NSDNR publishes A Field Guide to Forest Biodiversity Stewardship

From the NSDNR news Release (Apr 19, 2017):

A new hands-on guidebook is available that describes how Nova Scotians can help keep the province’s woodlands healthy.

“Three-quarters of our province is forest and preserving that rich biodiversity is a responsibility that we all share,” said [Nova Scotia] Minister of Natural Resources Lloyd Hines. “By teaching people to be good stewards of our environment this guide will help ensure our forests stay healthy for future generations.”

The 126 page guidebook contains a lot of useful information primarily at “the forest stand level”, encourages managers to retain legacy trees, patches of old growth etc. and for some specific situations or wildlife such as as nesting colonies of great blue heron offers very specific instructions on how to protect them.

I am disappointed that the guide does not address more of the needs at a landscape level and provide examples of common practices at both the landscape and stand levels that work against good Forest Biodiversity Stewardship. I am a bit doubtful about how readily users would be able to follow some of the advised Best Management Practices, such as “Maintain tree and large woody shrub species consistent with natural site conditions, Vegetation Type, and successional stages of stands (refer to NS FEC for guidance)”, but many or most are more readily understood and followed.

The Eco Notes in each section provide interesting, relevant and practical information about forest biodiversity that will be welcomed all people who have an active interest in our forests regardless of whether they actually manage any forest. There is lots to draw on for the managers who are really serious about conserving and enhancing biodiversity.

The guide can be downloaded as a PDF document and a print version can be obtained by contacting NSDNR as advised in the press release.

Thanks, NSDNR.

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