Posted May 27, 2020, on Medway Community Forest Co-op Facebook Page:
Today’s decision confirms that Nova Scotia’s ESA is the law, and not a set of vague or voluntary guidelines. The Minister is required to fulfill the law’s mandatory requirements to protect some of the province’s most vulnerable species. – Sarah McDonald, Ecojustice lawyerFrom the Background to Supreme Court Decision (May 29, 2020)
The Minister of Lands and Forestry (the Minister) is responsible for implementing the ESA [Endangered Species Act]. The Applicants say the Minister has failed to implement the ESA as it pertains to six representative species: Mainland Moose, Ram’s-head Lady Slipper, Canada Warbler, Black Ash, Wood Turtle, and Eastern Wood Pewee. Each of these species is native to Nova Scotia and is listed as endangered, threatened, or vulnerable under the ESA. The Applicants [Robert Bancroft, Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists, Blomidon Naturalists Society and The Halifax Field Naturalists with East Coast Environmental Law Association as Intervenor] seek a declaration that the Minister’s failure to implement the ESA, specifically section 15, is unlawful and unreasonable; an order of mandamus; and a supervisory order by which the court would retain jurisdiction and require the Minister to produce status reports on the implementation of section 15.
UPDATE May 29, 2020:
IT’S HIGH TIME FOR A SILENT SEASON IN NOVA SCOTIA
Bev Wigney on Annapolis Royal & Area – Environment & Ecology (Public Facebook Page) May 29, 2020. Bev Wigney asks people to write MLAs. View her post here if you do not have access to Facebook
It’s one more year since naturalists raised alarms about logging during nesting season in Nova Scotia, one more year since the Lahey Report was submitted (Aug 2018), one more year since Lands & Forestry posted their initial response to the Lahey report (Dec 3, 2018; not counting their false start earlier), one more year while we await the full response and one more year of harvesting on Crown land going on as usual, even with closure of The Mill and with the economic downturn associated with Covid-19; and it’s 10 years since the Natural Resources Strategy was tabled and the government promised fundamantal change in forestry practices in NS.
Bev Wigney of the Annapolis Royal & Area – Environment & Ecology (Public Facebook Group), one of those raising those raising the alarms in 2019, again brings the topic up on Annapolis Royal & Area – Environment & Ecology in relation to the current rash of forest fires, some of them started by logging activities.
Says BW in a post on May 26, 2020 directed to Minister of Lands & Forestry Iain Rankin:
We now know that the Springfield fire was started by malfunctioning logging equipment…Our VFDs [Volunteer Fire Departments] have been busy responding to 7 wildfires in just 2 or 3 days. This is really not right that VFDs are having to do wildfire fighting — especially if it is being caused by logging activities. It’s time to get the loggers OUT of the forests — right away — before any of our VFD people are injured or worse.
This is a GOOD TIME to do so as the migratory bird nesting season is in full swing and there shouldn’t be anyone cutting down forest right now anyhow. This is Silent Season for any of the more reputable logging operations who actually care about wildlife. Will you do the right thing and shut down forestry until such time as it is actually appropriate for work to be carried out?
Thx BW. A legislated Silent Season is long overdue.
View some related posts on NSFN
I went with a friend for for a walk yesterday in some intervale (floodplain) forests in Hant’s Co. not too far away. We found what we wanted to see: the first wave of forest herbs that flower before the hardwoods leaf out.
Most special was a patch of Sessile-leaf Bellwort (Uvularia sessilifolia), about which Henry David Thoreau wrote in 1852*
*As cited by Martha on wildflowergardener.wordpress.com April 26, 2014
The sessile-leaved bellwort, with three or four delicate pale-green leaves with reflexed edges, on a tender-looking stalk, the single modest-colored flower gracefully drooping, neat, with a fugacious, richly spiced fragrance, facing the ground, the dry leaves, as if unworthy to face the heavens. It is a beautiful sight, a pleasing discovery, the first of the season, — growing in a little straggling company, in damp woods or swamps. When you turn up the drooping flower, its petals make a perfect geometrical figure, a six-pointed star
Barry Saxifrage, writing in the National Observer, lays out the complicated way Canada reports forest carbon balances, and how that reporting has been changed in recent years to hide some inconvenient truths
In a remarkable, lengthy and well researched opinion piece, Barry Saxifrage lays out the complicated way Canada reports forest carbon balances, and how that reporting has been changed in recent years so that we can continue to “to use a big whack of forest carbon “offsets” to meet Canada’s 2030 climate target”.
He writes in the National Observer as “a climate reporter and National Observer’s resident chart geek [who] focuses on the data of climate change”. View: As Canada’s forests become carbon bombs, Ottawa pushes the crisis off the books
by Barry Saxifrage on nationalobserver.com, March 30, 2020.
It’s a toss-up between Skunk Cabbage and Dwarf Eastern Mistletoe
I thought the answer was skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus, which I thought is found naturally only in SW Nova Scotia but, according to Nova Scotia Plants, also occurs in Cumberland Co.
The skunk cabbage pics at right were taken during a NS Wild Flora Society outing in 2009, led by our President, Charlie Cron, who travels to SW Nova Scotia most springs to check it out.
I made a post about it on Facebook and soon got a message from Bob Guscott, retired forest pest specialist with DNR (now L&F), one of his obsessions being the ecology of mistletoe in NS.
“Saw your FB post today on Skunk Cabbage. I have not seen it in Nova Scotia yet, but always thought that it was a candidate for first native plant to flower. The other candidate for first to flower in NS is Eastern Dwarf Mistletoe, Arceuthobium pusillum.
What we have now is a precautionary plan to protect wood supply in NS
UPDATE Also view: Need for Biodiversity Landscape Planning before finalizing HPF and Ecological Matrix components of the Triad, and for caution in selection of HPF sites in acid-stressed watersheds
A response to the High Production Forestry Phase 1 – Discussion Paper, from the Conservation Committee of the Halifax Field Naturalists
March 31, 2020
The major cause for loss of biodiversity worldwide and locally is habitat loss and fragmentation. We are probably only beginning to the see the most extreme effects of it in NS: the local extinction or “extirpation” of species. An example: the mainland moose population seems to have collapsed; there is strong enough evidence that mismanagement or lack of management of habitat by L&F is the major cause that a group of naturalists have taken the province to court to force them to take action they were committed to take but didn’t.
But well before the total collapse of species, they become less abundant and less genetically diverse. Those of us of some age remember days when brook trout and salmon and insects and forest wildflowers and a wide range of forest birds were very much more abundant than they are today. (A smaller number of species actually benefit in some way from increased human interaction and have become more abundant, sometimes to the point they are damaging to ecosystems, e.g. bald eagles in NS).