Canada: Judge’s inaction and lack of public accountability is incomprehensible

“Your inaction and lack of public accountability is incomprehensible,” Billard said in a letter to Johnson and copied to The Telegram. Billard — and other environmentalists — are upset the province agreed to the environmental assessment of logging plans from Burgeo and Port  aux Basques in the south to the southern boundary of Gros Morne National Park.
CBPP plans to cut approximately 1,684,000 cubic metres of timber and  build 77 kilometres of access roads. The plan involves clear cutting  some areas.

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Two environmental groups — the Canadian Parks and Wildlife Society
(CPAWS) and the Coalition for Sustainable Forests —are asking Johnson
to reverse her decision. “The extensive proposed clearcutting will
negatively affect everything from sensitive salmon spawning grounds,
endangered species to natural scenic beauty of this tourism active
area,” said Julie Harrington, the executive director of CPAWS.

“The imposition of simple measures like wider buffers around all water bodies and forbidding cutting in broader areas around salmon rivers and all the important spawning tributaries would have gone a long way towards mitigating the undeniably adverse impacts of this plan,” wrote Billard.

She said the plan could destroy as much as 20,780 square
kilometres, or 20 per cent of Newfoundland’s insular forests “With the
limited information available in the registration document by Corner
Brook Pulp and Paper, it is evident that the public could witness the
clearcutting of natural jewels, such as the Humber River Valley,
Pinchgut Lake and extensive tracts of watersheds of internationally
renowned salmon rivers, including the Harry’s River and others along
the southwest coast,” said ecologist Ian Goudie.

They also criticized access to Johnson in the lead-up to her decision. “Requests for meetings and discussion on the process have been met with a stone wall of silence from you and your officials,” Billard said.

Johnson said she plans to write back to Billard and explain her decision, which was based on advice from her officials and the outside opinions of the inland water division of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).

Comments (2)

RitaMarch 28th, 2009 at 10:41 pm

I hope the environmental groups will appeal this decision.

Rita

Rita’s last blog post..AARP launches interactive map on top-rated hospitals across America

flaschenöffnerAugust 3rd, 2009 at 5:53 pm

i hope so, too

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