The way of Nova Scotia forests

Rare, old hardwood forest provides a glimpse of the way it was

In The way things used to be (CH Mar 14, 2017), Zak Metcalfe writes of how his interview with forest ecologist Donna Crossland gave him a glimpse of our pre-Columbian forest and how that changed quickly following European settlement.

Before my conversation with Crossland I couldn’t have realized how fundamental our impacts have actually been, how destructive and long term. The forests I’ve walked through and admired for years are mere infants, disenfranchised of their height, their health and even of their majesty. It would take tremendous forethought on our part for them to recovery and even then it wouldn’t regrow in my lifetime. The line of succession is simply too long.
Oh, what I wouldn’t give to watch it all happen.

Donna Crossland writes more directly about this topic and its implications in Nova Scotia’s Fiery Past: Why early wildfires ignited by our ancestors should not justify modern clearcutting practices (guest post on website of Medway Community Forest, Sep 4, 2015).

The perspectives Crossland expresses lie at the core of my discomfort with NSDNR’s claim that “that all harvest treatments are aligned with the nature-based requirements of Nova Scotia’s lands”.

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