May 6, 2014


Much of the controversy around the Forest Strategy announced in March by the government concerns reductions in protected areas and the effect of these reductions on wildlife. At the same time, a  significant part of the province’s forests, the 30% owned by 40,000 New Brunswick families, has  wood available for sale that industry is not buying.  The government has missed a real opportunity to limit the controversy over encroachment on protected areas and at the same time, to re-establish a balance between Crown Land and woodlot owners in how they share the market for the timber used by the province’s forest products industry.

Each year, the government publishes a breakdown of the origin of wood used by the forest industry in New Brunswick: how much came from Crown Land, industrial land, woodlot owners, and imports. We have taken a careful look at these figures. The story they tell is of a serious detrimental  imbalance.

For 30 years after the government first declared the principle of a fair balance between Crown Land and woodlot owners (1974-2004), woodlot owners sold industry a remarkably stable share of the wood it used: on average, 25% (+/- 4%), for all but 2 of those 30 years, when it reached 31%. The actual volume went up and down somewhat reflecting good and bad years for the industry, but it was also very stable: between 2 and 3 million m3 per year. That’s a lot of wood: an average-sized truck load is about 30 m3, so two million m3 is the equivalent of more than 65,000 truckloads, worth about $100 million.

Then, in 2005, things changed drastically for woodlot owners. Not only did the volume of sales drop as mills closed in the midst of a severe crisis in the industry. The woodlot owners’ market share percentage  dropped by over half, to less than 12% on average, and it has stayed at that level ever since. This has been a loss of $50 million or more annually for much of rural New Brunswick. During these years, Crown wood sales showed barely any decline in volume at all, and it did this by displacing woodlot owner wood and increasing its share of the market to more than 50%, for the first time since 1974.  

Yes, we are aware that the industry has been through some tough years and we share the relief felt by many New Brunswickers that it is now seeing better days. Our point is: woodlot owners took nearly the whole brunt of the downturn and even with a major market upturn in the industry in recent years, they are still stuck at 12% of the market. Even imports of wood from outside the province have supplied a bigger share of industry’s needs in five of the nine years since 2005, according to the government’s figures.

The problem did not start with the present government, but it has not fixed it either. The new Forest Strategy was a great opportunity to do so. Industry was asking for big concessions. What better time to re-establish the long standing requirement to strike a fair balance between the  volume of timber the industry gets from Crown Land and the amount it buys from woodlot owners?

We urge the government to take advantage of this opportunity and at the same time, do the right thing: fix this problem.

Signed by:
Former Ministers of Natural Resources:
Morris Green (Tel: 365 7847)
Jeannot Volpé (Tel: 740 4232)
Past Presidents, NB Federation of Woodlot Owners:
Peter deMarsh (Tel: 367 2503)
Ed Perry (Tel: 434 4199)

Jobs Don’t Grow on Stumps! Stop the Forest Giveaway! When: Tuesday, May 13, 12:30pm Where: N.B. Legislature, Fredericton, NB
The New Brunswick government’s new Forestry Strategy proposes to slash the proportion of public forest set aside to protect nature. Ignoring peoples’ concerns about how the public forest is managed, the government has gone ahead and signed contracts with J.D. Irving and other forestry companies, giving away a valuable public resource for years to come. These contracts were signed behind closed doors, and it reminds us of the time another government tried to sell NB Power out from under us. The proposed Forest Management Agreement set to be signed by July 1st would effectively implement the Memorandum of Agreements signed with J.D. Irving and the forestry companies and would be effective for the next 25 years. No Forest Management Agreement! New Brunswickers prefer to see a transition to a forestry industry that respects ecological limits – and especially preserves the endangered Acadian forest, and a strategy to build resilient communities, meaningful employment and healthy and diverse forest in our backyards. Woodlot owners and workers must be given a viable shot at making a living here without having to pack up for Alberta. Aboriginal treaties and rights must be respected. The forest of New Brunswick on traditional Wabanaki territory, where lynx roam, northern flying squirrels glide, warblers and vireos sing and brook trout swim in sheltered streams, is in trouble. It is up to all of us to protect them. Please attend and bring your friends. Bring your signs and symbols that demonstrate what you think. Let’s make this rally colourful and loud! Organized by the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and the NB Federation of Woodlot Owners. Endorsed by Peninsula Restoration/Ossekeag Publishing. To add your organization’s name to the list of endorsers of this rally, contact For more information, contact Tracy Glynn, the Conservation Council’s Forest Campaigner, at 506 458-8747 or

Les emplois ne poussent pas sur des souches!  Arrêtez de liquider notre forêt! Date : Le mardi 13 mai 2014 à 12 h 30 Lieu : L’Assemblée législative à Fredericton, N.-B.
La nouvelle stratégie forestière du gouvernement propose de réduire de façon significative une partie de la forêt publique mise en réserve pour la protection de la nature. Le gouvernement ne tient pas compte des préoccupations de la population sur la façon dont la forêt publique est gérée; il a pris les devants et a signé des contrats avec J. D. Irving et d’autres entreprises forestières, cédant ainsi une précieuse ressource publique pour les années à venir. Ces contrats ont été signés à huis clos et cela ressemble étrangement à la fois où un autre gouvernement avait essayé de vendre Énergie NB derrière notre dos. Les Néo-Brunswickois veulent plutôt une transition vers une industrie forestière qui respecte les limites écologiques, qui préserve la forêt acadienne menacée et qui présente une stratégie visant à bâtir des collectivités vibrantes, à offrir des emplois intéressants et à préserver une forêt saine et diversifiée que tout le monde peut admirer. Les propriétaires de boisés et les travailleurs forestiers doivent profiter d’un plan viable pour gagner leur vie sans avoir à s’exiler en Alberta. Les droits ancestraux ou issus de traités des peuples autochtones doivent être respectés. La forêt du Nouveau-Brunswick, située sur le territoire abénaquis, qui permet entre autres au lynx de rôder, au grand polatouche de planer, aux fauvettes et viréos de chanter et à l’omble de fontaine de nager à l’abri dans les ruisseaux, est menacée. C’est à nous tous qu’il revient de les protéger. Passez le mot et joignez-vous à nous avec votre famille et vos amis. Apportez vos pancartes ou affiches qui démontrent ce que vous pensez. Faisons en sorte que ce rassemblement soit coloré et bruyant! Organisé par le Conseil de conservation du Nouveau-Brunswick et la Fédération des propriétaires de lots boisés du Nouveau-Brunswick. Pour ajouter le nom de votre organisation à la liste des adhérents de ce rassemblement, communiquez avec nous à l’adresse suivante : Pour de plus amples renseignements, communiquez avec Tracy Glynn, militante pour la protection des forêts du CCNB, au (506) 458-8747 ou à