It would surely help if we (the public) were routinely informed about changes to Crown land harvest plans posted on the Harvest Plan Map Viewer
UPDATE Apr 30, 2019: In relation to the Corbett-Dalhousie Lakes Old Growth cited below, view
Annapolis County residents want ‘Old Growth’ Corbett Lake Crown forest left alone by Lawrence Powell In Annapolis Co. Spectator, Apr 30, 2019 “Biologist Bob Bancroft toured Crown forest at Corbett Lake April 28 and described it as intact and unique. He said a fraction of one per cent of forests in Nova Scotia are as complete with species and ground cover as the woods south of Bridgetown on the Neaves Road”.
In response to a post about a Halifax Examiner article* made today (Apr 27, 2019) on the Healthy Forest Coalition public Facebook Page and discussions of the same,
L&F Minister Rankin responded as follows:
*“We are down to our last month’s rent”: naturalists say clearcutting is accelerating by Jennifer Henderson in Halifax Examiner April 8, 2019
There have been changes to harvest prescriptions for several proposed sites in the South Mountain Ecodistrict. The changes are based on a combination of public comments, additional site information, and staff reviews that align with the recommendations of the Independent review of forest practices.
Two sites are not approved for harvest: AP068677 Tupperville – 1 stand 19.85 hectares planned as a systematic patch shelterwood – partial harvest; and AP068331 Lower Sixty Lake – 7 stands 116.4 hectares planned as seed tree (clearcut).
For most sites, the harvest and silviculture prescriptions shift from predominantly even aged management (clearcut) to a focus on uneven aged management (partial harvest).
New harvest prescriptions are as follows:
Uneven Aged Management / Partial Harvest
AP068389 Big LaHave Lake: 3 stands (65.8 hectares) formerly planned as overstory removal or seed tree shift to partial harvests
AP068065 Stoddarts Meadow: 7 stands (159.7 hectares) formerly planned as overstory removal shift to partial harvests
AP157007 Neeves Road: 2 stands (36.9 hectares) formerly planned as overstory removal shift to partial harvests
AP068059 Lynch Lake: 4 stands (45.8 hectares) formerly planned as overstory removal shift to partial harvests
Even Aged Management / Clearcut
AP068202 Lohnes Lake: 4 stands (56.1 hectares) formerly planned as overstory removal shift to variable retention levels of 10 to 20% as per the Interim Retention Guidelines
AP068065 Stoddarts Meadow: 1 stand (5.9 hectares) formerly planned as overstory removal shifts to variable retention levels of >10% as per the Interim Retention Guidelines
AP068059 Lynch Lake: 2 stands (6.1 hectares) formerly planned as overstory removal shifts to variable retention levels of 20% as per the Interim Retention Guidelines
I had trouble finding a link for this post/discussion as the post links to the Halifax Examiner article, and Facebook doesn’t provide a “Save Post” link. Hence I am reporting the response (above) and the larger discussion (below) as they seem worth noting.
One has to wonder why L&F don’t provide a running update of such matters on the website for the Harvest Plan Map Viewer. The public is not routinely informed about any changes made to harvest plans as a result of public input, although it would seem to be in the best interests of the public and L&F to provide such info.
In the same discussion, Annapolis Co. resident Bev Wigney asks Minister Rankin for more information about harvests of the Corbett-Dalhousie Lake forest which were also modified in response to public concerns, a rather complicated case because of an error made by L&F posting them in the first place. She notes that “Corbett-Dalhousie Lake forest seems about as close to being what might ever become Old Growth as we are likely to see – especially since so many of our forests are now clearcut” and asks, “How will that forest become an Old Growth forest? How are you deciding which forests will be allowed to become Old Growth?”
Post and Discussion on HFC Apr 27, 2019
Post by SH, Apr 27, 2019:
“I worked at the Bowater-Mersey mill for 38 years, and our provincial government makes Bowater look like an environmentalist!” said Brian Muise. Muise, a member of the Queens County Fish and Game Association, made his comment at the annual meeting of the Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters in Truro. —- The rest of the story is currently behind a paywall. Please consider subscribing.
BW: Good article. It’s really too bad that no one can seem to get through to LAF. Or maybe the message is getting through — that no one in this province wants this unrelenting destruction — but those who hold the power don’t care what we have to say. That’s wrong. Pure and simple.
SH: This department has a wall around them – they are untouchable and continue to do as they please. There is no enforcement – no one checking on harvests – people in departments sitting in offices rubber stamping the work that WestFor puts in front of them who are TAKING IT ALL because they CAN and are ALLOWED and HAVE A USE FOR IT ALL. They can make $$$$ off of everything so of course they are going to take EVERYTHING they can. It’s COMPLETELY backwards. It should NEVER BE that the licensee is making up the Pre-Treatment Assessments. You have over 500 employees in that department with salaries of over $45 million – you mean to tell me that they don’t have the ability to do this work themselves than contract it out? What are we paying these people high up to do? destroy our forests? You should see their salaries in the Public Accounts! The Grants going to all these companies in the hundreds of thousands and in the MILLIONS. If this is not a subsidized industry – I don’t know what is.
JWK: Can we launch an official complaint about this positive disregard by Department of Lands n Forestry against wildlife, environment and Nova Scotians… and what level of Government or Supreme Court do we approach ???
Iain Rankin As Above
JC to Iain Rankin, Thank you for the information and update.
BW to Iain Rankin – In the email that I received from you this week, you didn’t say what the actual retention level will be for the Corbett-Dalhousie Lake Forest – AP068637. What percentage of that hardwood forest will be left standing?… Also, Iain Rankin, we have very little Old Growth forest remaining in Annapolis County. Corbett-Dalhousie Lake forest seems about as close to being what might ever become Old Growth as we are likely to see – especially since so many of our forests are now clearcut. How will that forest become an Old Growth forest? How are you deciding which forests will be allowed to become Old Growth? I’m assuming that you’re planning ahead to having some of these forests possibly become Old Growth in 150 or 200 years from now. Is that correct?…I’ve just been looking up all of the parcels that you mentioned above. I don’t see the AP157007 parcels on Neaves Road in the archive layer of approved harvests on the HPMV. Where are those located? They don’t seem to be visible on the HPMV. I’ve checked some of the others and they seem to visible in the archive, but not that one. I’ll continue studying all of the others but I would like to know more about that particular one…lso, with regard to AP068637 at Corbett-Dalhousie Lake – you have stated in an email that it doesn’t qualify as Old Growth. However, it seems to be about as Old Growth as any Crown land parcel we might find in Annapolis County these days. Depending on how this spring’s logging is carried out, can you describe how it will be managed so that it will eventually become Old Growth as, presumably, that must be the intention for at least some of the stands in our county? If only the very large, old Yellow Birch, Sugar Maple and Red Spruce are preserved – and the standing snags – but all of the lesser aged trees are removed from that stand this year – how can the stand can eventually become a multi-aged Old Growth shade tolerant hardwood stand? Also, will there be buffers made around the retained trees so that they will be protected from wind throw. I’m thinking that at that particular location, exposed as it is to a wide open lake to the west, and that what remains of the hardwood forest after putting a road down the center of the peninsula, and leaving the 20 meter wide buffer from the water’s edge, that will note really leave all that much protection for the trees, especially those growing where the land rises to its highest point near the center of the peninsula. I had hoped some of these questions would be answered in a report on this site. Thank you for any information on this site which is of particular interest and value to many of us here in Annapolis County as it is in a popular recreational area on the doorstep of Bridgetown.
SE to BW on Annapolis Royal & Area – Environment & Ecology: I am still wondering, I am sure the buffer to the water that must be left is 200ft,, on the right going in, there isn’t much more there really. Are they forgetting that buffer zone. I know they did right down to the lake from what I was told out at Five Finger Lake, wonder if they are going to forgo that here ,, and if they are , how can they?
BW: I’m concerned about that too, Sue. At that spot down at the turnaround where they were stacking logs, it wasn’t really all that far from the new road down to the shore of the lake where they had already chopped a few strips. The forest is not really very deep between the shoreline and the new road down the center of the peninsula. Also, there is a stony ridge within that stand — it gets quite high and then drops off to the new road. Any trees growing atop that ridge are going to be very exposed once they start hacking down forest between the ridge and the shore — and this is quite a narrow strip of land really. Corbett is a fairly large lake with a lot of exposure to west winds, which are very often the strongest winds here. I have concerns about how that is going to impact that forest if they remove too many trees. By the way, I encourage you to post your question directly to Iain Rankin where he has posted on HFC. I think its good to get these kinds of questions out in the open for discussion.
SE: it is less than that now but different rules apply for different areas. Here is their rules for themselves.
Some extracts from the Halifax Examiner Article:
A whole decade of unchanged harvesting practices has disrupted habitat for wildlife
““I worked at the Bowater-Mersey mill for 38 years, and our provincial government makes Bowater look like an environmentalist!” said Brian Muise… Muise is frustrated by the amount of cutting he sees taking place in southwestern Nova Scotia “to beat the clock” before the government implements revised forest practice regulations on Crown land recommended by the Lahey Report…Bancroft obtained data from scientists who worked for Ron Colman’s Genuine Progress Index on Forestry. He says that those data, as well as the satellite images of the Liscomb area in northeastern Nova Scotia near Governor’s Lake, indicate that in the 25 years prior to 2014, an estimated 42% of total forested areas in the province (including both Crown and private land) were clearcut…Bancroft believes if you add biomass tonnage for the past five years and extrapolate the earlier average rate of consumptive harvest (to 2019 — 30 years in total), it’s reasonable (and “disgraceful” in Bancroft’s words) to estimate that as much as 50% of the forest has been cut over the past three decades….Sadly, Bancroft told the hunters and fishermen that even though the Lahey report endorses the same “paradigm shift” toward more ecological forestry which he and Crossland promoted 10 years ago, a whole decade of unchanged harvesting practices has disrupted habitat for wildlife. For instance, Mainland Moose are now an endangered species in Nova Scotia. “The forestry contractors leave little clumps of trees for the moose,” said Bancroft. “Moose need mature softwood for shelter in the winter and shade in the summer. To eat, they need 25% or more hardwoods. You get rid of moose food by using herbicides, and that’s the main point where I disagree with Lahey. I think using herbicides is outrageous. If moose are going to use a river, you need to allow for a 60-metre buffer zone from the water. In Nova Scotia, we stick with 20 meters.”