Mon Apr 15, 2019: Extinction Rebellion Nova Scotia to demand a stop to burning of coal and forests for electricity

The initiative of Extinction Rebellion Nova Scotia to highlight Forest Biomass in the upcoming event is a breath of fresh air

Extinction Rebellion Nova Scotia, founded in November 2018, lifted off in Nova Scotia on Feb 17, 2019

On the afternoon of Sunday, February 17th, some one hundred and fifty adherents to international climate crisis movement Extinction Rebellion blocked traffic at several major intersections in downtown Halifax. Bearing large banners proclaiming “Climate Crisis” and “Extinction Rebellion”, the crowd waved multi-coloured flags with the group’s iconic empty hourglass symbol, chanted and sang classic songs like Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World’ and Joni Mitchell’s ‘Yellow Taxi Cab’. The group had alerted Halifax Regional Police to their intentions in advance… – NS Advocate

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Posted in Biomass, Climate Change | Comments Off on Mon Apr 15, 2019: Extinction Rebellion Nova Scotia to demand a stop to burning of coal and forests for electricity

L&F looking for Resource Specialist for the Crown land IRM planning process and wood supply forecasts 2Apr2019

From jobs.novascotia.ca

Resource Specialist
Date: Apr 1, 2019
Apply By: 4/15/2019
Lands and Forestry
Resource Specialist, Permanent, TRURO

“As the Resource Specialist, you are part of a multi-disciplinary Integrated Resource Management (IRM) natural resource/land use planning team. Using your unique modelling expertise and leadership skills, you will develop and provide resource analysis for the Crown land IRM planning process and wood supply forecasts for forested lands…
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Posted in Ind Rev Post-Report, L&F, Landscape Level Planning, Tree Harvests | Comments Off on L&F looking for Resource Specialist for the Crown land IRM planning process and wood supply forecasts 2Apr2019

In the works: EAs for Forestry in Nova Scotia 30Mar2019

Just how the Forestry EA process materializes and works could have a huge impact on the politics of forestry in NS. It’s definitely an item to keep an eye on.

EAs for Forestry are a key recommendation of the Lahey Report

It’s encouraging to see the EA (Environmental Assessment) process do at least some of what it is supposed to do (re: recent decision on The Pipe EA). Premier McNeil has been very consistent in his position on closing Boat Harbour come Hell or High Water, and I am sure that helped.

Regardless, The Pipe EA shows that even  Class 1 EAs, which account for most Nova Scotia EAs, have a lot of internal rigour* and can be used effectively to ‘protect the environment’, if the political will is also there. In this age of Extinction Rebellion and the urgency to slow climate change, EAs are an existing tool we need to make work for us more broadly.
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*The published EAs involve field and literature surveys by people who really know their stuff and provide a lot of documentation on the geology, ecology, species etc; independently of the EA process and any politics involved, they are valuable sources of info on the natural history of the areas investigated.

Hence one item I looked for when L&F released its Mar 26, 2019 progress report  on their work to implement recommendations of the “Lahey Report” was anything related to EAs  for forestry. It was reported on as one of two items listed under ‘Other:
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Posted in Ind Rev Post-Report, Independent Review, Show Us the Science, Social Values | Comments Off on In the works: EAs for Forestry in Nova Scotia 30Mar2019

A plea to cease cutting the Corbett-Dalhousie Lakes forest and similar remaining forests in Nova Scotia 26Mar2019

“I have spoken with a couple of forestry people who tell me that, in their opinion, the Corbett-Dalhousie forest is unique among what remains of our Crown land forests in Annapolis County.”

Photo from Annapolis Royal & Area – Environment & Ecology illustrates some of the intact forest

Update Mar 27, 2019:
View Ground Truthing – Group plans to walk the woods; hopes observations, reports will save Crown forests
Lawrence Powell in Annapolis County Spectator, Mar 27, 2019

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Bev Wigney, writing today on Annapolis Royal & Area – Environment & Ecology:

“EMAIL sent to INFORMATION MORNING just now:

“I appreciated hearing the interview with Bill Lahey and his explanation of the differing management strategies for multi-aged Acadian Forest versus softwood forests that are more prone to disturbance regimes. I think I may speak for many of us — the “groups” or “individuals” whom Minister Rankin referred to on March 25th — those who are very concerned about the unabated clear-cutting in the wake of the Lahey Report. It’s not that we have no grasp of forestry, but that we have lost whatever faith we had in the consultative process to determine which forest stands should be subjected to aggressive harvest prescriptions.
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Posted in Acadian Forest, L&F, Old Growth, Social Media | Comments Off on A plea to cease cutting the Corbett-Dalhousie Lakes forest and similar remaining forests in Nova Scotia 26Mar2019

Nova Scotia AG Report on followup of 2015/6 recommendations: zero of 5 recs completed for Species at Risk 26Mar2019

From: Report of the Auditor General to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, Follow-up of 2015 and 2016 Recommendations (submitted March 26, 2019):

1.10 The following recommendations from our 2016 species at risk audit have not been completed. The Department of Lands and Forestry needs to
• establish recovery teams, and develop and review recovery and management plans for species at risk, as required under the Endangered Species Act
• implement a process for communicating with recovery teams, including the method of communication and response time. Natural Resources management should tell teams how they plan to address the concerns teams identify or why changes will not be made Continue reading

Posted in Conservation, L&F | Comments Off on Nova Scotia AG Report on followup of 2015/6 recommendations: zero of 5 recs completed for Species at Risk 26Mar2019

A letter to Information Morning (Nova Scotia) 22Mar2019

“And what of nesting owls?”, asks Bev Wigney. “It’s nesting season for them right now, and yet the logging crews are already back in the woods”

From an earlier post by BW, about Super Canopy Trees

From Naturalist Bev Wigney on Annapolis Royal & Area – Environment & Ecology (Public Facebook Group):

“Thanks for airing yesterday’s interview with Carmen Williams. He speaks for many of us living in rural communities throughout the province. Our communities are being ravaged by the relentless and frantic hacking down of Crown land forests. When we try to speak out against it, we are ignored by government and industry.

“What are we doing to the forests, the wildlife, and to biodiversity? Sure, we can “regrow” a hacked down forest – of sorts – in 50 or 60 years — but it will not have the biodiversity that it once possessed Its ecology is entirely changed and can’t be “restored” in decades — it takes more like centuries. And what of the animals? We all know full well that they are being displaced. Anyone who denies this is being disingenuous.

“How else to explain herds of deer living in our towns now? Or bears with cubs hanging around the periphery of people’s properties after being terrorized by logging machinery operating in their “home” forests.
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Posted in Acadian Forest, clearcuts, Social Values | Comments Off on A letter to Information Morning (Nova Scotia) 22Mar2019

Variety of summer student/seasonal field jobs available via L&F, other gov agencies 20Mar2019

UPDATE Mar 27, 2019, another position:
Summer Student (Land Survey Resource Worker)
Apply By: 4/10/2019
Lands and Forestry
“As a Land Survey Resource Worker with Lands and Forestry, you will assist us with our ongoing program to coordinate existing Crown survey corners. You will be responsible for searching title to land being investigated, interpreting occupation and ownership evidence on aerial photography, satellite imagery and existing Crown Land Grant mapping.” (3 positions)

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Original Post:

Some recent listings on jobs.novascotia.ca:

Forestry Technician 1(A)-(B), Seasonal, TRUROTruro, NS
Apply By: 4/1/2019
Lands and Forestry

Summer Student (Natural Resource Education & Outreach)
Apply By: 3/27/2019
Lands and Forestry
Summer Student (Natural Resource Education & Outreach), Student, MIDDLE MUSQUODOBOIT

Nature Interpreter (Clerk 2)
Apply By: 3/28/2019
Lands and Forestry
Nature Interpreter (Clerk 2), Temporary, SHUBENACADIE
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Posted in Fire, L&F, Wildlife | Comments Off on Variety of summer student/seasonal field jobs available via L&F, other gov agencies 20Mar2019

Time for Nova Scotia Government to come clean on forest bioenergy feedstocks 19Mar2019

The film Burned that is making the rounds in NS and elsewhere is NOT about forest bioenergy facilities for which most of the feedstocks are genuine wood processing wastes. It’s about forest bioenergy facilities for which most of the feedstocks are from clearcuts and are wreaking havoc upon forest biodiversity and forests’ storage of carbon. What’s the case in Nova Scotia?

UPDATE Apr 18, 2019: more reasons for a proper accounting:
Forest Confidential
Linda Pannozzo in the Halifax Examiner (Subscriptton required, $10/mo, for access to full article) “AN INVESTIGATION INTO NOVA SCOTIA’S BIOMASS HARVEST DATA AND HOW THE NUMBERS AREN’T ADDING UP”
Apr 13, 2019

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warming GHGsIn a response to a recent letter from a Nova Scotian expressing concern about trees being cut to feed forest bioenergy facilities, L&F Minister Rankin borrowed a line from the Feds (“Most forest biomass being used for bioenergy in Canada is produced from waste or residues from manufacturing processes”).

From the letter (to the Premier):

The biomass industry claims that biomass is sourced from waste wood, that is not commercially valuable, but the evidence on the ground has proven otherwise. As a long time rural resident, I see and hear what has been happening, 24/7 for years. As rural residents, we are on the front lines of this industry.

From  Minister Rankin’s reply (bolding mine):

Most of the material used in the province in cogeneration facilities such as the Nova Scotia Power plant in Port Hawkesbury and the Emera plant in Brooklyn is waste product from sawmills and paper mills in the form of bark, sawdust, etc., with only a small amount coming directly from forestry operations.

Read the extended correspondence below.
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Posted in Biomass, clearcuts, Show Us the Science | Comments Off on Time for Nova Scotia Government to come clean on forest bioenergy feedstocks 19Mar2019

Pannozzo on why big Nova Scotia sawmills’ are so supportive of pulp&paper/clearcutting 17Mar2019

It’s no accident the Big Mills (WestFor) are focussed on SW Nova Scotia. Map shows the distribution of forest in 5 development stages across Nova Scotia, compiled from NS Landscape Map Viewer. Purple = Multi-aged/Old Forest. View Larger version

In a superb piece of investigative journalism, Linda Pannozzo has answered a question I have long wondered about: why are the larger sawmills in NS so supportive of Industrial Forestry/clearcutting when it seems clear that in the longer run those practices undermine the supply of larger diameter logs for sawmills?

The conclusion I had come to was that given there are still some sizeable chunks of forest stands significantly older than 40-60 years, notably in SW Nova Scotia, clearcutting can still provide larger diameter logs to sawmills and do it at lower expense than selective cutting (at least as long as there is a market for  the smaller stuff) and it is the current bottom line that reigns supreme in our industrialized society; technology will take care of the future, e.g. by manufacture of synthetic woods not dependent on large diameter logs.

That may be true as a first approximation, but Linda Pannozzo has provided a much more nuanced explanation to do with improvement in the efficiency of sawmills concurrent with falling diameters of logs, and a shift in the production of chips from the pulp mills to the sawmills.

View Pulp Culture: How Nova Scotia’s Faustian bargain with the pulp industry may leave the sawmills in ruins
Linda Pannozzo in Halifax Examiner (subscription required for full article; precis in Morning File for Mar 13, 2019.).  For anyone who like myself is struggling to understand forestry in NS, it’s well worth the $10 monthly subscription for access to the full article.


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Posted in clearcuts, Pulp & Paper, WestFor | Comments Off on Pannozzo on why big Nova Scotia sawmills’ are so supportive of pulp&paper/clearcutting 17Mar2019

Nova Scotia L&F Minister Rankin: “clearcut is just a layman term” 14Mar2019

And Mr. Rankin, what exactly is wrong with language for the laypeople?

Any answer will do

From Lands And Forestry Reverses Some Changes To Harvest Plan Map Viewer
Brittany Wentzell for www.ckbw.ca, Mar 12, 2019:

…Some also criticized the removal of the term clearcut from the map, saying the move shows a lack of transparency by the department.

However, Rankin says the terms used on the map legend are more accurate and better align with the Forest Management Guide.”Rather than the debate and the consternation around clearcutting and partial harvest, we are focused on exactly what the prescription is.” He says clearcut is just a layman term, mostly for overstory removal.

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Posted in clearcuts | Comments Off on Nova Scotia L&F Minister Rankin: “clearcut is just a layman term” 14Mar2019