Green Party leader tables bill to update archaic crown lands legislation

Fredericton –Today, David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South and Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick, tabled a bill entitled an Act to Amend the Crown Lands and Forests Act as a first step in modernizing the act.

“The Crown Lands and Forests Act is almost 40 years old and there is broad consensus that it needs modernization,” said Coon. “Conditions today are totally different than they were in 1980.”

A year ago, 36 provincial organizations representing private woodlot owners, naturalists, conservationists, and recreational hunters and anglers came together with an additional 30 New Brunswick-based scientists and academics asking this government to develop a new Crown Lands and Forests act. Among other things, this coalition wanted a new bill to state clear principles for managing public forests. Coon’s bill will add a statement of purpose to the Act and further clarify the responsibilities of the minister in administering the act.

“New Brunswickers would be appalled to learn that this archaic legislation doesn’t address ecological sustainability, fails to acknowledge Aboriginal treaty rights, or ensure fairness for private woodlot owners and independent sawmill operators,” said Coon. “My bill is a first step in addressing some of these glaring gaps in New Brunswick’s Crown Lands and Forests Act.”

You can find the bill here: An Act to Amend the Crown Lands and Forests Act