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Environmentalists critical of Ontario government’s forestry plan

Logs are stacked at Murray Brothers Lumber Company woodlot in Madawaska, Ontario on Tuesday April 25, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

TORONTO – Environmentalists are asking Premier Doug Ford’s government not to proceed with a plan that would double logging volumes in Ontario over the next decade.

Groups including the David Suzuki Foundation, Ontario Nature and the Wildlands League say they oppose the plan because it will hurt the environment and a number of endangered species.

The government strategy proposes to increase logging on Crown-owned lands from 15 million cubic metres to 30 million cubic metres by 2030 to create more jobs in the sector.

READ MORE: Ottawa pledges to spend $15 million to save Ontario’s tree-planting program

A government spokeswoman says the province’s forest management plan has determined 30 million cubic metres is a sustainable harvest.

But environmentalists say the province has provided no evidence to prove that amount is sustainable and the government has limited feedback on its proposal.

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Public consultations on the forestry strategy close Wednesday.

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