Sustainable Forest Management Canada Summary Documents
Documents on the website of Sustainable Forest Management Canada provide for each province stats on area forested, ownership, and information and links to documents pertaining to
– Forest governance
– Forest management legislation and regulations
– Timber processing legislation and regulations
– Forest Certification
Manitoba – apparently no page*
*But see Manitoba’s forest policy regime: Incremental change, concepts, actors and relationship Jodi Griffith et al., 2015.
Forestry practices in central and southern Ontario, according to Minga O’Brien, “are miles ahead of the rest of the country. The bulk of the harvesting is by selection management and they get far more value added per cubic meter of harvested wood than in any other province; next would be Quebec while Nova Scotia is close to the bottom. These practices generate more wealth and do a much better job of maintaining forest ecosystems in the process.” Minga talks about the Tree Bylaws in Ontario which can be implemented by counties, regional governments, cities and towns. Legislation enabling such bylaws has been in place since 1946! See Tree Marking – why not in Nova Scotia? (Post on this website, Nov 1, 2016)
Tree Bylaw Information Package
Forest Conservation By-laws in Ontario
“This extension note provides general information on the purpose and use of Forest Conservation By-laws and their role in private land forest management.”
Québec’s Forest System
Description of the overall approach to forest management in Quebec. “Companies that are authorized to harvest timber in the public forests must first prepare a general forest management plan (GFMP)..In future, the forestry companies must invite the RCMs [regional county municipality], wildlife area managers and Native communities to take part in the GFMP preparation process. This new rule is designed to make sure the individuals and organizations that use the forests know one another and have an opportunity to talk about how to harmonize their activities. The GFMPs are made available to the general public before being approved by the Minister.” See Understanding the forest and its management page for links to recent changes in regulations etc.
Survey and Analysis of Local Forestry-Related Ordinances in the Northeast, Mid-West and Western United States
Thesis by William F. Johnson, 2003.”In the United States, federal, state, and local forest policies affect many aspects of the forest industry. Regulations from all levels dictate how resource professionals manage the forest resources of the country. This study examines state and local regulatory relationships with a primary focus on local regulations in the Northeast, MidWest, and western regions of the United States. A total of 388 local forestry ordinances were identified among the 35 states of the Northeast, Mid-West, and western regions of the United States. The Northeast contains the majority of local forest ordinances with 351. These ordinances are distributed among 8 states and many small local government types…The presence of local regulations has existed for over 30 years, and there are indications that they will have an even greater impact on forest management in the future.
USA – Vermont
“In 1997, the Vermont Legislature passed H.536 (Act 15), known as Vermont’s “Heavy Cut” law, V.S.A.10 Chapter 83 § 2625, to regulate heavy cutting/clear-cutting of forestland in Vermont. The law requires landowners who intend to conduct a heavy cut of 40 acres or more on land owned or controlled by the landowner to file a “Notice of Intent to Cut” with the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR). Landowners heavy cutting more than 80acres within a 2-mile radius must also file a “Notice of Intent to Cut.” The law defines heavy cutting as a harvest which leaves a residual stocking level of acceptable growing stock below the “C-line”, as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture silvicultural stocking guides.
View Vermont Harvesting Laws
Maine introduced strict regulations on clearcutting in 1989 via the Forest Practices Act, this in a state where only 6% of the land is owned by the state. There is a lot we can learn from their attitudes and experience, especially given broad similarity of landscapes and forests to Nova Scotia. View materials listed under Maine on this website.
While large clearcuts have been reduced, there has been a very large increase in small clearcuts and more roads to access those small cuts, fragmenting the landscape. Lack of appropriate silviculture following partial cuts in Maine has also been a problem (is it in NS?).
We can learn from the studies of wildlife biologists* on effects of selection harvesting in Maine on various species and their prescriptions for managing selection cuts for the greatest conservation benefits. * See, for example: Fuller, A.K. and Harrison, D.J. 2005. Influence of partial timber harvesting on American martens in north‐central Maine The Journal of Wildlife Management, 69: 710‐722. Campbell, S.P. et al. 2005. Long‐term effects of group‐selection timber harvesting on abundance of forest birds. Conservation Biology 21: 1218–1229.
As I see it, the Maine experience illustrates that it is very difficult if not impossible to maintain high levels of harvesting for pulp and paper (or equivalent levels of harvesting for bioenergy or other products which involve low value wood/short rotations) and resolve ecological issues associated with such harvesting whether in fewer large patches or many small patches. Ultimately, we need to significantly reduce total clearcutting/short rotations if we want to protect biodiversity and maximize carbon capture, e.g. by increasing the rotation length between clearcuts (for NS, from 50 to 100 years) and by more selection cutting/multi-age management in place of clearcuts/even-aged management.