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NB announces actions to strengthen forestry

Dec. 20, 2010, Fredericton – The New Brunswick government will be taking actions to strengthen and renew the province's forest industry.


December 20, 2010
By NB Ministry of Natural Resources

Dec. 20, 2010, Fredericton – The New
Brunswick government will be taking actions to strengthen and renew the
province's forest industry.

"These actions result directly from the recommendations made at the recent
forestry summit,'' says Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup. The summit,
held November 19, 2010, involved about 100 participants from stakeholder
groups, industry, First Nations, and government and non-governmental
organizations. Discussions focused on three areas: Crown and private land
timber supply, innovation in the forest industry, and establishing timber
objectives.

Northrup announced the following actions:

  • Setting objectives for private land wood sales. The Department of Natural
    Resources will facilitate discussions between industry and the New Brunswick
    Federation of Woodlot Owners to develop clear objectives for private wood
    sales. This process will include the development of meaningful mechanisms to
    achieve target sales levels;
  • Creating a Crown land task force to establish timber objectives for New
    Brunswick's public forests. It will be established by January 31, 2011, and it
    will make recommendations to the provincial government by July 1, 2011;
  • Establishing a task force to review and set timber objectives for private lands
    in New Brunswick. The Private Land Task Force will focus on timber objectives
    that provide a stable and predictable wood supply from the private woodlot
    sector. Timber objectives for private lands will be supported by the private
    land silviculture program. The task force will be established by the end of
    January 2011 and will make its recommendations to the provincial government by
    December 31, 2011;
  • Undertaking an innovation assessment. The Department of Natural Resources and
    Business New Brunswick will jointly undertake an assessment to review
    innovation in the forestry sector in other jurisdictions. The review will
    investigate process and technical opportunities that exist outside of New
    Brunswick;
  • Identifying areas for industry transition. The departments of Natural Resources,
    Supply and Services, Business New Brunswick, and other departments will review
    the state of New Brunswick's forestry sector and identify future areas of
    transition. This could involve opportunities such as using wood pellets in
    government buildings and exploring new technologies. The departments of Natural
    Resources, Supply and Services, Business New Brunswick, and other departments
    will continue to collaborate on the development of a Wood First policy. The
    provincial government is committed to encouraging the greater use of New
    Brunswick wood in provincial buildings to support wood producers;
  • Piloting alternative silviculture treatments. The Department of Natural
    Resources will be more flexible in supporting innovative approaches to
    silviculture by approving silviculture funding to pilot alternative treatments
    on Crown and private land; and
  • Reviewing the province's forest management approach during the next six months,
    with the intention of improving the economic return on the provincial
    government's investment in forestry. This will involve ways to reduce costs and
    generate additional revenue for taxpayers.

Northrup says these actions are the first step in a process of renewing and
strengthening the forest industry, as the provincial government feels there are
fundamental elements to a healthy and vibrant New Brunswick forestry sector. In
addition to the actions already outlined, he says, the New Brunswick Department
of Natural Resources is committed to identifying and setting targets and
objectives for many of the key elements that fall within its area of
responsibility.

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A complete report on the summit, including what was discussed, the
recommendations made, and the provincial government's response, is available
online at the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources: www.gnb.ca/0079/promo/ForestrySummit-e.asp.


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