The evidence is sufficient that I breathe more easily when traversing larger patches of older forest, and I am more on guard for blacklegged ticks/lyme when I am in smaller patches or in and out of clearcuts.
The South Shore of Nova Scotia, according to Mount Allison University biologist Vett Lloyd cited in the Chronicle Herald on May 19, 2018, is “probably the worst place in Canada” for lyme disease-carrying black legged ticks. The worst that is for humans but the best place from the ticks’ perspective.*
Prof. Lloyd goes on to say:
“The South Shore has the perfect climate for ticks…The climate is mild, it’s moist, lots of fog, you have plenty of boggy areas that keep everything moist. They were introduced primarily on migratory birds. Once they came, they decided they liked it…”
Out of a practical interest in avoiding being bitten by lyme-carrying ticks, I have been following literature on factors affecting abundance of blacklegged ticks and on preventative measures for a while (view Forestry>Pests>Ticks)
*View also Lyme disease cases per 100,000 people in 2016 (Canada)
My attempt to provide posts on the home page “as a record of events, news and opinions on the subject of forests and forestry in Nova Scotia as they unfold, beginning on June 21, 2016″, has proved challenging and I have not always been able to keep up.
So I am making a slight change in tack. On the page In the News, I will be listing links to news items under the dates those are published, without comments. Some of those will also be listed on the page Independent Review, and some will be topics of posts of the Home Page.
So About this Site>All Posts, provides a more or less complete archive of news related to forests and forestry in Nova Scotia Jun 21, 2016 to Jun 10, 2018,most with some comment; thereafter, the archive list will be on In the News, without comment.
There will still posts on the Home Page, but I will make a post only when I think I have some comment that adds to a news story, or on a topic not currently in the news. They will less frequent, perhaps 1/week versus an average of 4/week up to this point. All posts will still be listed on the page About this site>All Posts.
This change in tack will, I hope, allow me more time to follow up on important topics that are not receiving much attention otherwise, e.g., as in a recent post on cats versus clearcutting as threats to forest birds.
Peter Duinker, one of the Expert Advisors to the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia, gave a talk Thursday evening to the Halifax Field Naturalists on Old Forests in HRM, which inevitably invited questions about when the Report will be out. (HFN is a member of the Healthy Forest Coalition.)
I was not there (not to snub PD but I had made a commitment to attend the 30th Anniv. of the Sackville Rivers Association on the same evening), but someone who was present passed this on:
“Generally he said, legal review completed, report back to Lahey and his advisors for consideration, should be released soon.”
Pretty minimal, in keeping with Prof Lahey running as tight a ship as Mueller’s investigation in the U.S., for which he can be lauded.
NSDNR says Yes. The science indicates that there are far more direct kills of birds by cats year to year than from forestry operations but the indirect effects of extensive clearcutting on short rotations in Nova Scotia are much more damaging in the longer term
…but maybe a CAT tractor did. “I suppose an analogy [to the in-Nova Scotia- cats-kill-more-forest-birds-than-clearcutting story] would be: Who would be more responsible for the decline of Monarch butterflies, the person who shoots one million butterflies out of the air every migration or the person who burns up all the milkweed without actually killing any butterflies?” – JT.
Click on image to enlarge
1. NSDNR responses to concerns about impacts of clearcutting on forest birds
2. Studies on direct, human caused mortality of birds in Canada
3. Habitat loss/degradation is the major contributor to decline of many species
4. Clearcutting can increase or decrease bird diversity at large depending on the existing mix of young/old forest
5. NSDNR has been slow in implementing Landscape Level Planning for Biodiversity Conservation
6. Soil acidification/low base saturation/calcium depletion a major threat
8. More links
9. Some of the comments on WWNS
Will the council look at habitat loss associated with clearcutting as a major issue?
In their 2017 election platform the McNeil Liberals said they would create a Biodiversity Council:
…as part of our vision to ensure a healthy environment for future generations, a Liberal Government will pass a Biodiversity Act. This act will improve protection of our forests, lakes, animals, plants and citizens by better coordinating existing legislation and creating a new Nova Scotia Biodiversity Council. The council will have the power to recommend new actions that promote biodiversity and report annually on the status of our biodiversity
Formation of the council was announced in a NSDNR Press Release (May 22, 2018)
Even in Protected Areas: Clearcut in lands designated for the Raven Head Protected Area, 2011 (“To negotiate a price within the province’s budget, Wagner Forestry [was] allowed to harvest about one quarter of the Apple Head area”). As shocking as that was, the case documented by One Not So Bored Housewife involving land clearcut and then sold to NSDNR by a NSDNR employee is even more shocking
UPDATE June 5, 2018: More discussion from WWNS added at the end of the post
This well documented, disturbing allegation is made in a May 31, 2018 post How much wood does a clear cutter cut, when a clear cutter cuts the wood?
on the blog One Not So Bored Housewife
There is a lot in the post which was apparently stimulated by the recent story about Port Hawkesbury Paper/NSDNR deals.
Spectacular birding in Quebec, but Nova Scotia also has lots to attract birders as well as birds with or without a budworm outbreak!
There is a lot of excitement in the bird world: “At an observatory in Quebec, they were hoping for a 50,000-bird day. They saw more than half a million.”
View A River of Warblers: ‘The Greatest Birding Day of My Life’ By James Gorman The New York Times, May 31, 2018.
From the article: