New Ecological Land Classification doc released by Nova Scotia DNR

Fortunately, one doesn’t really have to understand all of the nuances of hierarchical landscape classification or of the debates about natural disturbance regimes to appreciate most of this work as a guide to the landscapes of Nova Scotia.

An article in the March 2018 issue of Atlantic Forestry Review* alerted me that the latest version of DNR’s Ecological Land Classification (ELC) is now available online as a PDF document:

Ecological Land Classification for Nova Scotia, by Peter Neily, Sean Basquill, Eugene Quigley and Kevin Keys. Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources Renewable Resources Branch Report FOR 2017-13.

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Anxiety about the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia

Anxieties are being expressed, but right now I am more optimistic than I have been. A prediction: one of Prof. Lahey’s messages will be ‘Get Involved, it’s your forest’

As the first deadline for a report from the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia passes, and the new deadline is little more than a month away, Dale Smith expresses concerns about the Terms of Reference and skepticism about the outcome:

Advocates for change have grasped onto the contention, reportedly affirmed by both the premier and DNR Minister Margaret Miller, that review project lead Professor Bill Lahey and his team of advisers have been given a “blank sheet” for their analysis.
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Mi’kmawey Forestry seeks locations of Wisqoq (Black Ash) in Nova Scotia

Black Ash at Brier Island, Aug 31, 2007.
Photo courtesy of Anne Mills

An Ad in the Chronicle Herald, March 24, 2018 highlights efforts the Mi’kmawey Forestry Team is making to re-establish and steward Wisqoq (Black Ash) in Nova Scotia, describes features that distinguish it from White Ash and asks that sightings be reported to Conner Howard, the Mi’kmawey Forest Stewardship coordinator.

More details about the species, its history of use by Mi’kmaw, and recovery efforts are given at wisqoq.ca. The website was set up specifically by Mi’kmawey Forestry “to act as a recovery tool by providing information on the species as well as promote hands-on recovery activities that will be conducted by Mi’kmawey Forestry.”
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Nova Scotia forests, forestry and GHGs 1: Letters

Serious, thoughtful questions asked about the science behind our strategies to reduce GHGs are met with all-is-ok/trust-us replies

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.

This is the first in a series of posts in which I will try to get a handle on how forest management and the things we choose to produce from our forests affect our ability as a province to reduce the levels of GHGs (Greenhouse Gases) in our (global) atmosphere.

I was stimulated to do so by the earnest letter that Peter Ritcie wrote to Mr. Jason Hollett, Executive Director of Climate Change at Nova Scotia Environment (view also Post, Feb 25, 2018) and by the response he received to that letter on Mar 12, 2018 (below).
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Port Hawkesbury Paper escapes countervailing duties imposed in 2015

View: Settlement agreement reached in Port Hawkesbury Paper’s duty feud
Nancy King in Cape Breton Post/Chronicle Herald, Mar 22, 2018.

‘Not sure what happens now, re: U.S. imposes more anti-dumping duties on Canadian newsprint
By The Canadian Press in thestar.com, Mar 14, 2018
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Editorials and letters about forestry in the area of Loon Lake, Nova Scotia continued…23 Mar 2018

Ecodistricts and the Old Forest Policy layers in the vicinity of Loon Lake. Source: Nova Scotia Landscape Map Viewer, accessed 23 Mar 2018.
Click on image for larger version

In the Chronicle Herald today, Nina Newington of Mount Hanley expresses frustration over wood from old growth stands in the Loon lake area being sent to the biomass burner at Port Hawkesbury. Her op-ed begins:

Let’s get this straight. Official provincial policy is to “conserve the remaining old-growth forests on public land” (2012 policy document). Great. Except, that is, if there is more than eight per cent of it in a particular eco-district. Once that eight per cent has been protected, according to Department of Natural Resources regional manager Mark Pulsifer, the department can allow cutting “in areas that could qualify as old-growth forest.” So the most ecologically valuable old-growth forests — ones in larger, contiguous chunks — are not, in fact, protected.

Read more in READER’S CORNER: Biomass burner an abomination
By Nina Newington, Chronicle Herald, Mar 23, 2018
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NSP, PHP, NSDNR and FSC appear to be complicit in burning primary biomass from Loon Lake area, increasing GHG emissions, and calling practices “sustainable”

Sample output from GHG calculator

Sample output from GHG calculator.
Click on image for more info.

View Old-growth burning reignites biomass debate
Aaron Beswick, Chronicle Herald, Mar 17, 2018.

With 84% of area cuts being burnt via the Biomass Burner (73%) or Firewood (11%), PHP, NSP, NSDNR and even FSC are doing their part to increase GHG emissions while calling the practices “sustainable”.

View Loon Lake for related posts.
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Comment on Woods and Waters Nova Scotia
RS: This story seems right out of a Walt Disney movie script.. the old growth forest being fed into a big old inefficient giant biomass boiler. I mean the solar energy conversion of an Acadian forest to power is just brutal. If the annual growth increment is 2 tonnes per ha per year it would be converting sunlight to biomass at about 0.3% per year and then the power plant is operating at 30% efficiency so its sunlight to biomass to electricity at 0.1% efficiency. A modern solar power plant converts sunlight to power at 20% efficiency so its 200X more efficient. Seems to me a few more wind and solar power system installs would be cheaper and employ as many people.



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Nova Scotia DNR almost admits serious errors; Port Hawkesbury Paper blames DNR for Loon Lake area cuts of Old Growth

Danny George

UPDATE Mar 17, 2018: Old-growth burning reignites biomass debate
Aaron Bewsick, Chronicle Herald, Mar 17, 2018.
With 84% being burnt via the Biomass Burner (73%) or Firewood (11%), PHP, NSP, NSDNR ad even FSC are doing their part to increase GHG emissions while calling the practices “sustainable”.
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In reference to Danny George’s claim that Old Growth forest is being cut on Crown land in the Loon Lake area (see Post, Feb 23, 2018), Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources used some very cautious language in response to queries from the Chronicle Herald and managed to avoid any admission that their system for managing harvests of Crown land forests is seriously flawed.

From VIDEO: Province admits old-growth forest may have been cut for fuel
(Aaron Beswick in the Chronicle Herald, March 15, 2018): Continue reading

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The Nova Scotia Advocate: “Port Hawkesbury Paper aligns with pro-fracking lobby in Guysborough County”

So reads a headline in the Nova Scotia Advocate for Mar 13, 2018

Port Hawkesbury Paper, while facing criticism about its clearcutting practices, is aligning itself with the pro-fracking elements within the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MoDG) Council.

On March 7 officials associated with Port Hawkesbury Paper appeared before Council to deliver a report on the company’s forestry practices, prompted in part, by recent media stories regarding their company’s alleged, clear-cutting of old growth trees in the Loon Lake area of Guysborough County.

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Diseased beech increasing, other hardwoods declining in NE North America – could a 2nd exotic beech pest to enter NA via Nova Scotia redirect change again?

There’s lot’s about tree pests and diseases to observe and think about as we approach a new season in Nova Scotia’s forests

Old beech by St.Mary’s River, Guysborough Co.
Click on photo to view larger version.

American beech, although highly affected by the beech bark disease that got its start in Nova Scotia in the late 1800s, is pretty abundant in many hardwood and mixed Acadian forest stands in Nova Scotia. So an item highlighted on forestindustry.com Volume 3, Issue 5 piqued my interest:

Beech trees are booming in New England. Here’s why that’s a bad thing There’s no easy answer to this one. By Patrick Whittle, AP, February 25, 2018

…The authors… used U.S. Forest Service data from 1983 to 2014 from the states of Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont to track trends in forest composition. They found that abundance of American beech increased substantially, while species including sugar maple, red maple and birch all decreased.
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