New Watercourse Definitions Now in Effect on Private Land!
Dear Woodlot Owner /Producer,Back in late July, we had advised you that changes were anticipated regarding watercourse and wetland regulations found within the New Brunswick Clean Water Act.
Yesterday (January 6, 2017) SNB, along with all other woodlot owner Marketing Boards in the province received notice from Department Of Environment and Local Government (DELG) that these revisions are now in place. DELG representatives acknowledged there was a bit of a communication gap in the circulation of this notice which had been sent to other clients in early October, 2016.
In short, the definition of a what constitutes a watercourse has been changed substantially. In the past, only watercourses that appeared on the 1:10,000 base maps, were considered a watercourse and required a 30 meter buffer.
The new regulation defines a watercourse as being:
a) the bed, banks and sides of any watercourse that is depicted on the New Brunswick Hydrographic Network layer (available on GeoNB Map Viewer);
b) the bed, banks and sides of any incised channel greater than 0.5 metres in width that displays a rock or soil (mineral or organic) bed, that is not depicted on New Brunswick Hydrographic Network layer (available on GeoNB Map Viewer); water/flow does not have to be continuous and may be absent during any time of year; or
c) a natural or man-made basin (i.e. lakes and ponds).
Please see attached notice we received from DELG for further details.
It has been recognized that this definition is a substantial change from what had been in place previously for private land. Furthermore, the new definition leaves a lot of room for varying, subjective interpretations. In an effort to help obtain a clearer interpretation of these changes, the New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners (and the seven woodlot owner Marketing Boards) have requested a meeting with DELG representatives along with Public Safety personnel who are responsible for enforcement.
If you have any questions regarding these changes, there is contact information found at the bottom of the attached notice.
Click HERE to read the notice.
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