Burned, the Movie, igniting some passions in Nova Scotia

View Trailer
View Burned – The Movie
View this post for a listing of showings in NS – two left in current sequence, at Centre Burlington on Nov 22, 2018, and Tantallon on Nov 28, 2018

Bev Wigney wrote the following after viewing a showing of Burned: Are Trees The New Coal? on Sun Nov 18, 7:00 p.m., at the United Church, Annapolis Royal:

REVIEW and SUMMARY of “Burned: Are Trees The New Coal?”

For those of you who missed the screening of “Burned” and the discussion that followed, I’ll try to provide a summary while the thoughts are still fresh in my mind. I’ll do this in two posts — one about the film, and one about the discussion.

Burned:
This documentary addresses the unsustainable use of forests to create biomass as a “green” alternative to fossil fuels. Most of the forests and the biomass plants shown in the film are located in the eastern United States. The largest biomass processing plants are along the eastern seaboard, or on the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico. The reason behind their location is that most of the biomass is processed into wood pellets to be shipped out of various ports, bound for England and Europe — where they will be burnt to produce electricity.
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Prof Lahey’s concerns about the Nova Scotia government’s delay in responding to the Independent Review are reflected in frustrations expressed about cuts proposed for Hardwood Hill, Annapolis Co.

“The health and well-being of the natural world around us is a very important part of who Nova Scotians are…The more activity that takes place in the forest without clarity on whether or not the shift that we have called for is going to be implemented, the more skepticism there will be… “ – Bill Lahey, author of the Report on the Independent Review.

Photo by Bev Wigney of a woodpecker tree on Hardwood Hill. View Bev Wigney’s Photo-essay of Life on Hardwood Hill, Annapolis Co..

In a recent CBC Interview, Professor Lahey, author of the Report on the Independent Review, expressed concern that “the more activity that takes place in the forest without clarity on whether or not the shift that we have called for is going to be implemented, the more skepticism there will be about whether or not that activity lines up with the approach that the report calls for.”

Listen to the full CBC interview (Nov 16, 2018)
View an Abbreviated Transcript below.

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Prof Lahey to talk to New Brunswick’s professional foresters about the Independent Review and how the report has been received by the government, media and civil society

From website of The Association of Registered Professional Foresters of New Brunswick:

Topic
Nova Scotia’s Independent Review of Forestry Practices: Paradigms, Ecological Forestry and Triads

Date/Time
November 19, 2018 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location
Wu Centre Auditorium | UNB

Description
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Chronicle Herald further restricts online access to news and opinions

I am sorry to see that the Chronicle Herald now blocks most of its online content – even letters to the editor – with the message “Don’t miss out on stories like this one. Get unlimited digital access for $4.99/month * for the first 3 months” or “Thanks for checking out our premium content. Enjoy unlimited access, subscribe today.”

That comes on top of the CH changing to a new platform in mid-September and not providing access to older content, making many links to CH items published before mid- September 2018 non-functional. That’s a big issue for nsforestnotes.ca where I have attempted to provide “a [public] record of events, news and opinions on the subject of forests and forestry in Nova Scotia as they unfold, beginning on June 21, 2016” and many of the news links on this blog/website are to items in the Chronicle Herald.
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An eloquent appeal to save Hardwood Hill in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Co.

Click on image for larger map

A letter from an Annapolis Co. resident appealing to the Premier and others to reject or greatly modify proposed  Crown land tree harvests on Hardwood Hill has been circulating in social media.

It is as eloquent a statement of how Nova Scotians value our landscapes, and our forests in particular, as I have read anywhere.

It is reproduced below.

Thanks, R.F.
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CBC interviews reveal WestFor got a one year renewal on its access to Nova Scotia’s Western Crown Lands on Oct 1, 2018

There’s a lot in these recent Information Morning interviews, unfortunately none of it indicating any significant changes in the way government/L&F and Industrial Forestry think about forests and forestry in Nova Scotia following the Lahey Report.

Apt Comment received Nov 8:
LAF clearly demonstrates through the on-going clearcuts that they cannot reform themselves from within

4th interview on Nov 8: Ecologist says forests in crisis

5th interview on Nov. 9: Raymond Plourde from the Ecology Action Centre says the province is better at protecting the forestry industry than the forests

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Western Crown lands, modified from CPAWS map (2012)

Westfor lands Western Crown lands, modified from CPAWS map (2012).

In a post on Oct 4, 2018, I asked “While we wait for the government to respond to the Independent Review, what agreement is in place with WestFor?

Now, thanks to some digging by CBC, we know the answer. A one-year agreement was signed 3 days earlier, on Oct 1.
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New Brunswick filmmaker asks ‘Is our forest really ours?”

Nova Scotians are asking the same question as we wait for the government to respond to the Lahey Report and clearcutting continues unabated on Crown lands

Plantation New Brunswick

In Filmmaker exposes corporate capture in forestry in New Brunswick (The New Brunswick Media Co-op, Nov 5, 2018) Tracy Glynn highlights Charles Thériault’s series of films “documenting decades of forest mismanagement and what he calls “corporate capture” of our forest.”

It’s pretty powerful stuff as they say and, sad to say, the story of forestry in Nova Scotia shares many elements with that of N.B.
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EAC sponsors screenings of “Burned – Are Trees the New Coal?” across Nova Scotia

UPDATES (Nov 7, 2018):
The Dark Side of the Bioeconomy: Climate Catastrophe, Forest Destruction, and Human Rights Abuses
Over 115 Organisations from 40 countries hold day of action on Nov 7, 2018 to reject the “BioFuture Platform” .
“The exponential growth of the bioeconomy is a global threat. Instead of contributing to climate mitigation, bioenergy and ‘bio’ products keep energy generation locked-in to the carbon cycle, decrease the amount of land available for food crops, drive land-grabs, and decimate forests – our most efficient carbon sinks.

MIT expert: Carbon-neutral biomass ‘accounting fraud’
Aaron Beswick in the Chronicle Herald NOV 5, 2018

Missing Pathways to 1.5°C
Climate Land Ambition and Rights Alliance – “CLARA pursues climate solutions that work for people—at community, landscape, and national levels. Our work is rooted in the latest science, in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the UN Convention on Biodiversity. We work with scientists, farmers and indigenous leaders to show the crucial role of local solutions for building community and ecosystem resilience in the face of climate change.”
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From EAC>Wilderness>Projects:

Burned Documentary Screenings

We’re proud to present screenings of Burned at locations across Nova Scotia this fall. Burned examines the rise of biomass in the Eastern United States. These are the same issues Nova Scotia is facing today. Following each film, we’ll have a Q&A to discuss what is happening with our forests.
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Permethrin-treated clothing to protect one against ticks/lyme now available in Canada

Kudos to Marks for developing their No Fly Zone products just for Canadians!

tickA few years back (2014) I set up a website and started an Online Petition “to help put pressure on our health officials and politicians to allow & promote safe and sensible use of permethrin treatment of clothing & other fabrics (e.g. tents) in Canada.”

It didn’t get very far, nor did my appeals to Dr. Strang (NS Chief Medical Officer of Health ) to push Health Canada on this front.

So I was pleased to learn recently that Marks Warehouse is now carrying a line of tick- (and mosquito-) repellant clothing:
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Biodiverse Southwest Nova Scotia at Risk

Given the Lahey Report & Recommendations, why are we still making harvest decisions on Crown lands based on a narrow spectrum of highly specialized information that few can critique and on a process that has essentially been discredited?

Screen shot of Harvest Plan Map Viewer, Sep 20, 2018. Titles added for Keji and Dunraven Nature Reserve

A bit of a rant so here’s a table of contents:
Introduction
Why is Biodiverse Southwest Nova Scotia is at Risk?
Two major issues from a biodiversity perspective
(i) Connectivity of habitat
(ii) Soil nutrient depletion/severe acidification of surface waters
A few links
Some related comments on WWNS and HFC Facebook Pages

Introduction
The proverbial 40 days and 40 nights have passed for comments on forest harvest plans on Crown lands in SW Nova Scotia/Queens Co. announced Sep 19, 2018.

And little has changed one year plus since the Independent Review was initiated and two months and running since Prof Lahey delivered his report.
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