Yellow Point Ecological Society advocating for protection of private forests

The group is concerned about the loss of forests in the Yellow Point area

A still image from the YES video (Submitted photo)

In partnership with Arrowsmith Media, the Yellow Point Ecological Society, (YES), has released a short video detailing concerns around the protection of private forest land.

Guy Dauncey of YES said that the group is worried about losing forest land in the Yellow Point, Cedar area.

“It’s our concern locally, that 90 percent of the forests in our area have no protection of any kind. People love this region for that magical combination of ocean, farmland, and forest,” Dauncey said.

The video references a 60 acre parcel of land in Yellow Point that was sold to a private company. YES attempted to find a way to save the forests. Dauncey said through that process, YES found that there is limited protection for forests, unless they are nearby riparian areas and watersheds. Dauncey calls this ‘ecological abandonment.’

“We put the video together to try and summarize our thoughts about how difficult it is to save the private forests, and the small things you can do,” Dauncey said.

The provincial government did introduce the private managed forest land program in 2003 under the Private Managed Forest Land Act with the specific goal of encouraging private land owners to manage their lands for long term forest production, and encourage sustainable forest management practices.

That program is administrated through the managed forests council. The provincial government conducted a review of the PMFL program between May 28 and July 22, 2019. In report on that public engagement, the provincial government said that 52 percent of respondents agree the PMFL program is still relevant. 62 percent disagreed that the key public environmental values specified in the PMFL are sufficient — and 70 percent said the currently regulatory framework of the PFML program is insufficient.

Dauncey remains concerned about the loss of forested lands in the region. He hopes the YES video will raise awareness around the challenges forests face, and change the ‘baseline’ assumptions around what forests are.

“The forest is an incredibly important protector of carbon to help us deal with the climate crisis. It’s an incredibly important protector of our water that feeds our water supplies that we need for drinking. It protects the species that we love — that bring magic to the area. And, it provides us with a mental stress refuge.”

The video, along with more information on protecting forests is available at yellowpointecologcialsociety.ca.

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