Movement on implementing Lahey: public consultation on Nova Scotia’s “Old-Growth Forest Policy” announced 9 Nov2021

Old trees support biodiversity and store carbon. Raymond Plourde spotted this one. The tree is an old wind-twisted red maple in a patch of  Old Growth Forest by Sandy Lake (Bedford, N.S.) on Sep 15, 2019. Will such patches of Old Growth on harvested Crown lands be protected under the revised Old Forest Policy?

UPDATE NOV 10, 2021: N.S. drafts updated old-growth forest policy, advocates say it doesn’t go far enough
Taryn Grant · CBC News, NOV. 9, 2021 “”They made the house a little prettier and tidier. But the foundation is still cracked and significant progress, I think, is still lacking.” – Alain Belliveau”

I suppose better late than never is possible.

From an  announcement that came across my Google News feed this am:

Old-Growth Forest Policy: public consultation

Old-Growth Forest Policy: public consultation
The Old-Growth Forest Policy supports the conservation and restoration of old-growth forests in the province. Nova Scotians are invited to give their feedback on proposed updates to the policy.

You can submit your feedback until 8 December 2021.

Old-growth forests are an important part of the province’s biodiversity and must be maintained. Nova Scotia’s Old-Growth Forest Policy supports the conservation and restoration of old-growth forests.

Related information :Old-growth forests in Nova Scotia

The policy only applies to Crown land. Under the current policy, about 10% of forested Crown land has been identified as old-growth forest.


Under the current Old-Growth Forest Policy, no industrial activity is allowed on Crown land until the site is assessed to determine if it meets the definition of old-growth forest. If a site is identified as old-growth forest, it’s placed under conservation protection.

Nova Scotia’s current policy is 10 years old. The proposed updates take newer science and technology into account to make it more accurate and effective.

The updated policy uses the triad model for ecological forestry. The triad model divides forested land into conservation zones, high-production forestry zones and mixed-use (matrix) zones.

All old-growth forest land will be included in the conservation zone, whether it was identified under the old policy or the new one.

How to participate

Nova Scotians are invited to provide their feedback on the proposed updates to the Old Forest Policy.

Draft: updated Old Forest Policy (PDF 1.5 MB)

Send your comments by email to The deadline for feedback is 8 December 2021.

A message I received yesterday from Peter Bush at NRR directed recipients to view the consultation document on the Ecological Forestry page at but there was nothing about the Updated Old Forest Policy  document listed there yesterday or early today under the ‘Old Forest Policy’ project. UPDATE Nov 9, p.m. There is now a section on Consultations at the top right of the Ecological Forestry Home Page with Old-Growth Forest Policy the first listed item. Thx, NRR

The last we heard about this project, a year plus ago was ”  Timeline: Stakeholder engagement in 2020; Revisions to Old Forest Policy to be finalized by the end of 2020.”

According to the announcement cited above, “about 10% of forested Crown land (circa 30% of NS)  has been identified as old-growth forest”. Wow, about 3% of forested land in NS –  that puts us up there with B.C.  and well ahead of the “virtually non-existent”, state a little over a decade ago.

I assume that number refers to  land in the Old Forest Policy Layer, which is very different from “Old Growth”; it includes all public lands that are currently Old Growth and/or that will be allowed to become Old Growth, under the Old Forest Policy. At least that is my understanding.

‘Will leave it to Dr. Bush & Co. to clarify.*  It would be nice if he and other of NRR’s in-house and associated Old Growth experts would be out there talking up the revisions and  interacting directly with Nova Scotians about it all;  that’s kind of what many of us were expecting to happen way back when there was widespread optimism about the Lahey process, long since dissipated through the actions and inactions of L&F and now it seems NRR  – Re news today that “Crown land considered habitat for endangered moose has been clear cut” InfoAM Nov 9, 2021.
*UPDATE NOV 9, p.m. The statement has now been changed to read “Under the current policy, about 10% of Nova Scotia’s forested land has been identified and set-aside for long-term conservation.”


Many  posts and pages related to Old Growth on NSFN illustrate the high degree of interest and concern of  Nova Scotians about the status of Old Growth forests in NS. View Old Growth Search Results

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