PRESS RELEASE – March 18, 2008
New Budget Eliminates Silviculture Program for Woodlot Owners
The government made two budget announcements regarding the provincial private woodlot silviculture program which in combination essentially eliminate this program. The first part of the announcement indicated that the budget would be cut in half from $8 million to $4 million. The second part of the announcement however, in practice will mean woodlot owners will not be able to access any of the reduced budget.
The second part of the announcement stipulates the cost sharing arrangement between the province and woodlot owners. Historically the cost of silviculture treatments was split 80-20 between the province and the woodlot owner. The new format will see this cost sharing change to a 50-50 split.
“How can government expect woodlot owners that cannot sell their forest products to start contributing more money to silviculture, “questioned New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners President Andrew Clark. “The appropriate move would have been to add money to the budget and improve the cost sharing to 90-10 using Federal trust fund money that was announced recently”, added Clark.
“We are mystified by this action when we believed that Premier Graham was committed to stable long-term silviculture funding”, said Clark. “The silviculture budget has not been this low since 1997 when only 6,800 hectares were treated. Last year with $8 million over 12,000 hectares were treated. This directly contributes to the sustainability and future of the forest industry in New Brunswick and creates much needed employment in rural communities,” stated Clark.
“What message about the future of the forest industry and the future of woodlot owners does this give? Is the government saying they have completely given up on the forest industry?” asked Clark.”I would like the Premier to consider this an urgent request for a meeting to discuss how woodlot owners fit in a self-sufficient New Brunswick. It is a question that needs answering.”
For more information contact: Andrew Clark 375-4708 or Troy Lifford 459-2990. Also contact Marketing Board managers at the following:
Carleton-Victoria: Tim Fox – 392-5584
Madawaska: Claude Pelletier – 739-9585
North Shore: Alain Landry – 548-8958
Northumberland: Kevin Forgrave – 622-7733
South East New Brunswick: Marcel Maillet – 532-1150
Southern New Brunswick: Pam Folkins – 433-9860
York Sunbury Charlotte: David Palmer – 444-6655
Troy Lifford BBA, BScF
New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners
259 Brunswick St., Suite 304
Phone 506-459-2990 Fax 506-459-3515