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How will the deer and brook trout survive?

Vancouver Island's Clayoquot Sound. Manitoba's boreal forests. The Central Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland. These picturesque locales have served as the battlegrounds over the controversy of clearcutting — the logging practice that strips a forest bare by cutting every single tree down. On one side are the environmentalists. On the other, logging companies. In the middle are native people. The fate of Canada's old-growth forests and the forestry industry as a whole rests in the balance in the 'war of the woods.'

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Forestry is the economic backbone of New Brunswick. J.D. Irving and Fraser's Ltd. are the two biggest forestry companies in the province, employing 35,000 workers. But after years of clearcutting, conservationists and hunters and fishermen have joined forces to take on the forestry giants. They argue clearcutting has decimated the deer population and destroyed spawning habitats of brook trout. In this CBC Television clip, Land & Sea examines how their campaign of public pressure changed provincial forestry guidelines.
. Clearcutting has an adverse affect on deer and other wildlife because it robs them of much-needed shelter and cover during the cold winter months. Clearcutting also affects fish habitats because it takes away buffer zones (a section of trees alongside a brook or stream) that provide shade and protection. Without these buffer zones, the temperature of the water can drastically increase. Buffer zones also help fight siltation (the process by which soil is carried via melting snow and deposited as sediment on the bottom of a stream).

. J.D. Irving, Ltd. is a family-owned forestry company based in Saint John, N.B. According to its website, in 2003 the company owns 3.5 million acres (1.4 million hectares) of timberland in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Maine, and manages 2.5 million acres (1 million hectares) of publicly owned Crown land in the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

. In 1985, Fraser was acquired by Noranda Forest Inc. and became known as Nexfor Fraser (now Nexfor Inc.). According to a pulp and paper industry web site, in 2003 Nexfor specializes in release liners for pressure-sensitive labels — the part of sticker labels you peel off and throw away. Nexfor is also the largest producer of light and ultra-light Bible papers in North America.

. The Conservation Council of New Brunswick (one of the environmental groups featured in this report) is a non-profit organization formed in 1969. Headquartered in Fredericton, the Council is dedicated to the environmental protection of the Maritimes. It was officially recognized by the United Nations in 1990 for its valued work and protection of the environment.
Medium: Television
Program: Land & Sea
Broadcast Date: Nov. 13, 1989
Guest(s): Paul Bourgoyne, David Coombe, Morris Green, Paul McKinley, Marcel Mersereau, Bob O'Donnell, Dave Oxley
Reporter: Gerry Whelan
Duration: 22:59

Last updated: April 11, 2012

Page consulted on November 4, 2014

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