Replanting one type of tree is not enough to stop clearcutting harm, study finds

In New Brunswick we are experiencing too large-scale intensive forestry practices for our landbase. NB born researcher Matt Betts wrote this article about his peer-reviewed research on fores degradation and bird populations in the Maritime provinces.

“Given that the total area of plantations and intensive forest management is increasing worldwide, and that plantations may be increasingly relied upon to satisfy “nature-based climate solutions” globally, it will be critical to examine the impact of these practices at broader scales. Do other areas in North America with rapid forest loss, then forest gain (see Figure 2) also exhibit forest degradation and reductions in biodiversity, or is this most apparent in the Acadian forest? What about Scandinavian and Brazilian forests where intensive management is common? We encourage others to more closely examine the role of forest degradation, not just deforestation, as a driver of biodiversity loss worldwide. We need solutions that balance providing wood for human communities with the conservation of the roughly 4 million species that inhabit forest systems.”

Forest Degradation: a hidden driver of biodiversity loss?

Betts et al. 2022 Forest degradation drives widespread avian habitat and population declines.

Nature Ecology and Evolution DOI: 10.1038/s41559-022-01737-8 LINK:

Research paper:

CBC article:

Énergie NB n’a pas reçu de directive pour réduire son utilisation du glyphosate/( NB Power has not received a directive to reduce its use of glyphosate)

Acadie Nouvelle article:

English translation:

NB Power has not received a directive to reduce its use of glyphosate

By Jean-Francois Boisvert

Despite a recommendation to the government that NB Power stop using herbicides this year to control vegetation under its power lines, the Crown corporation plans to go ahead and spray some 1,000 hectares this summer.

Last November, the Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship made some 20 recommendations regarding the use of glyphosate-based herbicides in the province.

This all-party committee of the Legislative Assembly proposed, among other things, that the crown corporation NB Power begin now to phase out the application of pesticides under its power lines. This recommendation will not be followed. At least not this year.

According to company spokesperson Marc Belliveau, NB Power plans to use this method again this summer to control vegetation over an area of ​​approximately 900 to 1,000 hectares. This is about the same area as last year. The affected areas will be announced by the end of the month.

At the same time, Mr. Belliveau indicates that NB Power has not received any restrictive instructions from the government concerning its herbicide application program.

“It is the Legislative Assembly that must decide the question, which recommendations of the report it intends to implement. Being a state-owned corporation, if the government forces us to change our practices, we will take action accordingly. But we are still waiting for this directive, we have not received anything so far asking us to change our approach to the use of herbicides”, he underlines, confirming in passing that in the absence of a change of guideline, the program continues.

He also wishes to point out that NB Power scrupulously follows the rules established with respect to the spreading of herbicides.

In addition to its recommendation for NB Power, the committee also suggested that the areas where landspreading should be prohibited double near dwellings (500 meters to one kilometer) and that they be established 100 meters from protected natural areas, courses of water and wetlands.

We also advocated the launch within a year of the tabling of the report of a major cost-benefit study to compare the use and non-use of herbicides in the management of tree plantations in New Brunswick, and that the impacts of landspreading on wild game and flora be monitored more closely (water and sediment samples taken on a regular basis).

What about these suggestions? In fact, six months after the tabling of the report, it is maintained that it has still not completed its review process.

“The government is still reviewing the recommendations,” confirms a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Natural Resources, Vicky Lutes.

The herbicide program will continue this year. Permit applications have already been submitted to the ministry for approval.

During the filing of the report, the spokeswoman for the environmental group Stop Spraying New Brunswick, Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy, was rather lukewarm. She was hoping for much tougher measures, or even a complete cessation of spreading.

Six months later, she is sorry to see the government’s slowness in responding to the committee’s recommendations, especially since the committee’s work had already been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Some recommendations could have been put forward this year. It is in May and nothing has been done. NB Power is moving forward with its spraying program and the provincial government will soon be issuing licenses to forestry companies. In short, nothing has changed, the New Brunswick forest has just lost another year,” she said.

According to the environmental activist, this slowness confirms the lack of political will to tackle this issue.

“However, the population has spoken loud and clear and the government continues to turn a deaf ear. She no longer wants this practice in the public forest. At some point, I believe that a government must do what the population demands. Other jurisdictions in the country have done so,” she points out.

She adds that the publication of a recent study showing the degradation of the Acadian forest and the great decrease in certain species of birds should nevertheless raise a red flag with regard to the use of herbicides as well as forestry practices. in New Brunswick.

“It is very concerning, and the nonchalant attitude of the government in this file is disconcerting”, adds Ms. Lubbe-D’Arcy”

GNB Standing Committee submits its report with recommendations on forest glyphosate use on November 2, 2022

The Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship, a legislative committee, submitted its report with 20 recommendations on glyphosate use in New Brunswick on Novemeber 2, 2021.

Link to the report:

The 20 recommendations:

Pesticides Advisory Board
1. THAT the Minister of Environment and Climate Change re-activate the Pesticides Advisory
Board and ensure it remains active.
2. THAT the Minister task the Pesticides Advisory Board with investigating issues and gaps in
information regarding the use of pesticides, which includes herbicides, in the Province as
identified by the Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship.
3. THAT, within six months of the tabling of this report, the Minister review the composition of
the Pesticides Advisory Board as prescribed in the Pesticides Control Act to determine whether
any amendments are needed to ensure adequate independent expertise is represented.

Crown Lands and Forests Advisory Board
4. THAT the Crown Lands and Forests Advisory Board be re-activated within six months of the
tabling of this report.
5. THAT the Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Development review the composition of
the Board to ensure diversity of expertise.
6. THAT the Board ensure stakeholders who use Crown Lands are doing so in a responsible
manner to meet stated objectives established by the Minister and/or in legislation.
Forest Management and Ecosystem Protection
7. THAT, for the purpose of evaluating the impact of eliminating herbicide spraying, the
government initiate a comprehensive cost-benefit economic study comparing the usage and
non-usage of herbicide in managing tree plantations in New Brunswick within 12 months of
the tabling of this report.
8. THAT remaining old hardwood, mixedwood, and softwood forest be maintained (not
converted). This would require (1) ecologically based forestry, and (2) additional protected
natural areas (reserves).
9. THAT the government ensure protected natural areas have connected corridors, where needed,
and minimize edge habitat for the purpose of biodiversity.

Increased Restrictions on Spraying
10. THAT setbacks for aerial spraying be increased from 500 metres to 1 kilometre from
11. THAT the government require a spraying setback of 100 metres from protected natural areas.
12. THAT the government require a minimum 100-metre aerial spraying setback from water and
wetlands and/or require spray plans that may vary depending on the landscape and the
hydrological characteristics of the land.
13. THAT the government ban spraying of pesticides in protected watersheds as designated under
the Clean Water Act.
14. THAT the Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Development request of NB Power that
it immediately begin phasing out spraying of pesticides under transmission lines.

Further Monitoring and Research
15. THAT the Legislative Assembly appoint a Legislative Officer charged with the responsibility
for Crown Lands and Waters with an appropriate budget beginning in the next fiscal year.
16. THAT the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development partner with
educational institutions and non-governmental organizations, where applicable, to study the
effects of spraying pesticides in forestry on wild game, other food and Indigenous medicines
in New Brunswick.
17. THAT the government request that Health Canada evaluate the registration of glyphosate every
five years and with research conducted in and applicable to New Brunswick.
18. THAT the Department of Environment and Local Government be mandated to routinely
sample and test water and sediment for glyphosate and related components adjacent to areas
where glyphosate has recently been applied, and to report annually.
19. THAT for the purpose of evaluating the impact of eliminating glyphosate, the government
undertake a comprehensive cost-benefit economic study comparing the usage and non-usage
of glyphosate in the agricultural sector in New Brunswick within 18 months.

Public Education and Awareness
20. THAT, within six months of the tabling of this report, the Department of Natural Resources
and Energy Development create a public dashboard regarding all aspects of Crown forest
utilization, including pesticide spraying, for the purpose of increasing public education and

September 2, 2021 – SSNB Issued its fourth annual report card to the elected political parties of the first session of the 60th Legislative assembly:

SSNB held a press conference via Zoom on September 2, 2021, to issue the annual report card on action by elected political parties of the first session of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick:

Full Press Release:

On June 24, 2021, SSNB made a presentation to the Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Hearings on Glyphosate and other Pesticide Use in NB:

SSNB was one of many groups invited to make a presentation to this committee:

Video of SSNB’s 20 minute presentation followed by a 40 minute Q&A with each political party represented on the Committee:

PDF of SSNB’s presentation in English or French:



The Q&A portion with Natural resource Minister Mike Holland illustrated the defensiveness of the minister of forestry corporations’ practices on PUBLIC land:

Full text of SSNB’s submission to the committtee:

June 22-25’21: GNB Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability will hold hearings on GLYPHOSATE and other pesticide use in New Brunswick.

The Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship is holding HEARINGS on glyphosate and other pesticide use in NB. SSNB, amount other groups has been invited to make a presentation at these hearings. As soon as we have the finalized schedule of speakers we will publish this, and we will also publish the link to the STREAMING of the hearings, which will happen via the Legislative Assembly of NB’s website.

Here is the transcript of the debate that took place at the NB Legislature, which led to the formation of this Standing Committee:


In response to requests from our supporters, SSNB now has license plates for sale. We are working on getting French plates as well.


Please email us at: for orders or check the announcement on our Facebook group for local SSNB merch volunteers.

SSNB Merch depots:

  • SSNB HQ at 31 main Street in Petitcodiac (The new Petitcodiac Community Hub-The Vault))
  • 104 Argyle Street, Fredericton
  • Various volunteers, scattered all over NB!

We also sell 2″X2″ signs ($20) and bumper stickers ($10).

Signs are too large to mail.

SSNB issued third annual report card to elected parties in NB Legislature

CBC article about our event:

CBC NEWS at 6 COVERAGE (9 minute mark)

Report on the Efforts of Political Parties on the Issue – the Good, the Bad and the Failed Starts

The 2019/2020 Legislature Sessions (Second and Third of 59th Legislature) have seen some forward motion on the issue of banning spraying of herbicides on public lands but has come far short of actually banning or reducing spraying. Following the 2018 election, SSNB organised an event with all the Parties to discuss the formulation of legislation on the issue and much rhetoric was made about moving the issue forward but we are still waiting for its realisation.

Currently with the elected parties the Green Party has been the most active: Green tabled motion to ban glyphosate on Oct. 24, 2018 however they failed to pursue this motion for second reading and debate. They did however follow this up with tabling Bill #7 in November 2019 that includes a ban on spraying alongside other forestry issues. Sadly, the Greens did not pursue a second reading and debate on their own legislation.

This was followed by the Liberal Party motion tabled also in November 2019 to study glyphosate which was debated and voted on December 2019. During the process the Green Party proposed an amendment during this debate to band spraying on crown land and under NB Power lines which received votes by the Green and People’s Alliance of NB only and thus was defeated. The proposed committee by the Liberal Party was amended into a multi-party standing committee for Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship. First item on the agenda for this committee: Pesticides in general but the current pandemic has sidelined the work of the Committee and the expert testimony needed to seriously discuss the issue.

The current Progressive Conservative Government has also made statements about their support for curbing spraying of herbicides with an announcement in 2019 that 121 hectares reduction in spraying on watersheds. As yet, there has been no actual documentation that spray licenses were denied in watersheds nor if they were actually requested. The rhetoric was also increased with promises made that there would be:

  • more transparent, DERD website (not yet released after 18 months)
  • enforcement of buffer zones (no confirmation that this is happening)
  • 5% more conservation of public land including 300,000 hectares of crown land.

This last point which has been claimed by the Province as a major conservancy effort came at the behest of local CSOs who have been advocating for more conservation and with $9.3 Million of Federal funding made available – half of which will go to purchasing private land to conserve. This commitment for conservation was actually made by the then Liberal Minister Rick Doucet in Fall 2018.  While all conservation is good, the claims of the Province that this was and is a PC led initiative do not stand up to simple scrutiny of the facts. In the SSNB meetings with DERD, it was reported that there will actually be increased intensity of spraying on crown land to meet promised wood supply to industry.

While we are very pleased with the progress made towards stop spraying in NB, thanks to all the efforts made by our 15,000 members and the 35,000 plus that signed the petition, SSNB feels that all political parties need to step up their efforts to actually put in place a ban on herbicide spraying on public lands. The issue has grown from a non-issue in Provincial politics to being a major election issue but we are still waiting for an actual ban or significant reduction in herbicide use on public lands. The electorate want this to happen but we are only seeing small tangible results occurring. Our fight to stop spraying NB continues.