Since 2002, measures have been taken on each trapline to ensure the protection of a residual forest cover and to protect forests adjacent to watercourses and lakes. In the context of Adapted Forest Regime (AFR) harmonization under the Sustainable Forest Development Act (SFDA) of April 1, 2013, provision is made for new mechanisms and protection measures.

Biological refuges

 The Agreement provides that location of biological refuges, known but not registered as of April 1, 2013 in the register of protected areas (established in accordance with the Natural Heritage Conservation Act), will be reviewed by the Minister. The new locations will take the Cree tallymen’s needs into account, including the need related to enhancing the protection of forests adjacent to watercourses. These needs are determined with the support of the Joint Working Groups (JWG).

Natural and human disturbances

If substantial damage to timber stands in a forest area is caused by a natural disturbance or human influence, special measures described in the guide annexed to Schedule C-5 of the Harmonized Agreement are applied. The guide contains the mandatory content of a special development plan, the tools required to prepare it and special development modalities to be applied, depending on the severity of the disturbance and the condition of the trapline.

The Minister and the Cree Nation Government (CNG) may agree to modify this guide through a letter of agreement. Special development plans and amendments thereto are prepared and established in accordance with the rules applicable to the integrated forest development plans described in Schedule C-4 of the Harmonized Agreement. To do so, the Minister must take concerted action with the Cree tallyman regarding the general outline and severity of the disturbance, road network development and the location of salvage blocks. To prepare special development plans, the Minister uses the most appropriate methods (satellite images, aerial photos, aerial surveys), when possible, to establish the general outline and severity of the disturbance.

If the areas of special interest identified by the Crees are impacted by such a disturbance, they may be moved, at the Cree tallyman’s discretion.

As soon as possible after the special development plan’s completion, the Minister provides the disturbance statistics to the relevant Joint Working Group and the CNG.

Development of the road access network

To facilitate access to the Territory and harmonization of its various uses, road network development must be subject to concerted action between the Minister and the tallyman responsible for each trapline.

Roads can be temporarily or permanently closed through Cree participation in the forest planning process, provided for in Schedule C-4 of the Harmonized Agreement. The possibility of road closure may be submitted by the Minister to the Joint Working Groups. The Minister may close these roads after consulting the relevant local integrated land and resource management panel (TGIRT) and the relevant organizations for the Territory’s Category II and III lands.

When a culvert or bridge is built, the Minister shall use the best available practices to protect important spawning grounds. These practices will be described in the wildlife habitat management directives mentioned in Schedule C-3 of the Harmonized Agreement. Important spawning grounds can be identified through Cree participation in the forest planning process (Schedule C-4).