NSDNR Forest Management Planning

There is, apparently, a coordinated Forest Management Planning Process at NSDNR that extends even to 100 years in the future, but it is difficult to find who and what are involved. We can view components of it such as the NS Forest Ecosystem Classification but the overall process, particularly the modelling process and its assumptions, seem to be out of bounds for the public. On this page I have compiled what I have been able to glean about the Forest Management Planning Process at NSDNR and some of the outcomes.

Two woodlots in Nova Scotia: are harvests on both “aligned with the nature-based requirements of Nova Scotia’s lands?”

Two woodlots in Nova Scotia: are harvests on both “aligned with the nature-based requirements of Nova Scotia’s lands?”

A 2008 document, Implementing Ecosystem-based Management Approaches in Canada’s Forests: A Science-Policy Dialogue published by Natural Resources Canada gives some background – see pp 71-77: Implementing Ecosystem-based Integrated Resource Management in Nova Scotia by Bruce Stewart and Peter Neily.

A slide titled Forest Planning System is cited under the Panuke Lake Harvest Review. It refers to Operational Level Planning (1 to 5 yr horizon), Tactical Level Planning (25 yr horizon), and Strategic Level Planning (100 yr horizon).

It would be nice to know a lot more about the planning processes described in note form in that slide. At some point in 2016 I downloaded a PDF document titled NS DNR Provincial Timber Objective dated February 17, 2016, however it seems not to be available on the NSDNR website now. It appears to be from a slide show. (One item in it is the Forest Planning System slide cited above.) It is a significant document, with many maps, tables, assumptions and modelled projections that should be readily available to the public but, apparently, are not.

The documents cited below are available in different sections of the NSDNR website. I assume they were developed using the modelling processes commented on above. I could find no equivalent planning documents for Crown lands in northern and eastern NS and CB, nor any documents that look at private lands except some components in the NS DNR Provincial Timber Objective slide show referred to above. If they do occur on the NSDNR website, they are not easy to find.

After reviewing all of the documents I have able to find on the NSDNR website about the Forest Management Planning Process, I have these thoughts:

Regardless of the sophistication of the NSDNR Forest Management Modelling, it is clear that the harvesting plans rely heavily on NSDNR’s interpretation of the Natural Disturbance Regimes which is highly questionable scientifically (re: NSDNR’s Nature-based Forestry). Also, very little or no consideration is given to the acid rain stress/low fertility over much of the forested landscape and related issues in aquatic systems (re: Calcium Depletion). The lack of clarity around definitions of “clearcuts” and “partial cuts” (re: Clearcutting ) further detracts from the scientific rigour of the planning process.

Some science, indeed some rigorous science, has been conducted, but there there has been an admixture of unfounded assumptions, biased interpretations and conveniently ignored good science that seriously undermine the credibility of NSDNR’s Forest Management Planning and the published plans overall.

As always, I remain (and wish) to be better informed!

NSDNR MANAGEMENT PLAN DOCUMENTS
(As available on the NSDNR website)

Western Crown Land Planning Process – Updated August 2015
A conceptual plan for Western Nova Scotia (Updated Aug 2015)
Guidelines for Biodiversity-Rich Landscapes under the Western Crown Lands Conceptual Plan (July 2015)

The Western Crown Lands include The Medway Lands, and the “Mersey Woodlands” which are adressed as well in separate documents related to forest certification certificates:

Medway
Medway District Forest Management Plan
NSDNR May 6, 2016. Document produced and maintained by: NS DNR Forest Certification Steering Committee
High Conservation Value Forest Assessment Report for the Medway District NSDNR May 6, 2016.
– Also view Community Forests

South Shore Rossignol, St. Margarets Bay, North Mountain Forest Management Plan NSDNR Aug 31, 2015. Document produced and maintained by: NS DNR Forest Certification Steering Committee “South Shore Rossignol, St. Margarets Bay, North Mountain District (SSR/SMB/NM) District is part of the former Bowater Mersey Paper Company lands, referred to as the “Mersey Woodlands”, purchased by the Province of Nova Scotia from Resolute Forest Products in 2012.”

UNIVERSITY THESES

Andrew B. Martin: A Linear Programming Framework for Models of Forest Management Strategy
Master of Applied Science, Dalhousie University 2013.Includes a case-study on Nova Scotia’s Crown Central Forest. NSERC VCO Network Executive Summary

Narges Sereshti:
A mixed integer mathematical modelling framework for investigating approaches to strategic forest network capacity design
Master of Applied Science, Dalhousie University 2016



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