Apr 12, 2022: Bridgewater Watershed Protection Alliance Minamkeak Lake lichen hunt
Frances found one species at risk lichen: Pectenia plumbea (Blue Felt Lichen) , our unofficial provincial lichen. It was a lovely day for an outing and great company. It was fun to be in these woods on the shores of Atlantic Whitefish habitat and see the rich diversity the area had to offer. Makes one appreciate and realize why it is important to protect the watershed. Thank-you Simon Burbidge for some awesome photos.
April 6, 2022: Petition on NatureNS
April 5, 2022: formation of the Bridgewater Watershed Protection Alliance (public Facebook Community)
We are an interdisciplinary group of citizens concerned with the proposed logging in the Bridgewater Watershed, an area which is also the habitat of the critically endangered Atlantic Whitefish. It is a beautiful, mature forest that provides abundant ecological and recreational value, and is home to other at-risk species, too.
This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship” which Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) people first signed with the British Crown in 1725.
The watershed is in the Sipekne’katik district
LETTERS — Preserve Nova Scotia maple woods, whitefish habitat from clearcutting
On saltwire.com 31 Mar2022
WestFor vs. whitefish
WestFor is seeking approval from the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables (DNRR) to harvest 100 hectares of forest in the Town of Bridgewater watershed that includes Minamkeak Lake, home to the planet’s last remaining Atlantic whitefish.
That WestFor has proceeded with an application that threatens a species at risk is not surprising. However, that the DNRR Integrated Resource Management review process made this land available for proposed harvest speaks volumes about serious problems with that process.
The harvest is receiving so much negative reaction that DNRR may choose to reassess. However, at this point, no review process or study as to whether this harvest will affect the whitefish will satisfy the public because the risk of being wrong is so high.
The situation is a perfect example of the need to follow the precautionary principle: if one cannot state with certainty that the harvest will not harm this species on the verge of extinction, then stop.
Most people recognize this, but DNRR leadership seem incapable of making the environment a priority. Expect them to place a bigger buffer between the harvest and the lake and call it best practices instead of saying no to WestFor.
They will not stop to consider that extinction is a catastrophe that cannot be undone as they seek a way to proceed. We have been seeing this regarding a 26-hectare harvest at Beals Brook, where three at-risk species of lichen were found, but DNRR, instead of cancelling the harvest, plans to put 100-metre no-harvest buffers around the lichen.
Is it possible that nobody at DNRR including Mr. Rushton, the minister, is capable of recognizing the rare opportunity they have been handed? Saying no to the WestFor proposal to harvest a meagre 100 hectares can save an entire species from possibly being deleted permanently from the web of life.
Will Mr. Rushton have the courage to stand up to WestFor? Will he go further and be a true visionary and declare the entire watershed a wilderness area? That would remove the watershed land from future threat to whitefish and the Bridgewater water supply. It would help the government achieve its commitment to protect 20 per cent of our forests by 2030.
Few politicians are provided an opportunity to secure a place in history for doing something memorable, let alone make a decision that could save an entire species from extinction.
George Buranyi, Hebbs Cross
March 23 at 8:33 PM ·
Need your help. WestFor is proposing to harvest in the Town of Bridgewater watershed on Minamkeak Lake. We need as many people as possible to comment on the website below that they oppose harvesting on these three parcels of land but in particular the largest parcel on the lake. Things to say:
1. This could affect the water supply,
2. The harvest could affect the planet’s last remaining Atlantic whitefish, a risk that should not be taken no matter how small they think the risk is. An extinction event is a catastrophe that cannot be undone.
3. This area needs to be off limits to any harvesting, ie placed under protection. There needs to be a process to decide what areas are available for any kind of cutting and what areas should be off limits. Lahey recommended a process for this: landscape level planning. (DNRR has ignored this and treated all crown land as if it is available for harvesting. But that is not consistent with following Lahey’s recommendations. The necessity of deciding what is and is not going to be put in the protected area leg of the triad is bivouac when you consider the government’s commitment to adding another 330,000 hectares to the province’s protected areas).
4. The harvest proposal conflicts with the goals of protecting the designated watershed that both MODL and the Town of Bridgewater, and the Public Services Commission of Bridgewater have been working on and that many residents support as the area is part of their water supply.
5. This forest needs to be part of the 330,000 hectares that would need to be protected to meet the Premier’s 2030 commitment to protect 20% of lands and seas.
HMPV is annoying to use. Tips: click on link and it takes you to a map. Agree to terms and conditions. Click + to zero in on map around Hebbville which is near Bridgewater . Find Minamkeak which is just south of Hebbville. Minamkeak is below and to the left, you will see three black or purple smudges as you keep clicking “+”. Click on the envelope to comment. It will ask you to click on the parcel and a dialogue box appears for entering your comment. Do same re other two parcels. Deadline Apr 23 but do asap. and please share post, tell friends. https://nsgi.novascotia.ca/hpmv/…