Overall, I think the people who have been concerned about the State of Nova Scotia’s forests should be happy, very happy, with the Report, and urge MLAs to support the recommendations. The big questions right now: Will there be a behind-the-scenes effort by Industrial Forestry interests to discredit the Report as there was following the 2010 process? Will the government accept the conclusions and recommendations of the Report overall?
The long awaited Report from the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia was released 9 days ago, and was followed by a brief flurry of comments over the next few days (view Independent Review). Since then it’s been pretty quiet, except for NDP MLA Lisa Roberts’ largely favourable comments in the Cape Breton post on Aug 28th.
In the meantime, “Nova Scotia long-term Crown timber harvest leases [are] still on hold” while the “Forest industry awaits premier’s reaction to forest practices review” (CBC News Aug 24, 2018); and “the Nova Scotia government isn’t ready to say whether they’ll accept the recommendations and are hesitant to give a timeline on when that decision will be made” (Global News Aug 23, 2018).
I can understand the delay. There’s lots to digest from the Report.
In my first post about the Report on the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia, on the day of its release (Aug 21, 2018), I complimented Prof Lahey for the clarity of his report and concluded that he has set a high standard for further discourse about Nova Scotia’s forests and forestry. I also commented that I didn’t want to make much comment about the Conclusions & Recommendations until I have had a thorough read of the documents.
It’s taken me much of the following week to get through the 70 pages of the volume containing the Executive Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations, and that in turn really requires reading much of 253 page Addendum with its” background material and supporting documents prepared by the expert advisors who provided assistance to the review”. I am still on that one.
Overall, I think the people who have been concerned about the State of Nova Scotia’s forests should be happy, very happy, with the Report, and urge MLAs to support the conclusions and recommendations.
In a very fundamental sense, the major conclusions and recommendations are the same as and to large extent build on those of Bancroft and Crossland in Restoring the Health of Nova Scotia’s Forests (2010) and of the Steering Panel for that process, i.e. in regard to a strong critique of NSDNR science as it pertains to Natural Disturbance Regimes combined with “Ecological Forestry” as the fundamental paradigm for moving forward and recognition that clearcutting is the major management issue and that there is far too much of it.
There are differences in how an Ecological Forestry paradigm would be achieved, but the goals are essentially the same.
So the big questions right now:
– Will there be a behind-the-scenes effort by Industrial Forestry interests to discredit The Report as there was following the 2010 process (see Comments on the Phase II Recommendations…)?
– Will the government accept the conclusions and recommendations of the Report overall?
A behind-the-scenes effort to discredit the report will be more difficult this time around, with one of the major critics of the previous process, Prof Peter Duinker of the School of Resource and Environmental Studies at Dal, playing major roles in the recent Independent Review, his comments to a Senate Committee in the fall of 2018 (“In my opinion, the forests [of Nova Scotia] are not being pushed too hard, especially the regulated Crown forests”) apparently notwithstanding.
There are aspects that I find a little weak or disappointing in the Lahey Report, but they are minor compared to what I like and find well justified.
So after waiting for the Report, I (we) await the Government response to it.
I expect government is already hearing from Industrial Forestry interests.
Birds nests versus industrial forestry in Nova Scotia & what the Independent Review can do for us
Post, Jan 10, 2018: “What’s critical in my view is that the scientific justification for whatever solutions or recommendations they might propose is based on critical use of science and not the mis-use or ignoring of rigorous, peer reviewed science or the use of questionable non-peer reviewed science that has characterized DNR’s science in recent years; likewise, that any economic justification for particular recommendations stands up to scrutiny and is not based on hype.
“Maybe there will be bitter pills that have to be swallowed by both sides, but sugar-coating them with platitudes will not help; we need to know exactly what pills we might be asked to take, and why, and given access to all of the relevant documents. If the Independent Review does its job as professionally and objectively as Jim Lahey assured me it will, the red flags notwithstanding, the pill may just be worth taking.”