Topical MES thesis at Dal on woodland owners in Nova Scotia

Multi-aged, mixed Acadian forest on a private woodlot in Nova Scotia provides many ecosystem services

School for Resource and Environmental Studies
MES Thesis Defence

By Andrew W. Kekacs

Private, non-industrial woodland owners provide more than half of the timber used by Nova Scotia’s forest products industry. Research, however, suggests many of these owners do not consider income from timber sales to be their primary reason for owning woodland. This study aimed to reach a holistic understanding of their attitudes and motivations using walking interviews on the owners’ woodlands and a grounded theory approach to analysis, in which explanations of the phenomena under study are induced from the data rather than being based on responses to survey questions or derived from a priori hypotheses. Forest landowners interviewed for this research were most concerned with the conservation – and ultimately the conveyance – of values that provide them with no immediate economic returns. The high value placed on these “gifts to a future world” offers a new way to think about the design of programs meant to encourage active management of private forestland.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 @ 10:00 A.M.,
Room 5001, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building
6100 University Ave., Halifax, NS

From Andrew Kekacs LinkedIn profile (publicly available)
– Executive Director of NSWOOA Mar 2012-present
– Communications Director, Small Woodland Owners of Maine, 2007-2010
… University of Connecticut, BA in Journalism (1982); graduate level studies in economics at Trinity College, Hartford
“The [MES degree at Dal] builds on 30 years of experience in natural resources and sustainability issues. My thesis looks at the changing beliefs and motiviations of people who own small forested parcels in Nova Scotia. Other areas of study include environmental and social impact assessment, biodiversity conservation, and environmental informatics.”

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Crossland: federal Migratory Birds Convention Act ignored as habitat is cut for chips

In an opinion piece in the CH, Donna Crossland bemoans the destruction of bird habitat by clearcutting noting that

May-June are the most critical months for many forest songbirds, though most of us remain unaware of the rather frantic lives these tiny forest dwellers conduct, mating and raising families. No other habitat provides the particular insects these birds require.

The handsome wood warblers, such as blackburnian, northern parula, and black-throated green, cannot adapt to foraging in fields or dried up clearcuts, as they’re programmed to know only how to glean insects from a forest canopy.

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Clearcut Nova Scotia continued..17July2017 & how much wood can be harvested from one hectare

How much wood? Plenty, but not on 50-year rotations!

With promises of “the right balance” at some time in the future, clearcutting on Crown land continues unabated including cuts close to Protected Areas. The latest announcement cites plans for 48 parcels, 32 of which are 1-stage clearcuts, 15 are partial cuts. As usual, they include at least one cut on the border of a Protected Area, the one I viewed abutting Tidney River Wilderness Area in Queens Co. in southwest Nova Scotia. It is described as a Partial Harvest. (Most Partial Cuts in NS are shelterwood cuts which are considered 2-stage clearcuts by the feds; it’s possible this one is a selection cut – you have to request the PTA to find out).

In my last post, I cited some wood volumes for Nova Scotia and other provinces, and wondered about the exceptionally low volumes of wood harvested from our Crown lands in 2015 (77 m3/ha compared to 123 m3/ha on Private lands in Nova Scotia and values for Crown lands in other provinces in the range 107-319 m3/ha, BC highest).
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Private woodlot owners elsewhere want Nova Scotia’s deal with the U.S.

Low wood volumes from N.S. forests reflect short rotations

Nova Scotia, along with PEI and Newfoundland, has managed to maintain its exemption from U.S. softwood duties (still to be confirmed, however) on the basis that most of the wood comes from private land. Producers in Central and Western Canada obtain the bulk of their wood from Crown Land which is considered an unfair subsidy.
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Thurs July 28 – Sun July 30, 2017: Great Canadian Lumberjack Celebration

log drive“The Municipality of Barrington would like to extend an invitation to you to attend our Canada 150 event, The Great Canadian Lumberjack Celebration. Put on your Lumberjack red plaid as we celebrate the importance of the lumber industry and our local lumberjacks and how they have helped shape our Nation and community. Nova Scotia has always had a rich history and culture in the logging industry, including the Municipality of Barrington. The Barrington River was used for log driving, sending logs down the river to be milled in large part for the shipbuilding industry in Nova Scotia.”

It begins on Friday, July 28 – 7PM with a Screening, Stories and Songs of The Last Log Drive

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Thursday July 20th, 2017: Nova Scotia Forest on a Crossroad

Donna Crossland, a co-author with Bob Bancroft of Restoring the Health of Nova Scotia’s Forests (2010), will be talking about forests and forestry in Nova Scotia in the Community Room at MTRI (Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute) on Thursday July 20th at 4 p.m.

Donna Crossland was interviewed recently by CBC Halifax Information Morning in the 4th of a series on the state of forestry in Nova Scotia, and in particular controversies surrounding cutting on the Western Crown lands by the WestFor consortium.

Markus Zwicker, General Manager of WestFor Management Inc. who was also interviewed in the CBC series has been invited to talk about his perspectives sometime in the following weeks.

MTRI is a “non-profit co-operative with a mandate to promote sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity conservation in the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve and beyond through research, education, and the operation of a field station.” It is located near Kejimkujik National Park. View directions on the MTRI website for how to get there.

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CBC InfoA.M. attempts to sort out issues between smaller private owners and operators and the WestFor consortium – #4 A Forest Ecologist’s view

Stockpiles at the Biomass plant in Lower Sackville, N.S. Courtesy of Mike Parker.

Donna Crossland, a co-author of Restoring the Health of Nova Scotia’s Forests (2010), says we can’t maintain an Acadian forest on 50 year rotations.

CBC Halifax Information Morning has carried several lengthy interviews recently to do with the state of forestry in Nova Scotia, and in particular controversies surrounding cutting on the Western Crown lands by the WestFor consortium.

On June 27, Colin Hughes, owner of G&C Hughes Enterprises Ltd. and Colin Hughes Forestry, was interviewed. Hughes contended that cutting on Western Crown lands by the WestFor consortium is creating a fibre glut which is severely impacting smaller private owners and operators.

On June 28, the WestFor General manager was asked to respond. He defended WestFor’s forestry practices,

On June 29, Nova Scotia Natural Resources Deputy Minister Julie Towers was asked about the NS government’s stand on these issues. She said that Nova Scotia was harvesting only half of the trees that could be sustainably cut.

Today (July 11) forest ecologist Donna Crossland was asked to comment. For the record, an “abbreviated transcript” of the interview (posted online) is given below. I have appended some comments at the end.
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Posted in clearcuts, Climate Change, Conservation, Economics, Ecosystem Services, Letters&Editorials, NSDNR, Private Woodlots, Show Us the Science, WestFor | Leave a comment

July 28-30 workshop at HLC, Nova Scotia: Woodlot management as if biodiversity mattered

forest“Join three champions of intelligent forestry – author Jamie Simpson (“Restoring the Acadian Forest”), forest ecologist Donna Crossland, and forest carbon sequestration pioneer Dale Prest, for a weekend addressing the many ways forests benefit society – while absorbing practical knowledge for understanding and managing your own woodlot. Small class limited to 15. A few seats left.”

More on Content
“Participants in this year’s Backyard Forestry workshop will learn about basic forest ecology and how to work with a piece of land to encourage ecological and economical value. Topics covered will include: Identifying tree and shrub species, and their ecological roles in the forest; choosing which trees to cut and which trees to leave; how to promote wildlife habitat; what landowners can do to increase forest carbon storage; how our forests have changed, and what we can do to promote natural forests; what we can learn from natural disturbances in the forest; where to obtain funding for silviculture activities; legal issues such as wood theft and capital gains tax, and, the virtues of a “messy” woodlot.” Read more on HFC Website
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Posted in Acadian Forest, Biophilia, Conservation, Ecosystem Services, Natural History, Private Woodlots, Selection Harvest, Tree Harvests, Wildlife | Leave a comment

Clearcut Nova Scotia continued..4July2017 & highgrading at the landscape level

With promises of “the right balance” at some time in the future, clearcutting on Crown land continues unabated including cuts close to Protected Areas. The latest announcement cites plans for 67 parcels, 52 of which are 1-stage clearcuts, 15 are partial cuts. As usual, they include cuts on the border of a Protected Area, in this case that of the French River Wilderness Area in Victoria Co., Cape Breton.

The latest (July 4) and the previous (June 22) announcement give 40 days for review, while all earlier ones allowed only 20 days which is the standard interval cited on the description of the Harvest Operation Maps. The following information about this change was given in the e-mail that accompanied the list for the June 22 announcements:

Please note this change regarding the Harvest Plan Map Viewer: We are temporarily extending the commenting period for the planned forest harvests which are open for comment today on the Harvest Plan Map Viewer. This will ensure the department’s response to any concerns raised is not affected by this time of government transition. The expanded comment period will apply to harvest plans currently open for comments on the map viewer, and those that were closing for comments yesterday. It will also apply to new harvest plans added during today’s scheduled update. All these posted harvest plans will remain open to comments from the public for an additional period beyond the standard commenting period of twenty days. Concerns brought forward are considered during the planning process.

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MTRI hosting biodiversity workshop Fri July 14, 2017, Keji BioBlitz follows on 15th and 16th

Events over 3 days hosted by MTRI and Kejimkujik National Park in SW Nova Scotia provide a great opportunity for people to learn more about and share their knowledge about the plants and animals around us.

MTRI, the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, is based in Kempt, Queen’s County and is focused on biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve. The Biodiversity Workshop is their 6th annual science conference. It is being held July 14th at the North Queens Fire Hall in Caledonia, NS from 9:30am to 4pm. The workshop will cover 20 topics such as Ethnobotany with Tuma Young, Shrews, Voles, & Mice with Tom Herman, Forest Birds with Holly Lightfoot, Lichens and Mosses with Rob Cameron. View MTRI website for details, also on the poster at right (click on it to view a larger image).

Kejimkujik National Park is nearby and is hosting a BioBlitz on Juely 15 and 16. From the website:
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