Mixed Wood Forest
Lorsqu’une forêt est abattue,
est-ce que les gens s’en préoccupent?
À travers le monde, on entend beaucoup parler des espèces en voie d’extinction.
Au Nouveau- Brunswick, nous perdons la forêt acadienne mixte, nos forêts
humides de cèdre , ainsi que nos riches forêts de feuillus des
Appalaches. Bienvenue à la forêt industrielle où, le plus souvent, la
forêt a été coupée à blanc pour en récolter le bois d’oeuvre.
Un nombre croissant de propriétaires de lots boisés et
d'entrepreneurs pratiquent ce que l’on appelle une foresterie
écologique. "La foresterie écologique travaille de concert avec la
nature afin d’atteindre des objectifs économiques, au lieu de l’ignorer
afin de maintenir une forêt industrielle."
Le Conseil de conservation fait campagne pour obtenir une réforme du
système de gestion de nos terres publiques afin qu’il adopte la
foresterie écologique et qu'il prévoit plus de surveillance locale de la
gestion des forêts, tout en fournissant de bien meilleures redditions de
comptes au public sur le processus décisionnel qui affecte les terres
this article /
a Forest Falls,
Does Anyone Care?
Conservation Council of New Brunswick,
a forest falls, does anyone care? There is much talk around the world
about driving species to extinction. In New Brunswick, we are losing
entire biological communities. We are losing the mixed wood Acadian forest
that once dominated large areas of our province. We are also losing our
wet cedar forests and rich Appalachian hardwood forests.
In their place, we are gaining more and more forest dominated by
short-lived early successional species, such as poplar, white spruce,
balsam fir, and the white and grey birches, and we are gaining tree
plantations of black spruce and jack pine.
Welcome to the industrial forest, where more often then not, forests
are levelled to harvest the timber. Akin to draining a lake so you can
scoop up the trout off the bottom, the widespread and repeated use of
clearcutting in New Brunswick is eliminating some forests in favour of
In the industrial forest, not all kinds of forests are created equal.
‘Few species good, many species bad’ could be the slogan of industrial
forestry. The cheapest, fastest and simplest way to harvest timber and
manage the future production of wood fibre is to liquidate what grows and
begin afresh. You can create densely growing tree plantations of the
species which most closely fit the needs of your mill. Or you can tend
what grows back by cutting out what doesn’t suit the fibre
specifications or timber specifications for your mill. In both cases, you
are trying to funnel as much of the energy and nutrients cycling through
the ecosystem into growing the kind of trees that run your mill. What is
the point of wasting energy and nutrients on growing hemlock or
salamanders, when they have no value to you? Make the forest fit the mill.
Welcome to Crown land, the 50% of New Brunswick’s forests held in
trust by the Province of New Brunswick to serve the common good. In a
valiant attempt to hold on to wildlife whose habitat requirements are not
met by the industrial forest, small disposable islands of forest are
retained to provide safe haven for deer, pine marten, pileated woodpeckers
and their ilk. And now we have a network of protected areas to remind us
of the diversity that once characterized our forests and provide living
laboratories to figure out how natural forests work.
The Conservation Council, in collaboration with the Federation of
Woodlot Owners, surveyed a number of private woodlot owners and logging
contractors in 1999, and discovered that Crown lands could be managed much
differently. They could be managed for the full diversity that nature
provides, while providing livelihoods and income from selling pulpwood,
studwood, sawlogs and veneer logs.
A growing number of woodlot owners and contractors are practising what
can be called low impact forestry. As Andrew Clark, a contractor in the
Upper St. John River Valley has written, what we need to do now is manage
the forest for the health and vigour of naturally occurring species and
design an industrial strategy to make best use of, and to maximize
employment from, the products of this natural forest.
Andrew Clark checking
value added in woodlot
Low impact forestry relies on partial cutting systems to both remove
wood for sale and restore the natural health, vigour and diversity of the
forest to produce more wood and a greater diversity of wood products in
the future. It relies on knowledge, experience, skill, and a sense of
stewardship in planning harvests, always with an eye to the future
consequences of these actions in terms of the quantity, quality, and
diversity of trees that will result from the intervention. Low impact
forestry works with nature to attain economic objectives, rather than
keeping it at bay to maintain an industrial forest.
Seeing is believing. Visit the Conservation Council/Federation of
low impact forestry website at www.lowimpactforestry.com.
There you can read the profiles of the contractors and woodlot owners we
visited, and see photographs of their woodlots and management practices.
Even better, take a woodlot tour offered by your local woodlot owner
Should we not expect at least the same level of care, stewardship and
management that a growing number of individual landowners and private
contractors provide for privately-owned land for our public forest lands?
The Conservation Council is campaigning for a reform of our Crown lands
management system, so that it will embrace low impact forestry and more
local control over forest management, while providing for much greater
public accountability in decision-making concerning public forest lands.
You can help by expressing your concerns to your MLA, to the Minister
of Environment, Kim Jardine and to Premier Bernard Lord. They all can be
reached at P.O. 6000, Fredericton, NB
E3B 5H1 or you can send your representative a free fax at the Fax