Concerned Nova Scotians will continue to play an active role as federal authorities begin implementing new measures dealing with brown spruce longhorn beetles in Nova Scotia, Natural Resources Minister David Morse said today, April 25. The new federal regulatory measures, announced today by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, were developed in consultation with a Nova Scotia stakeholder group that includes the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, the Maritime Lumber Bureau, landowners and representatives of the forestry industry, Halifax Regional Municipality and the New Brunswick government. The Nova Scotia group responded to a Canadian Food Inspection Agency request in February with a proposal for coping with the effects of the beetle. The agency worked closely with all parties and used key components of that proposal to develop its new process. “Stakeholders accept that this is a much more workable plan than a simple expansion of the containment zone,” said Mr. Morse. “We are particularly pleased that the restrictions have been relaxed to focus only on specified wood products that present a risk. “We are also encouraged that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency supports the need for more scientific research; when we better understand the behaviour of this intruder in our forests we will be able to curtail, and perhaps even eradicate, it.” Diana Blenkhorn, president and CEO of the Maritime Lumber Bureau, said it was a challenge to find a solution that could be supported by the science sub-committee, that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency could legally implement, that would address the needs of all the stakeholders while also reducing the beetle population and working towards its eventual eradication. “If the approach announced today is implemented as intended,” she said, “then we will have found a practical and effective solution to the problems the presence of brown spruce longhorn beetle creates in Nova Scotia.” The new regulations, which take effect on May 14, will include an expanded containment zone. Landowners, mill operators and others inside that zone will be able to deal with the specified products (spruce logs, spruce bark and oversized spruce wood chips). Anyone moving those products outside of the containment zone, however, will need to follow additional measures including registration with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
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