Letters and Op-eds May 14-17, 2018

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In OPINION: Forests provide for flora, fauna — and, yes, forgotten folks like me (Chronicle Herald, May 14, 2018), Stacie Carroll says that acorns can teach us about creating a plentiful future, while bemoaning what she sees as the devaluation of forest growers.

She seemed on the one-hand to hand to want to try to bring us all together, but on the other expressed a lot of bitterness towards critics of the forest industry in Nova Scotia. The thread of her piece is not easily identified. Continue reading

Posted in Fire, Letters&Editorials | Comments Off on Letters and Op-eds May 14-17, 2018

DNR confirms Loon Lake area cuts included Old Growth

Thanks for your straight talk & persistence, Danny George.

Danny George raised the alarm about cuts of Old Growth hardwoods in the Loon lake area in Feb, 2018

UPDATE (May 18, 2018): I located the link to the NSDNR report, courtesy of Tim Bousquet. View ADDENDUM
Also: Danny George (forester) and Margaret Miller (Minister of NR) were interviewed on CBC’s Info AM: Listen to Audio File.
And: Report finding old-forest cut indicates need for reform in Nova Scotia: criticCanadain Press, in halifaxtoday.com, May 18, 2018 – DNR Minister says “it was “unfair” to suggest the province isn’t providing enough oversight of the companies cutting the trees.”
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I recently commented on A few things we are waiting on, one of which was “some report from NSDNR on their assessment [of the Old Forest Status] of the Rocky Lake site and others in the Loon Lake area which they presumably conducted in late Feb/early March”.

That report has now been issued according to posts made today on CBC News and the Chronicle Herald, and it apparently confirms that some of the stands cut were indeed Old Growth.
Continue reading

Posted in Loon Lake, NSDNR, Old Growth, Show Us the Science | Comments Off on DNR confirms Loon Lake area cuts included Old Growth

Has the Report from the Independent Review been submitted to Nova Scotia Government? No.

I have been getting this question a lot recently, while we wait for the report following the presumably short extension announced April 30, 2018. Some have expressed concern that DNR is getting some advance notice about it so they are ready when it is released. Re-reading the DNR Press release, it might be seen as a bit ambiguous as to whether submission to government and the public are to occur simultaneously:

“Prof. Lahey will finalize his report once he has this input. He will then submit it to the minister and make it available to the public”

So I wrote Prof Lahey telling him about the concern and received an unequivocal response within the hour:

DP to BL, TS: …. I know it’s not a long time… but many people are asking about the report and there is a suspicion that DNR is getting an advance look before it is finally released. The DNR Press release is a bit ambiguous as to whether submission to government and the public are to occur simultaneously: “Prof. Lahey will finalize his report once he has this input. He will then submit it to the minister and make it available to the public”. Any clarification you might wish to make would be welcomed. –  DP

Response:… DNR and the public will receive the report at the same time. The only person at DNR who has seen the report is Tom. He needed to see it to help me as the Review’s secretariat. Thanks, Bill

Thanks for the clarification, Prof Lahey

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Posted in Independent Review | Comments Off on Has the Report from the Independent Review been submitted to Nova Scotia Government? No.

Nova Scotia contracts Western Climate Initiative Inc. to track GHGs for NS-only cap and trade system

NS Press Release (May 14, 2018);

Nova Scotia joined the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) Inc. today, May 14, as the province develops a new cap and trade carbon pricing program, required by the federal government by the end of the year.

We are joining the WCI Inc. to use its IT system to manage and track the new cap and trade program,” said Environment Minister Iain Rankin. “This will help us launch our program on time and tap into expertise across North America so that we can continue to be a national leader in fighting climate change.”

The province can join WCI Inc. and use its IT system without trading greenhouse gas emission allowances with other jurisdictions. There is no plan to trade outside the province at this time.
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Allan Eddy retains interests in biomass

Updated May 12, 2018

Biofuels have their flag wavers firmly embedded in government

Somehow or another I happened upon Senior Official’s Travel Expenses – Apr 1, 2017 to Mar 31, 2018 as at Apr 19, 2018, and noted that Allan Eddy – a Company Man (as former senior forester with NSP) who was Associate Deputy Minister of DNR for a period and was transferred to Agriculture and Fisheries and Aquaculture on Dec 12, 2016 where he became and still is Associate Deputy Minister* – chalked up some expenses for attending the Biorefinery Conference June 7-9, 2017.
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*May 12: Some confusion here: Allan Eddy is also listed as Executive Director of Corporate Strategic Initiatives (Finance and Treasury Board). On his linkedin profile it states “Allan Eddy joined the Nova Scotia Department of Finance and Treasury Board in July 2017. Previous to this position, he has served in a senior executive role in three previous departments.” So I guess he is no longer with Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture although he is still listed as Associate Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture (websites accessed May 12, 2018).

The website for that conference is no longer available, instead searches bring up Atlantic BIOCON 2018: GROWING THE BIOECONOMY IN ATLANTIC CANADA (Fredericton, New Brunswick on May 23rd and 24th, 2018). Key words splashed across the bottom of the program page for the upcoming conference are: biofuels – bioenergy – aquaculture – agriculture – forestry – marine
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Posted in Biomass, clearcuts | Comments Off on Allan Eddy retains interests in biomass

A few things we are waiting on

‘just wondering

In early March, NSDNR’s Bruce Stewart said they were investigating the Old Forest status of stands being cut in the Loon Lake area that Danny George contended were Old Growth, but we have heard nothing further.

Post modified on 11 May 2018

Besides the Report from the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia which we can expect any day now, there are a few items from NSDNR that we might have expected to hear about earlier:

– The Senior forester sought by Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, for which the closing date was 11/30/2017. The not-easy-to-find Forestry Staff Directory currently lists the position as “vacant”. Are they holding any announcement until after the report from the Independent Review is in because it’s another “Company Man“?  Or did they decide to wait on the Report from the Independent Review before filling the position to leave open the possibility of hiring someone more appropriate if the department is told to lessen the influence of big industry?  Or…?

– Some report from NSDNR on their assessment of the Rocky Lake site and others in the Loon Lake area which they presumably conducted in late Feb/early March: Continue reading

Posted in Biomass, NSDNR | Comments Off on A few things we are waiting on

Matt Dort’s Petition to Save The Northumberland Strait – Protect our Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout gains momentum

After listening to an interview with Matt Dort, I wanted both to drive to Pictou to protest, and buy a fishing rod!

The petition Save The Northumberland Strait – Protect our Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout, started by Northumberland shore sports fishing enthusiast Matt Dort about 3 weeks ago, is gaining momentum. Posted on change.org, it gained more 1000 supporters in the last day, reaching 12,167 as of 6:41 p.m. April 10, 2018.

Says Matt just a few minutes ago: “Today I downloaded the 12,000 + signatures and read the 37 pages of comments. People from all across Canada, US, Australia, Japan, Germany etc all KNOW THE STRAIT! Their comments are motivating, they see the value the Northumberland Strait offers and do not want it and it’s resources put at risk. So please continue to share this petition and create more awareness around the World!”

Some of the raison d’être for the petition given at change.org:
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Posted in Conservation, Economics, Pulp & Paper, Recreation | Comments Off on Matt Dort’s Petition to Save The Northumberland Strait – Protect our Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout gains momentum

Feedback sought on CCFM’s A Vision for Canada’s Forests: 2018 and Beyond

This message from Julie Towers, Deputy Minister, NSNDR has been circulating:

“The Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) is an important forum for the respective governments across Canada to discuss issues, exchange information, work cooperatively, provide leadership and generate actions on forestry related matters of interests to all Canadians.

“Our national vision for forests was last updated in 2008. Because you live, work, play and reflect in our forest ecosystems, we need your help to establish common aspirational goals for sustainable forest stewardship, to increase awareness of Canada’s forest management practices and to promote collaborative action.
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Posted in Social Values | Comments Off on Feedback sought on CCFM’s A Vision for Canada’s Forests: 2018 and Beyond

SMU Prof doesn’t think carbon offsets work but a recent analysis of the California carbon credits market suggests they do work

We need open, honest, non-personalized and non-politicized discussion of forest GHGs

Two approaches to forest management in Nova Scotia: LEFT: even aged management/short rotations. RIGHT: Selective harvesting, high standing volume and structural integrity is maintained. The latter but not the former would be eligible for carbon offset credits, which could make it the more attractive option for many small woodlot owners in NS, especially those with high volume/older forest stands.

CBC made a post based on a CBC Info Morning interview with Dale Prest: Carbon offsetting could preserve N.S. forests, but researchers raise concerns CBC, May 7, 2018.

The interview with Dale Prest was also the focus of post on nsforestnotes.ca a few days ago: Dale Prest on “Climate Forests” (Post, May 4, 2018).

The CBC post highlights the main points made by Dale Prest including Prest’s contention that when it comes to forests carbon offsets, Nova Scotia has some key advantages compared to Ontario and BC.

CBC also talked to Saint Mary’s University professor Kate Ervine who is critical of the concept of offsets. “She said the main issue with carbon offsetting is that it doesn’t address the principal source of additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: burning fossil fuels…They don’t actually lower their emissions, they’ve bought a credit.”
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Posted in Acadian Forest, Climate Change | Comments Off on SMU Prof doesn’t think carbon offsets work but a recent analysis of the California carbon credits market suggests they do work

Letters, Op-eds and news items May 1-5, 2018

On clearcutting, The Mill, biomass and carbon emissions, and politicans tripping over themseleves on environmental issues

There has been a steady stream of letters, op-eds, news items related to forests and forestry over the past week.

It’s hard to keep up with sometimes, but Mike Parker covers most of it in his Woods and Waters Nova Scotia (Facebook) posts, so I regularly check those out to see what I might have missed. Mike also mediates a civilized discussion of his posts, often newsy in themselves.

Here are some Letters, Op-eds and news items from the past week, for the record.
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Posted in Biomass, clearcuts, Climate Change, Conservation, Independent Review, Pulp & Paper | Comments Off on Letters, Op-eds and news items May 1-5, 2018