Nova Scotia announced last week that they will no longer fund herbicide spraying of their forest and they will reduce the proportion of wood harvested by clearcutting to no more than 50 per cent over a five-year period.
In September, Prince Edward Island announced it will pursue Forest Stewardship Council certification for all of its public forest.
The Conservation Council feels New Brunswick should follow Nova Scotia and P.E.I. and move away from destructive forestry. New Brunswickers have repeatedly told our government they want to save animal populations decimated by overcutting, to stop the damage to our rivers and lakes, and to diversify our forest-based economy. The former Graham government announced a new forest strategy for 2012 that was widely seen as destructive to the health and resilience of New Brunswick’s forest ecosystems and forest-dependent communities. Commitments were made to triple the area of plantations and to expand herbicide spraying over our public forest at public expense. With approximately 90 per cent of its forested land under public ownership, Quebec listened to public concerns and banned herbicide spraying of its public forest in 2001.
More than 3,500 people have signed a petition against spraying New Brunswick’s public lands.
Will the new Alward government listen to the concerns of New Brunswickers and act on moving away from clearcutting and herbicide spraying?
Tracy Glynn is the Acadian Forest Campaign Director at the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.