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Crown land logging OK’d for N.B. natives

The decision, deferred for a year, could mean chaos for the provincial forestry industry

By David Stonehouse

FREDERICTON — Natives in New Brunswick are hailing a court victory that grants them the inherent right to harvest wood on Crown lands, but the decision could mean chaos for the provincial forestry industry.

Thursday’s ruling throws out existing logging agreements between the government and native bands.

In an attempt to maintain stability in the forests, the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick deferred the ruling for a year to allow native leaders and the government to hammer out new formal deals on how Crown lands will be harvested.

But one native leader Thursday could not guarantee native loggers will not start harvesting before the year is up.

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