“Highgrading at the Landscape Level” in the vicinity of crown land block AP068499 Beals Meadow More Info
The recommendation to implement a “Forest Triad” in NS was a central recommendation of the Forest Practices Review (aka the Lahey report, The Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia) tabled on Aug 21, 2018.
Under the Liberals (2013-2021) a process was set up to implement the recommendations, all the while logging as normal continued. While the practices to be applied to the Ecological Matrix were fully worked out and published in July of 2021, it was not until recently, under the new PC Government (Aug 2021) that those became required practices on new Crown land harvests as of June 1, 2022– with a last ditch grab-the-old-way on already approved harvests.
So with less than 6 months left to 2023, what’s still needs to be done to implement the Triad by 2023?
Wabanaki Forest Love Affair Yellow Birch at left, and Eastern Hemlock at right on a mound in old forest by Sandy Lake (Bedford) More about it here.
This blog/website was created on June 21, 2016; I stopped updating it on June 21, 2022. As such it provides a record of sorts of goings-on related to forests and forestry in Nova Scotia over that interval.
It will be maintained at this URL (nsforestnotes.ca) until July 21, 2023.
The site is archived regularly on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine so by July 2023 all of the material currently on the site will still be in that archive. The website on the archive is essentially a perfect replica of this one, is searchable, and can be viewed in different stages of its development.
Items on this blog/website that are posted chronologically are (i) links to news items, found under In the News and its subpages; and (ii) “posts” (the blog component of the website), found under About this Site/All Posts
I am not leaving the topic of forestry in NS entirely. I have set up a new blog/website at www.versicolor.ca/nstriad which will focus on the unfolding of the Triad in NS over the next year or so. That seems appropriate as nsforestnotes.ca was initiated before the Lahey process (The Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia) was conceived, and I have followed it for now almost 4 years beyond when the ‘Lahey Report‘ was tabled (Aug 21, 2018).
I post various natural history materials on several websites I currently maintain or contribute to (see www.versicolor.ca). I am setting up a new website at www. versicolor.ca/chebuctomm which will focus on the natural history of the Chebucto Peninsula which I consider to be my bioregion.
It will be a while before these two new websites (www.versicolor.ca/nstriad and www.versicolor.ca/chebuctomm) have much on them. When they are further along I will make a post about them on this blog in case some subscribers might want to have peak at them.
– david p
(aka JackPine, JackPine22)
Posted inAbout the website|Comments Off on Nova Scotia Forest Notes: a record of goings-on in forests and forestry in Nova Scotia 21Jun2016-21Jun2022
– June 29, 2022 Update journalist Linda Pannozzo received from the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables last week – go to the bottom of this post for a cc.
–Protesters pack up with a win after camping in Nova Scotia forest for over 200 days
By Cloe Logan in the National Observer. June 23, 2022 “…The total harvest area is now 10 hectares, Steven Stewart, a spokesperson for the DNRR confirmed. The cut can still “proceed at the licensee’s scheduling discretion,” he said, and the company’s “harvest plan aligns with the department’s ecological forestry goals.” When asked if WestFor would be moving forward with the cut, Stewart said that’s not something the department can comment on…In terms of the cut being officially cancelled, Newington said campers feel confident it is no longer viable.”
– Last Hope camp wraps up time at Beals Brook after province scales back planned cut
ETHAN LYCAN-LANG in the Halifax Examiner June 23, 2022 “…The protestors aren’t done, though. Last Hope camp will now become the Last Hope Campaign. The former campers will put their energy into educating people around the province on how to protect forest stands in their communities. This new chapter will teach people to identify at-risk species and the different types of trees, navigate the woods, and find harvest plans and cutblocks online, among other things. Essentially, this new phase will provide others with the tools to protect biodiversity and forest health in their own neck of the woods. “We know what’s going to happen if we don’t get engaged,” she said. “It’s going to be cut now and protect later.”
– Province halts majority of planned cut in Annapolis Valley due to rare lichen
CBC News JUNE 22, 2022 ” Natural Resources said the remaining 10-hectare cut has been approved “to proceed at the licensee’s scheduling discretion.” WestFor Management Inc., the company that plans to carry out the logging, said it will follow the department’s ecological forest management guidelines at the site, “including accommodations for any species at risk that are required.” While the protesters are packing up, Newington said they’re not leaving Beals Brook for good. “We know our way here and we’ll be back,” she said. “We have a network now of sympathetic people in this area who come by the camp and talk to us and if need be, we’ll be back to protect this forest.” “Listen to Nina Newington’s full interview with Information Morning“.
Day 202 at the Last Hope camp.This longest day of the year, we are celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day
we are celebrating the fact that 60% of the Last Hope forest is now completely off-limits to cutting. The map says it all. Thanks to lichenologists and licheneers, 17 occurrences of three different Species at Risk lichens have now been reported to DNRR and the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre.With each occurrence getting a 100 m buffer around it, the remaining 10 hectare section of the original cut block is harder to access and even less appealing $$$wise.As a result we have decided it is time to pack up and go home. Tomorrow, Last Hope camp will morph into the Last Hope campaign.This does NOT mean we are walking away from this forest. We know ongoing monitoring is required.
— We’re grateful to have developed a network of sympathetic people in the immediate area.
— We are continuing to collect evidence of other species at risk in and around this forest (notice those four SAR bird observations on the map.)
— We will go on offering workshops here to help Nova Scotians build the skills needed to protect forests wherever they live.
— Last but not least, we will be back at the drop of a hat — or the clank of machinery — if need be. We know the way.Our commitment to protecting this forest is unwavering. As part of a larger drive to get the government moving on its pledge to protect 20% of our lands and waters by 2030, we are working on getting formal protection for an area that includes the forest by Beal’s Brook.It is time for us to broaden our focus. In order to have anything left to protect, all forests as old or older than Last Hope on ‘crown’ land should be put off limits to harvesting, road building and development. Now. It’s not complicated. But it is going to take people getting educated and getting active.That’s the Last Hope campaign: helping people all around Nova Scotia push for protection for the areas they care about.
In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, the Government of Canada chose June 21, the summer solstice, for National Aboriginal Day, now known as National Indigenous Peoples Day. For generations, many Indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.
At the very least, soil samples should be taken at AP068499 Beals Meadow (and other sites on depleted soils the Ecological Matrix being considered for harvest) to assess the current state of the soils… If there are no signs of recovery from the depleted state of the soils in the area of AP068499 Beals Meadow, that in combination with extensive clearcutting in the past followed by “high grading at the landscape level” would clearly call for a complete halt on harvesting of any remaining Old Forest in the area AND beginning some catchment liming.
Currently there is a stand-off between the Nova Scotia Government/NS Dept of Natural Resources and Renewables (NSNRR or NRR)* and citizens who are taking direct action to block government-approved logging on Crown land parcel AP068499 Beals Meadow by the WestFor consortium.
*Nova Scotia Natural Resources & Renewables (NSNRR) is the government department hosting wildlife and forest management sections; it is the successor to Lands & Forestry (L&F) and earlier, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The government maintains that their prescribed Uniform Shelterwood harvest of 30-35% of trees “aligns with the new Silviculture Guide for the Ecological Matrix (SGEM) and the “Lahey Recommendations” and therefore (by implication) should be acceptable to all. They do not recognize the area as a wildlife corridor, as contended by Randy Neily, a long time hunter/fisher and observer of the area.
Other opponents of the logging – led by Nina Newington/Extinction Rebellion Mi’kma’ki / Nova Scotia – say that while the approved harvest is or may be in conformity with the SGEM, it overlooks key components of the Lahey recommendations, notably those related to landscape level issues, which are not addressed by the SGEM, a stand-level decision-making process; they say it is critical to address landscape level issues because of the intensity of harvesting over the broader area. For more details view Current Issues/AP068499 Beals Meadow and NRR’s Line in the Sand (both on this website). Recently, rare lichens were found on the site but that’s not enough for NRR/Westfor to change tack (CBC Feb 18, 2022)
In two earlier posts, I explored these positions and related evidence. In the first post I looked at the extent of clearcutting (lots) in the vicinity of AP068499 Beal’s Meadow. In the second post I looked at what’s left on the landscape as revealed by the Forest Development Class Layer on the Provincial Landscape Viewer and how ongoing logging is targeting the few remaining old forest stands.
In this final post in the series. I look at the quality of the soil in the area and how that impacts decisions around Crown land logging. Continue reading →
A suite of Youtube videos of presentations related to Nova Scotia’s forests and forestry given at several recent annual meetings has appeared on Youtube recently. They cover a wide range of topics and perspectives.
At the the 2022 Central Woodland Conference was held on Saturday, April 2nd
“The Woodland Conferences are organized annually by a hardworking committee of representatives from several Nova Scotia groups interested in forestry. This year, our provincial committee included partners from the Nova Scotia Department of Resources and Renewables, Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association (Provincial Coordinator), Association for Sustainable Forestry, Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, Western Woodlot Services Co-op, and two private woodlot owners. Additionally, each regional planning committee is comprised of local partners.”
The first blog post, on June 22, 2016. View All Posts for a chronological list of all posts on NSFN
I began this blog/website on June 21, 2016, and will “retire” it on its 6th anniversary which is on June 21, 2022.
The website will remain on the web as it is now at www.nsforestnotes.ca until renewal of the domain name becomes due on July 21, 2023, then I will not renew the domain name.
The site is archived regularly on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine so by July 2023 all of the material currently on the site will be in that archive. The website on the archive is essentially a perfect replica of this one, and is searchable.
By retiring the site on June 21, 2022, the archive will provide a discrete 6-year record, albeit biased, of goings-on related to forests and forestry in Nova Scotia, from 2016 to 2021. Continue reading →
Posted inAbout the website|Comments Off on Nova Scotia Forest Notes will “retire” on June 21, 2022
Claims of climate benefits for any forest bioenergy project need to be backed up with rigorous and transparent carbon accounting; there is some indication that the New Glasgow project, in contrast to other forest bioenergy projects in Nova Scotia, is moving in that direction.
UPDATE June 20, 2022: ‘just came across this article which provides some background to the New Glasgow project: Is burning biomass the answer, in UNRAVEL APR 21, 2021 “Jamie Stephen wants to bring district energy systems to Nova Scotia…”
UPDATE June 15, 2022: Environmentalists raise questions about proposed biomass heating system – on CBC Info M (audio); New Glasgow to study biomass heat as way to meet climate goals, CBC News · Posted: Jun 15,
UPDATE June 13, 2022: Two sets of comments related to this post are appended at the end of the post, the first set is from comments on the Healthy Forest Coalition Facebook page. The second is a lengthy comment received from Jean Blair of TorchLight Bioresources. It includes an invitation to participate in surveys she is conducting as part of a “research project at Dalhousie aiming to understand perceptions around forest bioenergy and forest management in NS, and if acceptance can be improved by watching an informational video on the topic.” I haven’t commented on the comments; they illustrate a range of perspectives. This issue is not going to go away. I think we would be well served by some critical panel discussions of the issues with reps from different sides of the debates hosted, for example, by MTRI or NS Institute of Science, or a university.
I listened yesterday a.m. to CBC Information Morning interviews related to a district wood based heating project proposed for New Glasgow:
Host Portia Clark talked at length with James Stephen of TorchLight Bioresoucres which is managing the investigatory project. He gave a good explanation of the concept which involves burning “low value wood” to heat water which is then distributed via pipes to participating business, institutional and residential properties. It is a system widely used in Northern Europe.
I was impressed that Portia Clark asked the questions that I would have asked related to carbon emissions. The responses were reasonable except for the response to her last question which in my view repeated some of the cliches the forest industry and supportive government departments often use to promote (or defend) forest bioenergy. Continue reading →
Distribution of forest in 5 development stages across Nova Scotia, compiled from NS Landscape Map Viewer in 2018. Purple = Multi-aged/Old Forest. Dark Green=Late Mature Forest. Click on image for larger version. View larger versions of the map: 2000 px | 4000 px. The dark green and purple patches correspond, more or less, to ‘Old Forest’ – forest 80+ years old. Today it is most concentrated in SW Nova Scotia where there is a high proportion of Crown land and where a consortium of mills (“WestFor”) is harvesting these older forests.
Big Forestry in Nova Scotia, the forestry folks in the Nova Scotia government and the federal forestry folks in Canada like to point out that there has been very little deforestation in Nova Scotia and in Canada at large, and consequently that “Canadian forests are healthy, productive and thriving.”
Critics have maintained that while the forest cover may not have changed much, forest degradation has occurred though conversion of older forest to younger forest and though species simplification, resulting in reduced carbon storage, and losses in biodiversity.
Forest degradation, defined as ‘the human-induced loss of carbon stocks within forest land that remains forest land’ is addressed in international agreements to which Canada is a signatory and in principle is accounted for by changes in carbon stocks (essentially wood volumes). The forest industry and many governments including the feds contend that such losses are not the same as deforestation because ‘the forest grows back’, and so deflect attention to deforestation, especially in tropics where there is a lot of deforestation. Further, the existing system of carbon accounting obscures the specific gains and losses associated with logging by ‘throwing it all in one basket’. Continue reading →
Some time after 2019, the Early Mature and Late Mature categories were collapsed into one category (Mature); it’s not clear whether mature forest so labelled can be considered ‘Old Forest’ (forest 80 years and older). Given the clear evidence we have now that Old Forests (80 years & older) are critical for conservation of biodiversity, it would be welcomed if NRR maps personnel were to clearly define a category of Old Forest (forest known, or inferred based on multiple indices, to be 80 years of age and older), and include that as a new layer on both the Harvest Plan Map Viewer and the Provincial Landscape Viewer.
Distribution of forest in 5 development stages across Nova Scotia, compiled from NS Landscape Map Viewer in 2018. Purple = Multi-aged/Old Forest. Dark Green=Late Mature Forest. Click on image for larger version. View larger versions of the map: 2000 px | 4000 px.
Some time after 2019, the Early Mature and Late Mature categories were collapsed into one category (Mature).
This will be of interest to people who have been making use of the Forest Development Class layer on the the NS Provincial Landscape Viewer to get a sense of how much clearcutting there has been on landscape around new Crown harvest polygons shown on the Harvest Plan Map Viewer and/or how much Old Forest is left on a landscape (See HPMV – Forest Development Class).
I had been concentrating on the dark purple areas (Multi-aged/Old Forest) as the best indicators of Old Forest, but began to consider the dark green areas (late Mature Forest) as also indicative of Old Forest after a colleague suggested those are, generally, old Forest. I knew one example where that was certainly correct: “The Peninsula” on Sandy Lake, Bedford, which is dark green in the Forest Development Class Layer and the hemlock forest averaged 184 years (in 2014). That forest has a singe dominant older size class, and weak second size class, so I figured, Ok it wouldn’t be seen as multi-aged in aerial photographs, but otherwise has characteristics of Old Forest. So OK, the dark green is also ‘Old Forest’ Continue reading →