Québec Government’s Forest Management Practices Endangering Future of Maple Syrup Industry and our Forest Resource
With logging due to begin this fall, Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) is once again raising the alarm about the serious impacts of the Québec Timber Production Strategy. Introduced last December by the Ministre des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP), the policy has devastating consequences for maple producers on public lands and the future of the maple industry in general. QMSP is pressing for changes before too much damage is done.
According to QMSP President Serge Beaulieu, “This strategy jeopardizes not only the healthy development of the maple syrup industry but the very future of Québec’s forests because it targets all trees of a diameter over 44 cm and sends them to the sawmill. Once they’re gone, it takes 40 – 60 years before another maple will grow to a maturity sufficient for tapping.” QMSP is pleading with MFFP to adopt more intelligent and sustainable forest management practices. Such an approach will preserve the industry’s potential as it faces unprecedented growth in demand from around the world. The government strategy sets aside a mere 30,000 hectares of public land to maple production, far less than the 200,000 hectares QMSP says the industry will need.
MFFP Must Rethink its Forest Management Approach
Maple production depends on healthy forest management. QMSP advocates for a best-practices approach that results in a win-win situation for all. That includes a sustainable harvest regime in the maple forest, one that will see regeneration of sap-producing trees within 30 – 40 years. Maple producers are perfectly placed to conduct the planning and execution of silvicultural work as well as the processing and sale of the timber resource. Wood would be harvested and sold at fair market value to the region’s wood producers. In this way, the forest industry suffers no adverse effects from proper management techniques but benefits from them, saving the costs of harvesting while still earning revenue from the resource.
The Désiré Logging Site: Just One of Many
QMSP paid a visit to the Désiré logging site in the Upper Laurentians to assess the expected impact of the Québec Timber Production Strategy on our forest heritage and the maple industry. The issues and solutions are depicted in a video shot onsite and in data sheets, all available at the QMSP website.
The Désiré site is not the only one. There are similar danger spots throughout the province’s maple-producing regions: the Lanaudière, Outaouais-Laurentides, Estrie, Bas-Saint-Laurent–Gaspésie, Mauricie, Appalaches-Beauce-Lotbinière, Beauce, Côte-du-Sud, and Québec–Rive-Nord.
Some 20% of taps in Québec (Economic Report – 2020 Statistics, p. 14 and 15) are located on public land, which is administered by the government for the common good.
QMSP reiterates its demand to MFFP: Stop the logging at Lac Désiré and wherever it’s planned in Québec. The future of maple production and those who make their living at it is at risk. The time to act is now.
About Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) and the Érable du Québec brand
Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) represents the interests of 11,300 men and women who proudly produce maple syrup, a true emblem of Québec culture. By investing in research, innovation, promotion, and market development, QMSP enacts its mission of developing the production and sales of Québec maple products to their full potential at home and abroad.
Québec accounts for an average 72% of the world’s maple syrup supply, allowing the people of some 60 nations to enjoy the unique taste of this eco-friendly, renewable product.
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