MNR Proposed Forest Plan reflects unacceptable long-term outcome
A better plan has been proposed
TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2011 /CNW/ - Tembec, a large integrated forest
products company, and CPAWS Wildlands League, a leading conservation
group in Ontario, acknowledge the release of the Long Term Management
Direction (LTMD) for the Abitibi River Forest located in Northeastern
Ontario. The LTMD was recently and voluntarily posted by the Ontario
Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) on the Environmental Registry for a
30-day public comment period that closed September 9. Formal
consultations will continue throughout the following months and into
Tembec and CPAWS Wildlands League agree on a path forward to provide
enduring business certainty and habitat protection for caribou in the
Abitibi River Forest. They also met with local First Nations, mayors
and local councils to build a common vision for the forest and its
waterways. Tembec and CPAWS Wildlands League urge the MNR to build on
the workable plan they jointly submitted some three years ago, which
reflects consensus on both the next ten years and the longer term.
"First of all, we must thank First Resources Management Group, mandated
by MNR, for incorporating some of our advice into the LTMD for the
first ten years," says Janet Sumner, Executive Director, CPAWS
Wildlands League. "We requested logging operations stay out of high
value caribou habitat for the first decade. This decade buys time for
the province to gather population health and population trend data.
These vital ingredients ensure the longer term decisions in the plan
don't compromise caribou, while also maintaining a healthy wood supply
to existing mills over the life of the plan," added Sumner.
"There appears to be sufficient timber for the first ten years, provided
all other crown tenure sources currently utilized by Tembec remain
intact, said Michel Lessard, Tembec Vice President, Forest Resource
Management. Tembec and CPAWS believe the consensus that has been
developed between both organizations should be the basis for government
policy. "Let's build on this consensus to come to an acceptable
solution beyond the next ten years that would bring about economic,
environmental and social balance by implementing a sustainable strategy
and the best recovery plan," he stated.
"Tembec has agreed not to log in high value intact caribou habitat and
to focus on recovery where we have the best chance of caribou habitat
coming back, giving time for the proof of that caribou return. For our
recovery efforts to be effective, we need a real assessment of where
the southern limit of the caribou range for this part of Ontario truly
is," Lessard underlined.
Both groups agree this approach takes into account the needs of
threatened species like caribou, and maintains wood for existing mills
while not expanding the industrial footprint into high value currently
occupied caribou habitat.
The LTMD sets a direction for writing the Forest Management Plan (FMP).
FMPs typically cover a 10-year period and incorporate a vision for
cutblocks over a 140-year time frame. The Abitibi River Forest
encompasses 3.5 million hectares and includes the communities of
Cochrane, Smooth Rock
Falls, Iroquois Falls and Timmins and overlaps with the traditional
territories of at least seven First Nations.
The link to the Registry on the Long Term Management Direction for the
Abitibi River Forest is http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTExMDQx&statusId=MTY2NjMy&language=en
SOURCE CPAWS Wildlands League
For further information:
Anna Baggio - CPAWS 416-453-3285
Linda Coates - Tembec 416-775-2819