Local foragers hope to restore New Brunswick’s harmed forests, starting with mycorrhiza

“Over time, the region’s forests have been repeatedly clearcut, decimating New Brunswick’s Acadian forest and affecting biodiversity and freshwater ecosystems. According to a study published by researchers at Oregon State University, since 1985, over three million hectares of forests have been clearcut in Eastern Canada, resulting in vast reductions in tree species diversity and the loss of between 33 and 104 million birds.”

Read about one forest regeneration effort in New Brunswick, HERE. The author is Harrison Dressler, a researcher and writer working out of the Human Environments Workshop (HEW) funded by RAVEN.

Commentary: New Brunswick’s unchecked timber industries have left our forests in ruin and our people without land

Harrison Dressler’s latest article in the NB Media Co-op tells the story of Babalu Eye Anu Shabazz and his father and their struggle to foster ecological diversity in rural New Brunswick. Here’s a quote:

“Before 2001, you could mill all your own wood and build your own house,” Baba Shabazz explained. “Now, all of a sudden, in New Brunswick, people can’t afford to stay on their own land – which is a continuation of the legacy of Canada. You see this theme being repeated. People try to steward their own land. They’re used to create resources, and later they’re pushed off so that someone else can eat off of that.”

Read the full story HERE. Harrison is a researcher and writer working out of the Human Environments Workshop (HEW) funded by RAVEN.

Land ‘buy back’ at Whaelghinbran Farm is protecting the Acadian forest

In New Brunswick, we don’t just need access to land for today, we need access to land for future generations, writes Amy Floyd, in one of her last articles for RAVEN published in the NB Media Co-op.

The owners of Whaelghinbran Farm near Penobsquis) found a creative solution to this challenge through an arrangement with the New Brunswick Community Land Trust. Read Amy’s article HERE.

Wolastoqey Nations claim title to land owned by JD Irving and other companies due to “reckless resource extraction”

RAVEN lead investigator Susan O’Donnell published an article today about the title claim by Wolastoqey Nations for land owned by NB Power and the largest forestry companies in New Brunswick. Read the article here in the NB Media Co-op.

Environmental groups call for action toward a sustainable New Brunswick

RAVEN and other environmental groups across New Brunswick issued a call for action today. The climate emergency requires radical improvements in our treaty relationship and our relationship with nature and the environment, the way we produce and consume energy and food, and our approach to education and health services and management of our forests, waters and coastlines.

RAVEN is a member of the New Brunswick Environmental Network that published Greenprint 2021 today. RAVEN supported the publication development and we’re pleased to promote it.

HERE is the link to Greenprint 2021: Towards a Sustainable New Brunswick.

Read the article published by the NB Media Co-op, HERE.

Letters from the Future New Brunswick

Our new book is published! Letters from the Future: How New Brunswickers Confronted Climate Change and Redefined Progress features 37 authors from different backgrounds with many different ideas.

There’s info in the NB Media Co-op story about the book and where to buy or order it. Help us get the word out by sharing this info with your networks, including on your social media. The awesome book launch video link is also below.

Launch story, Letters from the Future New Brunswick: https://nbmediacoop.org/2021/11/01/29241/

Launch video:

The book is in bookstores now. We are also having an in-person book launch and discussion with the editors and local authors at the Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Centre in St. Andrews on Saturday, Nov. 20 from 3 to 5pm. Everyone is welcome to join us there!

Winning the Race to the Bottom: New Brunswick Forestry in Historical Context

The video is now available of the Tertulia co-hosted by RAVEN featuring Bill Parenteau and Mark McLaughlin sharing their political economy and historical insights about how our forest came to be managed the way it has been in New Brunswick. You can view the video published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op, HERE.

New Brunswick Forestry in Historical Perspective

Tertulia – Winning the Race to the Bottom: New Brunswick Forestry in Historical Perspective

RAVEN is a partner on this event, organized by Tertulias.

With New Brunswick’s Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship set to discuss glyphosate spraying of the forest, record breaking timber prices and a government unwilling to increase Crown timber royalty rates, environmental historians and Bill Parenteau and Mark McLaughlin will share insights of political economy and historical context to discuss how our forest came to be managed the way it has.

Wednesday, June 9 at 7:30pm (Atlantic time) on Zoom.

Bill Parenteau is a recently retired Professor of History at the University of New Brunswick. His published research is, broadly, on the political economy and environmental history of Atlantic Canada. Additionally, he is a frequent public commentator on forest industry issues and a participant in Indigenous treaty and land rights cases.
Mark McLaughlin is an Assistant Professor of History and Canadian Studies at the University of Maine. Dr. McLaughlin’s research has focused on forestry and natural resource management, particularly the notions of forests as contested spaces and the state as mediator between various user groups competing for access to public resources.

This talk is co-presented by Tertulias Fredericton, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, RAVEN and the NB Media Co-op.

Watch on Zoom here.
Watch on Facebook live here.Stay updated/spread the word on the Facebook event page.

What is a tertulia? A tertulia can be described as a kind of philosophy café where participants talk about big thinkers, artists and ideas. This winter and spring, Tertulias Fredericton has put together a series on activists and social movements that have shaped our lives and allowed us to imagine a better future.

Tertulias Fredericton is supported by the NB Media Co-op, publisher of videos of the Tertulia talks.

For more information, visit Tertulias Fredericton on Facebook or contact: fredericton.tertulia@gmail.com.

Bill to ban glyphosate tabled by New Brunswick MP

This week MP Jenica Atwin (Fredericton) tabled a private members’ bill to ban the use of glyphosate in Canada.

In the video of her intervention, made from her Fredericton North constituency office, Atwin stated: “The widespread use of glyphosate over New Brunswick forests and across Canada is a menace to human health, and plant and wildlife diversity.”

Atwin’s bill builds on a growing global consensus against the use of the poisonous herbicide, following the International Agency for Research on Cancer finding that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen.

“Rather than allowing toxic chemicals to be sprayed in Canada until they are proven harmful, we should be exercising greater precaution: banning products until they can be deemed safe,” said the MP. “Canadians have the right to breathe clean air, drink safe water, and harvest healthy foods from the land.”

Read the full story in the NB Media Co-op, written by RAVEN lead investigator Susan O’Donnell.

Bob Bancroft: Where have all the good forests gone? [video]

RAVEN, the NB Media Co-op and St. Thomas University’s Environmental Praxis Lecture Series continues its partnership. In this presentation, Bob Bancroft, a wildlife biologist and the president of Nature Nova Scotia, delivered the talk, “Where have all the good forests gone?”

RAVEN partner the NB Media Co-op published the video of his talk, here.

Restoring Acadian forest on private land

RAVEN’s Cortney MacDonnell’s story this week published in the NB Media Co-op, “New partnership forms for restoring Acadian forest on private land in the Maritimes,” features UNB prof Tom Beckley, a RAVEN friend we have worked with on several activities. You can read Cortney’s story here.

New Brunswick’s tree species and climate change

RAVEN’s new Environmental Action reporter Cortney McDonnell published her first article today with our partner, the NB Media Co-op. Cortney has a background and keen interest in forestry management and for this article she interviewed scientists about the impact of climate change on our acadian forest. You can read Cortney’s article here.

Woodstock wood producer supports Wolastoqey loggers earning a livelihood

RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn wrote a story published today by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op. Her story includes an interview with a wood producer who supports Wolastoqey loggers. Last month, Tracy wrote a story about the court case brought by Wolastoqey First Nations against the province of New Brunswick for violating treaty right to harvest timber for a moderate livelihood. You can read Tracy’s new story here.

Wolastoqey First Nations and the treaty right to harvest timber for a moderate livelihood

RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn published a story today in the NB Media Co-op about the suit against the government by six Wolastoqey First Nations for depriving the Wolastoqey people their treaty right to harvest Crown timber in order to earn a moderate livelihood. You can read Tracy’s story here.

Manufacturing consent for an extractive regime in rural NB

RAVEN’s first academic article was published this week, in the Journal of Rural and Community Development. The article: “Manufacturing Consent for an Extractive Regime in Rural New Brunswick, Canada” was written by RAVEN’s Mary Aspinall, Susan O’Donnell, Tracy Glynn and RAVEN friend Tom Beckley, all from the University of New Brunswick.

Stay tuned for some stories about the new article that we’ll write for RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op. In the meantime, you can read the abstract and article online here.

Deforestation under-reported

RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn wrote a story for our partner the NB Media Co-op about a new report with alarming information about deforestation in Canada. Logging roads and forestry operation landings involve considerable deforestation in themselves however roads and landings are not included in the national calculations of deforestation. In fact, the amount reported is only a fraction of the actual total. The report was published by the Wildlands League and Tracy’s story includes input from the NB-based Community Forests International. You can read the story here.

Glyphosate debated in the NB Legislature

Opposition to spraying glyphosate on Crown (public) lands and under power lines is the largest environmental movement in New Brunswick at this time. Today the NB Legislature debated banning the practice of spraying poison on public lands. The proposal was defeated. You can read the article here by RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell, published in the NB Media Co-op.

Action on glyphosate spraying

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell published a story today about the new bill introduced in the NB Legislature to end the practice of spraying the poison glyphosate on Crown lands and waters. The bill also provides for a fair deal for private woodlot owners that will contribute to more sustainable development in rural communities in the province. You can read the story here, published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op.

More developments on Upham Mountain

“The New Brunswick government has given a conditional approval to a J.D. Irving-owned gypsum mine near the Hammond River in Upham leaving rural residents upset by the government’s lack of attention to how the mine could affect their well water and roads.” So begins the update by RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn on the ongoing struggle of residents in the area to protect their local water supply and local roads. You can read Tracy’s story here.

Unearthing Justice: How to protect your community from the mining industry – presentations in Fredericton, Saint John and Sackville

Mark your calendars!

Joan Kuyek, community organizer, author and co-founder of MiningWatch Canada, will be launching her latest book, Unearthing Justice: How To Protect Your Community from the Mining Industry:

The New Brunswick events are supported by RAVEN – Rural Action and Voices for the Environment at the University of New Brunswick, the Canada Research Chair in Global and International Studies at St. Thomas University, the Department of Politics and International Relations at Mount Allison University, MiningWatch Canada and Between the Lines.

About Unearthing Justice

The mining industry continues to be at the forefront of colonial dispossession around the world. It controls information about its intrinsic costs and benefits, propagates myths about its contribution to the economy, shapes government policy and regulation, and deals ruthlessly with its opponents.

Brimming with case studies, anecdotes, resources, and illustrations, Unearthing Justice exposes the mining process and its externalized impacts on the environment, Indigenous Peoples, communities, workers, and governments. But, most importantly, the book shows how people are fighting back. Whether it is to stop a mine before it starts, to get an abandoned mine cleaned up, to change laws and policy, or to mount a campaign to influence investors, Unearthing Justice is an essential handbook for anyone trying to protect the places and people they love.

Order your copy directly from Between the Lines – or ask your local independent bookstore. Books will also be available at the launch events in NB.

Sept 27: Women resisting extractivism

The RAVEN project and the NB Media Co-op’s Voices for the Environment week brings you this event on Sept. 27.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2111324139175403/

The Women Resisting Extractivism and Bridging the Scholar-Activist Divide

When: Friday, Sept. 27 at 2:00pm
Where: Brian Mulroney Hall Rotunda, 3rd Floor, St. Thomas University, Fredericton, Unceded Wolastoqey Territory

Resource extraction – including open-pit mines, mountain top coal removal, gas storage in salt caverns, fracking for shale gas, massive tailings dams and the dumping of mine waste into natural fish-bearing water bodies – is facing fierce resistance right here on unceded Wabanaki territory and across the world. Rural and Indigenous women are among those occupying the front lines of resistance movements against resource extraction. The women defending their land and livelihoods do so while facing gender-based violence.

Hear from scholar-activists on the latest struggles against resource extraction on Turtle Island and beyond. How can scholars contribute to a more just world in the face of runaway resource extraction and climate change? What is the potential for a decolonial feminist praxis?


Ramona Nicholas, Wolastoqey grandmother, UNB Elder-in-Residence and Knowledge Keeper, PhD Candidate and MiningWatch Canada board member, on the struggle to protect Wolastoqey territory from the Sisson mine project.

Sherry Pictou, Mi’kmaw woman from L’sɨtkuk, Professor of Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University, on Indigenous feminist resistance to resource extraction.

Shannon Bell, Professor of Sociology at Virginia Tech and author of Our Roots Run Deep as Ironweed: Appalachian Women and the Fight for Environmental Justice, and Fighting King Coal on the women resisting coal in Appalachia.

Chair: Tracy Glynn, Instructor, St. Thomas University and University of New Brunswick, doctoral researcher with RAVEN and MiningWatch Canada board member.

With a photovoice exhibition and refreshments. All welcome.

Organized by RAVEN Rural Action & Voices for the Environment.

Supported by: NB Media Co-op, Peace and Friendship Alliance, MiningWatch Canada, Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network- BTS, Canada Research Chair in Global & International Studies, STU’s Environment & Society Program and UNB’s International Development Studies Program.

Contact: raven.unb@gmail.com.

Shannon Elizabeth Bell’s visit to UNB

During our Voices for the Environment Week, RAVEN and our research partner the NB Media Co-op invited professor Shannon Bell to visit us. Shannon is with the department of Sociology in Virginia Tech, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

You can meet Shannon at two other RAVEN events: the RAVEN project birthday party on Thursday evening and the Friday panel, the Women Resisting Extractivism. See the Voices for the Environment week in the paragraph below for details of those events. At the Friday panel, Dr. Bell will also be displaying photovoice panels from her work in rural coal-mining communities in West Virginia.

If you are interested in Dr. Bell’s work, please check out her paper: Bridging Activism and the Academy: Exposing Environmental Injustices Through the Feminist Ethnographic Method of Photovoice

You can read and download her paper here. The abstract is below.

The neoliberal rejection of a strong role for governmental regulation of industry has led to increasingly negative consequences for the environment and the people who are forced to bear a disproportionate share of the health and safety hazards created by corporate polluters. The voices of the victims of environmental injustice often go unheard in the policy arena, while an arsenal of paid industry lobbyists exerts undue influence and power over legislative and regulatory agency processes. In this paper, I argue that we as social scientists are frequently positioned in such a way that we could serve as links between the people we study and policymakers, providing an avenue for exposing the ways that neoliberal policies negatively affect the health, safety, and well-being of disenfranchised groups. Through presenting a “Photovoice” project I conducted with 54 women living in five coal-mining communities in southern West Virginia, I demonstrate how feminist activist ethnography, as a distinct type of activist research, can be used for social science inquiry while simultaneously providing an opportunity for research participants’ stories to be heard—and acted upon—by those with political power.

A voice critical of spraying glyphosate is purged

In her article for the NB Media Co-op, RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn writes about Rod Cumberland, recently let go of his teaching position at the Atlantic Forestry College in Fredericton. Cumberland is a well-known critic of the practice of spraying glyphosate on planted forests, and therefore is a foe of this industrial forestry practice in the province. You can read Tracy’s article here.

Resistance to fracking

The Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick issued a statement signed by all the Chiefs strongly opposing the province’s “secret lifting of the fracking moratorium” in the Sussex area. RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell wrote an article for the NB Media Co-op about this and related resistance including in the NB legislative assembly last week. The article is here.

Guest speaker on resource extraction May 27

All friends of the RAVEN project are invited to participate in the guest speaker event at UNB on May 27 – noon in room 221 of the Marshall D’Avery (Education) building on the Fredericton campus. We are planning to have an interesting discussion after Marieka’s talk about the links to resource extraction projects in rural New Brunswick.

“Community Impacts of the Buzz of Natural Resource Extraction: From northern Peru to northern British Columbia.”

Marieka Sax, CIRC Research Lead, UNBC Prince George

In a rural and remote corner of the northern Peruvian Andes, members of an indigenous community are faced with the allure and risk of endorsing a prospective mining operation. While not yet operational, the mine has already produced social impacts with over a decade of exploration, consultation, and protest. Similar processes can be observed in resource-rich areas of Canada, where communities experience the ongoing buzz of resource extraction in between waves of economic boom and bust that reflect volatile commodity prices. This presentation takes a closer look at the Peruvian case, and introduces the buzz concept to think through community impacts of resource extraction over a project’s total lifetime.

Stopping glyphosate spraying in a province captured by industry

RAVEN is supporting our partner, the NB Media Co-op, to produce and share more stories about environmental issues important to rural communities in New Brunswick. There’s a new story today about spraying glyphosate, a topic of considerable concern to many rural residents in the province.

The story, Stopping glyphosate spraying in a province captured by industry” was written by RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell about a public meeting in Plaster Rock. The meeting was co-organized and chaired by RAVEN’s Rowan Miller. You can read the story here.

Video: “We need to take back control of our forest”

In a video produced by the NB Media Co-op, the RAVEN team spoke with Charles Thériault, Kedgwick-based filmmaker and author. You can watch it here. In the video Thériault speaks about the need to take control away from the corporations over New Brunswick’s forest.

Spraying glyphosate on forests clashes with Indigenous rights

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell attended a public event on Nov. 3 in a community hall in Tobique First Nation. At the meeting, 50 people gathered to discuss how to stop the spraying of glyphosate on the New Brunswick forest. She spoke briefly about RAVEN at the gathering and, for the NB Media Co-op, interviewed several people for a news story. You can read it here.

Filmmaker exposes corporate capture in forestry in New Brunswick

For the NB Media C0-op, RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn spoke with NB filmmaker Charles Thériault for a news story. In the story, Charles spoke about how his troubling encounter with a young man in the northern rural New Brunswick community of Kedgwick made him turn his camera on the forest. Read the story here.

Meeting on glyphosate ban

Spraying poison on public (Crown) forests in New Brunswick is an issue that has mobilized thousands of rural residents in the province. RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell wrote a story for the NB Media Co-op about a political meeting organized by Stop Spraying in New Brunswick (SSNB) on October 17 in Fredericton. Read the story here.