10/16/2014 11:06 EDT | Updated 12/16/2014 05:59 EST

New Brunswick chiefs again denied in efforts to block new forestry plan

FREDERICTON - First Nations chiefs in New Brunswick have again been denied in their efforts to block the provincial government from increasing the amount of lumber that can be cut from Crown lands.

Justice Margaret Larlee of the province's Court of Appeal has dismissed an application for leave to appeal an Aug. 22 ruling in the Court of Queen's Bench that rejected the chiefs' call for an injunction.

The chiefs say the province has failed to adequately consult First Nations communities about its 10-year forestry plan, which gives forestry companies access to 3.9 million cubic metres of softwood on Crown land, an increase of about 20 per cent.

They also argued that the increase in the amount of wood being cut will cause irreversible harm to the environment and plant and animal species.

In her decision dated Oct. 9, Larlee said there was insufficient evidence to prove that harm would be caused.

She said consultation is ongoing and it is premature to make a determination about harm that has not occurred.

"I am also not persuaded the application judge committed any palpable and overriding error of fact or failed to consider any relevant evidence," Larlee wrote.