Fredericton –Today in the Legislative Assembly, David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South and Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick, will bring his amendments to the Crown Lands and Forests Act forward for Second reading. If passed, Bill 29, An Act to Amend the Crown Lands and Forests Act, will restore fairness to the forestry sector, incorporate First Nations and local communities in decision-making and ensure the long term ecological integrity of our forests.

“New Brunswickers would be appalled to learn that our Crown lands legislation doesn’t address ecological sustainability, fails to acknowledge Aboriginal treaty rights, or ensure fairness for private woodlot owners and independent sawmill operators,” said Coon. “My bill is a first step in addressing some of these glaring gaps in New Brunswick’s Crown Lands and Forests Act.”

In November 2015, 36 provincial organizations representing private woodlot owners, naturalists, conservationists, and recreational hunters and anglers came together with an additional 30 New Brunswick-based scientists and academics asking this government to develop a new Crown Lands and Forests act.

“This coalition of New Brunswickers wanted a new bill to state clear principles for managing public forests,” said Coon. “My bill would add a statement of purpose to the Act and further clarify the responsibilities of the minister in administering the act with the goal of sustaining the ecological integrity of Crown forests and restoring fairness to our forestry sector.”