Saturday Forestry, continued… Feb 3, 2018: how much displacement of our natural world is acceptable?

Saturday’s Chronicle Herald again carries several items on the forestry/resources front.

First in clear contrast to PC leadership hopeful John Lohr, Pictou County Conservative MLA Tim Houston “is calling for an increased level of ministerial scrutiny of a proposed wastewater treatment facility at the Northern Pulp mill.”

View MLA Houston says Northern Pulp wastewater standards too low
By Francis Campbell in the Chronicle Herald, Feb 2(online), 2018

Second, Joan Baxter comments on the choices we make when we put gold over environment:
Continue reading

Posted in Acadian Forest, clearcuts, Conservation, Independent Review, Parks & Protected Areas, Pulp & Paper | Comments Off on Saturday Forestry, continued… Feb 3, 2018: how much displacement of our natural world is acceptable?

Bill Black’s stop-hugging-trees comments pushed a few buttons

tree-huggerI don’t know if it was Bill Black who came up with the headline or the Chronicle Heralds, but predictably BLACK: Let’s stop hugging trees, start embracing industry (CH Jan 20, 2018) generated a lot of response.

In the text, Black went after every resource issue currently on the radar in Nova Scotia – aquaculture, forestry, mining in protected areas, fracking, golf courses, his common theme being, apparently, concern over declining economic opportunities in rural Nova Scotia.

There were some great Trump-like lines, sure to infuriate many, and get a nod of approval from others, e.g.:

On clearcutting

Some people flying into Halifax find it upsetting to see evidence of a clearcut from the air. The trade-off is that it is safer for workers and helps the industry to be cost-competitive. Some of the wood is used as a bio-fuel, which is not great, but is much better than fossil fuels. The trees grow back. We are in no danger of running out.

On mines
Continue reading

Posted in clearcuts, Social Values | Comments Off on Bill Black’s stop-hugging-trees comments pushed a few buttons

Planning ahead for Industrial forestry in Nova Scotia: allowing bigger trucks on our roads

Updated Jan 29, 2018

Things may be on hold in SW Nova Scotia awaiting the recommendations of the Independent Review but the government and Forest NS are not treading water when it comes to paving the roads for industrial forestry in Nova Scotia

“The bigger you are, the more attention you get — some of it good, some of it not so good.

“And the bigger an industry player you are, the more attention — and help — you get from government.

“It’s an open secret that, if you employ enough people and turn enough money around, especially in rural parts of Atlantic Canada, governments can be exceptionally flexible.”

So begins an op-ed by Russel Wangersky on The politics of pollution (The News, Jan 26, 2018).

Those words apply pretty well verbatim to this announcement from Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (now under Lloyd Hines, previously Minister of Natural Resources): Red Tape Reduction in Trucking Industries (Jan 26, 2018)
Continue reading

Posted in Biomass, clearcuts, Economics, Independent Review | Comments Off on Planning ahead for Industrial forestry in Nova Scotia: allowing bigger trucks on our roads

Affairs in an old forest

The physical intimacy of yellow birch and hemlock often observed in old Acadian forest is more than a coincidence

In a post on this website last summer, Summer Solstice reflections (June 23, 2017), I commented on “the intimate proximity of a large diameter yellow birch and a smaller hemlock” which I dubbed “An Acadian Forest Love Affair”.

It’s not by coincidence that the current header image for this website (above) shows another such couple, in their winter garb.

The more of these I viewed, the more it seemed that this close co-occurrence of yellow birch and hemlock could not be purely coincidental.

After a lot more observation and a little literature research, I have come up with an explanation, of sorts.

View Acadian Forest Love Affair.

shopify analytics ecommerce

Posted in Acadian Forest, Biophilia | Comments Off on Affairs in an old forest

Candidate for leadership of Nova Scotia PCs not sympathetic to PEI’s concerns about effluent from The Mill

The diffuser for the new treatment system would be about here
Click on image to enlarge (from Google Earth)
Fishers in both Nova Scotia and PEI are concerned about impacts on lobster and other fisheries


UPDATE Jan 25, 2018: P.E.I. can have input into Pictou mill’s effluent plan, says N.S. environment minister
CBC News Jan 25, 2018.
————————

PC leadership candidate John Lohr (MLA for Kings North) has joined the fray over Northern Pulp’s proposal to pump effluent in the the Northumberland Strait, labeling PEI Premeier Wade MacLauchlan’s request to the feds for a more thorough environmental assessment as “political interference”.

View PC leadership candidate Lohr defends Northern Pulp, blasts P.E.I. premier for requesting more detailed environmental assessment (Sam Macdonald in The News Jan 24, 2018).

‘Just the kind of critical thinking we need these days.

shopify analytics ecommerce

Posted in Pulp & Paper | Comments Off on Candidate for leadership of Nova Scotia PCs not sympathetic to PEI’s concerns about effluent from The Mill

Forest biomass back on the front burner in Nova Scotia?

Sample output from GHG calculator

Sample output from the feds GHG calculator.
Click on image for larger version.

Don Wilson of Brule Point writes in The News (Jan 23, 2018):

An alarming email today tells me the biomass furnace at Port Hawkesbury Paper and run by NS Power has been operating at full blast 24/7 for months. This is in spite of what Premier Stephen McNeil told us just a few months ago. This was even while the mill itself was closed for two of the last four weeks due to lack of sales for glossy paper.
Continue reading

Posted in Biomass | Comments Off on Forest biomass back on the front burner in Nova Scotia?

Jan 23, 2018: Update from the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia


The Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia issued an update today, added as text to its NSDNR webpage under four headings:

Written Submissions – The Review has received more than 170 written submissions…

Meeting with Individuals and Representatives of Groups and Organizations – Professor Lahey has held more than 60 meetings involving over 140 groups and individuals. Participants in the meetings held to date are listed hereContinue reading

Posted in Independent Review | Comments Off on Jan 23, 2018: Update from the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia

Winter splendour in a forested Nova Scotia landscape

There is a wonderful piece of mixed Acadian forest on drumlins by Sandy Lake, close to the neck of the Chebucto Peninsula on the Bedford Basin side.

The forested landscape goes right through to the Sackville River floodplain and includes a lot of forest in a mature to old growth state, with many trees over 100 years of age and some over 200.

I grabbed the first cold sunny day after a good snowfall, Jan 19, to walk some its many trails and enjoy the full splendour of the Canadian winter, also to get a break from the depressing debates about the state of our forests.

Here one can still enjoy the forest that was much more familiar to Nova Scotians in days gone by.
Continue reading

Posted in Acadian Forest, Biophilia, Parks & Protected Areas, Social Values | Comments Off on Winter splendour in a forested Nova Scotia landscape

Editorials and letters about forests, forestry, & regulations in Nova Scotia continued.. Jan 20, 2017

“Most mines are invisible except from the air.”
– Bill Black

Joan Baxter was not happy with the Chronicle Herald’s recent “positive coverage of the mill” (view The inner workings of the Northern Pulp kraft mill, CH Jan 13, 2018).

Missing, she said, are the “voices of the people with concerns about the mill, and many facts that still deserve attention”. For example

…when the government tried in 2015 to impose just a few modest restrictions on Northern Pulp in a new industrial approval — to reduce the amount of water it could use and to cap production limits – the mill filed papers to take the government to court. In the end, the government caved and the restrictions in the industrial approval were removed….In recent months, the Northumberland Fishermen’s Association and the Friends of Northumberland Strait have made a strong case for a much more comprehensive environmental assessment of the effluent plans than the province has agreed to, and a treatment facility that would not put any effluent into the Strait.

Continue reading

Posted in Letters&Editorials, Parks & Protected Areas, Pulp & Paper, Social Values | Comments Off on Editorials and letters about forests, forestry, & regulations in Nova Scotia continued.. Jan 20, 2017

Port Hawkesbury Paper shut down temporarily due to cold weather/high energy costs, low prices, tariffs

The industrial efficiencies that once made us competitive aren’t working so well anymore and have come at a high cost to our forests, wildlife and even-our psychological well-being

I think it’s generally agreed that PHP is an efficient operation and probably as competitive it could get, but it is a global market, fewer magazines are being sold, and it’s been cold out.

View Strait paper mill quiet as energy prices soar (Chronicle Herald, Jan 17, 2018).

In response to low prices for its main product, a glossy paper used in inserts, and import tariffs placed on it by the United States government, Port Hawkesbury Paper has been attempting to diversify.
Continue reading

Posted in Acadian Forest, clearcuts, Independent Review, Pulp & Paper | Comments Off on Port Hawkesbury Paper shut down temporarily due to cold weather/high energy costs, low prices, tariffs