On Mills and silviculture

Some of the discussion following a post by Bev Wigney on Annapolis Royal & Area – Environment & Ecology Dec 11, 2020
Highlighting is mine.

BW Post: Anyone else thinking the same thing I’m thinking… that Rankin and Mombourquette are going to look like a couple of nasty-tempered idiots if the police have to come and arrest all of these people for trying to protect the Speces At Risk Moose that Rankin was ordered to protect by Justice Brothers last May? Talk about a publicity nightmare. Someone is going to end up with a major black eye for being so disrespectful to these people. Hope there is plenty of media attention so this gets rubbed right in the politicans’ faces and they’ll never be able to live this one down.

GF: As a wood lot owner and forestry worker your best bet is to support rankin for the change you want . If any one has read my previous post I am a strong supporter of the industrial model myself. But having said that I see nothing in rankins platform that will support my ideas in the next go around . He mentions lots about lahey report and putting into action , expanded wilderness areas, electric cars and bikes, non coal burning. I don’t see much for me like biomass burning so I can do the improvement cuts I need to speed up growth as no pulp mill exist . So I can see a major shift coming . In the end growing trees on my wood lot will become the old back to extended time and rotation it takes before there cut . What has helped has been the dramatic price increase in lumber. I don’t see it coming down no matter who dumps it in here . For example a log I sawed the other day on my portable mill had 292 board ft . Not considering any other cost that stick is now worth $292 to me to sell and I’m still 20% less then retail. Were as before only 1/2 that price . So in my opion for whats its worth, I know you feel let down, but rankin is your best bet and the only one with a clear position .

I feel very bad not only for the moose but the people just going to work in those local sawmills that make up westfor. There just people going to work and there the ones going to feel this . It was not long ago a report on bridge water showed that 45% yes 45% of the people living there are renters . Its all the excuse they will need to kick them out once they have the income loss . You can blame who ever you want but under the registry of buyers its impossible to run out of wood , but when you devise a system that only allows to cut about 30 % every 10 to 15 years and you want to do that with out silvicultural then you will end the supply of the amount of wood to keep mills running. Remember there are private wood lots in digby a mile deep and only 66 ft wide ? How do you operate in that. The crown has mass blocks which makes it operational. Oh well , sleep well .

DGP to GF Thanks.. You identify a core problem…”You can blame who ever you want but under the registry of buyers its impossible to run out of wood , but when you devise a system that only allows to cut about 30 % every 10 to 15 years and you want to do that with out silvicultural then you will end the supply of the amount of wood to keep mills running. ” I understand the second part, about running out of wood, but not the first, how “under the registry of buyers its impossible to run out of wood” – Could you elaborate? I am sure no one protesting wants to see people out of work… for sure we need more equitable distribution of “wealth”, such inequalities are driving environmental destruction everywhere, not just NS. But is our only choice one that accepts these inequalities as given? Is our only choice to accept that only humans have fundamental rights on this planet. We do need to talk about these issues, thanks for doing so.

GF: when the registry of buyers was created they took the known values in NS on how much wood you can grow on site classification using silvicultural techniques. These values came from years of study done on woodlands in NS by lands and forestry. Remember silvicultural is designed to improve the quality of wood left growing on a site , will grow at a rate that you can predict the growth and volumes at certain age points as such looking ahead , the final seed trees left on site at the end of the rotation will be the superior trees for that site as there picked when the initial pct is done. With out natural regeneration if the site is suitable its planted and the process starts from there . There can be various reasons why sites don’t regenerate well. One of them being from previous cutting practices were the best trees were taken through a high grading process. So what happens is mill x used so much wood , and through the registry of buyers regulations when they have deemed to do so much silvicultural work it has been determined that they are not using more wood that causes non sustainability as far as wood supply goes. There has never been a mill that has defaulted on this obligation that I know of at least . Those mills not large enough to carry the silvicultural ability simply closed. That’s a lot of your local little mills that lots talk about that no longer run. Many of those mills actually owned enough woodland of there own that if they never did one bit of silvicultural work as long as they did not increase production above the annual growth they could cut there own lands and never run out of wood . There was no allowance for this in the registry of buyers system . There are likely some other reasons as well they may have stopped operations but the fact they needed to do the silvicultural plan put there sawing ability out of reach .

DGP: Thx. Bit by Bit it sinks in.

BW to GF
Interesting points, but I do wonder about the forests not being cut in Digby because they are too narrow and not worth it. For a short while, I used to look up land sales for taxes but lost interest very quickly as almost all of those were properties that had been clearcut and then I guess the owners just didn’t pay the taxes and let the land go. I suppose that was their way of getting the last good out of the land. However, there are large land owners. Those people mentioned in the article — it says they have 7,700 hectares in there, and they can’t be the only ones as I have friends on Sissiboo Road who have watched trucks running out of Digby steadily day in and day out loaded with logs for several years and cutting going on even at night within earshot of their place. Anyhow, I understand that you feel sad for sawmill workers. I feel sad for anyone making lousy wages working for the only business in town. In other places, it’s working for the big corn starch plant, or the factory that makes all the soap for some major corporation, or whatever. That’s kind of the way it is — and when that resource runs out, or it gets cheaper to make corn starch in the U.S. than in Canada, those jobs just up and leave anyhow. So, as David commented, do we prioritize people’s jobs which may or may not even have a future on the global market, over setting aside 1000 hectares for species that will otherwise “blink out” as they seem to like to call it these days — I guess the word, “extermination” is too harsh sounding. Blink out sounds like they could return, just like switching on a light bulb. Anyhow, yes, I agree, these are issues with more than one or two sides. Just like I listen to political platforms about how “we” (the little people) might have subsidies to help us buy electric vehicles, while at the same time, heavy trucks tear up the roads, with their terrible fuel use — especially B-Train trucks – I checked the Environment Canada website on this earlier today and it just makes me laugh to think how they want all of us, some of us who barely drive anymore, to go out and buy electric cars, while we continue to let huge trucks that are just frying up the fossil fuels, run rampant all over the roads. I know you’re going to tell me that electric trucks will come along. Well, I guess we’re going to need that power grid from Muskrat Falls to power all of those electric trucks when they switch over from diesel. Ah well, not much makes any sense these days..

SL: Wind, solar and hemp. Leave the trees alone. We have taken enough of that resource.

GF to SL: and the grants were providing to people for personal use consumption would be much better given to wood lot owners. By there own calculations in their sales pitch they claim a tree is worth $9.14 to reduce carbon . Well we can start off at 2.00 if it makes you feel better. And go from there .