An open letter to Premier David Alward and Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup from New Brunswick scientists and conservationists.
Your government is making important decisions on the amount of land that will exist for wildlife, biodiversity, and clean water in New Brunswick.
Surveys have repeatedly confirmed that these are important issues to the people of New Brunswick. Notwithstanding, the previous government decided to decrease the amount of conservation forest, from 30 per cent down to 23 to 25 per cent. Almost half of the deer wintering areas were de-listed, even though many species benefit from this habitat. Protected areas will increase, but only to six to eight per cent and even then, the new protected areas were made from forest stands that were already partly-protected.
Overall, there is a net decrease in the amount of protected land. At the same time, government increased the amount of intensive forest practices. Plantations, for example, will go from 12 per cent now to 30 per cent of the public forest in the next 40 years. These are significant changes to public forest.