Our deer herd in New Brunswick has been growing during the last two years and if the weather holds we should see another good season during the fall of 2014. Our herd is struggling on Crown land and there are very evident reasons why this is happening. I cannot understand what the big forestry companies are thinking. They have a mandate to manage our Crown forests for the good of all New Brunswickers and they are missing the mark by a wide margin. Their focus is entirely on the production of wood fibre and this has left many of our animal species, including deer, in a position where they are struggling to survive. Buffer strips that are too small, monoculture softwood plantations and spraying of herbicide are all contributing to this hardship in our forests. These forestry companies had better get pro-active in their management practices because there is a movement afoot to correct the imbalance that exists in the our Crown forests. Citizens are sick of the greed and callous actions displayed by these corporations in their never ending quest for more fibre from our forests. What really bothers me is the fact that our tax dollars pay these big companies for their management practices on our Crown lands and what do we get in return? Not much. Fewer and fewer jobs and falling species numbers. Is that what New Brunswickers want? Not on your life! All these greedy buggers have to do is make a few adjustments in the way they do business and we would see some big changes in our forests.
If the big forestry companies want to stay ahead of the curve they should stop the spraying of hardwood saplings that deer and other species need for food. They should also be planting cedar along the buffers to provide both food and shelter during our long winter. Another suggestion being bantered around is to plant clover along unused logging trails. These small steps will not affect the corporations bottom line very much but would have a substantial effect on the growth of our deer herd and the growth of other species. Change is inevitable and these big corporations preach this mantra whenever it suites their business plan but if it is contrary to their vision they will fight change tooth and claw if they think it will impact their business plan. This has been a successful tactic in the past but because of the increase of information due to the Internet, information is dissipated to the masses much more quickly and effectively. The people will no longer be fooled and the current status quo in New Brunswick's forest is no longer acceptable. There is even a movement afoot to revamp the forestry act to correct the imbalance that exists in this sector of our economy. That is why these companies should take the initiative and make changes to the way they do business in our forests. At least then they could try to put their own spin on it and get credit for being a forward thinking corporation. The other alternative is to be forced into change through the political system. Only time will tell what approach these big companies will take as we move forward into the future. If readers would like to hear what our deer biologist has to say about the deer population in this province, just click on the following link to view a short video he made recently.
Wild turkeys have been at the forefront in wildlife circles here in New Brunswick lately and for good reason. We have had a growing population of turkeys in the Grand Lake area for a decade or so due mainly to the efforts of one far sighted individual. The turkeys we have in our area are from wild Pennsylvania stock and have been raised in a free range environment. Although many sportsmen do not agree with this situation, the results cannot be denied. From these original birds there has been a steady growth and expansion of birds to the point that most areas around lower Salmon River and Grand Lake have flocks. New Brunswick has turkeys. That is a fact. Why doesn't the government sanction a trap and release program to speed up the growth of these great game birds? The NAWTF has several chapters now in New Brunswick so the infrastructure is already in place to facilitate a trap and release program. Again, change is coming and inevitable so why not speed up and assist the spread of this game bird so that we can have a hunting season sooner. This game bird is a proven money maker for governments in other jurisdictions and Lord knows our government needs more revenue! Here is a recent photo of a flock of twenty or so in a field near Coal Creek.