Softwood jitters focus on April 24, 2017

Understandably, there are a lot of jitters around the Trump administration’s intentions to renegotiate NAFTA and to include softwood lumber trade with Canada. Now the focus is on April 24, 2017. That’s the “Latest date for DOC [U.S. Department of Commerce] to issue Preliminary Determination on subsidy”.

The word is that “no one knows what the preliminary duty will be on April 24th. However, we do know that it will be big enough to hurt and to be a motivator to settle” (B.C. Forest Sector CEO cited on, April 7, 2017). Continue reading

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WestFor makes its case to Queens County

Western Crown lands, modified from CPAWS map (2012)

An article by Michael Lee, WestFor manager defends clearcutting practices, in the Apr 5, 2017 print version of LighthouseNow describes a presentation to Council for the Region of Queens Municipality by WestFor Manager Marcus Zwicker. (The article is not available online.)

As I read the article it seems the presentation was much along the lines of an earlier presentation to Digby Council, but there were evidently fewer (or no) voices of dissent amongst the audience. Continue reading

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Nova Scotia protects significant older forest stands and an important corridor

With these latest additions, the total area protected is 12.4% of Nova Scotia’s land area.

Chignecto Isthmus Wilderness Area (PPA photo)

In March of 2017, Nova Scotia Parks and Protected Areas (a section of Nova Scotia Environment) designated two new Wilderness Areas and expansion of another totalling 5950 ha, and 12 new Nature Reserves of 6 to 298 ha in area. It was a low key announcement with no Press Release, but the sites are significant. The sites were initially identified for protection in Nova Scotia’s 2013 Parks and Protected Areas Plan.
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Posted in Conservation, Ecosystem Services, Natural History, Old Growth, Parks & Protected Areas, Recreation, Watersheds, Wildlife | Leave a comment

Celebrating spring in the Acadian Forest in Nova Scotia

spring forest Three short videos celebrate spring in our forests and offer some interesting insights.

Treasures Of The Old Forest
Produced in 2005 by Avalon & Meguma Natural History Films. “Precious as jewels, fleeting as snow-flakes, yet ancient as the forest itself, these are the wildflowers of the Acadian forest. The trillium, the spring beauty, the bloodroot and lady slipper, once as abundant as the songbirds – now driven to the far recesses of their range. A priceless inheritance many Maritimers may never see, truly, the Treasures of the Old Forest”.
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WestFor makes its case to Digby Municipal Council

Western Crown lands, modified from CPAWS map (2012)

In an article in the Digby Courier Sara Ericsson reports on a Mar 28, 2017 presentation by the WestFor General Manager, Marcus Zwicker, to Digby Municipal Council on its business and methods. This followed concerns about the extent of clearcutting expressed by Digby Co. residents (view Digby Courier, Mar 7, 2017). The neighbouring Annapolis Co. has also voiced concerns.
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Editorials and letters about forestry in Nova Scotia, continued..29Mar2017

WestFor defended

western crown lands

Western Crown lands, modified from CPAWS map (2012)

View Crown land prudence (CH, Mar 29, 2017).

The author, whose name is cited at the end, fails to mention that he is co-owner of one the mills in the WestFor group.

Odd: the general manager for WestFor, likewise didn’t state his affiliation in an op-ed a while back.

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Nova Scotia forests & forestry: birds, mosses and biophilia

As well as in op-eds and letters to the editor, more voices expressing concern about the state of Nova Scotia forests or simply a love of the Acadian forest are appearing in the social media. A few that I have come across recently are highlighted below.

Blackburnian Warbler photographed by Angela Granchelli

Of wood and warblers: musings on my upcoming 3rd spring migration season as a birder in Nova Scotia
Angela Granchelli writes her blog Atlantic Canada Birding as an “independent travelling sales representative with a large geographical area [who finds] birding a great way to unwind after a day of sales calls”.

She was inspired to write about wood warblers after attending Donna Crossland’s presentation to the Nova Scotia Bird Society on March 23. She compiled a list of the 22 wood warblers that breed in Nova Scotia and their preferred vegetation; she also lists “vagrant” visitors. Continue reading

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Call of the Forest documentary screens in Halifax tonight (Mar 24, 2017)

“Call of the Forest comments on the state of the world’s old growth forests and reminds us that trees provide emotional and physical benefits to those ever in its presence.

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Softwood lumber woes

“Still left out in the dark, however, are Nova Scotia’s private wood lots owners”

Well before the American election, our softwood lumber trade with the U.S. (worth circa $85M to Nova Scotia, and $4.6 billion to Canada at large) was on shaky grounds. The last softwood lumber agreement ran out Oct 12, 2015, and the subsequent one-year litigation standstill period ran out a year later. Already the U.S. International Trade Commission has said that Canadian lumber is “subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value”, causing harm and the U.S. Commerce Department is conducting anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations. (CBC, Jan 6, 2017).

With Trump’s America First policies, the old arguments of the benefits of trade for both sides hold much less weight; Canadians will have to demonstrate that U.S. imports of Canadian lumber increase jobs in the U.S., e.g. by lowering costs and stimulating U.S. housing and showing that those benefits exceed losses in competing (but more expensive) U.S. lumber suppliers. Continue reading

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LighthouseNOW article provides a little more clarity on pending WestFor Agreement

Negotiations with the Mi’kmaq community are required and appropriate.

Western Crown lands, modified from CPAWS map (2012)

An article by Brittany Wentzell in LighthouseNOW, a Bridgewater and Lunenburg-based newspaper, provides some new info about the pending Forest Utilization Licence Agreement (FULA) that would give a consortium of 13 mills (“with WestFor”) access and a lot of management control over the Western Crown Lands for the next 10 years.

The online version opens with an image of the letter sent by the County of Annapolis to Premier McNeil on March 3 (view post Mar 8, 2017).
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