Report from the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia released

Prof Lahey has set a high standard for further discourse about our forests and forestry

A reader of NS Forest Notes waits outside the Legislature for release of the Report
Press Release

Independent Review News Updates: View Independent Review for News Items following release of the Report.
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Aug 21, 2018 Post

The Report from the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia was released officially at 11 a.m. this morning with posting of the report on the webpage for the Independent Review (the earlier content now replaced with links to The Report) and a media event held 11 am to 12 noon in the Media Room at One Government Place.
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Report from Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia to be released Tues Aug 21, 2018

Received by e-mail:

“University of King’s College president Bill Lahey will release his independent review of Nova Scotia forest practices on Tuesday, Aug. 21 at 11 a.m.

“The event will take place in the Media Room, One Government Place, 1700 Granville St., Halifax.”

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It’s not on the website for the Independent Review yet (6 p.m. Aug 17, 2018), but the message came to me as one of the groups and individuals who had met with the The Independent Review and one message to media was forwarded to me, so the media has it. So it’s for real.

In the meantime, the results of a review of the New Brunswick Liberal government’s “review of the previous provincial government’s forest management strategy…were announced Tuesday[Aug 14].” View Liberals’ 11th-hour forest strategy a product of talks — here and there by Connell Smith for CBC News Aug 17, 2018. “It was three years and 11 months coming, but big questions remain.”



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Public Accounts provide some numbers on Nova Scotia DNR Grants and Contributions to private industry

In checking up on some claims on a Facebook page about how many $ the NS Government sinks into one of our Industrial Forestry operations, I was directed to NS Public Accounts as one of the sources for the figures.

I wasn’t aware of how much info is provided by Public Accounts – and how much is not provided.

Volume 3 — Supplementary Information For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 lists for each Department of government:
– Salaries of all employees
– Travel Expense totals for each employee
– Grants and Contributions listed by recipients
– “Other” which I am guessing are fees p[aid for services.

For NSDNR (now NSLF) for the last fiscal year:
– The Salary total is $45,040,546.75
– The Travel Expense total is $1,562,604.69
– The Grants and Contributions total is $10,638,959.78
– The “Other” total is $20,427,423.21
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While we wait for the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia, Port Hawkesbury Paper hires ex-DNR forest bioenergy advocate

Government (post yesterday) and industrial forestry interests are hardly waiting for the Report from the Independent Review before going ahead with strategic decisions, it seems.

The latest: Former top bureaucrat at DNR lands job at Port Hawkesbury Paper (Aaron Beswick in the Chronicle Herald, Aug 14, 2018),

I wasn’t surprised, even if disappointed, when I read who PHP hired: Allan Eddy. In some form of musical chairs, top executives, amongst them Linda Pannozzo’s Company Men, move around between the forest industry, related Crown agencies or heavily government-dependent private entities, and the NS government, no matter the optics. (A variable: the number of chairs changes with the government of the day.) Continue reading

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While we wait for the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia, Lands & Forestry on the Hire

I hesitate to add the latest rumour about when the Report from the Independent Review will materialize, now it looks as though the last rumoured date (sometime this week) is likely to be untrue.

In the meantime, NS Lands and Forestry is on the hire for a “Policy Analyst” who “will support the planning and implementation of the Department’s major strategic policy initiatives, projects and associated action plans.”
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Lack of Info about locations, times of forest management herbicide spraying on Nova Scotia Environment website

Copy of Notification as posted on Woods and Waters NS this am.

UPDATE Aug 12, 2018: Residents seek clearer information from province on herbicide spraying
Mairin Prentiss for CBC News

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Woods and Waters NS has posted a copy of a notice about herbicide spraying by Northern Pulp, but as of yet, there is no information under Pesticide Applications Approvals on the NSE website.
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Free helicopter Clipart - Free Clipart Graphics, Images and Photos ...Funnily enough, coincidence or not, I had just made a comment on WWNS about the lack of info on the NSE site about 2018 spraying and begun this post and within minutes, six 2018 Pesticide Approvals appeared on the NSE website.

So the info is now there for MacMullin, JD Irving and Century Forestry Cos in Antigonish, Guysborough, Pictou, Colchester and Cumberland Cos, but at as I write, nothing for Northern Pulp spraying in Halifax, Colchester and Hants Co. The Approvals give the PIDs but do not state whether they are on Crown or Private Lands; presumably those posted are all on private lands.
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Nova Scotia forests, forestry and GHGs 2: Who accounts for the EU’s emissions from bioenergy generated from imported chips?

For chips from Canada, we do. Sort of. By not specifically addressing Land Use Changes associated with forest bioenergy in GHG accounting, industry and government avoid admitting that many of these schemes are net emitters of GHGs over timeframes  meaningful for climate mitigation. There are signs, however,  that the Europeans are recognizing serious problems with forest bioenergy sourced from North America.

UPDATE Aug 10, 2018: Responses to questions posed to Climate Change NS about LULUCF Accounting:
As indicated below I had some questions about LULUCF accounting that I said I would ask of Jason Hollett, Executive Director of Climate Change at Nova Scotia Environment. View Questions and Answers
The responses confirm my conclusion that Land Use Changes associated with forest bioenergy are not specifically addressed in GHG accounting related to Paris Agreement etc.

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.

I wrote about Peter Ritchie’s letter to Mr. Jason Hollett, Executive Director of Climate Change at Nova Scotia Environment and the response back on March 25 (view post), and envisaged that post as “the first in a series of posts in which I will try to get a handle on how forest management and the things we choose to produce from our forests affect our ability as a province to reduce the levels of GHGs (Greenhouse Gases) in our (global) atmosphere.”

As seems to happen whenever I get into this topic, I got bogged down with trying to comprehend the myriad of national and international regulations related to GHG emissions, and so it’s taken a while to get to #2 in the series.
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Gold Miners encroaching on The Big Animals’ Lands

Welcome to the Liscomb Game Sanctuary


UPDATE July 30, 2018: Mining industry seeks land swap mechanism Chronicle Herald, July 30, 2018. Like a stuck record…
– View DNR response to the same proposal last fall: DNR says no mining access to Nova Scotia’s wilderness areas (Aaron Beswick in the Chronicle Herald, Nov 8, 2017.
– View Op-Ed by Dale Smith OPINION: Mining lobby on wrong track with land-swap concept (June 22 in the Chronicle Herald), responding to Op-ed by Sean Kirby June 5, 2018: COMMENTARY: Mining sector needs flexibility with protected lands.

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An article in the Chronicle Herald reports that Atlantic Mining NS Corp (apparently belonging to Atlantic Gold) has filed documents for a federal EA (Environmental Assessment) of a proposed 250-hectare open-pit mine in the Liscomb Game Sanctuary. View:

Proposed gold mine in game sanctuary going to environmental assessment
Aaron Beswick in the Chronicle Herald (July 26, 2018)

Beswick reported earlier in the year that clearcutting, quarrying and gold exploration were occurring in the Liscomb Game Sanctuary. View

Nova Scotia’s game sanctuaries protect game, but not their habitat
Aaron Berwick for the Chronicle Herald, Feb 12, 2018.

I am guessing that Sean Kirby*, the alpha Executive Director of MANS, is looking at the mine proposed for the Liscomb Game Sanctary as a first concrete step in his efforts over the past year or so to get Protected Areas in NS opened to gold mining. Game Sanctuaries in Nova Scotia are kind of half way between unprotected and protected lands with the curious result, as Beswick wrote in Feb, that animals but not their habitat are protected in our Game Sanctuaries. (DNR thinking on that score may be similar to their thoughts about cats being more destructive to migratory birds than clearcutting – view Post, Jun 8, 2018) Continue reading

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More NSDNR research on Nova Scotia forest soils published in science journals but not publicized by NSDNR

And we continue to harvest intensively on landscapes with some of the poorest soils in North America, and NSDNR continues to be mum on the whole topic.

NSDNR’s soil scientist Kevin Keys continues to publish the results of his research on NS forest soils in recognized, peer reviewed scientific journals but otherwise the results of his highly relevant research have not yet been announced or otherwise translated into take-home messages on the NSDNR (soon to be NSLF) website.

In the fall of 2016, Keys published A Simple Geospatial Nutrient Budget Model for Assessing Forest Harvest Sustainability across Nova Scotia, Canada with a number of co-authors including 2nd author Joshua Noseworthy whose 2011 NSDNR supported thesis  on that topic was never highlighted or made available on the NSDNR website. Of particular note in the 2016 paper are data showing large declines in %BS (% Base Saturation) compared to earlier soil surveys (for 25 sites, the declines ranged from −37% to −82%)*. Very low %BS values (5-10%) are seen over a large part of the landscape, notably over most of SW Nova Scotia where new harvesting operations are focussed. They tested their model with site specific data for 25 plantations and found that “Based on comparisons with NBM-NS output, approximately 1/4 to 1/2 of the assessed plantation sites have non-sustainable MMAI yield expectations…”
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*The low values reflect unusually low amounts of base cations Ca++, Mg++ K+, important nutrients for the vegetation.
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Rumoured release date for release of the Report on the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia: week of Aug 13, 2018

As I said, a rumour.

It’s been circulating for several days now with no confirmation or denial from the Independent Review.



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