Protecting supply of “wood” but not necessarily big trees from Nova Scotia’s Crown lands remains the priority at L&F 15Mar2020

Can we heal our landscape AND maintain wood supply as in the recent past or even grow the supply as contended by L&F/Minister Rankin? Where will the High production Forestry sites be placed in this landscape? The image is a screen capture from the NS Provincial  Landscape Viewer  (Nov 19, 2019) –  the pale yellow is forest recovering from clearcuts. What remains of multi-aged/Old Forest (purple) is severely fragmented. From NSFN post post: “So many clearcuts” in SW Nova Scotia (continued) 20Nov2019

As Addie and Fred Campaingne pointed out, the fundamental principle underlying the Lahey recommendations is to redress the balance between commercial uses of forests and protecting ecosystems and biodiversity.

“In other words, I have concluded that protecting ecosystems and biodiversity should not be balanced against other objectives and values as if they were of equal weight or importance to those other objectives or values. Instead, protecting and enhancing ecosystems should be the objective (the outcome) of how we balance environmental, social, and economic objectives and values in practising forestry in Nova Scotia.” – William Lahey, Aug 2018

It looked for a brief moment in early Sepember  of 2018 that L&F took this seriously, sending out in a directive to its industrial partners a set of precautionary measures that would have immediate negative impact on harvesting for the benefit of biodiversity. That lasted barely a week before it was retracted. On Oct 1, 2018, coincidentally or not the day the “new NAFTA” was agreed upon in principle, the province secretly signed a one year deal with Westfor that removed restrictions that had been applied when the Independent Review was announced (before the provincial election);  the Report of the Independent Review was in (Aug 21, 2018)  but not responded to by government, so logically the restrictions should have continued.  There followed that fall and over the winter, a rash of harvesting and proposed or actual harvesting of old growth stands that created and is still causing widespread upset and public protest – just read the posts on this website from Nov 2018 to June 2019 and the Social Media Posts that began on Jan 16, 2019. To me, the epitome of L&F’s Forestry First priority and downplaying of biodiversity concerns is the continuing fiasco over the Dalhousie-Corbett Lakes forest.
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Addie & Fred Campaigne: Nova Scotia’s High Production Forestry Phase 1 omits consideration of Species-At-Risk and ecosystems 6Mar2020

Can we heal our landscape? The image is a screen capture from the NS Provincial  Landscape Viewer  (Nov 19, 2019) –  the pale yellow is forest recovering from clearcuts. What remains of multi-aged/Old Forest (purple) is severely fragmented. From NSFN post post: “So many clearcuts” in SW Nova Scotia (continued) 20Nov2019

Like many others who had placed some hope that L&F would actually implement the spirit of the Lahey Recommendations as well as the details, I have been dispirited by the course of events since the Lahey Report was received to the point that I now find it difficult to even read and think about L&F’s still unfolding response, let alone write about it.

L&F’s ‘High Production Forestry Discussion paper’ released on Feb 21, with responses due by March 16, 2020, did not help.

Yesterday, Addie & Fred Campaigne, residents of “high elevation (150m+) north Lunenburg county”, posted their response to the discussion paper on Stop Spraying & Clear-Cutting Nova Scotia (Public Facebook Group). It expresses the higher level concerns about losses of biodiversity and climate change that concern so many, and describes in detail the impacts that HPF would have on the local ecology and economy. It is knowledgable, thoughtful and passionate. They gave me permission to post it on NSFN. It begins: Continue reading

Posted in Acadian Forest, Conservation, Ind Rev Post-Report, Watersheds | Comments Off on Addie & Fred Campaigne: Nova Scotia’s High Production Forestry Phase 1 omits consideration of Species-At-Risk and ecosystems 6Mar2020

Richard Spinks did not invent Nova Scotia’s Plan B to replace the lost market for “low value wood” 1Mar2020

B for Biomass, Biofuel, Bioplastics, Biorefinery, Bioeconomy…

The first versions of Plan B emerged when the Bowater mill closed in 2012. It is still alive and well, mostly  behind closed doors.

The Chronicle Herald seems to think that the Grandiose Scheme to replace the lost market for “low value wood”  in NS following the demise of The Mill began with British-born entrepreneur Richard Spinks recent proposal to  build a wood-pellet mill in Pictou County  – “He thinks a wood-pellet mill could use all the chips Northern Pulp bought, perhaps more, and could find a market in Europe”.

However, an equally grandiose Plan B which involves some combination and permutation of Biomass, Bioplastics,  Biofuel, Biorefinery and Bioeconomy and the like has been hanging around  since the closure of the Bowater Mill in 2012 and before, pushed by Company Men who move back and forth between the Companies and government and NSDNR/L&F in particular as the companies fare better and worse.

View a history of Plan B on NSFN  under Current Issues>BIOMASS/BIOFUELS & GHGs>Plan B/Biorefinery.
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Posted in Biomass | Comments Off on Richard Spinks did not invent Nova Scotia’s Plan B to replace the lost market for “low value wood” 1Mar2020

Nova Scotia ‘High Production Forestry Discussion paper’ now available, March 13 is deadline for public comment 21Feb 2020 -NOW EXTENDED TO MARCH 31

UPDATE Mar 12, 2020: The deadline has been extended to Mar 31, 2020 according to ML, who was sent an e-mail today (Mar 12) informing “key stakeholders” of the new deadline.
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L&F issued its latest “Ecological Forestry Update / Lahey Implementation Update” on Feb 19, 2020. In it, the statement: “A discussion paper that provides the description and rationale for this proposal will be available on our website… for public comment today.”

It wasn’t there on the 19th, I didn’t check yesterday, but anyway it’s out today: View link to High production forestry criteria on the Ecological Forestry page.

The specific 26 page document is listed under Review Material: High Production Forestry Phase 1 – Discussion Paper (February, 2020)

The “Consultation Timeline”:

The public can submit to ecologicalforestry@novascotia.ca. Please include “High Production Forestry” in the subject line. The consultation closes 13 March.
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Posted in clearcuts, Ind Rev Post-Report, L&F, WestFor | Comments Off on Nova Scotia ‘High Production Forestry Discussion paper’ now available, March 13 is deadline for public comment 21Feb 2020 -NOW EXTENDED TO MARCH 31

Nova Scotia L&F issues an “Ecological Forestry Update / Lahey Implementation Update” 19Feb2020

Received today:

From: ecologicalforestry <ecologicalforestry@novascotia.ca>
To: ecologicalforestry

Feb. 19 at 10:38 a.m.

The Department of Lands and Forestry continues to be committed to implementing ecological forestry using a triad model approach.

Ongoing collaboration between department staff and external experts has resulted in progress in numerous key areas, including:
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In 2020, strict standards and transparency are required for Nova Scotia’s forest chipping/bioenergy projects to be credible as “good for the environment” 11Feb2020

Curved arrows represent biologically mediated flows of GHGs: the straight arrow, industrial emissions of GHGs; and the symbols at bottom right, long term sequestration of carbon in the oceans. Carbon dioxide is the most important GHG in relation to forestry.

Small scale wood chip-heating systems for public buildings are currently being fast-tracked by L&F as a partial substitute for The Mill as a market for low value wood, and touted as “carbon-friendly fuel“.

A much bolder vision is being promoted by British businessman Richard Spinks. He proposes

“…to develop a second generation biomass pellet manufacturing facility in Pictou County. The proposal targets an investment of $84 million Canadian, and would involve shipping 600,000 tonnes of product per annum within 12-18 months of project start
– from Pictou County Chamber: ‘Green’ business proposal could spell jobs for county by Jackie Jardin in pictouadvocate.com Feb 6, 2020.

The proposal has already been endorsed by Pictou County County Chamber of Commerce Chairman Blair Van Veld who is “over the moon” about it (Pictou Advocate Feb 6, 2020); it is  also touted in a Feb 20 Chronicle Herald editorial.
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Posted in Biomass, Climate Change, Ind Rev Post-Report, L&F | Comments Off on In 2020, strict standards and transparency are required for Nova Scotia’s forest chipping/bioenergy projects to be credible as “good for the environment” 11Feb2020

Nova Scotia Lands & Forestry looking for “Manager – Ecosystems and Habitats” 30Jan2020

It remains difficult to find out who does what at L&F

From  jobs.novascotia.ca

Date: Jan 27, 2020
Apply By: 2/10/2020
Lands and Forestry
Manager – Ecosystems and Habitats, Permanent, KENTVILLE
Competition # 23687
…As the Manager of Ecosystems and Habitats, you will lead a team of 6 scientists, technicians and specialists in wildlife habitat, modelling, ecology and GIS responsible for policy, research, legislation and management strategies for the stewardship of Nova Scotia’s ecosystems and wildlife habitats. You will provide leadership, scientific and management expertise and coordination on ecosystem and habitat issues in order to meet provincial, national and international objectives.

….You have a critical role in the implementation of ecological forestry and landscape level planning in Nova Scotia by collaborating with forestry specialists and contributing to the development of new forest management methods.
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Posted in Conservation, Ind Rev Post-Report, L&F | Comments Off on Nova Scotia Lands & Forestry looking for “Manager – Ecosystems and Habitats” 30Jan2020

A sober but hopeful start to the New Year 1Jan2020

Premier McNeil’s announcement Dec 20, 2019 that he would be honouring the Boat Harbour Act, and Northern Pulp’s announcement that they would close The Mill mark a historic transition on several fronts.

The sober part is the direct loss of jobs in rural areas and further indirect effects on the rural economy in NS.

I think all Nova Scotians are empathetic to the stresses that is causing to many individuals,  families and communities; it was written on the face and in the voice and words of Premier McNeil when he made the announcement, and likewise on the face and in the voice and words of Chief Andrea Paul (re: CBC, Dec 20, 2019)

The hopeful part is that it means we have an opportunity to ‘get it right’ this time around, and come up with alternatives to The Mill that do not compromise our environment but do provide  sustainable livelihoods based on our forests.

It is also incredibly opportune as it is at exactly this juncture that the world seems to be coming to grips with the reality of climate warming, biodiversity losses and environmental degradation more generally;  we Nova Scotians could really carry  our weight in regards to mitigating climate and biodiversity decline change by making fundamental changes in the way we view and manage our forests.
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Posted in Biomass, Climate Change, Pulp & Paper, Social Media | Comments Off on A sober but hopeful start to the New Year 1Jan2020

Nova Scotia Premier McNeil keeps commitment to Pictou Landing First Nation to close Boat Harbour mill effluent treatment facility, Northern Pulp mill will shut down 20Dec2019

“In 2015, I made a commitment to clean up Boat Harbour and I am honouring that commitment today. Now, I am making a commitment to the workers of the mill and the forestry sector throughout Nova Scotia that we will be here for you in this transition – and make no mistake, I will honour that commitment as well.” – News Release

As reported on CBC*:
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*Northern Pulp plans to shut down Nova Scotia mill after premier refuses to grant extension By Michael Gorman for CBC News Dec 20, 2019

After three days of public silence, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil delivered a decision that could define his time in office — his government won’t amend the Boat Harbour Act, forcing the impending closure of Northern Pulp’s effluent facility by the end of January.
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Posted in Mi'kmaq, Post NP mill, Pulp & Paper, Social Media, Social Values | Comments Off on Nova Scotia Premier McNeil keeps commitment to Pictou Landing First Nation to close Boat Harbour mill effluent treatment facility, Northern Pulp mill will shut down 20Dec2019

Don Wilson: a recent Supreme Court ruling says volumes about the Northern Pulp Mill’s future 18Dec2019

Screen capture from Supreme Court of Canada webpage (click on image to go to the page)

Received today from Don Wilson, who has written many op-eds about NS forestry in Saltwire publications (some cited on NSFN):

After the Pulp Mill

The Supreme Court of Canada web site has published it’s Dec 6, 2019 decision that says pulp mills are responsible for clean up of pollutant(s), not governments, irregardless of indemnity contracts previously given or signed.

That says volumes about the Northern Pulp Mill’s future.
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Posted in Pulp & Paper | Comments Off on Don Wilson: a recent Supreme Court ruling says volumes about the Northern Pulp Mill’s future 18Dec2019