“The forest is gardened like rhubarb”: Yves Montigny arouses the discontent of environmentalists

Spread the love

“ The forest is gardened like rhubarb””: Yves Montigny arouses discontent among ecologists

The assertion of Yves Montigny, previously president of the forest committee for the UMQ, gave rise to a opinion letter (archives).

Remarks made by the CAQ candidate elected in René-Lévesque during the election campaign caused a reaction: the former mayor of Baie-Comeau, Yves Montigny, has compared the forest to rhubarb, which upsets some skeptics.

That's what is beautiful with the forest, it's that it [is] gardened like our garden. I often say that it [is] gardened like rhubarb. Obviously, we harvest it, but the beauty is that it grows back, mentioned Yves Montigny not only during a speech last spring but also on his Facebook page in September.

Start of the widget. Pass the widget?End of widget. Back to the beginning of the widget?

The former mayor of Baie-Comeau made these remarks in May during the tour of the president of the Union of Quebec Municipalities (UMQ) during his visit in Baie Comeau. Yves Montigny declined our interview request on this subject.

The statement by Yves Montigny, formerly chairman of the forest committee for the UMQ, gave rise to an op-ed published in Le Devoir le October 4 last.

The author of this letter, Louis De Grandpré, deplores the comments made by the elected candidate and says he does not believe that the forest grows back like rhubarb when harvested.

The author of the op-ed, Louis De Grandpré, is land and resource researcher for the Innu Council of Pessamit.

Mr. De Grandpré, who is a land and resource researcher for the Innu Council of Pessamit, argues for a paradigm shift to recognize the forest as a complex and fragile ecosystem.

To consider that it is just a ligneous resource is perhaps to disregard this complexity. And if we develop it without taking this complexity into account, we risk losing a lot in the end, for example in terms of biodiversity, fears the researcher.

The Society for Nature and Parks (SNAP) Quebec is of the same opinion. CPAWS Quebec Director of Conservation Pier-Olivier Boudreault thinks there are many beliefs that need to be deconstructed, including the belief that the forest regenerates itself after clear-cutting.

< source srcset="https://images.radio-canada.ca/q_auto,w_960/v1/ici-info/16x9/pier-olivier-boudreault-directeur-conservation-snap-quebec.JPG" media="(min- width: 0px) and (max-width: 99999px)"/>

Pier-Olivier Boudreault is director of conservation at CPAWS Quebec.

We know that there is a regeneration problem. For example, in the boreal forest, there are almost a quarter of the stands that, after a clear cut, will not even reach seven meters in height after 40 years, explains the biologist.

“There are a lot of indicators that are red. We think of the decline of the woodland caribou, which is a bit like the canary in the mine. »

— Pier-Olivier Boudreault, Director of Conservation at CPAWS Quebec

For his part, the President and CEO of the Quebec Forest Industry Council, Jean-François Samray, is ambivalent, but he defends the position of the former mayor of Baie-Comeau.

Even if he recognizes the complexity of forest management, he agrees with the simplification of the discourse if it allows it to be part of the public debate. On the other hand, from there to compare the forest to rhubarb…

He did so in a context where he argued for the importance of increasing and regionalizing silvicultural budgets in order to ensure that we can better value the forest, says Jean-François Samray.

The President and CEO of the Quebec Forest Industry Council, Jean-François Samray

The return to production is done in a natural way, that is to say that it is the neighboring species of the place where the harvest took place that come to sow and ensure regrowth, adds Mr. Samray.

He believes that the development of the forest is done in a sustainable manner and that the forest industry is subject to the regulations of the Sustainable Forest Management Strategy, in particular.

The state is going to do an audit three or four years after [the logging] to make sure it's done right, says Mr. Samray, who believes that silviculture work after logging is the cornerstone of the sustainable development.

During the election campaign, the Innu community of Pessamit also deplored last May the comments made by Yves Montigny, when the community demanded the support of the government of Quebec in the case of caribou protection on the Nitassinan.

Louis De Grandpré and Pier-Olivier Boudreault hope that a dialogue will begin with the newly elected officials to find solutions to develop and have a more sustainable forest.

With information from Zoé Bellehumeur

Previous Article
Next Article