Northern cities fight for forestry – by Benjamin Aubé (Timmins Daily Press – March 14, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – With changes to Ontario’s forest regulations looming on the horizon, municipalities across the North are intensifying efforts to get the government to hear them out.

Earlier this week, the City of Timmins supported a resolution by the City of Kenora for what an associated report called “real sustainable forest management.”

The Kenora resolution, based on a backgrounder report written by the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) and the Northwestern Ontario Municipalities Association (NOMA), denounces some of the measures of the provincial government’s Endangered Species Act (ESA).

It states that less than half of 1% of Ontario’s forests are harvested each year, and that strict renewal plans must be in place before harvest.

It goes on to read, “Ontario’s forest sector already provides for the needs of species at risk through the Crown Forest Sustainability Act (CFSA), and that the forest sector is required to continuously update their management practices to be consistent with provincial recovery strategies developed under the Endangered Species Act.”

The report recommends the government approve the implementation of a five-year plan proposed by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) to regulate the forest sector based on an approved forest management plan. The plan would recognize the CFSA as “essentially equivalent” to the ESA.

“The forest sector employs over 200,000 hard working Ontarians in over 260 communities across the province,” states the Kenora report.

“In addition, 2013 and 2014 are projected to be critical years for the forest sector as the US economy recovers and demand for wood and paper products increases south of the border.

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