As an Association, we agree with the following principals concerning the harvest (cutting) of forests:
That forests provide the citizens of Alberta with various resources, including furbearing animals, and therefore forests must be managed on a multiple land-use basis for the benefit of all Albertans.
That the end product of forest succession is allocated to be harvested by forest companies.
That we support the concept of harvesting trees on a sustained-yield basis for the benefit of future generations, as well as maintaining habitat for wildlife
That we conclude natural succession as the most beneficial means of maintaining biodiversity and natural selected forest cover.
That we recognize reforestation efforts do result in timely regrowth, thereby reducing the time period to maturity. However, we do not support a monoculture reforestation concept.
That clear-cutting of forests and use of herbicide will impact trappers in a negative manner, therefore, compensation to trappers is the moral obligation of companies.
To support the foregoing principals, we as an Association believe that:
Clear-cuts must be developed keeping in mind size and shape, which provides cover and food for animals.
Clear-cuts must be designed to reduce erosion.
Corridors must be left in clear-cuts to provide animal access for travel through these areas.
Where appropriate, selective logging practices should be encouraged.
Salvage operations must be required whenever trees are removed by oil and gas exploration.
Riparian habitats must be protected by extending the buffer zone to a minimum of 200 metres from the waterway (includes lakes). This is to prevent erosion, provide food and shelter for all wildlife, especially aquatic species, and to protect water integrity.
Watercourses to be protected must include intermittent streams, as well as pond edges produced by animal or manmade daming.
Spraying of herbicides to enhance regrowth of a specific tree species is not always appropriate in replanted areas (See Appendix A below).
Culverts or bridges are encouraged over stream crossings, as opposed to fill-in strategies presently used. In addition, a proactive approach to reduce beaver blockages must be jointly undertaken by the forestry company in partnership with the trapper.
Any water hauling during freeze up must not be allowed from live beaver ponds during dry years if such hauling will jeopardize the health and welfare of the water dwellers.
Meaningful face-to-face consultation with the trapline operator should take place before any forestry operations begin, as per the current Operating Ground Rules. In addition, post timber harvest consultation should also take place so that traditional access is maintained or alternate access provided to the trapper.
Fair and equitable treatment for trappers impacted by forestry operations must take place. Any timber harvesting operation will have short term and long-term impacts on habitat and wildlife. This recognized, every step should be taken to minimize damage and where necessary to compensate the trapper for his loss. An adversarial approach is not productive and any negotiation undertaken should emphasize honesty and mutual respect by all parties, so that multiple uses of our resources is maintained in perpetuity.
Date: October 2001
Appendix A SUBJECT: HERBICIDE USE FOR REGENERATION
Guiding Principles As an Association, we agree with the following principals concerning the use of herbicides in forests:
That natural succession is the most beneficial means of maintaining biodiversity, nevertheless, replanting a cutover area immediately is desirable in order to enhance the recovery process.
That forests are for the use and enjoyment of all Albertans and reforestation methods must meet their needs.
That the use of herbicide “Vision” has not been adequately tested for wide use in forests, which may have negative consequences on wildlife and their habitat.
As as an Association, we believe that:
If competing grasses and shrubs must be destroyed to ensure survival of conifer seedlings, that methods such as flock grazing of sheep or mechanical means be used other than herbicides.
If spray programs continue that they be closely monitored and long-term studies be implemented by an independent consultant. Spraying must be the exception and not the major means of vegetation control.
Until studies prove otherwise, only one application be permitted on a harvest area.
Until studies prove otherwise, only a maximum of 25% of any total clear-cut or forest fire area be used as an experimental project. Furthermore, buffer areas along all streams and lakes be free of herbicide application. (See Buffer Protection)
Trappers receive ‘prior’ notification of all spray applications within their trapping area.
That when sprays are used, that it happen as soon as possible after the cutting process as opposed to years later. This minimizes the disruption to prey species establishment.
Date: October 2001 Reviewed: August 2007