Keeping Track

Red-Tailed Hawk

Online resources for tracking forest harvests and for viewing related geographical information for Nova Scotia

Forest Harvest Allocation Maps
These maps show locations of forest harvests on crown lands planned or conducted since September 30, 2014. When a new allocation is made, an Allocation Map is posted and is open for comment for 20 days. You can subscribe to receive notification of new allocations. A Map Viewer launched in the spring of 2016 shows allocations for the whole province, and replaces the pdf-based harvest operation maps that the DNR launched in 2014. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent for private lands, which reflects the lack of any significant regulation or monitoring of cutting on private lands in Nova Scotia.
Once posted, the comment period is open for 40 days.
Note: Existing Parks and Protected Areas can be viewed as a layer on this map but not areas proposed that have not yet been protected. See Interactive map of Parks and Protected Areas (also listed below) to view those areas.

Pre-Treatment Assessment Reference Viewer
Currently (Apr 3, 2018) this provides Wind Exposure 2017; and FEC Soil Type Layers.

Nova Scotia Parks and Protected Areas Interactive Map
You can view:
-secondary water sheds
-sites in the proposed parks and protected areas plan (Feb 2013)
-sites in the final parks and protected areas plan (Aug 2013)
-sites in the final parks and protected areas plan still to be designated or subject to considerations
-areas considered protected
-provincial crown land

Nova Scotia Crown Lands Viewer
A spatial dataset of all Crown lands in Nova Scotia.
Crown land index maps (historical land grants)  are also available online (separate site)

Nova Scotia Landscape Map Viewer
Convenient for viewing Crown lands, Protected Areas, Ecological land Classification and a lot more. This is a key tool for keeping track of forest management history, extent etc. It takes a while or quite a while to figure it out (at least it did for me; ongoing!). See Codes. Some of the codes I was able to find only in a Photo Interpretation Specifications.
View Help Page for the Provincial Landscape Viewer. Also ELC – Ecological Land Classification for some of the codes.

>DNR>Geoscience & Mines Branch: Interactive Maps
Geoscience map has surfical geology, bedrock layers etc; groundwater atlas map, acid rock drainage map; others

1:10,000 Nova Scotia Watersheds
Online map, outlines and ID info given. “1:10,000 watersheds for Nova Scotia. Contains primary, secondary, tertiary and sub-tertiary watersheds”

Nova Scotia Watershed Assessment Atlas 2014
PDF, Dalhousie University

1:10,000 Secondary and Shore Direct Watersheds of Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia Environment Water Strategy More maps available on that page.

Clearcut on Crown Land in 2014

Clearcut on Crown Land in 2014

National Forestry Database: 88% of NS forest cuts in 2014 were clearcuts
“The National Forestry Database is Canada’s Compendium of Forestry Statistics, serving as our national source of credible, accurate, and reliable forestry statistics.” Data are given for both Crown and Private lands. Read more // view Silviculture – Jurisdictional Tables
UPDATE July 8, 2018: They have recently changed the format to interactive tables: See Canada’s National Forestry Database
For harvests in NS, see
(I find it much more difficult to find the stats I am looking for under the new system.)

The Canadian Forest Service/UBC/Canadian Space Agency Satellite Forest Monitoring Map
Interactive; map shows changes in forest cover associated with fire, infrastructure, harvest and in an “Untyped” category for all of Canada over the interval 1985 to 2011. See example on this website.

Global Forest Watch Interactive Map
Select the interactive map to view “tree cover loss” and/or “tree cover gain” over selected intervals from 2001 to 2014. You can select any area in the world and zoom in. A lot of the tree cover gain seen, likely most, in Nova Scotia is in recovering clearcuts; it is not due to afforestation. View examples:
Clearcutting near Halifax revealed by Global Forest Watch Images.

HFC Blog: TIME LAPSE OF NS FOREST LOSS 2001-14 (3 sites)

Google Timelapse
“Timelapse is a global, zoomable video that lets you see how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years. It is made from 33 cloud-free annual mosaics, one for each year from 1984 to 2016, which are made interactively explorable by Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab’s Time Machine library, a technology for creating and viewing zoomable and pannable timelapses over space and time. Thx to NW for pointing this one out. Not as sharp (not as high res) as what you get from the Global Forest Watch Interactive Map, but this one covers more years. Very easy to use.

Nova Scotia Government’s Open Data Portal
“Making government data easier to access for individuals, businesses, and researchers”. Unfortunately, it “doesn’t work” for most people without some specialized training and access to GIS software. See Linda Pannozzo on The case of the disappearing forest age class datain relation to the Forest Inventory file. The Photo Interpretation Specifications document provides some important info./definitions.

NFIS Nova Scotia Map Data
NFIS is “Canada’s National Forest Information System“, set up to “answer questions on matters relating to sustainable forest management in Canada.” This interactive mapcshows Forest Cover (Mixed, Coniferous, Hardwood), with options for other layers (parks,roads, rivers etc). Easy to use. Also shows the Ecological land Classification regions/Districts/Sections.

FOIPOP: Tools for the Public
FOIPOP is the acronym for Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy. It is now relatively easy to “do a FOIPOP”, as outlined on this Tools for the Public page. There is even a Government Online Access Request Form although I have not yet been able to see it, getting a “System Unavailable” message. (May 11 & 12, 2018). Cost: “There is no fee for requesting your own personal information. All other requests are subject to a flat fee of $5.00. Processing and copying costs may also be charged at the discretion of the public body. The public body must provide you with a fee estimate. Fee waivers may be available upon request.

Uncertainty in photo-interpreted forest inventory variables and effects on estimates of error in canada’s National Forest Inventory
Steen Magnussen and Glenda Russo 2012, The Forestry Chronicle 88: 439-447. “Canada’s National Forest Inventory (NFI) relies on photo-interpreted forest resource data provided by provincial and territorial agencies. NFI data are collected at regular intervals in time from a nominal 20 × 20 km network of 2 × 2 km photoplots. Attribute-specific NFI estimates of precision include contributions from sampling errors and uncertainty in the source data. We assessed this uncertainty in NFI photo-interpreted forest attribute data from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia…estimates of precision were inflated by an average of 7% (range 0%–36%) due to the uncertainty in the source data. Species misclassification and age determination were the largest sources of uncertainty.

shopify analytics ecommerce