More clearcutting proposed near Protected Area, Guysborough Co.

Thanks, Shelly Hipson, for not letting this one go by unnoticed.

Shelly Hipson, writing on Stop Spraying & Clear-Cutting In Nova Scotia (Facebook Public Group), has raised the alarm about massive clearcuts near the Ogden Round Lake Wilderness Area in Guysborough County:

The Department of Lands and Forestry is proposing a 213 acre clear-cut adjacent to the Ogden Round Lake Wilderness Area in Guysborough County. It was told to me that when you destroy habitat around a protected area – it puts more stress on wildlife within that protected area. As well, does anyone know what this forest is like? Is there a team of people in that area willing to explore, take photos, and get back to us? —- This is the description of the Wilderness area : ((((Dotted with lakes and a mixture of mature forests in eastern Guysborough County, Ogden Round Lake Wilderness Area protects a variety of unique land forms and ecosystems in the Mulgrave Hills natural landscape. The area also helps protect local watersheds, as it straddles a watershed divide, and includes portions of eight tertiary watersheds.

Large, undisturbed immature old-growth, climax deciduous forests on rich soils are not common in Nova Scotia; most landscapes with fertile soils are dominated by private lands, and are highly fragmented by development. Within this context, the immature old-growth deciduous forests in the wilderness area are considered to be regionally significant, protecting valuable habitat for local species and providing local opportunities for wilderness recreation. There are good opportunities for hiking, especially in the western end of the wilderness area, and several of the larger lakes are ideal for fishing and exploration by canoe.)))) Does anyone live nearby that area to provide us with more information?

Surely there is some irony that the most remote, lightly populated areas of the province which should be the best places to conserve our natural heritage, retain carbon… and a lot more are the most heavily impacted by clearcutting. That’s possible because clearcutting requires very few people per unit of wood harvested, and there are few eyes on the ground.

Things might have changed following the Lahey Report in 2018 but our Crown land Guardians (the Dept of Lands & Forestry). in a repeat of their success in holding back progressive change following the Natural Resources Strategy in 2011, have managed to convince their political masters that they cannot implement key recommendations of the Lahey Report for at least another year (if then). Happy New Year folks. Any wonder forestry in Nova Scotia is getting a bad press?

Thanks, Shelly Hipson, for not letting this one go by unnoticed.


Discussion on Stop Spraying & Clear-Cutting In Nova Scotia (Facebook Public Group) Noted Jan 6, 2019:

MAG: I’m a 2018 grad of Dal’s Master of Planning and I wrote my independent research project on the Roman Valley River system and how it could be used as an example of ecologically significant habitat for conservation purposes. My dad and his family have lived in that area of NS for a few generations and he has worked in the forestry industry there as well. I also lived there for 4 yrs until 1998. I have been to the Roman Valley area many times throughout my life, but my research provided more insight into its history, ecology and current conditions. I did some field observations in the summer of 2017, but I am not a trained biologist. Maybe I can answer some questions.

AR: Where in this province is anyone using the precautionary principle? These forests would not be being hacked to death if using that principle. The Liberals need to be gone and gone fast. We cannot afford their cavalier attitude towards the things that keep us all alive.

DG: This should be decent wood as we cut this for a Stora contractor in 1978and1979.It was excellant wood then all 6 to ten 8 ft bolts too the tree.It must have 3 or 4 bolts to a tree this time…this is a commercial harvest on crown land in Guysborough.This is all thats left too cut here as far as softwood goes:

DC: They have truly over-harvested and now they are headed to the southwest to get the rest. Very sad photo. When will an informed and well-educated government body, rather than mill boys oversee our forest management?

DG: This is what is being cut east of the colchester county line.This is a 27 year old stand,not even old enough too bare cones.I doubt if it will regenerate as it is so immature.This is the norm here on the crown not the 60 year rotation L&F wants you too believe

KB: Northern Pulp allocations are razing our local area, land that no one would cut on before are being clearcut for low value all around, trucked all the way back to the other end of the province, the western district is feeding that mill, from land they were not involved with before. The presentations from Westfor state that they are cutting only half of what is sustainable on the Western Crown and that more of this low quality pulpwood needs to be removed from this very marginal land base. They have a slide presentation on this ..There is one heck of a fiber grab happening around here. (Queens)

DG to DB: All computer models only reflect what is put in them.Dnr loaded a lot of crap under the instruction of former mill staff

AR to DG: The angry emoji just doesn’t do it anymore. We need something stronger.

DG to AR: Your right Ann you are experiencing the end of days as far as forest cover goes in Sow West Nova

AF: bowater wood was privet wood now public the crown interfearanc in the market should mean we lose are tarif protection some one needs to tell the amaricans we are cheating them

DC: The fact that these trees are not old enough to bare cones really impacts our seed-eating birds, the purple finches, crossbills, etc. It’s sad that we are creating wastelands devoid of food. I liked your analogy of THE SQUIRRELS HAVE TO PACK A LUNCH TO GET THEMSELVES ACROSS THE CUTOVERS.

BW: Thanks to both of you for posting these comments. This is what more people need to hear — and to see in photos — and understand the implications of what’s taking place. As a good friend commented the other day, if the forests are being so well managed, then why are they having to go further and further afield to get more? Soon enough they’ll have reached the ocean — and then what?

KB: The Lahey report sort of mentions that, he says if things don’t change they will eventually cut themselves out of business.

DG: That has happened already.If not for the provincial tax money given too contractors for new gear and all the public money given too the mills it would be part of history

AF: DG thats it exactly it the only reason the big mills stay government money ,wood and tarif protection a work force that cant say boo about it .we need to hit them where it hurts and prove NS is subsidizing the industry if the tarif protection was gone the mills would fall

SH: This is what they are harvesting in Allendale, Shelburne County. Bowater clear-cut it 40+ years ago. I don’t work in the woods so I don’t have that experience to draw from – but my thinking is that with thin and poor acidic soil, wind exposure from being situated near the ocean, the trees have had a very difficult time re-growing after that first clear-cut. Now WestFor has approval from LAF to clear-cut it again – Marcus Zwicker, WestFor stated to our Municipal Council, “The objective is to grow to a multi-aged forest that is managed FOR A WIDE RANGE OF FOREST VALUES AND OBJECTIVES. (??? really ???) That forest is already challenged…so is completely clear-cutting it down again the answer? In my opinion he is only looking at it as biomass. And – maybe it is better off standing? It is in an Endangered Mainland Moose area (two sighted in the past two years.) It’s adjacent to a Ducks Unlimited Wetland which I’m thinking the forest would supply that area with water. It has rare lichens. There is a known indigenous archeological site bordering it which has not been explored to see if it extends into this harvest area and it is in a Bird Important Area. No doubt it is only going to Northern Pulp or Nova Scotia Power/Brooklyn’s Biomass Plant at the old Bowater location. So it is going to be flushed as toilet paper in China or burnt as inefficient energy. Way to go.

KB: Yes the Allendale cut is typical, I would think it will go East to Northern Pulp, there is nothing else in there…I was up there a few weeks ago and sent you a video on that, also talked with a few folks up around the Little Harbor Road. Your Allendale piece is the same wood ( well it is more poor) than what they cut alongside of us here… I cant use Facebook very well so I dont know if your ever got that video from before Xmas, that piece of land is almost pityiful. It has much ecological value, I called regarding the bird IBA but did not have much success with that. It is the poorest kind of shore wood. There is no topsoil, its wet . Just plain poor.. Its what they want to clear cut all over this type of land in this area, well they have to clear cut it or they couldnt do much with it. A small disaster for that frail area around Walls Brook.. It will end up in that pipe I guess.

BW: Those trees are 40 years old?!!!

SH: 40-50 years – This is what Marcus Zwicker passed out to a council meeting in Shelburne.


DGP:  Fir has max 40 year lifespan in SW NS???These firs (pic below) are a lot more than 40 years old and are exhibiting old growth features. Gays River, last May; the climate is not THAT much diff. from SWNS.

BW: Those don’t look much bigger than the sunflowers I grow in my garden in less than a year! Maybe we should be burning sunflowers instead!!! Sheesh!

SH: 387 acres of it. Coming down. Clear-cut. Equals 300 football fields – like I mention – I feel that it is better off standing for the OTHER things that are there. Really – what would be the VALUE of it for pulp or biomass?

SH: Northern Pulp made the plan – so a couple thousand wipe their arse once – flush – and that forest is gone forever. I can’t see it coming back much better – but what do I know. WestFor says that it will be managed for a wide range of forest values and objectives.

BW: Can’t really see how they’ll get much off of that and that will probably finish off that parcel for good, I would think.

SH: I’m thinking that too BW. To rejuvenate that – after compacting the thin soil and hauling it out with heavy equipment? Wrecked.
KB to BW: The land is poor, there are no nutients there, plus it gets covered with salt everytime there is a gale of wind going up the shore, I am not sure but I think the salt stunts all that type of wood .

SH: I think you are right. My property is on the ocean and it looks similar.

KB: Yes you get all that old Cat Spruce, branches right down to the ground, full of knots and Red Rot. Plus it stinks.. Its mixed with dried out black spruce, all ratty with a small crown, trash wood. Its sort of cutting for the sake of cutting something. …See More

BW: KB, I expect you’re right about the salt. I have seen something like that happen elsewhere — on the eastern US now that the sea level is beginning to creep up and storms are breaking down some of what held the ocean back. The trees die when the soil gets too much salt.

BW: That movie a few people have linked to lately about trees. There is a section in it where they visit an area that was once coastal forest in Japan. It’s actually turned into something like a desert now. I guess it had to do with the salt air being able to travel inland. It was quite amazing what happened. The area was very large.

SH: Quick and easy access – road has already been built by Bowater. But this is also where people go to walk their dog…drive by each day to get to Lockeport – locals will be seeing this scar for many decades. It makes their hearts heavy. They get the sca…See More

DH: Its poor wood but few limbs so its cuts fast.The mills will love it so GOOD BYE forests

KB: Walls Lake bush land

SH: Are you involved with this harvest Ken?

KB: No, I maintain an electronic bird monitoring site in that area, and drive by the proposed cut on the way to it…When you look at the Important Bird Area ( A world designation) this clearcut falls in the IBA footprint. I stopped in there and walked around some of the land, from a foresty point of view its a sad case, from an ecological sense it would seem very important. The Lake, the brook, the salt marsh areas. It really flys in the face of the Lahey report, this is what he is against, but it will be cut anyway according to LAF… Oh and Moose also in that area… Kind of crazy… but no system in effect to review the decision…comment time is over, cut her down boys… A lot of cuts would be cancelled if section 3.8 conclusion 143 of the Lahey report was in effect….This would probably be on the list….

BW: I think these are some of the imprortant issues that have to be raised — and they need to be correlated to the Lahey recommendations to protect and enhance the ecology of the forests. It’s very clear that we can’t depend on LAF and definitely not to the licensee to care or protect any of this wildlife habitat. As you wrote, we have almost no time to review a proposed cut and submit comments — and when we do, no matter what we say, they just go ahead and cut it down. What can we do to stop this? Obviously it’s going to have to involve a lot of public pressure.

SM: I wonder how much of the cutting in Guysborough County is burned in the biomass plant in Port Hawksberry. I am thinking all of it. This plant needs to go.

DG: There was a huge amount cut in Guysborough but not much sent we shut them down cutting the old growth.It is proof that intervention works but you have too have your facts strait.Remember I started fighting this before the plant started in 2010.We lost a lot of old growth too this plant before we got it stopped in 2018.Yes this plant is the worst offender in the history of forestry in NS.They conducted major political interference ,pay the worst price to private suppliers in history and performed massive clearcuts of Old Growth forest too feed this monster.

SM: They still do a lot of cutting there. Is this for biomass? I didn’t think we were allowed to burn whole trees for biomass. Do you know what they are doing with the trees cut in Guysborough County? Are they replanting or are the areas left to grow back by themselves? A large region. I would think lots of ticks in there.

DG: most of the area you see scheduled for cutting is second growth Softwood between 30 to 40 years old.There is some hardwood mixed in and it will go too biomass.Nothing replanted here and no Ticks worth speaking of here.I have never seen a Tick in Guysborough or Cape Breton .Tick population has nothing too do with clear cuts.My observation on Tick population is matched too Deer population and Guysborough and Cape Breton have very few Deer.

NS: Cape Bretoner here. Loads of deer in our area. Too many in fact. Still no ticks.

BW: In eastern Ontario, where I am from, the veterinarians have been keeping a map marked with Lyme cases each year. It’s been a sort of slow march northward since the first few cases started to occur on the Canadian side of the St. Lawrence River. I was…See More

NS Yes I believe we will see ticks. There is no doubt of that but tying the tick population to the deer population is pseudo science at best. As observed from your vet friends it is directly related to warming trends with a slow March northward. This can be said for many of the pest insects.

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