July 18, 2005

Quebec creates Chief Forester post

QUEBEC CITY, QUE-Quebec's National Assembly has unanimously adopted Bill 94 creating the post of Chief Forester for the province. The Chief Forester will play a vital role in ensuring the continuing renewal of Quebec's public forests, supervising all operations relating to harvest calculations for each forest management unit. Decisions concerning harvesting allocations will be made public, together with the rationale for such decisions. The Chief Forester will also advise the Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife regarding forest management plans submitted for approval by contractors. In addition, the Chief Forester will file a status report every five years with the National Assembly, reporting on the state of public forestlands and the results of sustainable management activities and making recommendations in these areas. The government's creation of the new post follows through on one of the recommendations made by the Coulombe Commission, which in turn adopted a proposal made by the Quebec Forest Industry Council (ELW January 10, 2005). The Council, while commending the move, urged that in order to ensure the independence, autonomy and neutrality of the post, the Chief Forester be nominated by the National Assembly within the framework of a process similar to that used to select the province's Auditor General. The Council has also made a number of other proposals regarding the role and responsibilities of the Chief Forester; a full report may be viewed on the CIFQ Web site, www.cifq.qc.ca. More information is also available from Manon Gagnon, 418/657-7916, ext 411, E-mail manon.gagnon@cifq.qc.ca.

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