By: Atlantic Farm Focus
The New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources released a new online map March 12 that shows, in detail, Crown land conservation areas. It also illustrates changes in those areas in relation to the 2014 Crown Land Forest Management Strategy.
“This is a continuation of our commitment to be more transparent and open with the public in relation to Crown forests,” said Natural Resources Minister Denis Landry. “In December we posted all the forestry agreements with forestry companies online. We will continue our work in reviewing the forestry plan as well as our discussions with stakeholders.”
The key areas displayed on the map are:
- National parks: The two federally-managed parks are Fundy and Kouchibouguac. These large protected landscapes are managed to preserve ecological integrity.
- Provincial parks: These are managed landscapes that preserve ecological features and provide a wide range of recreational opportunities on provincial Crown lands.
- Protected natural areas: These are protected from all types of industrial resource extraction including forestry, mining, and gas extraction. Some sites protect large ecosystems while others focus on rare or unique conditions. In the majority of cases, low-impact recreational activities such as hiking, hunting, and fishing are allowed.
- Watercourse and wetland buffers: These are forests in close proximity to rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands that receive special management to preserve water quality and aquatic habitats. Buffer widths used on Crown land meet or exceed what is required under the Clean Water Act. Although only known watercourses are mapped all receive a buffer when encountered during industrial operations.
- Deer wintering areas: These provide shelter for white tail deer during winter months.
- Other habitats: These are forest sites that contain habitat elements such as large trees and decaying wood and provide habitat to a variety of plants, animals and birds. A variety of specific old-forest types are recognized and maintained in patches throughout Crown forests.
- Conservation sites: These are known locations of special habitat sites including nest, dens and other features.
- Special management areas: These are other designated areas on Crown lands managed for values other than primarily timber production. These include maple sugaries, recreational sites, significant wetlands, and other unique areas.
- Former deer wintering areas and other habitats: The map also shows areas formerly designated as habitat or deer wintering areas.
While the map shows these different areas, many conservation management objectives are complementary. A particular site may simultaneously be serving multiple values. For example, parts of a protected natural area may also be providing old-forest habitat.
Part of the approach taken for Crown forest management is to maximize the use of complementary objectives. By turning on and off the layers in the interactive map, viewers can see how certain zones co-exist.
All parts of the map that have a lighter background are not Crown Lands. While there are many examples of conservation and preservation efforts on private woodlots and industry-owned lands, private land conservation is not part of the map.
Detailed instructions on how to use the Map Viewer are available online.