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Court rejects appeal of MB logging road

The Wilderness Committee's appeal of a new logging road in a provincial park has been dismissed in a written decision by the Manitoba Court of Appeal, the environmental lobbying group said.


February 8, 2013
By Winnipeg Free Press

The Manitoba government licenced Tolko Industries to construct a new logging road through critical caribou habitat in Grass River Provincial Park, where the government has said logging was banned, the committee said.

“This is a very damning decision, and the Manitoba government has to answer for their actions. We were promised a ban on logging in our beloved provincial parks, and it was not delivered,” Eric Reder, the Wilderness Committee’s Manitoba Campaign Director, told the Winnipeg Free Press.

Back in 2011 the Wilderness Committee sought legal clarification on whether, under the newly enacted park logging ban, a logging road is considered logging, and second, whether a logging road is prohibited in a provincial park where logging is banned.

The initial court decision concurred with the Wilderness Committee’s assertion that a logging road can indeed be considered logging, but noted that the building of a logging road was not illegal under the current scheme of legislation.

At that point, the application was dismissed.

In the appeal decision, the court ruled that according to the park logging ban, “…it is only commercial timber cutting rights that authorize logging that are restricted… Any tree felling here is necessarily incidental to the construction of the logging road. The primary purpose is not logging,” Reder said.

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