Can we heal our landscape AND maintain wood supply as in the recent past or even grow the supply as contended by L&F/Minister Rankin? Where will the High production Forestry sites be placed in this landscape? The image is a screen capture from the NS Provincial Landscape Viewer (Nov 19, 2019) – the pale yellow is forest recovering from clearcuts. What remains of multi-aged/Old Forest (purple) is severely fragmented. From NSFN post post: “So many clearcuts” in SW Nova Scotia (continued) 20Nov2019
As Addie and Fred Campaingne pointed out, the fundamental principle underlying the Lahey recommendations is to redress the balance between commercial uses of forests and protecting ecosystems and biodiversity.
“In other words, I have concluded that protecting ecosystems and biodiversity should not be balanced against other objectives and values as if they were of equal weight or importance to those other objectives or values. Instead, protecting and enhancing ecosystems should be the objective (the outcome) of how we balance environmental, social, and economic objectives and values in practising forestry in Nova Scotia.” – William Lahey, Aug 2018
It looked for a brief moment in early Sepember of 2018 that L&F took this seriously, sending out in a directive to its industrial partners a set of precautionary measures that would have immediate negative impact on harvesting for the benefit of biodiversity. That lasted barely a week before it was retracted. On Oct 1, 2018, coincidentally or not the day the “new NAFTA” was agreed upon in principle, the province secretly signed a one year deal with Westfor that removed restrictions that had been applied when the Independent Review was announced (before the provincial election); the Report of the Independent Review was in (Aug 21, 2018) but not responded to by government, so logically the restrictions should have continued. There followed that fall and over the winter, a rash of harvesting and proposed or actual harvesting of old growth stands that created and is still causing widespread upset and public protest – just read the posts on this website from Nov 2018 to June 2019 and the Social Media Posts that began on Jan 16, 2019. To me, the epitome of L&F’s Forestry First priority and downplaying of biodiversity concerns is the continuing fiasco over the Dalhousie-Corbett Lakes forest.
Like many others who had placed some hope that L&F would actually implement the spirit of the Lahey Recommendations as well as the details, I have been dispirited by the course of events since the Lahey Report was received to the point that I now find it difficult to even read and think about L&F’s still unfolding response, let alone write about it.
L&F’s ‘High Production Forestry Discussion paper’ released on Feb 21, with responses due by March 16, 2020, did not help.
Yesterday, Addie & Fred Campaigne, residents of “high elevation (150m+) north Lunenburg county”, posted their response to the discussion paper on Stop Spraying & Clear-Cutting Nova Scotia (Public Facebook Group). It expresses the higher level concerns about losses of biodiversity and climate change that concern so many, and describes in detail the impacts that HPF would have on the local ecology and economy. It is knowledgable, thoughtful and passionate. They gave me permission to post it on NSFN. It begins: Continue reading
B for Biomass, Biofuel, Bioplastics, Biorefinery, Bioeconomy…
The first versions of Plan B emerged when the Bowater mill closed in 2012. It is still alive and well, mostly behind closed doors.
The Chronicle Herald seems to think that the Grandiose Scheme to replace the lost market for “low value wood” in NS following the demise of The Mill began with British-born entrepreneur Richard Spinks recent proposal to build a wood-pellet mill in Pictou County – “He thinks a wood-pellet mill could use all the chips Northern Pulp bought, perhaps more, and could find a market in Europe”.
However, an equally grandiose Plan B which involves some combination and permutation of Biomass, Bioplastics, Biofuel, Biorefinery and Bioeconomy and the like has been hanging around since the closure of the Bowater Mill in 2012 and before, pushed by Company Men who move back and forth between the Companies and government and NSDNR/L&F in particular as the companies fare better and worse.
View a history of Plan B on NSFN under Current Issues>BIOMASS/BIOFUELS & GHGs>Plan B/Biorefinery.
UPDATE Mar 12, 2020: The deadline has been extended to Mar 31, 2020 according to ML, who was sent an e-mail today (Mar 12) informing “key stakeholders” of the new deadline.
L&F issued its latest “Ecological Forestry Update / Lahey Implementation Update” on Feb 19, 2020. In it, the statement: “A discussion paper that provides the description and rationale for this proposal will be available on our website… for public comment today.”
It wasn’t there on the 19th, I didn’t check yesterday, but anyway it’s out today: View link to High production forestry criteria on the Ecological Forestry page.
The specific 26 page document is listed under Review Material: High Production Forestry Phase 1 – Discussion Paper (February, 2020)
The “Consultation Timeline”:
The public can submit to email@example.com. Please include “High Production Forestry” in the subject line. The consultation closes 13 March.
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.
Small scale wood chip-heating systems for public buildings are currently being fast-tracked by L&F as a partial substitute for The Mill as a market for low value wood, and touted as “carbon-friendly fuel“.
A much bolder vision is being promoted by British businessman Richard Spinks. He proposes
“…to develop a second generation biomass pellet manufacturing facility in Pictou County. The proposal targets an investment of $84 million Canadian, and would involve shipping 600,000 tonnes of product per annum within 12-18 months of project start
– from Pictou County Chamber: ‘Green’ business proposal could spell jobs for county by Jackie Jardin in pictouadvocate.com Feb 6, 2020.
The proposal has already been endorsed by Pictou County County Chamber of Commerce Chairman Blair Van Veld who is “over the moon” about it (Pictou Advocate Feb 6, 2020); it is also touted in a Feb 20 Chronicle Herald editorial.
It remains difficult to find out who does what at L&F
Date: Jan 27, 2020
Apply By: 2/10/2020
Lands and Forestry
Manager – Ecosystems and Habitats, Permanent, KENTVILLE
Competition # 23687
…As the Manager of Ecosystems and Habitats, you will lead a team of 6 scientists, technicians and specialists in wildlife habitat, modelling, ecology and GIS responsible for policy, research, legislation and management strategies for the stewardship of Nova Scotia’s ecosystems and wildlife habitats. You will provide leadership, scientific and management expertise and coordination on ecosystem and habitat issues in order to meet provincial, national and international objectives.
….You have a critical role in the implementation of ecological forestry and landscape level planning in Nova Scotia by collaborating with forestry specialists and contributing to the development of new forest management methods.
Screen capture from Supreme Court of Canada webpage (click on image to go to the page)
Received today from Don Wilson, who has written many op-eds about NS forestry in Saltwire publications (some cited on NSFN):
After the Pulp Mill
The Supreme Court of Canada web site has published it’s Dec 6, 2019 decision that says pulp mills are responsible for clean up of pollutant(s), not governments, irregardless of indemnity contracts previously given or signed.
That says volumes about the Northern Pulp Mill’s future.