Ken Gray: the province/WestFor is competing directly with the small loggers in SW Nova Scotia 18Sep2020

Hard to get in Covid19 days and pricier if you do: 2×6 and 4×4 spruce for deck renos

As well as addressing widespread concerns about the extent and intensity (clearcutting) of logging in Nova Scotia, the Independent Review of Forest Practices in NS, aka, The Lahey Report, was tasked to “Evaluate market access for private forest owners, particularly in the western region, and provide recommendations to address any identified issues.”

One of the issues: the influence granting a consortium of 13 mills (WestFor) exclusive access to the Western Crown Lands on small contractors and woodlot owners in SW Nova Scotia. Continue reading

Posted in clearcuts, Ind Rev Post-Report, L&F, Lumber, Private Woodlots, WestFor | Comments Off on Ken Gray: the province/WestFor is competing directly with the small loggers in SW Nova Scotia 18Sep2020

Against Glyphosate: A Lawrence Powell Video produced for Nova Scotia’s Annapolis County 16Sep2020

UPDATE Sep 17, 2020: Herbicide spraying cancelled again in Nova Scotia due to protests
Emma Smith · CBC News “Province says 377 hectares of woodland in Annapolis County won’t be sprayed this year”
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Lawrence Powell: “I visited the Eel Weir Lake site slated for glyphosate spraying. Here’s what I saw”


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Posted in Acadian Forest, clearcuts, Social Values | Comments Off on Against Glyphosate: A Lawrence Powell Video produced for Nova Scotia’s Annapolis County 16Sep2020

Hard to Hide: a virtual flyover reveals extent of clearcutting close to Kejimkujik National Park 15Sep2020

With Cliff Seruntine aboard the Microsoft Flight Simulator flying a route from Liverpool to Digby in 2020
Click on images for larger versions

Outdoors person, educator and naturalist Cliff Seruntine has produced an innovative virtual flyover on a route from a rural airport inland from Liverpool to just to the north of Kejimkujik National Park (KNP) and on to Digby with some diversions north and south  to illustrate the extensive clearcutting getting ever closer to KNP.

Cliff S. has produced many videos of his on-the-ground excursions, often with overviews obtained with drones. I believe this is his first use of the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, and it’s impressive.

Says Cliff S., the simulator “creates photorealism by using actual satellite imagery of the entire planet… the data is dated 2020, so it’s very recent. What you are going to see in this virtual flight is what’s actually there.”

View The Clearcuts of Kejimkujik National Park
By Cliff Seruntine, posted on YouTube  Sep 15, 2020. Continue reading

Posted in clearcuts, Social Media | Comments Off on Hard to Hide: a virtual flyover reveals extent of clearcutting close to Kejimkujik National Park 15Sep2020

Spraying and clearcutting in Nova Scotia, continued 11Sep2020

Drive the back roads of Nova Scotia for a first-hand look

Travis McLeod describes his shock on encountering a strip of young forest that had been sprayed the previous fall.  “[It was] a wasted zone between two vibrant green areas. It was without songbirds, without any small mammals” Photo from a video placed on Facebook by TM
Click on image for a larger version

UPDATE Sep 15, 2020:
Clearcutting on Crown lands continues unabated… L&F just issued its summary of the latest Harvest Plan Map Viewer update (these are mailed to subscribers): 32 parcels/830 hectares most of it Variable Retention (clearcuts) and Shelterwood (typically 1st stage in a 2-stage clearcut), NO Irregular Shelterwood as recommended by Lahey.  ‘Seems the mills are hungry and want to tie up as much of  the Crown land wood supply as they can the easiest way they can harvest it just in case the Lahey Recommendations come into effect a year or two from now. At least that’s the way it looks.

UPDATE SEP 13, 2020; “Occupying a hard to reach forest camp with Extinction Rebellion Annapolis County, and Stop Spraying And Clear Cutting Nova Scotia FB group. (Near Paradise Lake, and Eel Weir Lake.) We demand that Freeman Lumber stop its plan to spray this forest with glyphosate.” Post by Don’t Spray Us – Paradise Lake and Eel Weir Lake (Facebook Group)…As of Saturday, September 12th, 2020, Annapolis County Extinction Rebellion, Stop Spraying and Clearcutting Nova Scotia and friends are now occupying three parcels of forested land approved for aerial spraying with Glyphosate by the Nova Scotia Department of Environment. Inspired by rebels in Burlington on the North Mountain, it is our intent to protect these parts of the South Mountain from being sprayed with a known carcinogen. Totalling 930 acres, the parcels abut Eel Weir Lake and Paradise Lake, a Municipal drinking watershed. ”
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Original Post
The occupation of a site scheduled for forest spraying in Kings Co. just over a week ago (NSFN post Sep 2, 2020) led to a quick resolution when the forestry company that had the permit to spray decided not to spray.

The occupation and a subsequent rally also set off or marked the beginning of a flurry of anti-spraying activity in NS, all coinciding, predictably,  with the spraying season (late summer into fall):

  • Sep 2 2020: The Herbicide Barren In a CBC Info-AM interview, Outdoorsman Trevor McLeod described his shock on encountering the barrenness of a strip of young forest in Upper Musquodobit that had been sprayed the year before. View Abbreviated transcript here.  CBC said they have requested a response from Lands and Forestry; so far we haven’t heard from them.

Continue reading

Posted in clearcuts, spraying, Watersheds, Wildlife | Comments Off on Spraying and clearcutting in Nova Scotia, continued 11Sep2020

An assessment of Nova Scotia L&F’s progress in implementing Ecological Forestry in response to the Lahey Report, Part 3: The Project Muddle 8Sep2020

The Report from the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia (the “Lahey Report”)  was released on Aug 21, 2018.
View L&F: Ecological Forestry Implementation for the report and the L&F response to date.

This is a lengthy post, so I am providing a Table of Contents.

The abbreviated version: Most of the nine Projects currently in place appear to be well behind schedule and there is poor  coordination/integration of the Projects. In the meantime, the status quo of logging on Crown lands has continued pretty well unabated and the good will generated immediately following the Lahey Report has largely dissipated. Three suggestions are offered on how some of that good will might be recuperated: (i) Bring in an independent Team Captain to manage the Projects; (ii) Increase reporting on Projects and overall transparency; and (iii)  In the meantime, put meaningful breaks on the status quo of forestry operations  and introduce precautionary measures to ensure that  biodiversity conservation has priority  over wood supply while we wait for the full implementation of the Lahey recommendations. We are also waiting for Prof Lahey to comment on progress. View  the Postscript for more context.
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Posted in Ind Rev Post-Report | Comments Off on An assessment of Nova Scotia L&F’s progress in implementing Ecological Forestry in response to the Lahey Report, Part 3: The Project Muddle 8Sep2020

Protestors occupy site scheduled for forest spraying in Nova Scotia 2Sep2020…& Co. decides NOT to spray

Photo shared on Facebook public groups by N.N. “Lands on the North Mountain scheduled for aerial herbicide spraying have been occupied by a group of neighboring woodlot owners and local residents who are determined to prevent the spraying. The group has erected tents and intend to stay on the land until they receive assurances that the spraying will not take place. They feel that they must take a strong stand to protect their brooks and groundwater.”

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UPDATE Sep 10, 2020: Council urges halt to forestry chemical spray program in Annapolis County
By Lawrence Powell For Annapolis County

UPDATE Sep 7, 2020: Cape Breton Environment Group calls for Herbicide Ban on Mainland NS forests – like we have in Cape Breton since 20 years

UPDATE Sep 3, 2020: Protesters win local battle against herbicide spraying, want forestry practice banned by Paul Palmeter for CBC News Sep 3, 2020. “They started out as a few families from Burlington, N.S., opposed to woods in their area of the Annapolis Valley being sprayed by herbicide, but within a few days they gathered support from all over the province.”

UPDATE Sep 2, 2020: “GOOD NEWS! We are grateful to the company that decided not to move forward with spraying glyphosate on his land in North Mountain. {{{thank you}}} – Nature thanks you. The group still plans to meet… as it was not government who made this decision – they would still like to spray us.Together we want to tell government to stop spraying our forests with glyphosate.” Posted on People for Ecological Forestry in Southwest Nova Scotia, approx 10 pm, Sep 2, 2020.

From Video posted on Stop Spraying & Clear-Cutting Nova Scotia (Public Facebook group) by Travis McLeod – “Here is the video I took that had the CBC reach out to me”

Also: Outdoorsman shocked by glyphosate treated forest (archived audio file)
Interview on CBC Info AM Sep 2, 2020 “.. a wasted zone between two vibrant green areas, without songbirds, without small mammals…”
and
Occupy North Mountain, Joan Baxter Sep 1, 2020 in the Halifax Examiner

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Like the issue of nesting birds and logging which predictably ignites as we approach and during nesting season, public concerns about spraying of forests with herbicide predictably arise when the spraying is announced and then occurs, in the late summer/fall.

This year the protests have gone up a notch, with protestors occupying a site scheduled for spraying, they say “until they receive assurances that the spraying will not take place”.
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The Nova Scotia Forest “Disturbance Paper” is out, also a paper on Borealization of the Acadian forest 31Aug2020

A “Natural Disturbance” (wind) uprooted this tree

While most of the L&F’s priority Projects addressing the Lahey recommendations appear to have lagged well behind the initial schedules posted on June 25, 2019, at least one clearly has not: the Natural Disturbance Regimes Project.

From the June 25, 2019 L&F Ecological Forestry webpage:

Natural Disturbance Regimes

  • The department will publish a peer-reviewed assessment of Nova Scotia’s natural disturbance agents, like fires, floods, insect infestations and large storms.
  • Professor Lahey recommended peer review of the department’s Natural Disturbance Regime methodology and mapping. Prior to undertaking this work the department will prepare a foundational paper on the natural disturbance agents for peer review.
  • The assessment will be ready to be submitted for peer review this fall.
  • This paper would then set the stage for a second paper specific to the mapping and methodology.
  • The project team is led by Mark Pulsifer. The team includes department staff with expertise in the field, landscape level planning, biodiversity and resource management planning.
  • Dr. David McLean and Dr. Anthony Taylor are external experts advising the project team. Dr. MacLean is Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Forestry & Environmental Management, University of New Brunswick. Dr. Anthony Taylor is a forest ecologist with the Atlantic Forestry Centre, Fredericton.

I have just learned via the Medway Community Co-op Facebook Page that the paper cited above  is now publicly available and can be downloaded free of charge from Environmental Reviews.  View: Continue reading

Posted in Acadian Forest, Ind Rev Post-Report, L&F, Show Us the Science | Comments Off on The Nova Scotia Forest “Disturbance Paper” is out, also a paper on Borealization of the Acadian forest 31Aug2020

Medway Community Forest Co-op posts detailed plans for its proposed harvests/management of Crown land blocks 31Aug2020

Complete with photographs and detailed maps. View Harvest Blocks Open for Comment – August 2020

I guess the question could be asked, why is such info not routinely made available for all proposed harvests of our Crown lands, paid for by those who benefit directly from the harvests?
Continue reading

Posted in Acadian Forest, L&F, Tree Harvests | Comments Off on Medway Community Forest Co-op posts detailed plans for its proposed harvests/management of Crown land blocks 31Aug2020

An assessment of Nova Scotia L&F’s progress in implementing Ecological Forestry in response to the Lahey Report, Part 2: The HPF and FMG projects 27Aug2020

It seems there is still a long way to go before they hatch. In the meantime, logging on Crown land continues pretty well unabated.

The Report from the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia (the “Lahey Report”)  was released on Aug 21, 2018.
View L&F: Ecological Forestry Implementation for the report and the L&F response to date.

In a recent CBC interview, the L&F Minister of Lands & Forestry was asked how he would “evaluate the progress L&F  has made since the Lahey Report was submitted 2 years ago and “what is a reasonable expectation for the public in terms of when they might start seeing some measurable progress on some of the larger goals in this report?”

The Minister responded:

The progress has been significant when you look at the resources that have been put into the project teams and the fact that most recommendations are advancing out of the 45…we are seeing a lot more long-lived shade-tolerant species being left on the ground which is a cost to government and to industry, they have had challenges around that, they not as vocal as the side that wants to see no clearcutting.  (From Abbreviated Transcript)

In a previous post (Aug 25, 2020), I commented on the second part of the Minister’s response: “we are seeing a lot more long-lived shade-tolerant species being left on the ground which is a cost to government and to industry, they have had challenges around that, they not as vocal as the side that wants to see no clearcutting.”

In this post and in the next, final post on the topic, I comment on  how the Projects referred to by the Minister are progressing, at least to the extent that can discerned from the outside.
Continue reading

Posted in Ind Rev Post-Report, L&F | Comments Off on An assessment of Nova Scotia L&F’s progress in implementing Ecological Forestry in response to the Lahey Report, Part 2: The HPF and FMG projects 27Aug2020

Some good news about forests in Nova Scotia for a change 25Aug2020

Elizabeth Chiu interviews Olga Comeau for CBC Nova Scotia News, Aug 24, 2020


Update Aug 29, 2020: Olga Comeau, Organizer for the Protected Community Forest announced “We did it!! Thanks to everyone near and far that helped us spread the word about our fundraiser to save a forest.” Also, “The land is taxable (HST $12,500) since it is owned by a company, so we will leave the fundraiser open for another week. There have been some generous donations of art by local and further afield artists for an online auction that we will have set up in the coming week that we hope will raise enough to cover the tax and legal fees for the sale…There have been some generous donations of art by local and further afield artists for an online auction that we will have set up in the coming week that we hope will raise enough to cover the tax and legal fees for the sale. We are in the process of setting up a not for profit society to hold the land and any future lands that may be saved.”
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I commented in a post a couple of days ago that ” I keep looking for positive news about forests and forestry in NS. ‘Hard to come by.'”

Well some good news came yesterday evening via a CBC News story about the efforts of some North Mountain residents in Annapolis Co. to save 50 acres of mature forest from clearcutting. I had made an entry about this effort on June 29, 2020 on under Social Media when they had crowd funded $23,184 of the $80k they needed to purchase the land.

Olga Comeau, who organized the crowd funding, was interviewed by Elizabeth Chiu on CBC’s Nova Scotia News for Aug 24, 2020, with footage also from the piece of forest they want to protect.  Olga talked about her reasons for wanting to protect this piece of forest and told viewers that they are close to reaching their goal.  See CBC News Video, 20.00-24.00 min
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Posted in Acadian Forest, clearcuts, Conservation, Social Media | Comments Off on Some good news about forests in Nova Scotia for a change 25Aug2020