Nova Scotia Harvest Plan Map Viewer now specifies % retention 17Aug2019

It’s not multiage management and it’s not a substitute for implementing Irregular Shelterwood harvesting as recommended by Lahey and Seymour

L&F’s illustration of A “variable retention prescription with 10% retention left standing”. The latest HPMV notification cites 91% of the proposed harvests on 350 ha as VR 10%.

As of July 18, 2019, L&F made a “minor” update in the HPMV. From the e-mail sent out on July 18, 2019 to subscribers to map update notifications (see Harvest Operation Maps webpage to subscribe):

…the Harvest Plans Map Viewer (HPMV) will receive a minor update on July 18, 2019. The update involves labelling the percent retention of proposed plans with a Variable Retention (VR) prescription.

The percent retention of these proposed plans will be seen in two locations:
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Trump & Co. want changes in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act 9Aug2019

As irrational as it is, the stronger the evidence gets that we are in the midst of a human-caused Mass Extinction, the more pressure there is to reduce existing protections of biodiversity

A male black-throated blue warbler, protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, perches above his female mate sitting on her eggs on the next. Is it too much for humans to consider the lives of wild things before we destroy their homes with little thought for their future or even of the sustainability of a healthy environment for ourselves? – Scott Leslie

Nova Scotia is not the only place where the Migratory Bird Convention Act (known in the U.S. as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act) has raised some hackles recently, both for and agin.

View: Defending The Migratory Bird Treaty Act And Clean Water: Our Conservation Science Director Testifies To Congress
By Winny Sun, June 18m 2019 for The CornellLab of Ornithology’s All About Birds. An extract:

Amanda Rodewald, senior director of conservation science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, was at the nation’s Capitol last week to defend two core conservation policies at risk of reinterpretation and weakening by the current presidential administration.
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More on The Human Toll of clearcuts in Nova Scotia: B-trains on rural roads 7Aug2019

An issue raised on Social Media elicits an on-the-ground response within 24 hours

It started with a post by Bev Wigney of the Annapolis Royal & Area – Environment & Ecology Public Facebook Group yesterday, commenting on a member [SES] who

… lives in West Dalhousie on land adjacent to Crown Land.

Unfortunately, there is a road right through her property – it is a municipal road but it does cross through her land right beside her house — between her house and other buildings.

The logging trucks are supposed to respect this situation, but they don’t. The forest beyond her property used to be Bowater land, but since the Crown took over, the trucks using the road have been totally disrespectful — driving far too fast on a very narrow road. The road is being destroyed and not maintained.
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The human toll of clearcuts in Nova Scotia 6Aug2019

“This happened to me this winter. 24/7 and the main traverse up my hill by the cutting machine and the skidder, was a few meters from my bedroom window.

“A truck was loaded a short distance away and drove away and labored up my hill around 5 AM. Some nights required meds to get me to sleep. Neighbors a few kilometers away also heard the action.

“A few days after spring load came in effect and the carting of wood to wherever stopped, a drink of my well water at about 3 AM, was unbearable to drink. It tasted like spruce. My shower ran sticky. A friend indicate he lost his well water the summer this happened to him. My adjacent trees have gone down.

“I am now fully surrounded by clearcuts, the “foresters” have their mess hidden by the thick white spruce. Those clearcut soils will be emitting carbon for at least 15 years even if they appear to be covered.

“I imagine the value of my property went down $20,000 to $30,000, but I am
not an assessor.”
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Nova Scotia L&F soil scientist Kevin Keys to talk about the elusive Forest Nutrient Budget Model at MTRI Thurs Aug 8, 2019

Poster. Click on image for larger version

From the MTRI announcement:

The Department of Lands and Forestry started a provincial forest soil sampling program in 2015 to acquire up-to-date chemistry data for nutrient budget modelling and monitoring purposes. In 2017, the Department also worked with Kejimkujik National Park to re-sample soils at two forest sites first sampled more than 20 years ago. This presentation will provide an overview of results from these projects with a focus on western Nova Scotia conditions

This presentation will provide a rare opportunity to learn about L&F’s progress towards incorporating nutrient budgeting into its Crown land harvest decisions, once promised for mid-2010. Continue reading

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Scott Leslie on Protection of the Little Brown Bat habitat at the Corbett Lake Old Hardwood Forest, federal and provincial officials say SAR regulations do not apply 31July2019

So it (still) goes in in Nova Scotia in 2019

Little Brown Bat. Photo by SMBishop on Wikipedia

Bear River author/naturalist Scott Leslie was interviewed on CBC’s Information Morning NS today about his discovery of the Little Brown Bat at the Corbett Lake Old Hardwood Forest (view NSFN Post July 17, 2019). An ‘abbreviated transcript’ of the interview is appended below.

Scott explained how he detected Little Brown Bat and  how the Corbett Lake forest provides critical habitat for the bat.

While L&F Minister Iain Rankin put a temporary hold on logging following Scott’s earlier discovery that endangered Chimney Swifts nest in the forest, Scott is concerned that ‘after those birds raise their young and leave the forest… it will be heavily logged despite the fact that it is also home to the Little Brown Bat’.

The Little Brown Bat is a SAR (Species at Risk) federally and in NS, and you would think that would be enough to protect its habitat. However Scott was  told that ‘the [federal] Species at Risk Act can only protect animals, in this case the bats, if they are on federal land, and of course this is not federal land.’
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Don Wilson on Biodiversity in and for Nova Scotia 27July2019

Two approaches to forest management in Nova Scotia: LEFT: even aged management/short rotations. RIGHT: Selective harvesting only, high standing volume maintained. The latter but not the former would be eligible for carbon offset credits, and conserves old forest biodiversity

Monday, July 29, 2019 is the final date for submitting comments on the proposed Biodiversity Act. Don Wilson shares his perspectives on how forestry can be practiced to protect biodiversity in Nova Scotia.

L&F conducted a Biodiversity Act Consultation over the period July 17 to July 25 with five sessions- July 17, Halifax; July 19, Caledonia; July 23 Bible Hill evening; July 24 Bible Hill morning; July 25 Membourtou. The process by which people were informed or invited was obscure but most or all who asked for an invite once they learned about it, received one, or just attended.

Monday, July 29, 2019 is the final date for submitting comments via StratPolPlanning@novascotia.ca. View the presentation deck from the consultation sessions, and the information package that went to invitees here.

Don Wilson, a “Member of the Healthy Forest Coalition and an owner of an Acadian forest acreage”, was one of approximately 25 in the July 23 Bible Hill evening session which I attended and had prepared a formal submission.   I asked if I could post it on NSFN, to which he agreed. I have added some bolding and images.
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Bev Wigney on proposed changes to the Canada Migratory Bird Regulations that would allow exceptions to the prohibition against disturbance of nests 24July2019

“If anything, it’s time to toughen up the rules and establish a [Forestry] SILENT SEASON to allow migratory birds, as well as mammals raising their young in spring and summer, to have some peace and lack of disturbance and destruction.”

Northern Parula and Nova Scotia nest built from old-man’s-beard lichen. These are birds of mature forests.

UPDATE, July 26, 2019: View 15 answers to 15 questions posed to CWS by BW & Co. about enforcement of regulations related to destruction of nests.
Also view Government of Canada: Avoiding harm to migratory birds
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The Migratory Bird Regulations are in the final stages of the “first comprehensive review since they were implemented in 1917”. A set of amendments has been proposed; it was opened to comments on June 1, 2019 and will close to new input on July 31, 2019.

Bev Wigney of the “Annapolis Ecology Group” (my term for the Annapolis Royal & Area – Environment & Ecology Public Facebook group) is particularly concerned about the proposed inclusion of an exception to the prohibition against damaging, destroying, disturbing or removing a nest.
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“Re: Imminent violations of the Migratory Birds Convention Act in Shelburne County, NS” 23July2019

UPDATE July 24, 2019: An article in http://www.southcoasttoday.ca provides a little more context, e.g. “Letters ignored
“I wrote to Minister Rankin in May highlighting the section of the Migratory Birds Convention Act relating to disturbance and harm of breeding birds, their eggs, and nests and asked that harvesting plans be halted. I also alerted him to the guidance provided by the Canadian Wildlife Service with regard to protecting breeding birds,“ says Chris Curry, local resident and birdwatcher. “So far there has been no response, so we had to gather the information ourselves.” View Shelburne County clear-cuts would violate Migratory Bird Act by Timothy Gillespie July 23, 2019 in South Coast Today.
Also: Media release: Shelburne County, Nova Scotia clearcut would violate Migratory Bird Convention Act
NS Advocate, July 23, 2019
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Parula warbler, one of the 31 bird species observed on the Walls Brook site during a survey on July 7, 2019

“We, the undersigned, are a group of experienced birders and other residents of Nova Scotia who are gravely concerned about the impacts of clearcutting on many of the Province’s bird species. On July 7, 2019, we visited the site of the approved clearcut known as “Walls Brook” (provincial harvest plan number SH068270) in Shelburne County to document the bird species present on that site. The latest information available to us from the provincial Department of Lands and Forestry suggests that this site will be harvested imminently (although we have been unable to obtain updates from DLF in recent weeks).
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L&F issues a report on What we Heard at the Ecological Forestry Forum 20July2019

A new item has been provided on the webpage for the Independent Review (now retitled as “Ecological Forestry Implementation”): What We Heard – Ecological Forestry Forum (PDF, 35 pages). The Update for the webpage is dated July 8, 2019.

The document provides an Overview of the Event, referring to a link to a YouTube Video of Minister Rankin’s and Deputy Minister Tower’s remarks, and summaries of Project-Focused Small Group Discussions that took place under headings corresponding to the Project Teams previously announced as in place (Forest Management Guide, High production Forestry etc).
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