Journalist Emma Smith writing in the south shore LighthouseNow on The battle over Nova Scotia’s trees (Dec 21, 2016) comments: “The Christmas season is when many Nova Scotians get an up-close look at our forests, but the meticulously decorated trees spreading their aroma in warm living rooms betray a less picturesque reality. There’s a battle brewing over the management of the province’s forests.”
She notes that “Even as we read headlines about clearcutting near Kejimkujik or worries from private woodlot owners about the impact of WestFor on the market, forestry can feel like one of those issues too big and complicated to really understand”. She cites at some length two scientists who have questioned the scientific basis of NSDNR claims that our forests are being managed sustainably.
Forests are Stronger, according to the granddaughter of a lumber company founder writing in the Opinion section of the CH on Dec 24, 2016. “Pessimists in Nova Scotia are still in abundance, standing in front of every industry they perceive as not fitting their narrow vision for our resources, preaching the “No” in Nova Scotia. Meanwhile, I will strive every day to fight this attitude, here and as I travel outside the province. I will keep working with those I know are proud to make our forests more renewable, sustainable and usable.”
In the same Opinion Section, a gentleman from Brule Pt. responds to an Op-ed of Dec 16 (N.S. public are recognizing forests are well managed), commenting that “Anger and frustration with government betrayal of the public will [around forestry] is growing.”
It seems pretty likely the debate in the media will continue into the New Year. At this point, all three major political parties have had a hand in creating the current forestry practices and don’t seem overly keen to move the debate into the legislature. Or perhaps MLAs feel forestry is “one of those issues too big and complicated to really understand”.