Forest industry and environmentalists disagree as province moves to protect black ash trees

By Erik White
CBC News
January 2, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

There are an estimated 83 million black ash trees in Ontario, but it has been declared an endangered species because the invasive emerald ash borer. After a two year pause, the provincial government is set to start enforcing protections for black ash this month. The proposal  would only cover healthy trees in areas of the province hit hard by the ash borer. …”Anyone who would suggest that protecting habitat for black ash will help, simply don’t understand the dynamics of forests,” said Ian Dunn, the president and CEO of the Ontario Forest Industries Association. “As we know, it’s not a habitat issue. This is an invasive species issue. This is a forest health issue.” He is particularly concerned by a proposal creating a 30-metre protective buffer around any healthy black ash tree. “That would have catastrophic socioeconomic impacts, not just for forestry, every single activity in the province would be impacted,” he said.

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