Green Party leader Jack MacDougall announced today that a Green government would overhaul the 30-year old Crown Lands and Forests Act to create Community Forests within and adjacent to municipalities and First Nations. Rural communities would have the authority to control the use of nearby forest resources and keep a portion of the stumpage fees.
MacDougall said the Greens would establish a New Brunswick Forest Service to manage the public forest in accordance with public objectives. Management responsibilities now lie with companies owning pulp mills in the province, so they receive a 25% reduction on their stumpage fees. This discount would be eliminated to help finance the new Forest Service.
“Clearcutting is a scourge on our province, and we would limit its use to those few instances where it is absolutely the only option,” said MacDougall. “It kills jobs, it kills wildlife and it kills hope,” he said. “Nor can our woodlot owners compete against clearcut wood from Crown land. We will stop damaging their markets with cheap clearcut wood from the public forest.”
Green Party candidates Jimmy Lawlor running in Upper Miramichi and Tegan Wong-Dougherty running in Carleton will be hosting public forums on community forestry Friday evening.