Nova Scotia Healthy Forest Coalition alarmed by ‘cutting frenzy’ on Crown lands & calls for moratorium on all even-aged management cuts until Lahey’s recommendations are implemented 5Nov2020

HFC Co-ordinator Mike Lancaster was interviewed this morning on CBC Info AM. Click on image to access the archived audio file. Also reported in CBC Post: Forestry coalition calls for halt on some types of harvesting on N.S. Crown land & on CBC Evening News 33-39 mins

From the HFC Press Release (bolding inserted):

Nov. 3, 2020


Convinced that the government has abandoned its commitment to implement the recommendations of the Independent Review of Forest Practices, the Healthy Forest Coalition (HFC) is calling for ‘a moratorium on all even-aged harvests’ on public lands.

Speaking for HFC, Coordinator Mike Lancaster says that ‘high conservation forests have been lost at an unacceptable rate,’ since Professor William Lahey reported on the review over two years ago. In December 2018 the government accepted the ‘spirit and intent’ of his recommendations. Since then development of new silviculture guides has proceeded extremely slowly, while the Department of Lands and Forestry has allowed harvests to proceed at an increased pace under the old rules. Since the beginning of 2019 the department has received applications for harvesting almost 25,000 ha. of Crown land. Most of these have been approved. There has been a slight increase in approvals for uneven age treatment, but HFC estimates that over 71.6% of these harvests will be ‘even aged’ treatments.

HFC members doubt that Lands and Forestry can be solely responsible for implementing the recommended reforms. They included introducing an internal administrative culture of ‘transparency and accountability’ that would facilitate a shift to ecological forestry. He notes that Lahey’s recommendations are similar to those of the 2011 conclusions of the public consultation on Natural Resource Strategy which the Department of Natural Resources, the predecessor of LAF, also largely ignored.

The HFC believes the necessary reforms cannot occur under the legislative framework currently governing forest management. ‘The Crown Lands Act and the Forest Act…ensure our forests are managed through a paradigm of “forestry/fiber first”‘, Lancaster says. They must be replaced with legislation that not only embraces forestry values, but also ecological, social, recreational and tourism values.

This would include reviewing and updating the Crown Lands Act to enable the triad model of public land management to be fully implemented. It would necessitate providing for the involvement of both LAF and the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment in public land use planning.

Until Lahey’s recommendations are implemented ‘in their true spirit and intent’, the Healthy Forest Coalition calls for ‘a moratorium on all even-aged harvests, including variable retention, salvage cuts, and uniform shelterwoods.’

The decision to make this call, Lancaster says, ‘was not taken lightly.’ It comes from a desire to see true ecologically-based forestry succeed in Nova Scotia. ‘This is the vision that the Independent Review recommended and a goal that all Nova Scotians can share. This vision cannot be realized if thousands of hectares of public, Acadian forest continue to be converted to even-aged stands managed under a ‘fiber-first’ system. The HFC makes this call for the future of our forests and our forest ecology.’

For further information contact:
Mike Lancaster
HFC Coordinator

I support the position of the HFC except that I am very concerned about what happens after the Lahey recommendations are implemented, especially in relation to the High Production Forestry (HPF) component of the Triad.

I fear that if it is implemented as proposed in the Discussion Paper released in February, L&F/Big Forestry will go after the best, high volume land and the impacts could dwarf what’s going on now.

There have been no updates on L&F’s Ecological Forestry page for some time.

Rumour has it that now candidate-for-Premier/ex L&F Minister Iain Rankin has told people that he expects the Lahey recommendations to be implemented early in the New Year.


View recent Harvest Plan Announcements here.
On Today’s (Nov 5, 2020) announcement, many small harvest areas are cited (<10 ha>, a recent phenomenon.

Said Bev W. about these many ‘little cuts” (View NSFN Post Oct 18, 2020):

What’s with all of these little cuts between already devastated forests that are now gone, like the parcels up for approval around Paradise Lake? Now you seem to be posting tons of these small stands – on one of the last Forestry Maps listings, about 1/3 of all the parcels were just small parcels — many just 2 ha. What are these? Why weren’t they cut down earlier? Were they left standing as wildlife shelter areas so that you COULD go ahead and cut down everything around them?

I went out and looked at some of them. They aren’t hard to find as they are the LAST and ONLY patches of forest left standing in between the *already devastated* parcels where there is NOTHING anymore. Where do you expect the wildlife to “move to” next when you cut down the very last parcels between the already clearcut areas?

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