I am writing to you from the beautiful little town of Birchy Bay to talk about a local issue.
On Monday of this week (letter was submitted on Feb. 1), being such a nice day I decided, as I sometimes do, to take a 'walk down through the woods' here in town.
Well, I did not get very far when I was shocked and appalled at what I saw. The place was cleaned right out. Only stumps and alders left standing. Further survey reveled that there were at least two other areas had suffered the same fate.
Domestic woodcutters are legitimately cutting firewood right here in town and according to present regulations they can cut any tree that is 75M from the center of the road.
Now, it's too late for those areas already devastated. Nothing can be done. They are gone. They will keep a few houses warm and cozy next year. That’s it. It gone and we can't get it back.
However, there several other groves of tree close by. And under present regulations they can be cut at will - if you have a permit. A lot of these trees come up to people's property which is usually 66M or 99M. So, right now they can cut all of those trees right up to the edge of private property. There is absolutely no protection. Anyone from any town can come and take what they want.
There is an abundance of firewood on Crown lands further back from the town. These trees are for use by ALL citizens: not just for a few private individuals. There is no need to be cutting those trees that are right here in town.
These groves of trees provide an excellent wind break, both to homes and to prevent snow drifting across our roads; an excellent natural method of preventing soil erosion; an excellent natural habitat to small birds and small woodland creatures; greatly adds beauty to our town; an excellent drug free therapeutic remedy for mental health issues.
Yes, even a nice little place to take the kids for a little 'boil up'.
This has to stop.
At present the Town Council have not asked for jurisdiction over the forest on Crown lands within the town's boundaries. It can be done by simply applying to Department of Forestry. Other towns in this have been given areas of exemptions. We too, can have a green zone around our town.
In the meantime few of us are trying to make citizens aware of what is happening ...and they can see for themselves just by walking or taking a short snowmobile ride... (I tell ya some of the spots are cropped right over.) Also, they can visit the webpage https://www.facebook.com/greenbirchybay for more information and view the six suggested actions.
Furthermore, there is a petition posted in some of the business in town.
So, citizens, if you are concerned about protecting the trees in our town then let someone know about it.