A WestFor 5 year plan emerges in Shelburne

It was observed on the Shelburne Municipality council chamber wall. Why are such plans not shared with the public at large?

UPDATE Jan 7, 2019: Minister Rankin joins the discussion
Shelly Hipson has posted, on the Healthy Forests Coalition Facebook page, a photo of a map showing a WestFor Operating Plan for the next 5 years in Sheburne Co. She observed it recently on the Shelburne Municipality council chamber wall.

It seems fairly obvious that such maps must exist, that NSDNR/L&F would know about them and probably be consulted when they are prepared, but they have never been posted or even mentioned on the NSDNR/L&F website as far as I know, at least not since the HPMV has been around. Instead we are told that the steps involved in proposing and approving a harvest are done on a piece by piece basis as revealed on HPMV.

Obviously also, the public has an interest in knowing what these longer term plans are when they are asked to review a harvest proposed for a particular area. I have commented on this many times in the past; so have the Mi’kmaq people, e.g., these comments in Show us the science behind clearcuts on Crown land close to the pending Shingle Lake Nature Reserve, Nova Scotia (NSFN, August 9, 2017):

One would think that the longer term planning is relevant to whether NSDNR approves a cut on Crown land initially and whether concerns are received from the public once it is posted, i.e. for full transparency, we should be seeing the longer term plans on the HPMV, a point made by Eric Zscheile in relation to NSDNR negotiations with the Mi’kmaq community concerning the Western Crown Lands:

“We want the company to post their operational plans well in advance, not just 60 days in advance but about a year in advance, so that people in the community can look…and then have the ability to let government and the company know about any problems they see with that particular operational plan.” – Eric Zscheile, member of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chief’s negotiating team cited in Communities raise concerns about 10-year licence with WestFor by Brittany Wentzell in www.lighthousenow.ca March 22, 2017

More explaining for L&F to do.

Thanks for sharing your observation, Shelly Hipson.

‘Time for WestFor/L&F to share such maps as well.


Some related pages and posts:

HPMV:What you get and some of what you do not get on the Harvest Plan Map Viewer (and where to get it)
New Page on NSFN posted Jan 3, 2019

NSDNR responds to Halifax Field Naturalists’ Concerns and Questions about impacts of forestry in Nova Scotia on conservation of biodiversity
(Post, Sep 1, 2017)

NSDNR Forest Management Planning
Page on NSFN, posted Dec 10, 2016

Science issues and lack of landscape/watershed level planning by Nova Scotia DNR limit what can be achieved through forest certification
Post on NSFN, Feb 22, 2018

A skeptical view of NSDNR’s Forest Management Planning Process
Post on NSFN Dec 11, 2016

Response to Workshop on DNR’s Framework for Ecosystem-Based Forest Management (including DNR’s Work on Natural Disturbance Regimes)
by Professor Karen Beazley, March 18, 2018. Posted with permission on NSFN


Some of the discussion on WWNS

AF: having a plan is great. id like to know if this plan includs people working in the woods making money or will the indestry still be in to much of a crisses for anyone to expect there wage to keep up with inflation? minumum wage will be geting way up there in 5 years

TMD: I agree that any business should have more of a long term outlook and plan. I think the issue is that these plans aren’t generally announced to the public until the last minute. If the government is mandated to let the public know when cuts are being taken ahead of time, then they should release that information when they give approval.

BOL to TMD: agreed, but I highly doubt (but could be wrong) that the 5 year plan is approved for harvesting already. I am sure the public will have a chance to speak there mind long before they are harvested.
I think Westfor is miles ahead of the rest of the industry in managing a healthy forest.The last thing the industry needs is a land base that has nothing left.

TMB to BOL: I know the govt earlier this year were giving 5 year approvals for glyphosate spraying as well. The industry really has to look at the optics with this just as the DOE. I’m an environment first type of person but I do know we need industry. We’re getting to a point where there’s been so much shady shit going on between the govt and industry that people are ready to block pretty much anything out of lack of trust. If Westfor has a 5 year plan, a lot of people would believe that the fix is in with member of DOE. Ok, maybe fix isn’t the right word but that’s how a lot of people would see it. The public is very aware these days and we need a public who believes what’s being done is being done right because it is being done right and not because the govt/industry are either playing the spin game, strategically releasing information or trying to find what’s going on. I’m sure there are cases that this sort of game is going on because they believe a vast majority are uninformed and will block something out of ignorance. We need to remove that ignorance and make informed decisions together because we need to live here but we also need industry.

MH ALL with the GOOD WILL & expediency of our government..whom is padding pockets…. an election is COMING..or did you not notice.. those with PLUSH GOV CONTRACTS are working very hard to gobble as much as they can…. We the PEOPLE need to CHANGE THIS CORRUPT patronage behaviour for good.

Some of the discussion on HFC; Rankin joins the discussion (added Jan 7, 2019):

Original Post:
SH: Here is a forestry map [as at the top of this page] that was pinned up on our Shelburne Municipality council chamber wall. It is an OPERATING PLAN for WESTFOR for the NEXT FIVE YEARS! They are releasing this information in drips and dribbles to us on purpose…so that we are going around in circles. When THEY know what is going to be harvested over the THIS YEAR, NEXT YEAR AND SEVERAL YEARS AFTER THAT! —no wonder they get “confused” with harvests – they are way ahead of us in this game!

KB: Those maps have been around for quite sometime, I think they sent then to each council involved.

SH: Yes! They probably have been – they give them to council – so that it can be said that they are ‘consulting’ with the people of the area. But how many are shared with groups like us eh?

BB to SH: http://nsforestnotes.ca/keeping-track/hpmv/

1. The Licensee [in this case Northern Pulp] identifies a proposed harvest area and identifies any sensitive features requiring mitigation with data available to them.
2. DNR’s Integrated Resource Management or IRM Teams review the harvest plan to determine if any harvesting can occur in the planned area.
3. The Licensee proceeds with Pretreatment Assessment and any field surveys required (i.e. BFL surveys) and refines the plan based upon information gathered.
4. The Licensee may post the block to the HPMV (Harvest Plans Map Viewer) at this point.
5. The Licensee submits the refined plan to DNR for a comprehensive review conducted by the IRM team. All available data on sensitive features are referenced during the review and other DNR professional staff consulted if required.
6. The IRM Team reviews the proposed plan and rejects, approves or approves with conditions (i.e. changes required). The plan may be field audited by DNR.
7. The plan is posted on the HPMV if not posted at step 4.
8. Public comments are addressed and changes made if required.
9. If the area is approved, the licensee is notified.

This from nsforestrynotes.ca is how things start, this is how they developed that map…
The above procedure is a dream come true for any company trying to keep the yard full… You need to understand the old systems of wood procurement to see how good this is…

Its really good.

SH to KB: Thank you Ken! Yes a dream come true for those companies! For sure! Not so much for anyone else…or the wildlife who have their homes in these mapped out harvests. We all know that – but how do we change this.

KB: Laheys report has a lot of potential. Before the report any points made that did not go down the “Path we Share” had nothing to back them up, now his report mentions most of those same points that were not being addressed/ignored before.
Hopefully they will be issuing news releases very frequently keeping the public informed of their progress in adopting the report, which the Minister said they would back in December.
They asked for a report, received a good one, now they have to grind their way through it. However they must keep up the news releases as they change the system over…
Its like admitting you were wrong about something, not easy for some.

There must be one heck of a lot of work to change over, just the Irregular Shelterwood aspect will bring about drastic harvesting changes. The money is in clear cutting for that end of things.

SH to KB: I would like to TRUST that Minister Iain Rankin is going to do that – but upon reviewing the License with WestFor – it sure looks to me that they just signed off on four times the allocation for this coming year. This map has harvests on it that are five years into the future – that have been done under the old system. *I* personally feel that the government has not been straight forward with the people of Nova Scotia who care about our forests. And every person who cares about the forest is a voter.

KB: Not much choice but to trust them…its all quite the story
KB They could fix that up , just change the treatment for all those clearcuts, they did that with Corbett .

BW to KB: – Yes, and I suspect that’s what they are doing to try to make things “look better”.

Iain Rankin to SH: Westfor’s renewal was the same reduced allocation, for one year only, while Lahey recommendations are implemented. All interim guidelines will need to be followed on approvals after government’s response, until we can make amendments to the Forest Management Guide. We can also require prescription changes based on public feedback and the IRM review.

BW to Iain Rankin – Are you saying that a harvest such as the highly controversial one being conducted at Corbett-Dalhousie Lake in Annapolis County — parcel AP 068637B — could be changed due to extreme public pressure such as you are seeing in the media? And Ingram River Wilderness as well? I wrote to you about Corbett Lake last week and HFC has described that situation as well as Ingram River in their report released last night. Both of these harvests fly in the face of what we, the community, are willing to continue to tolerate given the extremely heavy harvesting happening in our region — please see the satellite image “A Sea of Clearcuts” in Annapolis County which appears in the HFC report released yesterday. I, and several others, have been using Planet Explorer to study the cutting happening here in Annapolis County, using the date function on a month-by-month basis, and the cutting that was already extensive over the past year, in Dalhousie – Paradise Lake area, and West Dalhousie — is pretty much over the top. With all due respect, if it continues at even a fraction of the current pace, we won’t even need to be having these discussions anymore as there will be nothing left on the ground.

Iain Rankin I will read what you have sent in Bev Wigney (I read all letters sent to me). I do consider local points of concern. In this case an approval was made I understand before I came into the department and I’ve asked the Deputy to reach out to Mike Lancaster. Proposed cuts by Westfor on crown land in Ingram River have not made it to senior management yet, but I have had discussions with community in advance of receiving all of the information for a decision.

BW to Iain Rankin – Thank you for your reply to my comment. And thanks in advance for looking into the situation at Corbett-Dalhousie Lake as covered in my email as well as the HFC report that was sent out yesterday. Regards.

DGP to Iain Rankin: Respectfully, “Senior Management” is your (our) problem as it was back in the Natural Resource Strategy days when Gov initially accepted recommendations, said they would implement them and then backed off (including changing the Minister who wanted to implement them). That’s why we are where we are at today, and it looks more and more like a repeat of the same plot. I do thank you for joining the conversation here; that is different from past ministers, and laudable. The Liberals have a chance to make the difficult decisions that are required to salvage the future of our forests. You did it with requiring closure of Boat Harbour and sticking to that, we need more of that type of leadership.

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