Healthy Forest Coalition’s three recommendations to protect Mainland Moose in SW Nova Scotia 25Oct2020

“Here’s a photo from Oct 12, 2020. Taken in the Tobeatic Wilderness Area! It’s been reported.” @NickKnutsonNS on Twitter Oct 20, 2020


UPDATE, OCT 27, 2020: Checking in with the blockade for mainland moose (audio)
CBC Info AM, OCT 27, 2020
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From Mike Lancaster on The Healthy Forest Coalition Facebook Page, Oct 23, 2020

This move to clearcut this crucial connective forest between the Tobeatic and Silver River Wilderness Area is exemplary of the broader issues affecting public forestry in Nova Scotia. There must be a halt to even-aged treatments and the construction of new forestry roads on public land until the new silvicultural guides are finalized. Foresty has it’s place and is a valuable component of our rural economies, this is not it.

The area in question is one of the few places of Nova Scotia that is largely unfragmented by roads. Once new roads are built the impact on the area lasts for many years to come. Doing so facilitates the infiltration of white-tailed deer, poachers, and recreation-based impacts that where they were previously absent, or minimal.

The HFC is calling for three things to occur:

  1. Deferral of cutting and road building until more review of this area can occur.
  2. Assessment of Protected Areas potential for connective tissues and the expansion of Silver River Wilderness Area.
  3. The transferral of responsibility for wildlife and SAR out of forestry portfolio as incidents like this are not acceptable. Species like the mainland moose, teetering on the brink of expiration from Nova Scotia, cannot afford this ongoing loss of habitat.

Make sense. Thx ML & HFC

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Posted in Acadian Forest, Conservation, Wildlife | Comments Off on Healthy Forest Coalition’s three recommendations to protect Mainland Moose in SW Nova Scotia 25Oct2020

Bancroft on the state of our forests (Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) 24Oct2020

For a superb overview of the state of our forests in N.S. and N.B., view this video just released on YouTube by  N.B. Media Co-op:

*It can be viewed with or without subtitles – to change the current setting, click on the Settings-wheel:

View N.B. Media Co-op post (Oct 24, 2020) for a short biography of Bob B. and links to some related info and articles. The video was produced as “Part of St. Thomas University’s Environmental Praxis Lecture Series, this talk is supported by the NB Media Co-op and RAVEN – Rural Action and Voices for the Environment, a research project based at the University of New Brunswick”.
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Posted in Acadian Forest, clearcuts | Comments Off on Bancroft on the state of our forests (Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) 24Oct2020

Clearcutting in Nova Scotia continued…intensive cutting, a new definition of a clearcut, and questions about loggers from out of province and wood going to NB 18Oct2020

Questions begging for answers

UPDATE Oct 22, 2020
“Extinction Rebellion Forest Protectors are camped out NOW, and are committed to stopping this clear cut.” Posted on Annapolis Royal & Area – Environment & Ecology late yesterday
Oct 23: Protesters block logging road over mainland moose protections (audio)
CBC Info AM

UPDATE Oct 20, a.m. related to comments about Irving in SW Nova Scotia, wood going to NB: I just had a phone call from Irving; an Irving rep said that they have no operations in Digby Co., and do not ship logs to N.B. She followed up with an e-mail which explains more precisely why she said the “references to Irving are not accurate”. In her post on a public Facebook group (which I copied verbatim), NN cited the info as “Local information also has it..” and commented “Perhaps it’s not true that Irving is taking the wood from Crown land in Southwest Nova straight to New Brunswick”, so I was Ok with citing it here without verifying it separately; in turn I appreciate the clarification from Irving, which came without agitation.

UPDATE Oct 20, a.m. (related to section below on “Cutting in Moose Habitat”):

On CBC Info AM Today (Oct 18, 2020). Click on image for link to Info AM Twitter Page. Listen to archived interview

Also view
– “Richard Amero shows the moose track by the side of a logging road on crown land near the Tobeatic Wilderness Area.”
– “Picture of moose cow and calf taken by Richard Amero in Nov 2018, in this same area.”
“Here’s a photo from Oct 12, 2020. Taken in the Tobeatic Wilderness Area! It’s been reported.”
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ORIGINAL POST

A common scene in Annapolis Co. (Photo in  2017).

Annapolis County shoulders a disproportionate share of the logging on Crown lands in southwest NS, with few of the benefits accruing to WestFor’s 13 member companies, none of them  based in Annapolis Co.*
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*I went to the WestFor website to check the listing of company members and found a glossy new feel-good website but that it  no longer provides that info.  So I went to the web archive to check it – the item listing Members is for May 5, 2017.

Annapolis County Council has repeatedly tried to gain more say on logging within the County, requesting exclusion from Westfor logging, proposing that they manage an old forest block as a cloud forest with thinnings to be used for local heating, requesting an “Indefinite moratorium on glyphosate spraying for the entire county”, all to no avail.  (In Ontario municipalities can specify cutting practices.)
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Plourde urges Premier to reset the agenda on nature for Nova Scotia 13Oct2020

Old trees support biodiversity and store carbon. Raymond Plourde spotted this old, wind-twisted red maple during a hike through Old Forest by Sandy Lake (Bedford, N.S.) on Sep 15, 2019. When such trees – not usable for lumber – are harvested in  clearcuts, we lose old forest biodiversity. Typically they are chipped for burning, instantly  releasing all of the tree’s stored carbon as atmospheric carbon dioxide and contributing to global warming.

Raymond Plourde says that we can move to 14% protected with a stroke of the Premier’s pen. Then it’s time to go further.

A spate of recent local or locally relevant news  underscores a basic conflict that confronts many jurisdictions globally in 2020: the ‘need’ to exploit our natural resources for short term gain or simple economic or even human survival but at the cost of the ecological integrity of Planet Earth as we have known it.

One ‘news cluster’ (Sep 28-29, 2000) involved  climate change and the rush to generate power by use of forest “wastes” (including old trees not suitable for lumber). That was overlapped (Sep 28-Oct 5, 2020) by a news cluster related to biodiversity losses globally and locally.

Jim Vibert’s piece in the Chronicle Herald & Journal Pioneer,  Mother Nature’s on the run in Nova Scotia encapsulates the recent history of our failure to address the Biodiversity issue. It’s definitely  worth reading the whole item, some extracts  from it are attached below.

In a CBC Info AM interview on Oct 2 (“Abbreviated Transcript” here), Meghan Leslie (ex- NDP MLA for Halifax and now CEO of the World Wildlife Fund International) and Raymond Plourde  (Wilderness Coordinator for the Ecology Action Centre) discussed where we are globally and locally  in regard to biodiversity losses. Both emphasized the importance of protected areas in stemming such losses.
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Posted in Biomass, clearcuts, Climate Change, Conservation, Ind Rev Post-Report | Comments Off on Plourde urges Premier to reset the agenda on nature for Nova Scotia 13Oct2020

“NO further spraying of aerial herbicide on private land in Nova Scotia this fall” 26Sep2020

It seems the social license to spray NS forests has expired

Extinction Rebellion Nova Scotia Photo

On Don’t Spray Us – Nova Scotia Action (Facebook Events Page)
Hants/Lunenburg County

UPDATE Fri Sep 25, 2020, ~4pm
by Extinction Rebellion Nova Scotia
Good news for this season;

NS Dept of Environment has informed us definitively that there will be NO further spraying of aerial herbicide on private land in Nova Scotia this fall. The area we are currently occupying in Hants County has not and will not be sprayed this year. Citizens standing up together make a difference.
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As Hurricane Teddy heads our way, some thoughts about our windblown Nova Scotia forests 21Sep2020

A pit and mound-forming  tipover of a big old hemlock near Grand Lake, NS
Click on image for larger version.

Hurricane Teddy is tracking northward and “is expected to impact Atlantic Canada and the Gulf of St. Lawrence region Tuesday and Wednesday as a “very dangerous” post-tropical storm as it moves through the region, bringing strong winds, heavy rain, storm surge and pounding waves” (CBC Sep 19, 2020).

They might have added tree falls (tipovers, windthrows) to that list.

My spouse looks out the window at our urban forest and at a towering tree  on a street one block to the north; she worries that it may fall to the southwest and on our house and asked me what I thought. “I don’t think we have to worry, at least this time around” I said. “Why”, she asked.  I said  “Because  I looked at the tree, it is about 3.5 ft diameter and  looks very healthy;  it has already survived Juan and Dorian and right now it looks as though this storm will not be worse than Dorian and nowhere near Juan in ferocity; and even if the winds blow it over, it is likely to fall towards the west or north and not towards us.”

“Why do you think it wouldn’t fall in our direction?” she asked. “I have been thinking about windblown NS forests” I said.
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Posted in Acadian Forest, Natural History | Comments Off on As Hurricane Teddy heads our way, some thoughts about our windblown Nova Scotia forests 21Sep2020

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

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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.

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