New Brunswick is taking steps to protect more Crown forest, consult First Nations on forestry management, and allow for uses other than timber harvesting, Natural Resources Minister Mike Holland said Wednesday. Holland announced a long-term strategy for Crown forests that he said will see the percentage of protected Crown forest increase to 30 per cent from 23 per cent. At the same time, Holland said, practices such as herbicide spraying and clear cutting, which the forest industry has used over the past 40 years, will allow cutting to continue at the current rate — or a potentially higher rate — without expanding the area where timber can be harvested intensively. “We’re going to create more opportunity for the industry to benefit and grow from the same footprint,” Holland said, referring to about 20 per cent of Crown forest. …But Green Party Leader David Coon said the new forest strategy is mostly a win for the timber industry.
Additional coverage from Canadian Press: New Brunswick forest strategy lauded for conservation, criticized for lack of tree diversity