A recent media report on NSDNR Minister Lloyd Hines rounds of the province noted that Halifax County (i.e. Halifax Regional Municipality) ranks #2 after Cumberland Co. in forest harvesting in Nova Scotia. That shouldn’t surprise anyone who pokes around outside of the core population areas (view Nov 11, 2016 Post).
Western Crown lands, modified from CPAWS map (2012)
“We were talking about harvest methods, what the WestFor existence means to the area, and generally the state of the industry too” but, according to the article “When asked who approached who regarding the creation of the lease, Hines said he wasn’t sure.” Read more in LighthouseNOW (Mar 8, 2017).
It’s still not clear whether the province has signed the 10-year lease with Westfor. The article refers to it as a done deal “…WestFor Management Inc., the consortium of 13 mills that has a 10-year lease with the province to harvest on over 500,000 hectares of western Crown land…”. Continue reading →
Counties of Nova Scotia, from Wikipedia author Hwy43
I received this message today: In response to mounting public pressure, the Warden for Digby County, Jimmy MacAlpine, has requested letters of concern from citizens of Digby County regarding clearcutting of their public woodlands. E-mails should be sent by Friday March 9, 2017 to Linda Fraser, CAO for Digby, lfraserATmunicipality.digby.ns.ca.
UPDATE Mar 8, 2017: More details are available in an article by Sara Ericsson in the Digby Courier for March 7, 2017: “Digby Warden Jimmy MacAlpine is calling for submissions from the public regarding concerns about clearcutting forestry-methods across the county. This comes after Bear River resident Jay Stone expressed concerns in a meeting with the warden about clearcutting which is advancing increasingly toward private properties.” View County seeks public input on crown land forestry concerns
An article by Don Proctor for the Daily Commercial News highlights a new study showing that “the cost of building a six-storey wood building in Halifax is comparable to the tab for a similar structure in B.C”. View article
The Minister’s analogy of sustainable forestry to sustainable production of crops in a garden overlooks the now well established principle that “sustainability” needs to embrace much more than just the annual allowable cut.
Two approaches to forestry in Nova Scotia. One produces high value wood as well as sequestering carbon, providing habitat for wildlife and peace of mind to visitors. Unfortunately, it is the exception, not the rule, for forestry on Crown land in Nova Scotia.
Something is definitely brewing as NSDNR Minister Lloyd Hines continues his rounds of Nova Scotia talking up ways to make more economic use of our forests. NGnews reports on the Minister’s presentation to the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce in New Glascow on Mar 2, 2017, noting that Hines views the five million acres of Crown-owned land in the province as a giant garden about which he says “Like any garden you have to look after it.” The NGnews report continues: “The difference, though, between a vegetable garden and the massive forest the DNR manages is that harvesting isn’t something that’s looked at over a period of a few months but rather on a 40- to 100-year cycle, he said.” View NGnews. Continue reading →
The back and forth on Forests and Forestry in Nova Scotia was prominent in the Saturday CH.
Mike Parker, who kicked off the Show us the Science series, cautions that we “Don’t listen to industry reassurances”. He “searched out a respected voice who can speak to forestry issues in Nova Scotia. I found it in the person of Dr. Jack Ward Thomas (1934-2016), a renowned American ecologist, Boone and Crockett Professor of Wildlife Conservation in the School of Forestry at the University of Montana, and thirteenth chief of the U.S. Forest Service.” Parker quotes Thomas at length, all of it resonating strongly with the current debates about forestry in Nova Scotia. Continue reading →
Minister Lloyd Hines is making the rounds seeking input from local business people on how to bring back forestry and mineral industries to SW Nova Scotia. He’s encouraging an open discussion: “The best discussions happen when people can bring any opinion, positive or negative, to the table in an open discussion”. Hines describes the area as a “fibre basket” and the goal now is “to find and create new business to keep use of this market…” and says “the burden to improve and create new initiatives within forestry lies with landowners who own a majority of the forested land.” View Digby Courier report (Mar 1, 2017). Continue reading →
In an Op-ed, Kingsley Brown (President of the Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers Association) offers re-assurances that things are humming along just fine in forestry in Nova Scotia, apparently a little more optimistic than he was in a Feb 4 Op-ed (Nova Scotia forestry sector hangs by a thread – “The industry is currently so finely balanced that a decision in Shanghai could shut it down within 30 days, according to government and industry estimates. But there’s no sense of public urgency, not a peep in the legislature, no discussions in party caucuses, no letters to the premier or Department of Natural Resources minister.” Continue reading →