Tracy Glynn tracy at jatam.org
Tue May 22 10:35:05 EDT 2007

For Immediate Release

May 22, 2007


Fredericton - Today, on the UN's International Day for Biological 
Diversity, CCNB is calling on Premier Shawn Graham to safeguard the forest 
conservation areas on public land that the Self-Sufficiency Task Force 
wants to slash.

As a signatory to the U.N. Convention on Biodiversity, Canada is obligated 
to curb biodiversity loss by 2010. These efforts will be undermined in New 
Brunswick if the Self-Sufficiency Task Force recommendations to cut forest 
conservation areas from 30% of the public forest to 20% are adopted, 
according to CCNB.

"The Self-Sufficiency Task Force's recommendation would actually have the 
effect of cutting those areas of public land where clearcutting is 
prohibited to conserve biodiversity and wildlife habitat by a whopping two 
thirds," said David Coon, Policy Director for CCNB. "The best science we 
have suggests these areas actually need to be larger to be as effective as 
possible. Slashing them by two thirds would be an unmitigated disaster," 
said Coon.

Of the 30% of public land that is designated as forest conservation area, 
only 4% are protected areas where no logging is permitted. The remaining 
26% is open to logging on an environmentally sustainable basis - partial 
cutting rather than clearcutting. After you account for watercourse buffers 
and areas that are too steep to log, clearcutting is excluded from 15% of 
the public forest which is designed to conserve wildlife habitat and 
biodiversity. It is these areas that will be decimated if the 
Self-Sufficiency Task Force recommendation is implemented - plummeting from 
the current 15% to 5% of the public forest.

"To allow the pulp companies to clearcut in two thirds of the habitat and 
biodiversity conservation areas in the public forest would be a windfall 
for them, as this is where the last big wood is found," said Coon. 
"Selection cutting can maintain the utility of these areas for 
conservation, but it costs the companies more to log in this fashion so 
they'd rather be given the go-ahead to clearcut."

"The Premier must reject this big industry-driven recommendation as it 
would be disastrous to the biodiversity and health of our Acadian forest 
ecosystems," urged Tracy Glynn, CCNB's Acadian Forest Campaigner. "If  the 
companies choose not to cut on a selective basis in these conservation 
areas, then the government should consider making alternative arrangements 
as part of a wider community forestry arrangement. Such an approach for 
forest-dependent communities would include restoration and conservation, 
and support for more diverse timber and non-timber products."

In 2004, the provincial government adopted the recommendations of the 
Legislature's Select Committee on Wood Supply concerning the future of the 
public forest. This report was based on public hearings across the 
province. It recommended reducing the current level of clearcutting of our 
public forest by 10-15% by 2007 and rejected reducing the amount of 
conservation areas.


David Coon, Policy Director, 506 466-4033, 506 461-1023 (cell)
Tracy Glynn, Acadian Forest Campaigner, 506 458-8747, 
forest at conservationcouncil.ca

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