Forestry consultation

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Sophie Demers
Local Journalism Initiative

MRC PONTIAC – The public is invited to participate in a consultation on new potential areas for commercial or non-commercial forestry and silviculture work in the next 5 years in accordance with the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et des Forêts’s (MRNF) Operational Integrated Forest Management Plans (PAFIO). Potential activities include site preparation, reforestation, harvesting, recovering wood affected by spruce budworm, pre-commercial thinning and cleaning, and road construction and rehabilitation.

The consultation is the result of a mandate given to MRC Pontiac from the MRNF. The public consultation is open to comments until December 23, giving residents an opportunity to express concerns and details they feel the Quebec government should know before conducting work on the sites.

Six units in the Outaouais are considered potential new areas of intervention: Coulonge field units UA 071-51 and 071-52; in Basse-Lièvre UA 072-51; and in Haute-Gatineau-et-du-Cabonga UA 073-51, 073-52 and 074-51. These areas could be targeted, but it’s not guaranteed. Work could start as early as 2024.

Work falls under various categories:

  • Site preparation: prepare for planting more trees.
  • Reforestation: plant ferrous plants to accelerate forest growth through plant composition and spacing.
  • Settlement education: cutting a portion of trees to reduce competition and improve growth.
  • Quality pruning: cutting off living, deceased branches, or those with parasites to improve wood quality and reduce disease.
  • Spruce budworm special management plan: harvesting wood unlikely to resist epidemic before the tree becomes unfit for processing.

To participate, the public can visit the Quebec Government website: https://www.quebec.ca/agriculture-environnement-et-ressources-naturelles/forets/planification-forestiere/plans-regionaux-consultations/outaouais/pafio-nov2023