmental Network.

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