Clearcut­ting could have neg­a­tive im­pacts

Northern Pen - - EDITORIAL -

How­ever, there is some dis­sent from this po­si­tion.

Glenn Payne, a forestry in­struc­tor at Col­lege of the North At­lantic in Cor­ner Brook, told the North­ern Pen in its Oct 25 edi­tion that clearcut­ting would be the most en­vi­ron­men­tally safe method of har­vest­ing the for­est.

Payne felt do­ing selec­tive cut­ting, as an al­ter­na­tive, was “highly in­ap­pro­pri­ate” for New­found­land forests and, more broadly, the bo­real for­est in gen­eral.

What does Ac­tive En­ergy have in mind?

Le­an­der Pil­grim started ex­press­ing his con­cerns af­ter it was re­ported that Ac­tive En­ergy Group – a Lon­don, UK-based com­pany – was in­ter­ested in har­vest­ing the Great North­ern Penin­sula’s forests to use for its wood pel­let prod­uct.

Ax­el­rod says Ac­tive En­ergy’s pro­posed har­vest, from its press re­lease, isn’t huge but the ques­tion is how big its im­pact would be on the penin­sula given how small the for­est is.

As to whether the op­er­a­tion will un­der­take clearcut­ting on the Great North­ern Penin­sula, Ac­tive En­ergy CEO Richard Spinks did not say for sure.

He told the North­ern Pen that to de­ter­mine the type of har­vest­ing – clearcut or selec­tive cut – Ac­tive En­ergy Group/ Tim­ber­lands In­ter­na­tional Ltd (AEG/TIL) will fol­low the guide­lines and the ro­ta­tion set in the For­est Man­age­ment Agree­ment and the op­er­a­tional five-years forestry plan as agreed with and ap­proved by the New­found­land and Labrador Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Land Re­sources.

He said the type of cut would de­pend on the age/ro­ta­tion and health of the for­est.

Spinks added that AEG/ TILNL will also have a re-plant­ing/re-foresta­tion pro­gram for the ar­eas sub­ject to the cut to main­tain and grow the cur­rent in­ven­tory level of the for­est in District 17 and 18.

Ac­cord­ing to an emailed state­ment from the Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Land Re­sources Nov. 3, “the depart­ment is con­tin­u­ing to eval­u­ate de­tails of the AEG pro­posal sub­mit­ted to the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment.

“No de­ci­sions have been made at this point.”

Re­gard­ing har­vest­ing tech­niques, the depart­ment “fol­lows en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion guide­lines for eco­log­i­cally based for­est re­source man­age­ment, which guide the style of har­vest­ing em­ployed in forestry op­er­a­tions in the prov­ince.” “Har­vest­ing meth­ods are also in­flu­enced by ge­og­ra­phy, en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions and wildlife habi­tat re­ten­tion, which re­sults in har­vest open­ings of var­i­ous sizes and con­fig­u­ra­tions.”

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