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April 23, 2014
For immediate release

Pilot project allows forest harvesting in buffer zones

Environment, Labour and Justice

Licensed forest harvesters will soon be able to carry out enhancement activities in buffer zones, says Environment, Labour and Justice Minister Janice Sherry.

“Maintaining buffer zones with improved management will improve their effectiveness in protecting watercourses and wetlands while providing economic benefits from harvesting and enhancement activities,” said Minister Sherry. “Permits are not generally issued to harvest wood in buffer zones, but will now be permitted when harvesters are licensed and an approved forest management plan is followed.”

Under this new initiative, harvesters will not require a permit to harvest trees in buffer zones for the specific purpose of enhancing these areas. Enhancement activities could include measures to increase species diversity, promote wildlife corridors or habitat, increase forest health, or provide for restoration of the Acadian forest. All cutting must be carried out by hand, and staff from Agriculture and Forestry will inspect and audit the harvest sites.

Licences can be obtained by attending a course and writing an exam. The training program will begin in May.

The new pilot project was developed by the departments of Environment, Labour and Justice and Agriculture and Forestry, the Prince Edward Island Woodlot Owners Association and the Watershed Alliance.

“Maintaining buffer zones with sound forest management plans ensures they continue to be effective in protecting watercourses and wetlands,” said Minister Sherry.

Media Contact: Wayne MacKinnon
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