New Brunswick

Mapping of possible wetlands frustrates farmer

There is continuing confusion about the New Brunswick's new way of identifying possible wetlands.

There is continuing confusion about the New Brunswick's new way of identifying possible wetlands.

In January, a new mapping system was incorporated into the government's GeoNB site. The free online program was set up to help people identify where what the province calls wetlands predictive layers exist.

Frank Robinson's Sussex farm is inside such an area, and he wants to give that land to his sons someday. He's frustrated with the province's new system of mapping around sensitive wetland areas.

"The property will become a lot less valuable, so that's what I'm worried about … future generations," said Robinson.

The rules about wetland development haven't changed, and property values won't either, according to Bernie Doucet, the manager of surface water protection with the Department of Environment.

"The only difference is today we provided the stakeholders with a tool to say, 'here's where we think the wetlands are, these areas here, a permit may be required'," said Doucet.

Doucet said anyone who wants to develop within a predictive layer should contact the department.

He said permits are only necessary if the area is actually a wetland.