Critics cut up forest strategy meant ‘for everyone’

By John Chilibeck  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter New Brunswick’s Progressive Conservative government has released a new forest strategy that it says tries to please everyone, including conservationists, wood-cutting firms, recreational enthusiasts and First Nations. But the plan announced Wednesday quickly splintered between environmentalists, who said it didn’t go far enough, and Indigenous spokespeople who argued the government’s consultations had been meaningless. The powerful forest industry was notably silent, saying it needed more time to digest the strategy’s contents. At its centrepiece is an increase in planting and cutting on existing softwood tree plantations, while reducing the number of clearcuts in natural, Acadian mixed forests. It will also steer the industry away from planting so many balsam firs in the south, New Brunswick’s official provincial tree, in favour of introducing more…

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