So says Tom Miller of Greenhill commenting on Aaron Beswick’s Cutting in Cumberland County: Even a clearcut can have its place (Chronicle Herald, Apr 7, 2018):
True, clearcuts have a place, but not on 90 per cent of forest areas cut every year. That’s where this province is with our forest “management.”
An article in the Chronicle Herald by Aaron Beswick presents a favourable perspective on at least some clearcutting in Nova Scotia, that conducted on private lots in Cumberland managed by Athol Forestry Cooperative. View Cutting in Cumberland County: Even a clearcut can have its place (Chronicle Herald, Apr 7, 2018).
I can appreciate, alway have, that there are many private woodlot owners and managers who practice responsible forestry with a long term perspective and involving some clearcutting as described in the article. And I am happy to see some positive, optimistic news about smaller scale forestry in Cumberland Co.
Some interesting and I think fairly constructive discussion of the article developed fairly promptly on Woods and Waters Nova Scotia, reproduced below.
So here we are, time has run out and it will literally be a choice between “No Pipe/No Mill” and “Pipe in the Strait/No Mill” which has one logical outcome: No Mill (and a lot of angry people). But don’t expect a logical outcome.
Map with features on a map posted on a Northern Pulp website. “Our proposal is to construct an Effluent Treatment Facility on land at the mill property, and lay a pipeline on the bottom of Pictou Harbour, avoiding constraints as much as possible, that will carry the treated effluent to an outfall and multi-port diffuser in the Pictou Road area of the Northumberland Strait. The proposed location of the diffuser is within the same body of water (Pictou Road) as the discharge point for the existing Boat Harbour facility.”
Click on image to enlarge it
We are in a strange kind of space decision-wise regarding the Pictou Mill with Asia Pulp and Paper/Paper Excellence Canada/Northern Pulp/The Mill strategizing and negotiating in Trump style on two key issues – the type of Effluent Treatment Facility (ETF) that will replace the Boat Harbour treatment facility, and who pays for it – as deadlines for approval and construction of the ETF loom large.
The NS government didn’t help its bargaining position by imposing a deadline for shutting down Boat Harbour with no parameters on the alternatives, and it seems, no deadline for The Mill to have its plan ready for an EA. (View Boat Harbour Act – Bill 89)
But it is far from clear that Finland has figured it all out
In a blistering op-ed a few days ago, somewhat contradicting opinions expressed earlier, Harold Alexander goes after the “steady stream of similarly negative articles and opinions in The Chronicle Herald about the biomass power plant at Port Hawkesbury Paper” and provides “another opinion that is based on facts rather than hearsay and innuendo”, citing his own experience and information gained on visits to Finland.
View COMMENTARY: In Finland, biomass is not a dirty word
by Harold Alexander in the Chronicle Herald, Mar 30, 2018
And in Nova Scotia, after the feller bunchers have gone, and with them, the sugar maple and the birds nests and the salamander habitat, silence reigns supreme, especially the silence from NSDNR on the subject of forest soil nutrient deficits
“Clearcut on Crown land in the Oak Lake area west of Lake Paul, fall 2017. It was a hardwood hill (predominantly sugar maple/red maple) overlooking the lake. A local maple syrup producer would have leased the Crown property for a sugar bush.” – Bob Bancroft.
Click on photo for a larger version
I have commented before on losses of nutrients, especially calcium, in forest soils over a large portion of the Nova Scotia landscape due to acid rain combined with the the inherently poor buffering capacity of forest soils developed on slates, granites and felsic bedrock on about 60% of our landscape. Clearcutting increases the losses through direct removal in harvested biomass and through increased leaching and loss of topsoil.
The loss of calcium in particular has been recognized as a major ecological issue for forests in northeastern North America affected by acid rain. Declines in calcium under forests are having diverse adverse effects either through calcium deficiency directly or indirectly through enhanced aluminum mobilization and mercury toxicity, effects being observed on zooplankton, forest herbs, invertebrates, song birds, cold tolerance of red spruce , sugar maple decline, loon reproduction.
Fortunately, one doesn’t really have to understand all of the nuances of hierarchical landscape classification or of the debates about natural disturbance regimes to appreciate most of this work as a guide to the landscapes of Nova Scotia.
An article in the March 2018 issue of Atlantic Forestry Review* alerted me that the latest version of DNR’s Ecological Land Classification (ELC) is now available online as a PDF document:
Ecological Land Classification for Nova Scotia, by Peter Neily, Sean Basquill, Eugene Quigley and Kevin Keys. Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources Renewable Resources Branch Report FOR 2017-13.