Spraying and clearcutting in Nova Scotia, continued 11Sep2020

Drive the back roads of Nova Scotia for a first-hand look

Travis McLeod describes his shock on encountering a strip of young forest that had been sprayed the previous fall.  “[It was] a wasted zone between two vibrant green areas. It was without songbirds, without any small mammals” Photo from a video placed on Facebook by TM
Click on image for a larger version

UPDATE Sep 15, 2020:
Clearcutting on Crown lands continues unabated… L&F just issued its summary of the latest Harvest Plan Map Viewer update (these are mailed to subscribers): 32 parcels/830 hectares most of it Variable Retention (clearcuts) and Shelterwood (typically 1st stage in a 2-stage clearcut), NO Irregular Shelterwood as recommended by Lahey.  ‘Seems the mills are hungry and want to tie up as much of  the Crown land wood supply as they can the easiest way they can harvest it just in case the Lahey Recommendations come into effect a year or two from now. At least that’s the way it looks.

UPDATE SEP 13, 2020; “Occupying a hard to reach forest camp with Extinction Rebellion Annapolis County, and Stop Spraying And Clear Cutting Nova Scotia FB group. (Near Paradise Lake, and Eel Weir Lake.) We demand that Freeman Lumber stop its plan to spray this forest with glyphosate.” Post by Don’t Spray Us – Paradise Lake and Eel Weir Lake (Facebook Group)…As of Saturday, September 12th, 2020, Annapolis County Extinction Rebellion, Stop Spraying and Clearcutting Nova Scotia and friends are now occupying three parcels of forested land approved for aerial spraying with Glyphosate by the Nova Scotia Department of Environment. Inspired by rebels in Burlington on the North Mountain, it is our intent to protect these parts of the South Mountain from being sprayed with a known carcinogen. Totalling 930 acres, the parcels abut Eel Weir Lake and Paradise Lake, a Municipal drinking watershed. ”
Original Post
The occupation of a site scheduled for forest spraying in Kings Co. just over a week ago (NSFN post Sep 2, 2020) led to a quick resolution when the forestry company that had the permit to spray decided not to spray.

The occupation and a subsequent rally also set off or marked the beginning of a flurry of anti-spraying activity in NS, all coinciding, predictably,  with the spraying season (late summer into fall):

  • Sep 2 2020: The Herbicide Barren In a CBC Info-AM interview, Outdoorsman Trevor McLeod described his shock on encountering the barrenness of a strip of young forest in Upper Musquodobit that had been sprayed the year before. View Abbreviated transcript here.  CBC said they have requested a response from Lands and Forestry; so far we haven’t heard from them.

  • Sep 6, 2020: On the Benefits to Industrial Forestry of Not Spraying On Sep 6, the Margaree Environment Association issued a Media Release: “Cape Breton Environment Group calls for Herbicide Ban on Mainland NS forests – like we have in Cape Breton since 20 years”, citing their letter to Minister of Environment. They point out that Port Hawkesbury Paper, a big industrial player, doesn’t spray,  it hasn’t hurt them and they have probably benefitted.

    Beginning in the 1990’s, the experience of Stora Forest Industries, then Newpage, and now Port Hawkesbury Paper, all of which have banned the use of herbicides, has been positive, and demonstrates that herbicide spraying is not needed. In addition, the rejection of herbicide treatments has enabled Stora, Newpage, and PHP to acquire Forest Stewardship Council certification of best practices, which has given them access to more lucrative markets worldwide. More and more businesses are demanding such certification, as a demonstration of commitment to a healthy environment.

  • Sep 9, 2020: Annapolis Co. wants out of any spraying Annapolis Co. Warden Timothy Habinski wrote a letter on Sep 9, 2020 requesting the NS Lands and Forestry Minister and the NS Environment Minister to eliminate spraying of herbicides in Annapolis Co.

    In the past weeks, Councillors have been inundated with emails and telephone calls from residents expressing profound concern over approvals for glyphosate spraying for three properties in District 7 of Annapolis County (PID # 05114269, PID# 05117585, PID# 05309000). One of these properties is located on Eel Weir Lake and the other two are located on Paradise Lake. Both Eel Weir Lake and Paradise Lake flow down from South Mountain into the Annapolis River.

    … Spraying of glyphosates on these properties adjacent to lakes which ultimately flow to the valley floor and into the drinking water for hundreds of homes represents a very real risk to the health of our residents. The damage to biodiversity in the tracts of forest sprayed is no less concerning.

    On behalf of Council and our vulnerable residents, we urge the Province to take immediate steps to eliminate the spraying of glyphosates in Annapolis County, permanently. We further urge the Department of Natural Resources to reconsider its forestry practices, to reduce the industry requirement for aerial spraying. This means adherence to ecological forestry practices, especially in those parts of the province, where the drainage systems flow through rural settlements.

    It is understandable that forestry companies wish to maximize the profits of future cut sites by eliminating competing plant species, but such benefit for an industry is simply not sufficient to offset the risk to human health and our environment.

    More context and the full letter are given in a news release written by Lawrence Powell for Annapolis Co.

  • Sep 25, 2020: Rally  Concern about spraying is not about to stop: Stop Spraying and Clear-cutting Nova Scotia (Public Facebook Group) announced it will be rallying in solidarity with with SchoolStrike4ClimateHfx in Halifax on Friday Sept 25, 2020.

& Clearcuts continue & continue to shock

All the while, more graphic descriptions of clearcutting in NS appear on Social Media than I can keep track of. Photos and text from a couple of recent ones are attached below. For the record.

Sep 10, 2020.  More backroad exploring over the past weekend.
More Clearcuts – new and/or recent.
The newest one – right alongside the Rail bed trail system, in between the trail and Hwy 10. (Photos by P.M.  on Stop Spraying and Clearcutting Nova Scotia)

Sep 10, 2020. This is a clear cut on Aylesford Rd in Kings County that was cut last winter. Note how they are cutting right up to the road now with no buffer. I am seeing this more and more out here in the rurals. They just don’t care anymore. (Photos by A.R.C. on Stop Spraying and Clearcutting Nova Scotia)

View also NSFN post Aug 22, 2020 (“I rented a cottage for a month in the wilds of Nova Scotia, just south of Kejimkujik Park… it seemed that everywhere I went I witnessed extreme devastation to our land…clear cutting everywhere”) and Photos, Videos – A little of what Nova Scotians see and feel.

Or drive the back roads of Nova Scotia for a first-hand look.


Post by People for Ecological Forestry in Southwest Nova Scotia on WWNS, Sep 15, 2020

DGP: No, profits would be lower because you pay more for “weed” control.

AF: the mills pay nothing for planting trees, spraying or weeding with a bushsaw this money comes from the silviculter fund and is taken off the check payed to contractors who sell wood to them .the pay for weeding plantations or spacing natural stands of regenerated trees in clear cuts has been stuck at 1990 pay this means that people who have the gear and skill have been walking away for years as there pay checks are eaten up by inflation and its almost imposible for new workers to get in

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