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Ecosystem management and forestry planning in Labrador: how does Aboriginal involvement affect management plans?

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Aboriginal peoples are increasingly being invited to participate in sustainable forest management processes as a means of including their knowledge, values, and concerns. However, it is justifiable to ask if this participation does lead to changes in forest management plans and to outcomes in management activities. We review four forest management plans over 10 years (1999–2009) in Labrador, Canada, to determine if increasing involvement by the Aboriginal Innu Nation has led to changes in plan content. We also compare these plans with three plans from another forest management district where there is no Innu presence and with two provincial forest strategies . Analysis shows that Labrador plans prepared since 2000, when the Innu and the provincial government established a collaborative process, are different from all other plans reviewed. Four principal characteristics distinguish these plans: a structure based around ecological, cultural, and economic landscapes, a network of cultural and ecological protected areas, increased attention to social and cultural values, and greater emphasis on research and monitoring. This suggests that Innu involvement has in fact influenced the contents of these plans, developing an innovative approach to implementing ecosystem management and demonstrating the utility of involving Aboriginal peoples in forest management planning processes.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Faculté de foresterie, Université de Moncton, 165 boul. Hébert, Edmundston, NB E3V 2S8, Canada. 2: University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB E3B 5A3, Canada. 3: College of Agriculture and Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A8, Canada.

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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