The Independent Review of Forestry in Nova Scotia Phase 1 underway

The announcement of an Independent Review of Forestry in the Budget address on Apr 27, 2017. The review process got started Aug 30, 2017 with a final report due Feb 28, 2017.

I’m still a little vague on how I was chosen to talk to the Independent Review of Forestry in Nova Scotia in its first phase, but I was invited to do so on Nov 19, 2017 together with Bob Bancroft and Donna Crossland. Bob and Donna are authors of Restoring the Health of Nova Scotia’s Forests that fed into the Natural Resources Strategy 2010 process.

I asked about the context and we were told that in this Phase 1, the Independent Review is simply gathering input on the issues to be discussed further in Phase 2. We were given a list of people appointed as advisors or consultants, but I don’t want to comment (or disclose who the people are) until there is some formal announcement about who is involved.

As we waited for our appointed time at 3 pm on Saturday, six or so reps from Freeman Lumber emerged from the meeting room. About others being asked to talk to the Independent Review in this phase, I don’t know, except that Raymond Plourde/EAC were also to appear or had appeared.

Present in our session were Prof Lahey (Project Lead for the review as announced on Aug 29, 2017), a person from NSDNR functioning as a secretary for the Independent Review, a graduate student hired as as research assistant, and one of the consultants.

Donna Crossland gave a Science 101 version of why we are concerned about the message promulgated by NSDNR and accepted by many that harvest decisions are “science based”. Bob Bancroft and I interjected here and there to amplify on certain aspects, e.g. Bob on riparian issues and clearcut refugees and myself on nutrient depletion and the extreme fragmentation of natural habitats in Nova Scotia.

The Time Frame for the Independent Review from the Terms of Reference:

The final report will be delivered no later than February 28, 2018 and the work will be conducted in the following phases:
1. Preparatory Phase (September-December)
• Assemble and review background material
• Retain independent experts, commission background paper(s)
2. Issue Identification and Review (December-January)
• Identify major issues
• Mi’kmaq engagement
• Stakeholder, and public Input
3. Analysis and Report Preparation (January-February)

Stay tuned. Not sure where, hopefully they will set up an information page or website soon. Februrary 28, 2018 is not far away.

View NSDNR>Independent Review of Forest Practices for more about the process and how to contact the Independent Review.

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