Port Blandford Citizens Against Clearcutting receive support from advocacy group
CPAWS appeals to Minister Byrne to work with residents
The Port Blandford Citizens Against Clearcutting group is receiving some help the wilderness protection group Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS).
In a news release issued April 4, the Port Blandford committee says CPAWS Newfoundland and Labrador president Dan Fricken sent a letter on March 29 to Department of Fisheries and Land Resources minister Gerry Byrne asking him to work with the community “to bring about a modified and more forwardlooking approach to forest management in their area.”
The Port Blandford committee was formed to prevent planned clearcutting in the zone 2 forestry area near Port Blandford and the Southwest River Valley.
According to the release from the committee, Fricken noted in his letter to the minister that the Port Blandford Citizens Against Clearcutting group proposed changes to the government’s 2017-2022 forestry management plan to better reflect their values and interests: the tourism, recreation and value-added forest usage on which they depend.
He adds, their proposal for lower impact, smaller scale operations over a longer period of time with ongoing replanting is consistent with Sustainable Forest Management as expressed in the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement of 2010.
The letter was read at a community meeting Wednesday night at the Port Blandford Legion. Committee member Clarence White has worked with CPAWS since the Port Blandford group was formed in late February.
“We need to make everyone aware of how important the Southwest River Valley is to Port Blandford’s economy, as well as to the social values of the people of the area,” says White in the release. “We are so encouraged by CPAWS’ support. We feel it will help us move forward to work with government to stop clearcutting in the area, and to develop a plan that better reflects the needs and vision of this community.”