Logging during bird breeding season raises the ire of Nova Scotia birdwatchers

Northern Parula and Nova Scotia nest built from old-man’s-beard lichen. These are birds of mature forests. “Selective harvesting [not clearcutting] can be carried out, but should be outside the breeding season to cause the least impacts to bird populations” says Donna Crossland in Don’t let the music stop. Parula pic by Don Pancamo.

A post and a subsequent series of exchanges on Birding News – Nova Scotia (where the Nature Nova Scotia Listserv is made publicly available) highlight an oft-expressed concern about logging in Nova Scotia: why is logging permitted during peak breeding season (May through mid-July)? Concerns about the difficulty of protecting habitat of SAR (Species-At-Risk) species are also discussed.

The posts are copied below.

We know a lot about when and where birds nest in Nova Scotia, thanks to the work of hundreds of birdwatchers towards the First (1992), and Second (2016) Atlas of Breeding Birds of the Maritimes Provinces, all available online:
Continue reading

Posted in Acadian Forest, clearcuts, Conservation | Comments Off on Logging during bird breeding season raises the ire of Nova Scotia birdwatchers

Nova Scotia DNR, Port Hawkesbury Paper, Premier McNeil: please help us with the math/accounting

A lengthy back and forth discussion on Woods and Waters Nova Scotia (WWNS) followed a post on WWNS about an article in the Chronicle Herald – Mill’s deal with province raises concern (Aaron Beswick for Chronicle Herald, May 25, 2018). (See also the May 28 post about it.)

To view the discussion on WWNS (Facebook page), search for or scroll down to the post on May 26, 2018 “Mills deal with province raises concern” introduced with the statement “… basically the province is paying them to cut the wood….”

I have placed a copy of the discussion at the bottom of this post; I will update it if there are more responses on WWNS.

The question that calls for a direct, unambiguous answer: does DNR take in more in stumpage fees from Port Hawkesbury Paper than it puts out to manage the crown lands?
Continue reading

Posted in Biomass, clearcuts, Economics, NSDNR | Comments Off on Nova Scotia DNR, Port Hawkesbury Paper, Premier McNeil: please help us with the math/accounting

Celebrating spring and a bit of ornithological humour

I never have minded a late spring, as it means we can just enjoy it later into the year. I made this collage after a walk in forest by Sandy Lake (Bedford) a few days ago to celebrate.

Click on image for a larger version

I received this bit of humour via the Nature Nova Scotia Listserv, too good not to share.

Continue reading

Posted in Acadian Forest, Biophilia | Comments Off on Celebrating spring and a bit of ornithological humour

Nova Scotia math: FOIPOP reveals PHP pays $3.1 million in stumpage fees, gets $4.4 million for silviculture

Government, industry won’t to release stats on returns from Crown Land harvests; similarly mum on composition of feedstocks for the PHP biomass boiler

Bob Bancroft has often said that in Nova Scotia we get next to nothing from Port Hawkesbury Paper and other mills for the wood they harvest on Crown land and may even be paying them for it.

But it’s hard to get at the truth of the matter because “Details of Department of Natural Resources price agreements with PHP [Port Hawkesbury Paper] remain cloaked in secrecy. On any documents released to the public, stumpage fees paid to government by PHP are heavily redacted .” (Bob Bancroft in COMMENTARY: Chipping our forests on the cheap, the Chronicle Herald Feb 6, 2018)

Some figures cited in Mill’s deal with province raises concern (Aaron Beswick for Chronicle Herald, May 25, 2018) provide a candela or two on PHP’s sweet deals.

Continue reading

Posted in Biomass, clearcuts, Economics, NSDNR, Pulp & Paper | Comments Off on Nova Scotia math: FOIPOP reveals PHP pays $3.1 million in stumpage fees, gets $4.4 million for silviculture

#NOPIPE

Map with features on a map posted on a Northern Pulp website. “Our proposal is to construct an Effluent Treatment Facility on land at the mill property, and lay a pipeline on the bottom of Pictou Harbour…

The Friends of Northumberland Strait are asking people who are concerned about Northern Pulp’s plan to pump treated mill effluent directly into the Northumberland Strait for some help: write Catherine McKenna, the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change to have the project reviewed federally, which would ensure a much more thorough assessment than the Class 1 Provincial EA.

Say The Friends, “The decision to conduct this environmental assessment is made by the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change. In making her decision, she will consider a number of things, including whether this is an issue of broad public concern.”

Using an online form on the FNS website makes it easy to send an e-mail; if the default message content* is used, all it takes is inserting your name, e-mail etc; alternatively, you can add a few words or replace the entire text with your own which makes the letter count even more.
Continue reading

Posted in Pulp & Paper | Comments Off on #NOPIPE

Zwicker & Bishop attempt to justify clear cutting to Nova Scotia Legislature Committee

Aerial imagery of “sustainable harvests” on crown land after 10+ years

UPDATE May 30, 2018: Op-ed: “The session amounted to an industrial version of the dance of the seven veils deftly performed, not by the biblical Salome, but by the forestry industry proponents and apologists.” read more
UPDATE May 26, 2018: Joan Baxter comments on what wasn’t discussed – view Update

Also: The full text of the session is now available on Hansard
———————-
It had been anticipated that a meeting of the NS Legislature’s Resource Committee on Thurs 24 May 2018, (topic: Current State and Future of the Forestry Industry in Nova Scotia) would be be the first open-to-the-public discussion of the recommendations related to the Western Crown Lands coming from the Report of the Independent Review of Forestry Practices in Nova Scotia. The scheduled witnesses were WestFor Management Inc. – Marcus Zwicker, General Manager & Forest Nova Scotia – Jeff Bishop, Executive Director.

As it turned out, the report from the Independent Review has still not been submitted. (The scuttle is that it will now be submitted in early June.)

According to the one report on the meeting currently available, Zwicker and Bishop offered a defence of clearcutting in Nova Scotia.

View Forestry industry defends clear cutting in Nova Scotia
Canadian Press, published on Global News, May 24, 2018
Continue reading

Posted in Acadian Forest, clearcuts, NSDNR, Show Us the Science | Comments Off on Zwicker & Bishop attempt to justify clear cutting to Nova Scotia Legislature Committee

Pipes versus Environment challenge Liberal governments in Ottawa and Nova Scotia (and the rest of us)

A Canadian Press article in today’s Chronicle Herald, The growing impatience of an industry town: ‘This has really created tension’ about The Pipe proposed for the Northern Pulp Mill in Pictou, and a Reader’s Corner letter – Vote pipeline in peril – about the Kinder Morgan pipeline tell much the same story, differing only in scale and location.

Both are pitched by advocates for pipes or pipelines on the basis of jobs and economy, and are opposed because of environmental concerns and related jobs; in both situations, middle-of-the-road Liberal governments are trying to have it both ways; and both split communities and even families.
Continue reading

Posted in Pulp & Paper | Comments Off on Pipes versus Environment challenge Liberal governments in Ottawa and Nova Scotia (and the rest of us)

Welcome Back: Northern Parula & a welcome sight: Hepatica

Northern Parula amongst old fir by Gays River, May 19.
It builds a nest out of bearded lichen (shown at top right).
Click on image for larger version

The Northern Parula has become a bit of a poster child for birds displaced by clearcutting in Nova Scotia, highlighted by Healthy Forests advocate Donna Crossland:

I…walked over a fresh clearcut where the birch once stood. The lake would be buffered only by a pitifully thin band of trees to disguise the carnage. Angry thoughts were broken by strangely cheerful songs emanating from the fresh cut edge of forest that was destined to fall on Monday morning when cutting would resume. There, a male northern parula sang its buzzy upward song. Its voice was joined by a singing hermit thrush, and a black-throated green warbler. Their territorial songs indicate there are nests, most likely containing young lives just begun. My heart sank.

Continue reading

Posted in Biophilia, Conservation, Old Growth | Comments Off on Welcome Back: Northern Parula & a welcome sight: Hepatica

Emerald Ash Borer now in New Brunswick

Via a post on the Nature NS Listserv by Ian Manning, I learned that the Emerald Ash Borer is now in New Brunswick: CFIA Press Release, May 17, 2018

Some interesting perspectives follow:

CS (May 18, 2018): Interesting that there seems to be a surge of tree-destroying varmints. If we had enough birds, they might take care of it!

IM (May 18, 2018): There’s been insects that eat trees for longer than there has been birds, so don’t think that’s the issue.

In this scenario you can be pretty confident pointing the finger at people trying to save a buck on firewood while camping. If I were planting a tree on my front lawn today, ash would have dropped a couple spots on my list.
Continue reading

Posted in Pests | Comments Off on Emerald Ash Borer now in New Brunswick

May 17, 2018: Species at Risk in Forested Wetlands returning to Nova Scotia

Click on image to go to MTRI Project on
Landbird SAR in Forested Wetlands

In our rapidly changing world, it’s can be re-assuring to view the same seasonal changes for another year. A couple of recent entries on the Birding News – Nova Scotia (posting entries on a Nature Nova Scotia Listserv) highlight the return of Species-at-Risk in Forested Wetlands:

ND (May 17, 18:11):

A Landbird Species at Risk in Forested Wetlands has returned to NS! The first Canada Warbler was seen on CSI May 16 (eBird), on time compared to the last four years as you can see in the SFA table [given in the link] below.
Continue reading

Posted in Conservation, Natural History | Comments Off on May 17, 2018: Species at Risk in Forested Wetlands returning to Nova Scotia