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MEDIA RELEASE
STRONG supports Forest Charter
October 9, 2007
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Saving The Region of Ontario North Group, (STRONG) held an executive meeting on Saturday, October 6th, in Smooth Rock Falls and unanimously indorsed a Forest Charter drafted by the Northern Ontario Sustainable Communities Partnership (NOSCP) which was released on August 20 th, 2007.

NOSCP is a range of individuals and organizations, including northern municipalities, non-governmental organizations, academics and Aboriginal organizations that came together November 2006 in response to the forest industry crisis.  

The Charter promotes community-based decision-making for the publicly owned forests of Northern Ontario, an issue that STRONG, a non-profit organization with thousands of members across Ontario, has been fighting for since its formation in March of 2005.  

Al Simard, STRONG president stated, "It is time the government stops favoring corporations over community sustainability. Not only have we endorsed the Forest Charter, we will work together with NOSCP to promote it".

You can endorse the Forest Charter on line at:  www.gcf-on.ca/noscp  or www.thestrongroup.org

Forest Charter:

1.  To localize control of forest management to maintain environmental sustainability while supporting the social and economic health of the people of the region.   

2.  To ensure governance mechanisms that provide effective management of community forests.   

3.  To ensure the separation of forest management from any one specific user group (e.g. mills).   

4.  To recognize, respect and help to resolve Aboriginal and treaty rights by working with Aboriginal communities.   

5.  To maintain public ownership and shared decision-making for all Crown forested lands.   

6.  To direct the resources of the forests to the economic and social development of the people of the region   

7.  To co-operate and organize regionally to promote healthy forests and communities.   

8.  To have the support of provincial and federal governments in promoting diversified local/regional  economies, especially value-added production, based on a variety of forest-based businesses  and activities, both timber and non-timber.   

9.  To have government investments directed towards community-based forest management.   

10. To promote a strong working relationship with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and  other government departments, federal and provincial, including scientific and management  support.   

11. To ensure best end use and highest value forest products are produced from forested lands.   

12. To advocate for fair trade policies that ensure communities receive full value for their resources and labour.

STRONG
RR#2, Lot 3, Con 9
Kapuskasing ON
P5N 2X8

E-mail:   wearestrong@gmail.com

Website: www.thestrongroup.org

Phone: 705-337-1580
Cell:     705-335-0627
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