Post Number: 16
|Posted on Monday, October 21, 2013 - 8:00 pm: ||
Some noteworthy mail arrived from MOE about Forest Management. Many Ministry jobs have been eliminated this Fall and now we see that big changes are ahead for how the Forest Management Plans are developed and how public involvement in the processes will occur.
Here are a few items from the documents. To send MOE your input, write to firstname.lastname@example.org (Special Project Officer, EA Branch, MOE)
Proposed Changes for Forest Management in Ontario
Recently MOE circulated proposed changes to Declaration Orders MNR-71 and MNR-74 regarding Environmental Assessment Act Coverage for Forest Management on Crown Land in parts of Ontario. The details can be found on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry at www.ebr.gov.on.ca Registry Number 011-9374
Public input/comment will be accepted for 45 days until November 18, 2013
• There are 15 areas proposed for amendments. The two Declaration orders will be recinded and replaced by a consolidated Declaration covering both the Area of the Undertaking and the Whitefeather Forest in the Northwestern part of the province, in the Far North.
• Throughout the documents it is clear the proposal signals less involvement by the public and much less detailed reporting to the citizens.
• The two 5 year plans will be changed to one ten year plan, providing fewer opportunities for the public to view the details and offer comment/ input to the Plans.
• Instead of 8 stages of consultation the proposal is for 5 stages. The year 3 report would be replaced by the “Mid Plan Assessment”, while the 7th year report is to be replaced by the 5 year report.
• The proposal calls for a condensing of 3 conditions: LCC; Values; and Forest Audits. While this is rationalized, it is not clear if these areas will maintain their value or be given less scrutiny and less importance in future.
• Alarmingly, there is to be no EA for pest management programs. This is said to be required for operating in a timely fashion, but signals the removal of one of our citizens’ rights.
• The new guides focus on an entirely new direction; not emulating natural disturbance, but instead featuring biodiversity conservation in broad landscape terms. Discussion is required to outline the long term impact of this approach.
• There are many changes proposed for Silviculture Ground Rules. The proposals are to remove many features. The plan calls for a new direction to all silviculture. A rationale is proposed to be given for the choice of system used. This will replace the current requirement of MNR to record and provide a rationale for all clearcuts greater than 260ha.
• The Plan may be extended for two years.
• Planning Guide Review will be ten years not the present 5.
• The Annual Report of Forest Management will not be one year, but two with all the requirements that are not related to Forest Management being removed. This will eliminate pertinent information on independent forest audits; advances and milestones in scientific research; provincial wildlife monitoring as well as studies related to the effectiveness of the Guides. This is 2.14.1 Provincial Annual Report on Forest Management.
• One of the most alarming features is the proposal to remove the 5 year report on State of the Forests in Ontario which has traditionally been read in the Legislature. The proposal is to instead “make the information available”.
• The proposal also is to remove the report on the Declaration Order that has been given every 5 years. In the past this dealt with four points, including environmental, social and economic issues; details of implementing the FMP; problems with the plan and what actions had been taken to mitigate issues resulting from the FMP.
Post Number: 321
|Posted on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 11:57 pm: ||
gosh you mean i won't be seeing any more of those notices telling me the water i've been drinking for the past 2 days has been heavily contaminated with pesticides!?
as for the rest, without an engaged public, "they", unapposed, will simply do their worst.
Post Number: 17
|Posted on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 8:04 am: ||
There will be no way to ask for an EA on a pest management plan. It will just proceed as prescribed.