Nova Scotia ‘High Production Forestry Discussion paper’ now available, March 13 is deadline for public comment 21Feb 2020

L&F issued its latest “Ecological Forestry Update / Lahey Implementation Update” on Feb 19, 2020. In it, the statement: “A discussion paper that provides the description and rationale for this proposal will be available on our website… for public comment today.”

It wasn’t there on the 19th, I didn’t check yesterday, but anyway it’s out today: View link to High production forestry criteria on the Ecological Forestry page.

The specific 26 page document is listed under Review Material: High Production Forestry Phase 1 – Discussion Paper (February, 2020)

The “Consultation Timeline”:

The public can submit to ecologicalforestry@novascotia.ca. Please include “High Production Forestry” in the subject line. The consultation closes 13 March.
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Nova Scotia L&F issues an “Ecological Forestry Update / Lahey Implementation Update” 19Feb2020

Received today:

From: ecologicalforestry <ecologicalforestry@novascotia.ca>
To: ecologicalforestry

Feb. 19 at 10:38 a.m.

The Department of Lands and Forestry continues to be committed to implementing ecological forestry using a triad model approach.

Ongoing collaboration between department staff and external experts has resulted in progress in numerous key areas, including:
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In 2020, strict standards and transparency are required for Nova Scotia’s forest chipping/bioenergy projects to be credible as “good for the environment” 11Feb2020

Curved arrows represent biologically mediated flows of GHGs: the straight arrow, industrial emissions of GHGs; and the symbols at bottom right, long term sequestration of carbon in the oceans. Carbon dioxide is the most important GHG in relation to forestry.

Small scale wood chip-heating systems for public buildings are currently being fast-tracked by L&F as a partial substitute for The Mill as a market for low value wood, and touted as “carbon-friendly fuel“.

A much bolder vision is being promoted by British businessman Richard Spinks. He proposes

“…to develop a second generation biomass pellet manufacturing facility in Pictou County. The proposal targets an investment of $84 million Canadian, and would involve shipping 600,000 tonnes of product per annum within 12-18 months of project start
– from Pictou County Chamber: ‘Green’ business proposal could spell jobs for county by Jackie Jardin in pictouadvocate.com Feb 6, 2020.

The proposal has already been endorsed by Pictou County County Chamber of Commerce Chairman Blair Van Veld who is “over the moon” about it (Pictou Advocate Feb 6, 2020); it is  also touted in a Feb 20 Chronicle Herald editorial.
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Nova Scotia Lands & Forestry looking for “Manager – Ecosystems and Habitats” 30Jan2020

It remains difficult to find out who does what at L&F

From  jobs.novascotia.ca

Date: Jan 27, 2020
Apply By: 2/10/2020
Lands and Forestry
Manager – Ecosystems and Habitats, Permanent, KENTVILLE
Competition # 23687
…As the Manager of Ecosystems and Habitats, you will lead a team of 6 scientists, technicians and specialists in wildlife habitat, modelling, ecology and GIS responsible for policy, research, legislation and management strategies for the stewardship of Nova Scotia’s ecosystems and wildlife habitats. You will provide leadership, scientific and management expertise and coordination on ecosystem and habitat issues in order to meet provincial, national and international objectives.

….You have a critical role in the implementation of ecological forestry and landscape level planning in Nova Scotia by collaborating with forestry specialists and contributing to the development of new forest management methods.
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A sober but hopeful start to the New Year 1Jan2020

Premier McNeil’s announcement Dec 20, 2019 that he would be honouring the Boat Harbour Act, and Northern Pulp’s announcement that they would close The Mill mark a historic transition on several fronts.

The sober part is the direct loss of jobs in rural areas and further indirect effects on the rural economy in NS.

I think all Nova Scotians are empathetic to the stresses that is causing to many individuals,  families and communities; it was written on the face and in the voice and words of Premier McNeil when he made the announcement, and likewise on the face and in the voice and words of Chief Andrea Paul (re: CBC, Dec 20, 2019)

The hopeful part is that it means we have an opportunity to ‘get it right’ this time around, and come up with alternatives to The Mill that do not compromise our environment but do provide  sustainable livelihoods based on our forests.

It is also incredibly opportune as it is at exactly this juncture that the world seems to be coming to grips with the reality of climate warming, biodiversity losses and environmental degradation more generally;  we Nova Scotians could really carry  our weight in regards to mitigating climate and biodiversity decline change by making fundamental changes in the way we view and manage our forests.
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Nova Scotia Premier McNeil keeps commitment to Pictou Landing First Nation to close Boat Harbour mill effluent treatment facility, Northern Pulp mill will shut down 20Dec2019

“In 2015, I made a commitment to clean up Boat Harbour and I am honouring that commitment today. Now, I am making a commitment to the workers of the mill and the forestry sector throughout Nova Scotia that we will be here for you in this transition – and make no mistake, I will honour that commitment as well.” – News Release

As reported on CBC*:
__________
*Northern Pulp plans to shut down Nova Scotia mill after premier refuses to grant extension By Michael Gorman for CBC News Dec 20, 2019

After three days of public silence, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil delivered a decision that could define his time in office — his government won’t amend the Boat Harbour Act, forcing the impending closure of Northern Pulp’s effluent facility by the end of January.
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Don Wilson: a recent Supreme Court ruling says volumes about the Northern Pulp Mill’s future 18Dec2019

Screen capture from Supreme Court of Canada webpage (click on image to go to the page)

Received today from Don Wilson, who has written many op-eds about NS forestry in Saltwire publications (some cited on NSFN):

After the Pulp Mill

The Supreme Court of Canada web site has published it’s Dec 6, 2019 decision that says pulp mills are responsible for clean up of pollutant(s), not governments, irregardless of indemnity contracts previously given or signed.

That says volumes about the Northern Pulp Mill’s future.
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Posted in Pulp & Paper | Comments Off on Don Wilson: a recent Supreme Court ruling says volumes about the Northern Pulp Mill’s future 18Dec2019

Nova Scotia Premier delays news conference on Boat Harbour until Dec 20th (Friday) 18Dec2019

For what it’s worth, I take the Premier at his word on Boat Harbour

Also view:
Premier’s delay on Boat Harbour decision draws opposition ire
Michael Gorman for CBC News, Dec 18, 2019:

From News Release

Premier’s Office
December 18, 2019 – 9:52 AM

NOTE: The following is a statement from Premier Stephen McNeil in response to the Minister of Environment’s decision on Northern Pulp’s proposed effluent treatment plant.

I would like to thank the regulator, Minister Wilson and his team for their hard work on the Northern Pulp file. According to the regulator, Northern Pulp has provided some of the scientific evidence required, but not enough, meaning more work would need to be done.
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Posted in Pulp & Paper | Comments Off on Nova Scotia Premier delays news conference on Boat Harbour until Dec 20th (Friday) 18Dec2019

Live: Nova Scotia rules on mill’s plan to pump effluent into Northumberland Strait 17Dec2019

CBC: “That means the matter will run squarely into the terms of the Boat Harbour Act”…Premier scheduled to address reporters tomorrow (Wed Dec 18, 2019)

“All decisions I will make will be based on science”. Many questions about poss. extension of Boat harbour. The Minister: “Decisions made on Boat Harbour are not made within this department”

UPDATE 4 pm Dec 17: Northern Pulp says company and Nova Scotia forestry industry in jeopardy following decision
The News (new Glascow), Dec 17, 2019.

An Environmental Assessment and the continued operations of Northern Pulp require an extension to the Boat Harbour Act,” he [Brian Baarda, CEO, Paper Excellence Canada] said. “Until we have a decision on the extension of the Boat Harbour Act, the future of Northern Pulp and Nova Scotia’s Forestry Sector remain in jeopardy.

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Moving Beyond Lahey: can Nova Scotia participate in a “Global Deal for Nature”? 14Dec2019

In the context of the messages coming from COP25, the Lahey Recommendations are too little and their implementation by L&F far too tardy

Who knows what forces caused the beautiful contortions of this now old red maple?  It seems to express both the beauty and anguish of our natural world – including Homo sapiens – in 2019

Today (Sat Dec14, 2019):

The COP25 Climate negotiations in Madrid are set to continue today as countries are reported to be struggling to find common ground on issues related to finance and ambition.

The two week summit was supposed to conclude yesterday but many issues remain unresolved.

…The summit is meant to decide on rules for the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

The summit in Madrid arrives on the heels of climate-related disasters across the planet, including unprecedented cyclones, deadly droughts and record-setting heatwaves.

…The UN said this month that in order for the world to limit warming to 1.5C, emissions would need to drop over seven percent annually to 2030, requiring nothing less than a restructuring of the global economy.

In fact, they are currently rising year-on-year, and have grown four percent since the Paris deal was signed.

COP25 climate negotiations set to continue in Madrid
On RTE (Ireland’s National Television and Radio Broadcaster) Dec 14, 2019

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I have found it challenging to write this blog over most of 2019; too much of the news around forests and forestry has been negative and even the best that we might achieve by fully implementing the Lahey recommendations appears far too inadequate to address the dual challenges of climate warming and biodiversity losses.
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