New Brunswick Forest Products Association Calls on Minister to Act Swiftly on Report

FREDERICTON – The New Brunswick Forest Products Association would like to congratulate the Crown Lands Task Force on the completion of their report, A Path for sustainable economic forest in New Brunswick.

The members of the task force Norm Betts, Andrea Feunekes, and Roger Clinch, have put in many hours conducting consultations, doing research, and writing the report and we thank them for all of their dedication and hard work.

The association will be preparing an official response to report in the coming week. In the interim there are several aspects of the report that should be highlighted.

The New Brunswick Forest Products Association has long called for a growing timber objective to be included, alongside non-timber objectives, in the Crown lands forest management plans. The task force noted that timber objectives are often an afterthought in when preparing forest management plans in New Brunswick, “The Task Force was intrigued to learn that, in the status quo approach to Crown forest planning, non-timber objectives are specified and the timber objective falls out of planning as the residual product, a point the task force believes few New Brunswickers realize.”

Unfortunately, the taskforce did not recommend a specific volume of wood, which is, in our opinion, what defines a timber objective. We, however, recognize and compliment the task force for its recommendation to the Minister to establish an economic goal of achieving $4 billion in forest products shipments, as recommended by Roberts in his 2008 report.

Forestry is a corner stone in the New Brunswick economy, it is the largest exporter in the province, and is the support system for than 20 000 New Brunswick Families. This is why as an industry we believe $4 billion in forest products shipments is an achievable target and working to attain this target in the right path to economic prosperity for New Brunswick.

The NBFPA believes that all future opportunities for the industry and the province lie in a growing wood supply.

“Including a timber objective in forest management plans will allow for the assurance of crown fibre supply,” said Kevin Jewett, Chairman of the New Brunswick Forest Products Association. This will enhance the ability of the forest sector and province to capitalize on the increasing demand for sustainable, green products – both locally and in the global context.”

We support a stable, predictable, and reliable wood flow from both Crown lands and privately wood lots. Both sources of wood are necessary to keep the New Brunswick the stability and growth of the New Brunswick forest industry.

The report did address the relationship and roles of different wood flow sources in New Brunswick. It said, “Without the security of supply that crown wood provides, private industry will not attract the capital to invest and to maintain their production facilities, which in the end are the market for private wood.” This highlights the need for security of supply of all wood sources, balance between crown and private, long term planning and the ability to secure long term investments. As the report stresses transparency, longevity, and certainty are needed in public policy to attract private investment.

We support the concept of a Special Operating Agency and having the working forest managed economic benefit. There are many considerations to the details, but, in principle, this is a right approach to maximize the benefits and economics of crown lands for all New Brunswickers.

The NBFPA believes the first priority is to set a clearly defined timber objective that maintains economic stability in the region while ensuring the diversity of the Acadian forest is maintained. “It all starts with smart policies and a strategic direction set by government, we believe the first step is to define and set a timber growing objective for our crown lands,” said Mark Arsenault, President and CEO. He added that the association is looking to the Minister for a quick response and action on this critical issue.


For more information or comments:
Mark Arsenault
President & CEO
506 452 – 6930