WestFor Interim Agreement extended to Sep. 2017

Western Crown lands, modified from CPAWS map (2012)

A CBC report this a.m. indicated that the long term agreement being negotiated with WestFor to access and manage the Western Crown Lands has been extended to Sept., thereby placing the final decision until after an election likely to be announced soon.

The agreement, which had been expected to be finalized by the end of 2016, has apparently been delayed by negotiations with First Nations leaders. The CBC article by Michael Gorman, who regularly reports on forestry issues, says that Tory Leader Jamie Baillie, although critical of the Liberals backing off on the reduction of clearcutting, supports signing such an agreement. Gary Burrill (NDP Leader) said ” the key for him is that consultation not be rushed. That means taking the time to talk with First Nations and people wishing to use the land for recreational purposes.”

The fact that a lot of the cutting would/will take place on soils severely depleted in calcium and highly stressed by even moderate levels of acid rain and further stressed by clearcutting has apparently not yet come up. I am wondering how much the election itself and nervousness about public reception – especially in Annapolis Co. – and perhaps nervousness about U.S. perceptions of the deal are also factors in the delay in signing this agreement.

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