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:
Deferral of cutting and road building until more review of this area can occur.
Assessment of Protected Areas potential for connective tissues and the expansion of Silver River Wilderness Area.
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.
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
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.*
*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.
Posted inAcadian Forest, clearcuts, Social Media|Comments Off on 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
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.
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. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
Posted inAcadian Forest, Natural History|Comments Off on As Hurricane Teddy heads our way, some thoughts about our windblown Nova Scotia forests 21Sep2020
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.”
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.”
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. ” —————– 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.