Clearcutting could have negative impacts
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.”