Improvements to the Nova Scotia Harvest Plan Map Viewer announced Aug 2, 2017

Subscribers to the map-update notification for the Harvest Plans Map Viewer receive an e-mail when there are new postings (new proposals for harvests on Crown land) on the Map Viewer and a separate list of the new proposed harvests.

The info that is shown when you click on a harvest polygon now includes the Commenting Period Closing Date and the Harvest Prescription

In the latest notification, on Aug 2, 2017, there is an “Important Note

The August 2 update of the Harvest Plans Map Viewer (HPMV) will include changes to the web application itself. These updates are a result of public requests and suggestions that NSDNR has received since the map viewer was launched in April of 2016 and aim to further inform and aid users of the map viewer in their ability to identify and request information on areas of concern to them, and receive answers to questions about these sites.
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NCC protects floodplain, wetlands, mature forest, SAR on lower Musquodoboit, Nova Scotia

Google Earth view of Musquodoboit River below Crawford Bridge. Click to enlarge

From NCC Press Release (July 25, 2017):

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has expanded its conservation area on the Musquodoboit River by 67 hectares (166 acres) to protect important habitat for several species of at-risk turtles and migratory birds. NCC has added two new properties and now protects 214 hectares (528 acres) of floodplain, wetlands, mature forest and rare trees on the lower Musquodoboit River.

The Musquodoboit River provides rich habitat for a wide diversity of species, including several federally listed species at risk [SAR]: wood turtle, snapping turtle, Canada warbler, chimney swift, common nighthawk, rusty blackbird and olive-sided flycatcher. The Musquodoboit River has one of the best remaining runs of Atlantic salmon on Nova Scotia’s eastern shore, and provides habitat for sea-run brook trout. Wood duck, common merganser and other waterfowl also live and breed here. NCC’s lands include extensive frontage on the Musquodoboit River, and support a red oak and black cherry floodplain forest, which is uncommon in Nova Scotia.

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Biomass plant brings in the bucks for the reborn Hefler Forest Products, another biomass plant envisaged

heffler300The 150 year old Hefler Forest Products in Sackville, Nova Scotia, accumulated over $30 million in debt and went under creditor protection in 2016, but the 3.1 megawatt biomass power plant it operated remained profitable. Prospective buyers wanted to separate out the biomass operation but, according to an article by James Risdon in the CH (July 27, 2017), in the end were forced to buy all of the assets. The new owners (since April), Katalyst Wind and Hawthorne Capital have retained the family name. The President of the reborn Hefler Forest Products is Stan Mason of Katalyst Wind. Continue reading

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Cellufuel wants access to Nova Scotia’s “Inactive Forests”

Cellufuel, the Nova Scotia business heavily backed by government funding that wants to produce synthetic fuels from forestry sources in Nova Scotia, has had to “shutter its plant and layoff staff” according to a news report by Devin Stevins in (July 27, 2017). (In 2013 Cellufuel forecast that it would be bringing in $200 million in annual revenue within 5-6 years.)

The news report cites CEO Chris Hooper as saying that the firm ”is planning to use the next several months to upgrade and retool systems with the goal of developing a plant capable of producing biofuel for 20 years straight”.

In the meantime, Hooper and allies (InnovaCorp, FPInnovations, Emera, BioApplied & the backing of NSDNR) continue to apply pressure to open up the faucet on the “fiber basket”. Hooper (cited in July 27, 2017; italics are mine):
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Glyphosate Nova Scotia continued, 2017

Free helicopter Clipart - Free Clipart Graphics, Images and Photos ...It’s glyphosate season again in Nova Scotia’s industrial softwood forests.

From NSE, Aug 1, 2017:

The Department of Environment has issued four new approvals for pesticide spraying covering about 1,654 hectares.
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New group of private woodlot owners and contractors in SW Nova Scotia challenge WestFor deal

Western Crown lands, modified from CPAWS map (2012). The province handed over cutting rights and management of these lands to WestFor, a consortium of 13 mills, in 2015 but has not yet signed a long term agreement.

An article by Brittany Wentzell in LighthouseNow reports on a meeting “held on July 19 in the Forties to address issues woodlot owners, foresters and contractors say they have faced since the consortium of 13 mills formed and began cutting on over 500,000 hectares of Southwestern crown land, most of which is former Bowater Mersey land.”

The meeting was hosted by Gerald Keddy, well known and respected as the MP for South Shore – St. Margaret’s for 18 years, also a woodlot owner, and Colin Hughes, owner of G&C Hughes Enterprises Ltd and Colin Hughes Forestry.

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Nova Scotia Harvest Plan Map Viewer update lists now include “Prescription Type”

Screen shot of the interactive Harvest Plan Map (above) and extracts from the Update List received by e-mail (below).
Click on image to get an enlarged version

In an unannounced but welcome improvement, the update lists that provide summary stats on the latest NSDNR harvest plan announcements now include a category titled “Prescription Type”.

These lists are received by e-mail after you sign up for notifications. No sign-up is required to access the Harvest Plan Map Viewer.

Previously, the lists (and the information available via the Harvest Plan Map Viewer) included only the “Harvest Type” with two types listed (clearcut & partial harvest) and one had to request the PTA (pre-treatment assessment) to find out what Prescription Type is being proposed.
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CPAWS report says we lag in land protection nationally and in Nova Scotia but sees signs of change

CPAWS, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, just published its latest annual report on the state of protected areas in Canada and is “is calling Canada out for ranking last among G7 countries in the percentage of land and freshwater protected for nature.” However, the report “highlights that Canadian governments are finally starting to take this commitment seriously after years of inaction.”

About Nova Scotia the report comments:
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Editorials and letters about forestry in Nova Scotia continued..July 25, 2017 & thoughts of a Silent Spring

“The thought of not being able to hear the ethereal flute-like song of a solitary hermit thrush at day’s end is most upsetting to me.”

Donna Crossland’s op-ed Slaying songbirds for woodchips in the CH July 22, 2017 (view post about it on this website) elicited two supportive, if sorrowful, letters in the CH July 25, 2017

From BG in Canning:

Donna Crossland’s article on songbirds (July 22) broke my heart and brought tears to my eyes… Will we never learn? So sad for our miraculous planet.

From VR in Yarmouth:

My sentiments echo Donna Crossland’s. I will be writing the minister of natural resources about this issue; I feel DNR is not motivated to change forestry practices…The thought of not being able to hear the ethereal flute-like song of a solitary hermit thrush at day’s end is most upsetting to me.

To me too.

View Voice of the People, CH July 25, 2017

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Low wood volumes harvested from Crown land explained

In an earlier post I had remarked on the apparently low wood volumes harvested from Crown land compared to private land in Nova Scotia, and that I had submitted a request to NSDNR for an explanation.

I received this explanation from Bruce Stewart, RPF, Acting Director, Forestry Division Manager, Forest Research & Planning, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources on July 27:
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