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New Manitoba regulations protect forests from insects and disease


May 21, 2009
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Manitoba’s new Forest Health Protection Act aims to protect the province’s forest resources from invasive threats. …

Manitoba’s new Forest Health Protection Act aims to protect the province’s forest resources from invasive threats. According to Manitoba’s Conservation Minister Stan Struthers, the Act is the first comprehensive, provincial legislation in Canada that protects forest resources from invasive forest threats.

“The proclamation of this new act and its regulations better protects Manitoba’s trees and forests from threats that could also harm the forest industry, urban forests, and our natural landscapes,” says Struthers. “It addresses invasive threats such as insect pests and diseases that have not yet arrived in Manitoba, as well as numerous pests we face in our current environment.”

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The new act replaces Manitoba’s Dutch Elm Disease Act and modifies restrictions on the movement of elm tree material to better limit spread of this serious disease.

The act also prohibits anyone from bringing harmful forest pests or certain woods such as raw ash products into Manitoba from areas infested with the emerald ash borer. This will help prevent the introduction and spread of new pests and diseases in Manitoba.

The new Forest Health Protection Act also:

– sets out actions by provincial inspectors and officers to prevent or control an outbreak of an invasive forest threat including access to any land;

– allows notices to be issued prohibiting any movement of a forest threat or related material;

– gives officers and inspectors the power to issue a quarantine order, prohibiting moving or tampering with any potentially infected forest products.

The new act also provides for establishment of a forest threat response zone.  In such zones, moving, pruning or work on certain forest products could be prohibited.  In addition, if it is deemed necessary to eliminate a forest threat in such a zone, any trees that are potential hosts for a forest threat could be removed or other actions taken to control the pest.

The new act also regulates licensing for professional arborists in Manitoba.  The regulation requires all arborists or tree-care workers to possess a valid license and carry identification and proof of insurance.


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