Forest Nova Scotia responds to Lahey Progress Report 13Dec2021

Item on WWNS, from ForestNS Facebook Page

Forest Nova ScotiaFor Immediate Release – December 13, 2021

Truro, NS – The forest sector is no stranger to calls for improving what we do, and implementing best practices supported by science in the forests we manage. That’s what we do – every day.

But what we can not stand by for activists being less than truthful with Nova Scotians, while hiding behind their true goal of shutting down forestry in this province. Sadly, local media stories show these activists seem intent to dismantle most of our rural, resource-based sectors in the same way.

“The activists calling on the provincial government to halt all harvesting on Crown lands are being dishonest in getting their sound bites out there,” says Jeff Bishop, with Forest Nova Scotia.

Their claims of continued “deforestation” are not at all truthful when an obvious aim of our sector is growing more trees for the future. They know full well that ‘deforestation’ means a permanent removal of trees. Cries of the “last tree being cut” have been going on for years, and the activists keep weaving a tale of our forests being unhealthy. All while the data clearly shows 75% of our province is covered with a growing, healthy, diverse mix of forests; more forest growing now than 100 years ago; and a leader in Canada in terms of protected forests on our land base.

Hypothetical claims that planned harvests in areas that don’t qualify for protection “could” be protected is deceptive. If the lands don’t qualify for protection, they don’t qualify.

Telling Nova Scotians that the primary goal of the Lahey recommendations was to protect our forests is quite contrary to the actual report and recommendations that anyone can read. Protection is 1 of 3 legs of the model he recommended – the other 2 legs involve harvesting and growing more trees for the future. It makes one wonder if they even read the report.

Claims of ‘nothing being done’ in changes to forest management and operations flies in the face of reality. All due respect to Bill Lahey on this one, but he and the activists clearly did not spend time on the ground if they can’t see changes implemented in harvests and operations planning in the past 3 years. Implementing significant increases in non-clearcut harvests; training people on new treatment options; assessing sites to see which treatments are best used and where; planning for dramatic volume reductions from harvests because of treatment changes, and many other examples. Every Crown license holder in the province can show you the work they’ve implemented to date.

Claiming that the sector is cutting more and more wood each year and could run out of forest in 10 years (an actual claim by the EAC in a recent interview) laughably defies the actual harvest, harvesting capacity and forest product use in this province. The data shows in the publicly available, annually tracked and reported provincial harvest volumes – harvests are half of what they were a decade ago. Full stop.

It’s time to stop listening to people that are not being honest with you, Nova Scotia.