(Fredericton)  The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, New Brunswick Chapter (CPAWS NB)  says the new Crown forest management plan announced today by the Minister of Natural Resources is a step backwards for conservation.

Roberta Clowater, Executive Director of CPAWS NB, said, “The new Crown forest plan reduces the overall conservation of wildlife habitats and riverbank buffers.  This is disturbing because we know that wildlife researchers believe that current conservation levels may not be enough to maintain all the kinds of native wildlife throughout the province.  The government has now approved a plan to go even further below what is needed.  This is the wrong direction for conservation.”

Clowater said, “While the plan approves an increase in protected areas from 4% of Crown forest to 8% of Crown forest, this will result in only 4.5% of the province being protected.  This is not even in the ballpark of what is needed to ensure conservation of our rivers, wilderness areas and sensitive wildlife.  New Brunswick will still have the lowest protected areas proportion in Canada, only above PEI.  As well, the new protected areas will come from the currently conserved old forest, so there is actually a net loss in area to conservation.”

“Given concerns about climate changes and uncertainty about how well we are currently conserving habitats and water, we are very concerned about the decision to go from a 5 year plan to a 10 year plan.  We believe this is a risky move, one that locks us into very limited conservation objectives, and doesn’t provide the flexibility to improve conservation for another decade.”

“CPAWS NB appreciates that the Minister took the time to review the forest plan approved by the previous government, which would have severely rolled back conservation on public land.  We’re pleased that the Minister consulted widely with the conservation community, and recognized the value of habitat conservation as in important factor in his considerations,” noted Clowater.

CPAWS had recommended that at least 17% of Crown land (8.5% of the province), including the largest patches of old forest, be designated by 2015 in permanent protected areas, where no logging or mining would take place.  This amount would move us closer to the level in other provinces, where the average amount of land protected is nearly 9%.

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Contact:

Roberta Clowater, 506-452-9902; cpawsnb{at}nb.sympatico.ca

CPAWS is New Brunswick’s voice for wilderness.  For more information on CPAWS NB and our conservation work, please visit www.cpawsnb.org

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Action Alerts

ACTION ALERT: Reinstate funding to the Canadian Environmental Network

Friday, 03 February 2017
by Raissa Marks
The Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks need your help!

Historically, the Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks including the NBEN received annual core funding from the Government of Canada. This was used to facilitate networking on environmental issues across the country, coordinate national and provincial issue-based caucuses, coordinate ENGO participation in federal public consultation processes, and maintain open lines of communication between ENGOs and the federal government.

In 2011, as part of the across-the-board cuts to civil society organizations by the previous federal government, all federal funding to the RCEN and its provincial affiliate networks was cut. This left the national network and most of the affiliates with functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work.

There is hope that the current government will provide for renewed funding in its upcoming budget. This funding is crucial for the survival of the national network and many of the provincial affiliate networks. A proposal has been submitted. It now needs strong and immediate support from environmental groups and individuals across the country.

This is where you come in!

Please take a few minutes to write to Prime Minister Trudeau and your MP telling them why you value the RCEN, your provincial affiliate network, or environmental networking at the national level in general. Feel free to use the template letter provided below. You can personalize it based on your experience or simply copy and paste.

Trudeau’s email is justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca and you can find your MP’s email here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members

Let’s show our federal politicians that a strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada!

Draft Template Letter:

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

I am writing to ask that annual core funding to the Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) be reinstated.

Historically, the RCEN provided a crucial link between environmental groups across the country, both large and small. This link was vital in helping communities address environmental issues right across the country and ensuring a robust approach to the development of environmental policy in Canada.

Since funding was cut in 2011, the RCEN and most of its provincial affiliate networks have been functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work. This is not acceptable. A strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada. I urge you to reinstate core funding for this crucial work immediately.

Sincerely,

Still Time to Submit Comments - Snowmobile Trail Development up Mount Carleton

Monday, 21 November 2016
by Roberta Clowater, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - New Brunswick Chapter
You can still send in your comments until end of day Nov 21 (Monday) on the environmental assessment report about the proposed snowmobile trail at Mount Carleton Provincial Park. If you're not sure what to say, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - NB Chapter has summarized some of our key messages here: http://cpawsnb.org/images/upload/key_messages_EIA.pdf

Please send comments or questions to: lynn.white@gnb.ca or mail to: Lynn White, Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1.