Fire / Feu



qui appartiennent les terres de la Couronne?

Cest au ministre des Ressources naturelles et de lnergie qui lon a confi les terres de la Couronne en fiducie pour quelles soient gres au profit de la population actuelle et des gnrations futures.

Sil advenait que les recommandations du rapport Jaakko-Pyry taient mises en oeuvre, les citoyens nauraient plus un mot dire sur ce que font les entreprises forestires sur les terres de la Couronne pas plus que le gouvernement dailleurs.  Essentiellement, un contrat lierait les mains de tout le monde et seules les entreprises forestires pourraient faire selon leurs fantaisies.

Il est essentiel que le gouvernement ne laisse pas tomber ses responsabilits de fiduciaire et nous devons nous assurer que le gouvernement est conscient et comprend bien les implications de ses responsabilits.  La vigilance des citoyens est indispensable en ce moment!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting facts ...

The 2000 report, Canada's Forests at a Crossroads, states "These corporations - because of the revenues and jobs they control - are in a position to significantly influence provincial forest policies."


The principle of jus publicum maintains that certain resources are of so common a nature that they defy private ownership hence Provincial Crown Lands.

 

Who Owns Crown Lands?
Study would see control of Crown lands ceded to multinational forest companies


Simon J. Mitchell
Falls Brook Centre
June 2003


New Brunswick's Acadian forest is a diverse mix of softwood and hardwood species. It has been the backbone of the economy since the arrival of the Loyalists, with the First Nations sustaining their existence prior to that across the landscape. When the Loyalists first arrived, forested land was cleared for agricultural purposes. Later, forest provided a supply of masts (predominantly Eastern White Pine) for the British Empire merchant ships, and most recently fibre onto the open market.


(photo: Lowimpactforestry.com)

New Brunswick's land base is divided into three categories: private (30%), freehold (22%) and Crown (48%). Private and freehold lands are owned by individuals and corporations and are used exclusively for their own benefit. The people of New Brunswick own the Crown Lands. Six multinational forestry companies have 25 year leases on these lands, which gives them the right to harvest trees for their mills and make profits for their shareholders around the world.

Crown Lands are held in trust on behalf of present and future generations of New Brunswickers by the Department of Natural Resources and Energy. This is legislated in the Crown Lands and Forest Act (1982), where in Section 3(1) it states that the Minister of Natural Resources and Energy has statutory responsibilities to the people of New Brunswick, which makes him or her responsible for the "development, utilizations, protection and integrated management of the resources of Crown Lands..."

The Jaakko Pyry (JPMC) study, New Brunswick Crown Forests: Assessment of Stewardship and Management, was released in November 2002. If the recommendations of this report are implemented, the citizens of New Brunswick will see further control of Crown lands ceded to the St. Anne Nackawic's, UPM-Keymmene's and Nexfor Fraser's of this province. The report recommends:

  • A timber supply objective should be set for each license area that would be binding on the Government and on the licensee.
  • The public should participate in reviewing the management objectives for New Brunswick's Crown lands.
  • DNRE should reduce overlap in management and oversight of Crown lands
  • Special management zones should be critically reviewed and where possible additional harvesting permitted
  • Conservation values of private lands should be taken into account when evaluating the need for set asides and special management on public lands.

Clearcut Road

(photo: Lowimpactforestry.com)


With the exception of the proposed binding agreement, these recommendations are currently being implemented on Crown Lands, namely:

  • Timber supply objectives already exist in the "Vision" document
  • Harvesting in special management zones already occurs, and;
  • Public "participation" in reviewing management objectives.

By formalizing existing systems, Crown Lands will continue to be managed with an industrial approach that benefits the forest industry over the people of New Brunswick.

The concept of a binding agreement offers a guaranteed fibre supply to the forest industry. The implication is that future generations will have no say in what the forest industry does on Crown Land. Not only will the citizens of New Brunswick have no say, but neither will the government. Essentially, a binding agreement will tie everybody's hands, leaving the forest industry to manage as they see fit. Any decision made by the government with respect to economic, social or ecological factors that has implications for timber supply (i.e. lowering the amount of timber available to be cut) would require that the government compensate the forestry corporations for lost revenues. In essence, this means that protected areas, wildlife habitats, recreational trails, sugar bush leases and camp licenses will not be established on Crown Lands in the future. The likelihood of community forestry operations being established, First Nations land tenure issues being resolved or other revenues from Crown Lands being explored are ZERO. The government is currently unable to compensate the forest industry for lost revenue; it is not likely that they will be able to do so in the future.

The binding agreement is the most far reaching recommendation of the Jaakko Pyry report - essentially opening the door for the forest industry to control management and operational aspects of our vast Crown land forest resource. If implemented, in combination with a decrease in departmental rangers, there will be nobody left to police the public trust. Government and the forest industry will be unaccountable to the owners of Crown Lands: the citizens of New Brunswick.


(photo: Lowimpactforestry.com)

Where do we go from here? First, we need to ensure that government is aware and understands the implications of this approach. Second, government must assume their responsibility as Crown Land trustee and solicit broad stakeholder consultation and support for any changes to Crown Land and how it's managed. Lastly, we need to be vigilant about this issue, to ensure there is a diverse and healthy Acadian Forest in New Brunswick available to support its citizens, rather than a select group of forestry companies.