À qui appartiennent les terres de la Couronne?
des Ressources naturelles et de l’Énergie
les terres de la Couronne en fiducie pour qu’elles
au profit de la population actuelle et des générations
advenait que les recommandations du rapport Jaakko-Pöyry
mises en oeuvre, les citoyens n’auraient
plus un mot à
dire sur ce que font les entreprises forestières
sur les terres de la Couronne pas plus que le gouvernement d’ailleurs.
Essentiellement, un contrat lierait les mains de tout le monde et
seules les entreprises forestières
pourraient faire selon leurs fantaisies….
est essentiel que le gouvernement ne laisse pas tomber ses responsabilités
de fiduciaire et nous devons nous assurer que le gouvernement est
conscient et comprend bien les implications de ses responsabilités.
La vigilance des citoyens est indispensable en ce moment!
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
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
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 Pöyry (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
- 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.
With the exception of the proposed binding agreement, these
recommendations are currently being implemented on Crown Lands,
- Timber supply objectives already exist in the "Vision"
- Harvesting in special management zones already occurs, and;
- Public "participation" in reviewing management
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 Pöyry 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
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.