The Nova Scotia Forest “Disturbance Paper” is out, also a paper on Borealization of the Acadian forest 31Aug2020

A “Natural Disturbance” (wind) uprooted this tree

While most of the L&F’s priority Projects addressing the Lahey recommendations appear to have lagged well behind the initial schedules posted on June 25, 2019, at least one clearly has not: the Natural Disturbance Regimes Project.

From the June 25, 2019 L&F Ecological Forestry webpage:

Natural Disturbance Regimes

  • The department will publish a peer-reviewed assessment of Nova Scotia’s natural disturbance agents, like fires, floods, insect infestations and large storms.
  • Professor Lahey recommended peer review of the department’s Natural Disturbance Regime methodology and mapping. Prior to undertaking this work the department will prepare a foundational paper on the natural disturbance agents for peer review.
  • The assessment will be ready to be submitted for peer review this fall.
  • This paper would then set the stage for a second paper specific to the mapping and methodology.
  • The project team is led by Mark Pulsifer. The team includes department staff with expertise in the field, landscape level planning, biodiversity and resource management planning.
  • Dr. David McLean and Dr. Anthony Taylor are external experts advising the project team. Dr. MacLean is Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Forestry & Environmental Management, University of New Brunswick. Dr. Anthony Taylor is a forest ecologist with the Atlantic Forestry Centre, Fredericton.

I have just learned via the Medway Community Co-op Facebook Page that the paper cited above  is now publicly available and can be downloaded free of charge from Environmental Reviews.  View: Continue reading

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Medway Community Forest Co-op posts detailed plans for its proposed harvests/management of Crown land blocks 31Aug2020

Complete with photographs and detailed maps. View Harvest Blocks Open for Comment – August 2020

I guess the question could be asked, why is such info not routinely made available for all proposed harvests of our Crown lands, paid for by those who benefit directly from the harvests?
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An assessment of Nova Scotia L&F’s progress in implementing Ecological Forestry in response to the Lahey Report, Part 2: The HPF and FMG projects 27Aug2020

It seems there is still a long way to go before they hatch. In the meantime, logging on Crown land continues pretty well unabated.

The Report from the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia (the “Lahey Report”)  was released on Aug 21, 2018.
View L&F: Ecological Forestry Implementation for the report and the L&F response to date.

In a recent CBC interview, the L&F Minister of Lands & Forestry was asked how he would “evaluate the progress L&F  has made since the Lahey Report was submitted 2 years ago and “what is a reasonable expectation for the public in terms of when they might start seeing some measurable progress on some of the larger goals in this report?”

The Minister responded:

The progress has been significant when you look at the resources that have been put into the project teams and the fact that most recommendations are advancing out of the 45…we are seeing a lot more long-lived shade-tolerant species being left on the ground which is a cost to government and to industry, they have had challenges around that, they not as vocal as the side that wants to see no clearcutting.  (From Abbreviated Transcript)

In a previous post (Aug 25, 2020), I commented on the second part of the Minister’s response: “we are seeing a lot more long-lived shade-tolerant species being left on the ground which is a cost to government and to industry, they have had challenges around that, they not as vocal as the side that wants to see no clearcutting.”

In this post and in the next, final post on the topic, I comment on  how the Projects referred to by the Minister are progressing, at least to the extent that can discerned from the outside.
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Posted in Ind Rev Post-Report, L&F | Comments Off on An assessment of Nova Scotia L&F’s progress in implementing Ecological Forestry in response to the Lahey Report, Part 2: The HPF and FMG projects 27Aug2020

Some good news about forests in Nova Scotia for a change 25Aug2020

Elizabeth Chiu interviews Olga Comeau for CBC Nova Scotia News, Aug 24, 2020


Update Aug 29, 2020: Olga Comeau, Organizer for the Protected Community Forest announced “We did it!! Thanks to everyone near and far that helped us spread the word about our fundraiser to save a forest.” Also, “The land is taxable (HST $12,500) since it is owned by a company, so we will leave the fundraiser open for another week. There have been some generous donations of art by local and further afield artists for an online auction that we will have set up in the coming week that we hope will raise enough to cover the tax and legal fees for the sale…There have been some generous donations of art by local and further afield artists for an online auction that we will have set up in the coming week that we hope will raise enough to cover the tax and legal fees for the sale. We are in the process of setting up a not for profit society to hold the land and any future lands that may be saved.”
——–

I commented in a post a couple of days ago that ” I keep looking for positive news about forests and forestry in NS. ‘Hard to come by.'”

Well some good news came yesterday evening via a CBC News story about the efforts of some North Mountain residents in Annapolis Co. to save 50 acres of mature forest from clearcutting. I had made an entry about this effort on June 29, 2020 on under Social Media when they had crowd funded $23,184 of the $80k they needed to purchase the land.

Olga Comeau, who organized the crowd funding, was interviewed by Elizabeth Chiu on CBC’s Nova Scotia News for Aug 24, 2020, with footage also from the piece of forest they want to protect.  Olga talked about her reasons for wanting to protect this piece of forest and told viewers that they are close to reaching their goal.  See CBC News Video, 20.00-24.00 min
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Posted in Acadian Forest, clearcuts, Conservation, Social Media | Comments Off on Some good news about forests in Nova Scotia for a change 25Aug2020

An assessment of Nova Scotia L&F’s progress in implementing Ecological Forestry in response to the Lahey Report, Part 1: what do we see ‘on the ground’? 25Aug2020

Is some of the progress semantic? Top figure from DNR: An operational clearcut definition (2012), bottom from L&F Forestry Maps, 2019
L&F stopped using the term clearcut in 2019.
Click on image for larger version

In a recent CBC interview, the L&F Minister of Lands & Forestry was asked how he would “evaluate the progress L&F  has made since the Lahey Report was submitted 2 years ago and “what is a reasonable expectation for the public in terms of when they might start seeing some measurable progress on some of the larger goals in this report?”

The Minister responded:

The progress has been significant when you look at the resources that have been put into the project teams and the fact that most recommendations are advancing out of the 45…we are seeing a lot more long-lived shade-tolerant species being left on the ground which is a cost to government and to industry, they have had challenges around that, they not as vocal as the side that wants to see no clearcutting.  (From Abbreviated Transcript)

In this (Part 1) and two subsequent posts, I will give my evaluation of or at least my thoughts about the Minister’s response.
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Posted in clearcuts, Ind Rev Post-Report, L&F, NSDNR | Comments Off on An assessment of Nova Scotia L&F’s progress in implementing Ecological Forestry in response to the Lahey Report, Part 1: what do we see ‘on the ground’? 25Aug2020

Nova Scotia L&F Minister responds to critics: “The progress has been significant when you look at the resources that have been put into the project teams” 23Aug2020

CBC’s Information Morning recently conducted  interviews with Shelly Hipson (Aug 10, 2020) and  Raymond Plourde ( Aug 11, 2020) about their thoughts and concerns as we approach the 2-year anniversary of the “Lahey Report”.

On Aug 19, 2020, Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin was interviewed and asked to respond to  concerns  expressed in those interviews. As well,  the Minister was asked about renewal of the WestFor Agreement and when the review of progress by Prof Lahey could be expected. View/listen to  Forestry Minister Responds (audio), CBC, Aug 19, 2020.

Following is an Abbreviated Transcript* of the Interview with Minister Rankin Continue reading

Posted in Ind Rev Post-Report, WestFor | Comments Off on Nova Scotia L&F Minister responds to critics: “The progress has been significant when you look at the resources that have been put into the project teams” 23Aug2020

I rented a cottage for a month in the wilds of Nova Scotia, just south of Kejimkujik Park… it seemed that everywhere I went I witnessed extreme devastation to our land…clear cutting everywhere

So Said JFS on Stop Spraying & Clear-Cutting Nova Scotia (Public Facebook group), today (Aug 22, 2020).

Here is the full statement:

I rented a cottage for a month in the wilds of Nova Scotia, just south of Kejimkujik Park. On my daily hiking trips, it seemed that everywhere I went I witnessed extreme devastation to our land…clear cutting everywhere, with not a single bit of reforestation. It was truly heartbreaking. And do they really think that a couple of rows of trees by the roadside hides the destruction?

Perhaps it was on private land, perhaps on Crown. No matter, the impacts are the same, only more painful when it is on our (public) land.
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Two years after Lahey Report, L&F Minister Rankin again confirms that L&F’s priority for our Crown lands is logging 20Aug2020

To be continued

Please don’t ask me how I intend to respond. I am an old man now.

Ask the next generation, our children, our grandchildren.

Ask the Mi’kmaq peoples who stewarded our lands over 1000s of years before us, the settlers, and through all of our colonization, have retained their sense of the land that once nourished us all.

I don’t know if Minister Rankin sees the contradictions in his own statements, as reported in a recent CBC post by Michael Gorman – Lands and Forestry minister says province committed to Lahey Report recommendations, CBC Aug 19.

On the one hand we hear that

As changes are made, Rankin said his expectation remains that biodiversity value and nature will come first.

Then,

“We’re talking about leveraging higher volumes of that low-value pulp wood, both private and Crown land,” he said. “When those things are in place, then you’ll see more opportunity for partial harvesting on both private and Crown [land].”

So no, biodiversity value and nature are not coming first, rather we can expect to see “more opportunity for partial harvesting” [which the Minister is apparently equating with Ecological Forestry] only after the government is able to leverage “higher volumes of that low-value pulp wood”.
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Nova Scotia L&F’s response to the Lahey recommendations has been to “Talk and Log, Study and Log, Research and Consider Policy Changes but Continue to Log” 14Aug2020

Raymond Plourde (EAC Photo)

So said Raymond Plourde on Information Morning in the second of two interviews with Nova Scotians discussing NS forestry as we approach the second anniversary of Lahey report.

Plourde says it’s feeling more and more like the response (or lack of response) that followed the Natural Resources Strategy recommendations of 2010.

View/Listen to Activists concerned with delays in implementing Lahey Report recommendations (Information Morning interview with Raymond Plourde on Aug 11, 2020) or read an “Abbreviated Transcript” of the interview below.
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Posted in Acadian Forest, clearcuts, Ind Rev Post-Report | Comments Off on Nova Scotia L&F’s response to the Lahey recommendations has been to “Talk and Log, Study and Log, Research and Consider Policy Changes but Continue to Log” 14Aug2020

Two years after the Lahey Report, Nova Scotians are increasingly “saddened, frustrated and angry at what they see in the woods” 13Aug2020

Logo for People for Ecological Forestry in Southwest Nova Scotia

Just prior to the last provincial election, the Liberals promised an ‘Independent Review of Forestry in NS’ in response to ever more vocal and widespread discontent with extensive  clearcutting in NS. The Liberals won the election and asked Prof William Lahey, a lawyer and President of King’s College to head such a review (Post, Aug 31, 2017).

The forestry review kicked off in September of 2017;  Prof. Lahey submitted his report  on Aug 21, 2018; it was simultaneously made public, as requested by Prof Lahay.

A lot has changed since Lahey submitted his report, as recorded  on this blog,  but not in the woods.
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Posted in Acadian Forest, clearcuts, Conservation, Social Media, Social Values | Comments Off on Two years after the Lahey Report, Nova Scotians are increasingly “saddened, frustrated and angry at what they see in the woods” 13Aug2020