Nina Newington comments on the Nova Scotia Sustainable Development Goals Act 27July2021

Nice words are not enough. Actions speak far louder, and if we listen to this government’s actions, it is hard not to suspect that this SDGA consultation is just more window dressing. We need proposed actions, we need a mechanism to review whether real change is underway.” – NN

In Pre-Covid days, teen-agers make submissions to the Law Amendments Hearing for the public on the SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS ACT (Bill 213), held on Monday Oct 28, 2019. View Post 31Oct2019

Comments on the NS Sustainable Development Goals Act were invited on May 27, 2021, to be submitted by July 27, 2021 (today) according to the May 27 Press Release; the “Public engagement ended July 26, 2021” (cited on https://cleanfuture.ca/).

The Sustainable Development Goals Act was passed in 2019 replacing EGSPA, the Environmental Goals and Sustainability Prosperity Act.

The current Request for Comment pertains to “what should be considered as a new goal under the Sustainable Development Goals Act and/or included in the new Climate Plan for Clean Growth.” (From https://cleanfuture.ca/). As I understand it, regulations will then be developed to achieved these goals (see: NSE: Sustainable Development Goals Act).

In contrast to EGSPA (2007) which was introduced by the Conservative government in 2007  and received enthusiastic and  unanimous all party approval, the manner in which the 2019 Act was processed was in my view “A thorough sham – and shame – of process”. (Post Oct 27, 2019).

I made a submission to that process but I have to admit that I have been numbed by all of the negative goings on in regard to forestry and environment in NS over the course of 2021 under the leadership of Premier Rankin (on top of  the ups and downs of the previous 12 years) and I did not write a formal submission for the current process.

I am very grateful that Nina Newington – currently  entering the Restorative Justice process as a consequence of criminal charges resulting from refusing to lift the Moose Country blockade – found the energy to do so,  and shares her comments here. Continue reading

Posted in Biomass, Climate Change, Conservation, Rankin | Comments Off on Nina Newington comments on the Nova Scotia Sustainable Development Goals Act 27July2021

Rankin calls Nova Scotia election, two forestry Guides released the day before but no Progress Report from Lahey 19Jul2021

UPDATE. No Progress Report coming from Lahey anytime soon: “William Lahey, the report’s author, was expected to submit a progress report this spring, but he recently told CBC News the work is not yet complete.” – CBC July 21, 2021 [The Progress Report on L&F’s implementation of the Lahey Recommendations was originally scheduled for early 2020, later by end of June 2021 – see below]
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The election call by Premier Rankin on July 17 was hardly a surprise nor was the  rash of spending announcements made in  News Releases on July 15 and 16th.

Amongst those News Releases are two related to forestry:

Province Releases Key Guides as Part of Ecological Forestry Implementation
News Release Lands and Forestry July 16, 2021

Northern Pulp Effluent Treatment Plant Project to Undergo Class II Environmental Assessment
News Release  Environment and Climate Change
July 15, 2021

Advisedly, I suspect, the NP announcement  is minimal. However, there are some signals suggesting which side the Rankin folks are trying most to please: on June 28, it was announced that Nova Scotia will spend $6.1 M to establish a New Centre of Forest Innovation at NSCC; heavily involved on the forestry side are Forestry NS folks who successfully got Rankin to backtrack on the Biodiversity Act – and are pushing hard to get the NP mill back (CH Jul 17, 2021).

Road widening on Bowater-SMB Forestry lands July 11, 2021.

There are some bones for the Ecological Folks in the form of new Protected Areas announcements, but for the Ingram River Wilderness Area (on the old Bowater-St. Margaret’s Bay lands), it is for only 5000 acres, not the 15000 acres sought (CBC July 15, 2021) by many in Rankin’s home territory. Big Forestry continues to carry the day on the Bowater-Mersey  lands purchased by the Crown after a citizens-initiated “Buy Back the Mersey Campaign“.

 

The Key Guides News  Release has lots of feel-good messages in it. Continue reading

Posted in Acadian Forest, Ind Rev Post-Report, Rankin | Comments Off on Rankin calls Nova Scotia election, two forestry Guides released the day before but no Progress Report from Lahey 19Jul2021

On “over mature” forest stands in Nova Scotia 16July2021

An Oh-Oh statement by WestFor stimulates discussion of use of the term”over mature” to describe a forest stand.

I thought even foresters didn’t use this term any more, especially following the Lahey Report. From that report (bolding inserted)

51. Analysis of the framework, particularly of the Forest Management Guide and decision keys,  suggests that it does not encourage but limits multi‐aged silvicultural prescriptions. The  following is a list of examples written by Dr Robert Seymour of the Review team: a. The first node in many keys is whether or not the stand is “over‐mature.” This  pejorative term is a relic of a past era when efficient, economically driven timber  management sought to create forest structures devoid of biologically old trees, and is  no longer used in scientific literature or textbooks. Table 4 of the Guide (page 15)  attempts to define over‐maturity using tree ages that are often only one‐third or less  the lifespan of the species. For example, if a hemlock forest is over age 100, it is  deemed “over‐mature” and unsuitable for multi‐aged silviculture, and is instead sent to  the “Regenerate” key, where complete overstory removal is prescribed once advance regeneration is present. Such a complete disturbance in a biologically young (hemlock  lives to age 400–500) hemlock forest would be virtually unprecedented in nature. 

A recent discussion of “over mature” began with this post on WestFor’s public Facebook page on July 9, 2021: Continue reading

Posted in Acadian Forest, Social Values, WestFor | Comments Off on On “over mature” forest stands in Nova Scotia 16July2021

Individual Tree Selection the major prescription type in latest Nova Scotia Crown land harvest plan 15Jul2021

In the latest announcement, the percentage of the land area identified for Individual Tree Selection (All Age Management) jumped from generally 0% and consistently less than 10% to 55%

Date Total Area Individual Tree Selection
July 15, 2021** 605 ha 332.7 ha (55%)
July 5, 2021 80.7 0 ha (0%)
June 24, 2021 481.6 0 ha (0%)
June 14, 2021 268.7 0 ha (0%)
June 3, 2021 515.1 37.8 ha (7.3%)
May 25, 2021 32.8 0 ha (0%)

**For July 15, 2021 All Prescriptions, as % of the 605 ha
– Individual Tree Selection 55%
– Shelterwood 12.7%
– Variable Retention 32.3%

Go figure. Continue reading

Posted in L&F, Tree Harvests | Comments Off on Individual Tree Selection the major prescription type in latest Nova Scotia Crown land harvest plan 15Jul2021

Nova Scotia Forestry Maps Issues…continued 14Jul2021

On a naturalist’s ongoing effort to alert Forestry Maps to the presence of a Species-at-Risk at a proposed Crown land logging site

UPDATE: News brief: Province continues to ignore AG recommendations on endangered species
By Brooklyn Connolly in NS Advocate July 14, 2021

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Original Post

From post on American Bird Association News (enter List type: Standard; State/province: Nova Scotia; List: Nova Scotia; Date Jul 13 2021):

1. MM HPMV submission June 22, 2021
Sent: June 22, 2021 9:16 AM
To: phpwoodlands@porthawkesburypaper.com
Cc: Forestry Maps <ForestryMaps@novascotia.ca>
Subject: Harvest Plans Map – Comments for BlockID #GW215638A

LicenseID: 80004702
User Information: Name: MM Email: MM

Form Information:
Heads-Up possible species at risk in here – heard and recorded what sounds like SARS protected Olive-sided flycatcher June 6, 2021. Posted to iNaturalist. Other birds heard along this strip of proposed cuts include: Yellow-bellied flycatcher, ruby-crowned kinglet, and american redstart. Not being a birder, an expert should be sent out there to reassess before any cutting at all is done. I also posted flora to iNaturalist. Nothing endangered but there is Old growth up at the top end of the strip which is currently going to be clearcut to 10% retention and dwarf ginseng is growing nicely under healthy regenerating beech just south of Lookout Hill in the 30% retention block. Hope this helps with your planning. I am only going to post this once on behalf of myself and NSWFS. These comments should be taken as made for GW 215638 A,B,C & D Continue reading

Posted in Conservation, Ind Rev Post-Report, Wildlife | Comments Off on Nova Scotia Forestry Maps Issues…continued 14Jul2021

Nova Scotia election looming & concerns about wood supply from Crown lands, the Lahey Progress Report, promised consultations, carbon sequestration and “low value wood” 9July2021

A “Retired biologist concerned about province’s ecological forestry” was interviewed on CBC’s Information Morning today.

Making it easier for trucks to get into the woods in Nova Scotia doesn’t sound like ecological forestry to David Patriquin. The retired biologist says Nova Scotia will have to reduce the volume of wood coming from its forests if we are going to succeed with ecological forestry in this province.

An abbreviated transcript of the interview follows:

CBC: Earlier this week the province announced that it is investing more than 5 millions dollars in ecological forestry…David Patriquin has been following forestry issues in Nova Scotia for decades…he also runs a blog called Nova Scotia Forest Notes.

On new forestry roads and the wood supply from crown lands

CBC: Part of this money, 1.4 million dollars of it will go toward improving forestry roads on Crown land and private Land, what are your thoughts about that?

dp: The roads raise a lot of concerns with me…

CBC: Why?

dp: Basically because we don’t know the government’s intention and in particular what their goals are for the wood supply from Crown lands. If they want to maintain the wood supply they will have to build more roads and cover a lot more areas which means a lot more disturbance and a lot more fragmentation. Continue reading

Posted in Ind Rev Post-Report | Comments Off on Nova Scotia election looming & concerns about wood supply from Crown lands, the Lahey Progress Report, promised consultations, carbon sequestration and “low value wood” 9July2021

Struggles over forestry: the same script & same characters, only different actors and staging in Nova Scotia, B.C. & Europe 6Jul2021

“I rented a cottage for a month in the wilds of Nova Scotia, just south of Kejimkujik Park… it seemed that everywhere I went I witnessed extreme devastation to our land…clear cutting everywhere” JFS, Aug 22, 2020 View Post)
Nova Scotia’s forests are amongst the most, if they are  not the most, intensively harvested forests in Canada, currently and historically. And 65% occur on some of the poorest soils  in North America

 

Forestry issues  tend to be local; we react to what we see in the forests around us. This is especially true in NS which is 75% forested and few areas are very far from our towns and villages and many roads.

Widespread concerns about clearcutting in Nova Scotia have now led  to two  reviews (the Natural Resources Strategy of  2010, and the Independent (Lahey) Review of 2018), both  recommending major reductions in clearcutting.  In round one, it was to happen on both public and private lands; in round two, only on public lands but we have yet to see even that happen in practice. And even when the Lahey recommendations are finally implemented, clearcutting won’t stop on Crown lands, but rather it will be be restricted to High Production Forestry sites which will be situated on the most productive forest lands. Even so, Big Forestry is demanding and getting lots of inducements to cooperate, e.g., as illustrated by the latest announcement from the Premier’s Office/Lands and Forestry.
Continue reading

Posted in Biophilia, clearcuts, Climate Change, Conservation, Social Values | Comments Off on Struggles over forestry: the same script & same characters, only different actors and staging in Nova Scotia, B.C. & Europe 6Jul2021

Nature Nova Scotia recommendations on on the Sustainable Development Goals Act and Climate Plan for Clean Growth 3July2021

Received From Nature NS* today (July 3, 2021):
*Nature Nova Scotia is a federation of natural history societies and other environmental groups in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotians have a unique opportunity to affect the future of our forests through provincial policy. Until July 26th, government is taking comments on the Sustainable Development Goals Act and Climate Plan for Clean Growth. You can participate in live consultations and discussion sessions or write to partners at Clean Foundation to contribute your thoughts.

In its current form, the Sustainable Development Goals Act contains very few goals related to biodiversity conservation or sustainable forestry. The Climate Plan for Clean Growth is also lacking in clear objectives that would benefit Nova Scotia’s forests and the industries that depend on them. We invite you to speak up for our forests by recommending government add the following goals to the Sustainable Development Goals Act and clarify what they mean by “managing forests” in the Climate Plan for Clean Growth.

We recommend:
Continue reading

Posted in Acadian Forest, Climate Change | Comments Off on Nature Nova Scotia recommendations on on the Sustainable Development Goals Act and Climate Plan for Clean Growth 3July2021

We now have another “FSC” in Nova Scotia forestry 1July2021

Logos for the two FSCs now associated with forestry in Nova Scotia. “FSC#1”, the Forest Stewardship Council was founded in 1993 and has operated in NS since the early 2000s. “FSC#2”, the Forestry Sector Council arose from “rebranding” of the Nova Scotia Forestry Human Resources Sector Council in April of 2021

Most of us associate the acronym “FSC” with Forest Stewardship Council certification. Recently, the Nova Scotia Forestry Human Resources Sector Council for which “interim management was provided by the executive of Forest Nova Scotia” rebranded itself the Forestry Sector Council and is using the acronym FSC in its literature. It seems an unnecessary muddying of the waters.

FSC#1

The FSC acronym used in relation to forestry is widely recognized as the Forest Stewardship Council.  Of the two major forest certification organizations, FSC and SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative), FSC has the more stringent requirements.

At one time, the Nova Scotia Government held  FSC certification for the entire Medway District. It had been certified under Bowater in 2010; the certificate was passed on to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) when the Bowater lands were purchased in 2012, and DNR successfully renewed the certificate in 2014. Continue reading

Posted in Forest Certification, Ind Rev Post-Report, Social Values | Comments Off on We now have another “FSC” in Nova Scotia forestry 1July2021

Achieving Net Zero for Nova Scotia: can we take a lead from Dr. Strang? 26Jun2021

“Achieving net-zero emissions means our economy either emits no greenhouse gas emissions or offsets its emissions, for example, through actions such as tree planting or employing technologies that can capture carbon before it is released into the air.” From canada/ca: Net-Zero Emissions by 2050

 The pandemic & Dr. Strang have taught us a lot about how to use ‘the science’ to deal with complex issues, and to date, at least, we have  done it better than most other jurisdictions; why not apply the same approach to achieve Net Zero for Nova Scotia?

“Nova Scotia will be the first province in Canada to achieve carbon neutrality,” said Lieutenant Governor Arthur LeBlanc in the first throne speech after Iain Rankin became premier, echoing Rankin’s campaign promises (quoted on huddle.today Mar 9, 2021)

Iain Rankin promoted his environmental agenda as a major plank in his successful campaign to  replace Premier McNeil as premier of Nova Scotia.

Now with the feds widely expected to call an election in the fall, there is speculation that Rankin could call a provincial election earlier. (The second McNeil government was elected on May 30, 2017; an election must be called within 5 years, i.e. by May 30, 2022)
Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Show Us the Science | Comments Off on Achieving Net Zero for Nova Scotia: can we take a lead from Dr. Strang? 26Jun2021