“...Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” by Margaret Mead

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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

10  Discovering Enough:  Sustainable Forestry

The same concepts for local food production are appropriate to New Brunswick forestry, i.e. smaller woodlot owners and mills using selective harvesting of multiple tree species for local consumption versus mega-scale export forestry based upon mono-species plantations with clear cut harvesting.  Forestry products are an important part of the New Brunswick economy, but limits of what is enough for everyone need to be developed and publicly accepted. 

The recent forestry bill passed by the Progressive Conservative party and under review by the recently elected Liberal party gave an ever increasing amount of control of New Brunswick’s public forests to one corporation.  Recently, the citizens of New Brunswick have actually been paying this corporation to harvest the public forests in return for some jobs and corporate profits.

Is too much interest being paid to the exporting of forest products over local use and the integrity of the forestry eco-systems in general?  There should be limits to the availability of public forests for exportation and corporate profits.  The naturally sustainable Acadian Forest ecosystem is being lost to clear cutting and plantation forestry.  A local forestry economy to provide affordable housing and wood products for local consumption in addition to and separate from the corporate export economy could provide benefits to NB citizens utilizing local natural resources.

Many different sectors of the NB economy depend on sound management of our forests, but are all sectors being heard?  GNB forestry policies have defaulted to corporate managed forestry with little to no opportunity to other sectors of the economy. Private wood lots, community forests, community owned wood product industries, tourism and recreation also need to be included in establishing a sustainable forestry policy to preserve and nourish the Acadian forests for current and future generations. Where practiced, community forestry has proven to to provide a more sustainable approach producing better returns and higher employment.  

To discover more about this important issue and its potentials for New Brunswick, 

visit Is Our Forest Really Ours. In particular, view Episode 20 which highlights a community owned mill and product industry in Quebec.

One of a series of personal opinion pieces as to where New Brunswick could head in the future.  With the effects of global climate change becoming more obvious each day and the need to leave fossil fuels in the ground becoming more imperative, these opinion pieces will put forth alternate ideas for job creation within a sustainable economy.  
Richard Lachance
Cocagne NB

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