[Sust-mar] CCNB CALLS ON PREMIER TO SAFEGUARD FOREST CONSERVATION AREAS
tracy at jatam.org
Tue May 22 10:35:05 EDT 2007
For Immediate Release
May 22, 2007
CCNB CALLS ON PREMIER TO SAFEGUARD FOREST CONSERVATION AREAS
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,"
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
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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