Variable Retention on HPMV

Forestry Maps <>
To: Forestry Maps
Jul. 18 at 4:24 p.m.

The Harvest Plan Map Viewer has been updated as of July 18, 2019.

Please refer to the following location:

The next update is scheduled for July 29, 2019.

Please see attached document for additional details on all NEW submissions for this update.

Additionally, the Harvest Plans Map Viewer (HPMV) will receive a minor update on July 18, 2019. The update involves labelling the percent retention of proposed plans with a Variable Retention (VR) prescription.

The percent retention of these proposed plans will be seen in two locations:

1. When zoomed in on a VR prescribed proposed harvest plan, the phrase “Variable Retention – x% will be seen beneath the block identifying number.

2. After selecting a proposed plan that is open for comment a text box will pop-up providing additional information. In that information box the prescription field will read “Variable Retention – x%”.

On February 5, 2019 a message was sent to the Harvest Plans Map Viewer distribution list providing two prescription definitions, not currently in the Forest Management Guide. One of those prescriptions was Variable Retention (VR). The VR prescription was introduced on the HPMV in conjunction with the release of the Interim Retention Guide, which was part of the governments December 2018 response to the Forest Practices Report by Professor Lahey. The Interim Retention Guide provides practical and specific guidance to department staff, Licensees and the public on how the department is shifting its policies to focus on an Ecology first forest management model within the Matrix part of the Triad.

The departments definition of Variable Retention is a silvicultural system that retains forest structural elements for at least one rotation in order to preserve environmental values associated with structurally complex forests. In Nova Scotia, the implementation of the “Interim Retention Guide” dictates the amount of retention required as well as the type of trees to be retained (

To help users understand what a Variable Retention prescription looks like on the ground please refer to the following pictures that list three levels of retention – 10%, 20% & 30%.

Forestry Maps

Department of Lands and Forestry

Renewable Resources (HPMV website)