New Brunswick’s plan to strengthen & renew their forest industry
The provincial government of New Brunswick will be taking a series of actions to strengthen and renew the province’s forest industry.
An action plan has been drafted based on recommendations from a stakeholder summit held in November.
Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup announced the following actions:
- setting objectives for private land wood sales. The Department of Natural Resources will facilitate discussions between industry and the New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners to develop clear objectives for private wood sales. This process will include the development of meaningful mechanisms to achieve target sales levels
- creating a Crown land task force to establish timber objectives for New Brunswick’s public forests. It will be established by Jan. 31, 2011, and it will make recommendations to the provincial government by July 1, 2011
- establishing a task force to review and set timber objectives for private lands in New Brunswick. The Private Land Task Force will focus on timber objectives that provide a stable and predictable wood supply from the private woodlot sector. Timber objectives for private lands will be supported by the private land silviculture program. The task force will be established by the end of January 2011, and it will make its recommendations to the provincial government by Dec. 31, 2011
- undertaking an innovation assessment. The Department of Natural Resources and Business New Brunswick will jointly undertake the assessment to review innovation in the forestry sector in other jurisdictions. The review will investigate process and technical opportunities that exist outside of New Brunswick
- identifying areas for industry transition. The departments of Natural Resources, Supply and Services, Business New Brunswick and other departments will review the state of New Brunswick’s forestry sector and identify future areas of transition. This could involve such opportunities as using wood pellets in government buildings and exploring new technologies. The departments of Natural Resources, Supply and Services, Business New Brunswick and other departments will continue to collaborate on the development of a Wood First policy. The provincial government is committed to encouraging the greater use of New Brunswick wood in provincial buildings to support wood producers
- piloting alternative silviculture treatments. The Department of Natural Resources will be more flexible in supporting innovative approaches to silviculture by approving silviculture funding to pilot alternative treatments on Crown and private land
- reviewing the province’s forest management approach during the next six months with the intention of improving the economic return on the provincial government’s investment in forestry. This will involve ways to reduce costs and generate additional revenue for taxpayers
Northrup said the actions are the first step in a process of renewing and strengthening the forest industry as the provincial government feels there are fundamental elements to a healthy and vibrant New Brunswick forestry sector.
In addition to the actions already outlined, he said, the Department of Natural Resources is committed to identifying and setting targets and objectives for many of the key elements that fall within its area of responsibility.
“All of these actions will help create a healthy and vibrant New Brunswick forest sector,” said Premier David Alward. “They will ensure that the fundamentals are in place for the future competitiveness of our forest industry.”
“As one of the largest economics sectors in New Brunswick, the forest industry employed more than 20,000 persons directly and indirectly in 2008 and accounted for almost five per cent of the province’s real gross domestic product,” said Economic Development Minister Paul Robichaud. “The recommendations made at the summit provided our government with options and suggested directions to make the New Brunswick forest sector more efficient and more prosperous.”
The complete report on the summit, including what was discussed, the recommendations made and the provincial government’s response will be released in the new year.
Source: New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources