“Should private industry be the steward of public lands?” asks the writer.
These Crown lands include lands purchased in 2012 by the province for $111 million from Bowater Mersey when it went out of business. Read HFC blog post
Also see Western Crown Lands on this website for more about this “forest tragedy” as one journalist labelled it.
Signing away our Western Crown lands to private interests is not recent news, but it definitely bears repeating and highlighting. In press releases touting success of NSDNR’s forestry management, the arrangements with Westfor are rarely, if ever, mentioned. The WestFor website likewise offers very little information. We do not know the status of the 10 year agreement with Westfor – is it still under negotiation or has it been finalized?
Nor does the government mention the recently published NSDNR soils research verifying what had been well known to aquatic scientists a decade and more ago: large expanses of forested lands in SW Nova Scotia are highly stressed by acid rain because of the extremely low inherent buffering capacity. The NSDNR soils paper indicates that losses of calcium in particular will be increased further by harvesting, and calcium levels in aquatic systems of SW Nova Scotia are already at critically low levels for a lot of aquatic life.