Scouts upset after northwestern camp clearcut
Camp in Drummond Parish has helped children learn about nature for 50 years
Scouts Canada officials in the Grand Falls area are looking for a new location for their camp after the area they have used for the past 50 years was clear cut.
Scoutmaster Jean-Guy Levesque said he had no warning the camp, located in Drummond Parish, was being clear cut.
Levesque said he was shocked when a friend called to tell him about the cutting.
"We can't believe that things like that would happen, especially to the young people," said Levesque.
"This camp has been there. People know about it. The Department of [Natural] Resources knows about it. I don't understand why our forest had to be cut. You know, it's just not supposed to be done this way."
Department officials said the harvesting took place on Crown land and followed provincial protocols.
But Levesque said the woods were the basis for the camp being located there, to teach children about nature and wildlife on weekends and during summer and winter camps.
"We go out in the woods and we teach them about the different types of trees, different leaves, and different animals that they attract there, and make different knots and different buildings or shelters that we use to teach them how to take care of themselves," he said.
"If we had a warning ahead that they were about to cut our forest, we probably would have camped in the woods to keep them from cutting our forest."
The Scouts pay the provincial government for an annual lease and have put a lot of into repairs over the years, said Levesque.
Some all-terrain users, who help the Scouts to maintain the area, which includes an all-terrain vehicle trail, are also upset about the clear cutting, he said.
Provincial officials plan to meet with the Scouts, an off-road vehicle club and forestry companies on Dec. 19.
Acadian Timber holds the local forestry management licence. Company officials said a subcontractor harvested the trees.