Public comment period farce for park logging licence needs to be cut

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Wilderness Committee

A log-grabbing excavator at work in a clearcut

Management plan to log Duck Mountain Provincial Park missing proper government guidance and valid wood supply analysis

WINNIPEG / TREATY 1 TERRITORY AND HOMELAND OF THE MÉTIS NATION  — The clock is ticking on the public comment period for Louisiana-Pacific’s new 20-year plan to log in Duck Mountain Provincial Park and surrounding areas. Yet the new guidelines for 20-year forest management plans haven’t been publicized. The provincial government is also asking the public to comment on the company’s plan without a recent or reputable wood supply analysis.

“The original licences for Louisiana-Pacifiic in the 1990s were the most controversial ever issued in Manitoba, outside of new hydro development,” said Wilderness and Water Campaigner Eric Reder of the Wilderness Committee. “This operation needs real and lengthy scrutiny as it went against the Clean Environment Commission recommendations at its very inception, and the wood supply analysis was proven to be wrong.”

Last year, the Clean Environment Commission (CEC) reviewed and issued a report on Manitoba’s Forest Management Plan Guidelines. The new guidelines have not been finalized, but the public comment period on Louisiana-Pacific’s 20-year plan has been open since May 10 and ends July 6. The Wilderness Committee is calling for the public comment period for Louisiana-Pacific’s licence to be suspended and for a new 120-day public comment period to start after new forest management plan guidelines are published. 

“The company’s been operating without a valid logging plan since 2005. But now we’re rushing one through during a pandemic, while new guidelines are still in the works.” Reder said. “This is either incompetence or wilful sabotage on the part of Premier Pallister’s PC government.”

After Louisiana-Pacific’s logging licence was issued in 1995, the wood supply analysis used for authorization was found to have been overestimated by over 200 per cent. Subsequently, the forest inventory has only sporadically been updated, and parts of it are based on aerial images from the 1980s. Due to this astronomical error, an independently verified forest inventory must be completed and publicized before the public is asked to comment on Louisiana-Pacific’s logging operations. 

Starting in 2005, when the original 10-year plan expired, annual extensions and exemptions were issued continuously. Premier Brian Pallister’s PC government issued a two-year extension in 2019, continuing the destructive practice of logging a provincial park.    

The CEC has already called for an end to logging in provincial parks — back in 1992. When surveyed by Probe Research in 2018, 70 per cent of Manitobans wanted industrial activity such as logging out of provincial parks.

“This plan is a fiasco, but even when the government fixes the process failures, we still have to stop logging Duck Mountain Provincial Park,” said Reder. “Logging the Ducks is a clearcut shame.”



For more information, please contact:

Eric Reder | Wilderness and Water Campaigner

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