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Thunder Bay: Forest Management Plan deals with key issues

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  • Senior Staff
    Forest Management Plan deals with key issues By Jim Kelly - The Chronicle-Journal http://www.chroniclejournal.com/story.shtml?id=3957 May 29, 2001 The second
    Message 1 of 1 , May 29, 2001
      Forest Management Plan deals with key issues

      By Jim Kelly - The Chronicle-Journal
      May 29, 2001

      The second Lakehead Forest Management Plan information centre is dealing with key issues including a controversial all-weather road into the Black Bay Peninsula, says a Ministry of Natural Resources forester.

      The open houses, held yesterday in Thunder Bay and set for Wednesday in Nipigon, also look at harvesting trees on Crown land near summer camps in the region, delayed cleanup of trees from the July 1999 storm and a host of other issues.

      MNR Lakehead area forester Don Nixon said groups and individuals have been involved in the 27-month exercise from the first meetings in October 1999 to the approved plan inspection in January 2002.

      Nixon said the ministry will make every effort to allow input at any time during the forest management planning process to resolve the issues.

      There is also an opportunity to make a request to the Environment minister for an environmental assessment hearing.

      The extended all-weather logging road into the Black Bay Peninsula may, arguably, be the most controversial issue of the current sessions.

      Thunder Bay�s Greenmantle Forests Inc. (sustainable forest licence holder responsible for preparing a 20-year forest management plan) wants to double the length of an existing 17-kilometre winter logging route and use it year-round to improve access for cutting trees.

      �An all-weather road will provide flexibility for harvesting, re-planting and maintenance,� Nixon said yesterday during the open house at the Victoria Inn.

      Nixon said camp owners around Thunder Bay have expressed concern about nearby harvesting of trees.

      The proposed solution is to harvest the trees so as to maintain roadside esthetics and to cut during the fall and winter to avoid heavy truck traffic during the summer.

      Nixon said the delay in harvesting of trees felled during a major wind storm in July 1999 is also being addressed.

      He said the original plan was to clear most of the corridor southwest of Thunder Bay in two or three years, but it will take longer.

      As time goes on, the fallen trees decline in quality and will be of no use to mills.

      Nixon said First Nations are included in discussions.

      �We ensuring their concerns are identified up front. By having them at the table, we�ll keep them abreast of what�s going on,� he said.

      Nixon said the exercise, simply stated, is for Greenmantle Forests to prepare a forest management plan that will be reviewed and approved by the MNR, but not before ensuring that public comments have been collected and addressed.
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