Crown firewood changes fueling anger in Miramichi region
Residents can no longer hire skidders to get 7 cords of firewood from Crown land
People in central New Brunswick say new rules on how they harvest firewood from Crown land are unfair and could leave many of them without a vital fuel supply for the winter.
But now the use of skidders — heavy equipment used in a logging operation for pulling cut trees out of the forest — is banned.
The change has many people in central New Brunswick upset and they packed a community hall in Doaktown Wednesday night to talk about the change.
"It would take you all summer to cut two or three people's wood with an ATV or tractor," said Douglas Munn, the mayor of the rural community of Upper Miramichi, who called the meeting.
"It just don't make sense."
Stan Donovan, a local resident, also raised concerns.
"It's the first time ever I couldn't get a truckload of wood," said Donovan.
"I wound up buying a couple of cords of wood from a local guy."
Donovan said the Department of Natural Resources made the change because it doesn't trust people not to steal wood.
In an emailed statement to CBC News, Natural Resources stated, "Changes were made … because in many cases cutting operations were being carried out on scales much larger than what the fuel wood program is intended for."
"Our entire way of life in this area is under fire," said Stewart.
"So at this point in time, there people here think they're going to have to take it to the Legislature — to the lawn."