Right decision, finally, on Endangered Species Act – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily Press – June 4, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Environmental lobby groups would have you believe the government has given free rein to the forest industry and that endangered species are now at risk of extinction.

The outcry by environmental groups over the province’s decision to harmonize requirements under the Endangered Species Act and the Crown Forest Sustainability Act should come as no surprise.

After all, special interest groups had a free hand in drafting the original ESA. In fact, environmental groups boasted in an Ivey Foundation report about how effective they were in limiting the industry’s input.

Credit the Ontario government for recognizing the redundancies and myopic slant of the regulations that ignored impacts on resource industry-dependent communities.

Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with forest management process knows the industry does not have the free rein to clearcut and destroy wildlife habitat. Despite environmentalists’ claims, there are Crown forests that have seen substantial reductions in available fibre due largely to caribou conservation efforts. These have all been implemented through a conventional forest management planning process.

What the province has done is recognize this existing system is achieving the goals of the ESA without the overlap of regulations.

When we interviewed, Anne Bell, director of conservation and education at Ontario Nature, who decried the government’s decision, we asked her about the fact the industry harvests less than one half of 1% of Ontario forests per year. For every tree cut, three more are planted.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.timminspress.com/2013/06/04/right-decision-finally-on-endangered-species-act