Shadbush (Amelanchier arborea) in bloom on May 22, 2011
UPDATE May 22, 2019 evening – Positive news begets positive news. Prof David Garbary of StFX sent me this message:
I just saw your recent Forest Notes contribution. Here is another positive bit of biodiversity news from the marine environment. I (with Carolyn Bird, Herb Vandermeulen and Beverly Hymes) just published a paper on macroalgal biodiversity of Brier Island (Proc. N.S. Inst. Sci). In the summer of 2017 we identified over 150 species from the island mostly associated with the metaphorical ‘forests’ of intertidal fucoids and kelp beds. This was slightly more species than a 1970 paper out of NRC for the whole of Digby Neck with collections over a whole year.
Thx David G.
I wouldn’t have been aware that today is the The International Day For Biological Diversity, except for some posts by Bev Wigney on Annapolis Royal & Area – Environment & Ecology (a public Facebook group).
It’s a day we should really stop and celebrate what we have, amidst the otherwise almost endless bad news about climate, environment and biodiversity generally.
So to celebrate a bit, following are some articles of the last few days expressing mostly upbeat thoughts on the topic.
View of the entrance to Halifax Harbour across Point Pleasant Park. The area in the foreground was completely stripped by Hurricane Juan in 2003. White Pine at right was a survivor. May 5, 2017
“We don’t want to disturb those nests — and the regulations stipulate that we can’t” – but there is no such compliance on provincially administered Crown lands
It was International Migratory Birds Day on Sat May 11. Appropriately, although coincidentally, it was announced the day before that “A plan to cut down 80,000 trees inside Halifax’s most popular seaside park has been put on hold until the fall to protect the nests of many species of birds,” (Canadian Press/CTV News May 10, 2019). That decision followed concerns expressed by birdwatchers.
Earlier this week, city officials said the cutting at Point Pleasant Park, which is aimed at restoring the health of the park’s Acadian forest, would be carried out in June and July.
However, spokesman Brendan Elliott confirmed Friday no trees would be felled until September because an earlier cull would have violated federal regulations pertaining to migratory birds.
UPDATE MAY 11, 2019: For a far more informative article on this topic, view Truth Be Told: Nova Scotia’s forest department hires a PR firm with forest industry ties to help it with transparency by Linda Pannozzo in the Halifax Examiner, May 10, 2019. It discloses the firm of the consultants, and provides some details on issues with the Harvest Map Viewer (re: “How do you think the HPMV could be improved?: cited below) that I was not familiar with but are pretty critical; also it references the recommendations of the Natural Resources Strategy regarding communication. Well worth the $10 for a month’s subscription to get access to the full article if you are following this topic. I hope L&F and the Consultants developing the communication plan can afford it because they could definitely benefit from reading it.
In 2019, not putting some old forest habitat on the chopping block is an advance in our thinking, but it is not a net improvement in the space for wild species in Nova Scotia which continues to decline
Old Yellow Birch
I had been hoping to see something upbeat to report on the forestry front by Earth Day (Apr 22, 2019) and finally some good news arrived, or at least mostly good news. View:
Proposed cut of Margaree old growth stopped
Aaron Beswick in the Chronicle Herald Mar 20, 2019 (content currently available without subscription)
A proposed harvest of old growth forest in the Margaree area has been put on hold after a local resident raised concerns.
In February, Brian Peters wrote the Department of Lands and Forestry about a proposed 38-hectare cut in Coady Settlement. The pre-treatment assessment of the stand conducted by Port Hawkesbury Paper showed it to be one-third composed of yellow birch – a long lived climax specie of the Acadian Forest.
“I wish to emphasize that these older trees and old growth stands must be valued and retained as much as possible,” wrote Peters to the department.