Land Use Planning and Forest Management

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Land use Planning

The Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory is one of the few regions in Québec not to be covered by a public land use plan (PATP) or regional plan for integrated natural resource and land development (PRDIRT). This situation poses unique challenges in terms of the orientations and priorities for regional development and conservation. The Agreement on Governance in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory (signed in July 2012) provides for the participation of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government (EIBJRG) in the development of the PATP and the PRDIRT applicable to the Category III lands in the Territory.

Recent actions:

  • March 2017: notice to EIBJRG concerning the development of the PATP
  • October 2017: second opinion to EIBJRG, concerning the preparation of the PRDIRT
  • August 2018: comments to the MERN concerning the proposal for a revised approach to public land use planning

The JBACE is still focused on this issue and will evaluate its actions in the coming months.

Caribou

The status of the Woodland Caribou has been troubling for several years and, given its cultural importance to the Cree communities, the JBACE has been monitoring the situation for at least ten years. The recovery of the Woodland Caribou requires the attention of all levels of government and the JBACE has a common interest in the implementation of the Woodland Caribou plans produced by both the federal and provincial governments.

Recent actions:

  • September 2016: letter to the MFFP expressing the JBACE’s concerns about the impact of forest management on woodland caribou habitat
  • December 2016: presentation from the MFFP of the Action Plan for the Recovery of the Woodland Caribou to the JBACE
  • December 2016: presentation from the Canadian Wildlife Service of the Guidance Document for Woodland Caribou Range Plans
  • June 2017: recommendation to the MFFP regarding the interlinkage of the Woodland Caribou recovery strategy and forest management planning (via Tactical Integrated Forest Management Plans - or PAFIT)
  • November 2017: comments to the federal and provincial governments highlighting the importance of a dialogue between them and the Cree so as to ensure that the Woodland Caribou recovery plans and strategies are adapted to the context of the Territory
  • December 2017: submission to the JBACE of an internal report of an expert on the status of Woodland Caribou populations in the Territory as well as the assessment and inventory of potential protection measures to guide the Committee in planning next steps

Following the review of the expert report submitted in December 2017, the JBACE will establish its priorities and evaluate the next steps. In addition, the JBACE will continue to monitor the status of this file in conjunction with the development of forest management plans and land use plans.

Tactical Integrated Forest Management Plans

One of the mandates of the JBACE is the analysis of Tactical Integrated Forest Management Plans (PAFIT) prior to ministerial approval. In addition to the JBACE, several organizations are also consulted: Cree-Québec Forestry Board (CQFB), joint community working groups, local integrated resource and land management tables (TLGIRT). The JBACE will consider the work of these organizations in its review.

Actions undertaken prior to the review of the next generation of PAFITs:

  • February 2016: workshop with experts on forest management leading to the adoption of two parameters that will guide the review of PAFITs
  • February 2017: development of a new approach for the review of PAFITs
  • November 2018: comments to the MFFP regarding information available for public consultation on Operational Integrated Forest Management Plans (PAFIO)
  • December 2018: Selection of a firm to review the PAFIT

The next PAFITs should be tabled in the summer of 2019 and the JBACE will review them.