Independent Review

Update, Nov 30, 2021: Prof Lahey’s ‘Progress Report’ on L&F/NRR’s implementation of his 2018 recommendations is released. There are two volumes:

Independent Evaluation of Implementation of the Forest Practices Report for Nova Scotia
Attachments to the Independent Evaluation of Implementation of the Forest Practices Report for Nova Scotia

Update Nov 14, 2019: “Bill Lahey has provided an update on his approach for conducting an evaluation of the department’s implementation efforts: Lahey-Evaluation I am assisting him in this, as I did during the Review. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.” – from Tom Soehl Nov 14, 2019

Update Oct 18, 2019: Nova Scotia L&F announces Ministerial Committee to advise on implementation of Lahey recommendations 18Oct2019
(Post on NSFN)

A promise to “appoint an independent expert to review our forestry practices”  was first cited publicly as an item in the Liberal’s pre-election budget address on April 17, 2017. The Liberals won the election and on Aug 30, 2017 the government announced the review was beginning, that it would be headed up by University of King’s College President William Lahey and that it would take place in three phases with a final report on February 28, 2018.

The Report from the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia, now known more colloquially as the “Lahey Report”  was released on  Aug 21, 2018 in two volumes:

An Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia: Executive Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
By William Lahey. 82 pages

An Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia: Addendum
“This addendum to Professor William Lahey’s Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia includes background material and supporting documents prepared by the expert advisors who provided assistance to the Review. The writing of each section of this addendum has been led by the named author(s). All sections have been reviewed by other members of the Review team. In addition, this addendum includes an appendix of submissions that were prepared at Prof. Lahey’s request by other individuals and organizations.”

The NS Government issued its response to The Review on Dec 3, 2018, in two volumes:

Government Response To the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia
6 pages

Interim Retention Guide Nova Scotia Crown Land
6 pages

Also view Press Release, NSFN Post, and CBC Report.
From the CBC Report:

…And while Lahey predicted less clear cutting would lead to a reduction of Crown land wood supply of 10 to 20 per cent, Rankin disagreed.

“We believe that we can sustainably grow this industry.”

Subsequently, Lands and Forestry provided updates to their response to the Independent Review on the same webpage that had hosted info about the review as it proceeded under the title “Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia”, retitling the page at some point as “Ecological Forestry Implementation“.

Chapter 1 in the AddendumForest Practices Review Process, prepared by David Foster, provides a summary of the Independent Review process.

Posts on this website provide some of the history and context leading up to the independent Review – see Independent Review>News Items – and subsequently.

The Lahey Report echoed many of the recommendations by Bob Bancroft and Donna Crossland (2010) as part of the Natural Resources Strategy, notably in recognizing excessive clearcutting in NS, and the need to adopt in their words, ” an ecologically based, multi-aged forest management paradigm”.

Overall the Lahey Report has received strong support form conservation groups and the more ecologically oriented forestry groups (notably NSWOOA), with some reservations, e.g. as I expressed here.

However, subsequent to the release of the Lahey Report and up to now (Aug 2019), there has been little evidence of change on-the-ground except, apparently, for a rush to harvest as much as possible before real changes are required by L&F. There has been a great deal of public protest about ongoing practices and emergence of several very knowledgable and vocal groups on Social Media.

The possible closure of the Northern Pulp mill at Pictou in early 2020 could have dramatic effects on forests and forestry practices independent of the Lahey Report.

So there is much in flux in regard to the state of forests and forestry in Nova Scotia in August of 2019, now almost one year after the release of the Lahey Report.


HFC Response to High Production Forestry Discussion Paper-2 (1)
Posted on Healthy Forest Coalition Public Facebook Page May 21, 2020 The document is Dated March 31, 2020


Nov scotia Legislative Library Monthly checklist Jan 2021
– Forest management guide and pretreatment assessment review andrevision [electronic resource] :
summary of feedback from targeted
Halifax, N.S. : Dept. of Lands and
Forestry, 2020.
“December 2020”

Nova Scotia silvicultural guide for theecological matrix [electronic resource].
Halifax, N.S. : Dept. of Lands and
Forestry, 2020.
Draft-revised December 16, 2020

Silviculture guide to ecological forestry
[electronic resource] : consultation
companion document.
Halifax, N.S. : Dept. of Lands and
Forestry, 2020.
“…a companion document to the [Nova
Scotia’s Forest management] draft
guide … as ecological forestry is
implemented on crown land”–p.1
“February 18, 2020”