Minister Lloyd Hines is making the rounds seeking input from local business people on how to bring back forestry and mineral industries to SW Nova Scotia. He’s encouraging an open discussion: “The best discussions happen when people can bring any opinion, positive or negative, to the table in an open discussion”. Hines describes the area as a “fibre basket” and the goal now is “to find and create new business to keep use of this market…” and says “the burden to improve and create new initiatives within forestry lies with landowners who own a majority of the forested land.” View Digby Courier report (Mar 1, 2017).
Hines noted the markets for fish from SW Nova Scotia in China and said “We’re hoping to find the China for this market”. Interestingly enough, when I opened this article in the Digby Courier online, an ad for Pellet Machines appeared with a link to Gemco Energy, “a leading manufacturer of machinery in China devoted to environmental protection, conservation and green energy”. Their slogan is “from biomass to biofuel”. Apparently Chinese interests are well aware of Nova Scotia’s “fibre basket” and interest in biofuels.
Obviously we all want to see a healthy forest economy in SW Nova Scotia, but for many reasons let’s hope NSDNR looks at the area’s forests as offering much more than a fibre basket. Based on the the government/NSDNR’s largely behind-the-scenes planning for biofuels and the like , I’m not too hopeful that’s the case.