Needs Updating: last updates Aug 4, 2022
The current* NS Government’s Commitment (clause 10 in the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act, As Passed on Nov 5, 2021, bolding inserted):
*A PC Government was elected with a majority on Aug 17, 2021, replacing two successive Liberal Governments (2013-2019).
The Government’s goals with respect to the protection of land are
(a) to conserve at least 20% of the total land and water mass of the Province by 2030 as protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, including Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas, in a manner consistent with national reporting criteria;
(b) to support the goal in clause (a) with a collaborative protected areas strategy to be released by December 31, 2023;
(c) to implement by 2023 an ecological forestry approach for Crown lands, consistent with the recommendations in “An Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia” prepared by William Lahey in 2018, through the triad model of forest management that prioritizes the sustainability of ecosystems and biodiversity in the Province; and
(d) to identify by 2023 the percentage allocation of Crown land dedicated to each pillar of the triad model of forest management referred to in clause (c).
The Planning Process
The recommendation to manage NS’s forested Crown lands under a Forest Triad approach was a key component of the Forest Practices Review tabled on Aug 21, 2018. On June 25, 2019, the Department of Lands and Forestry announced 8 Priority Projects. The projects are listed below with links to the information docs issued June 25, 2019 (poss. slow downloading as they are on the Web Archive):
- FOREST MANAGEMENT GUIDE (1)
- HIGH-PRODUCTION FORESTRY (2)
- NATURAL DISTURBANCE REGIMES (5)
- OLD FOREST (6)
- OUTCOMES-BASED FOREST MANAGEMENT (8)
- REPORTING ON THE STATE OF THE FOREST
- SMALL SCALE WOOD ENERGY INITIATIVE
- SPECIES AT RISK PROGRAM RENEWAL
Projects listed with a number in parentheses are the projects relating directly to implementation of the Triad; the number is the Component # in the table below.
The ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT project (#7 below) was added in the spring of 2020.
Where we are now
1. SGEM: Silvicultural Guide for the Ecological Matrix
2. HPF: High Production Forestry. View HPF Phase 1 Final Report
3. Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act, As Passed, Nov 5, 2021: “10 The Government’s goals with respect to the protection of land are (a) to conserve at least 20% of the total land and water mass of the Province by 2030 as protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, including Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas, in a manner consistent with national reporting criteria”
4. In HPF Phase 1 Final Report, the amount of crown land potentially suitable for the HPF component of Triad management was estimated. Under Next Steps (p31): “The Department will initiate moving from a strategic modelling exercise to tactical and operational implementation. This will require policy decisions on total area to be committed to HPF management and the time frame for implementation…although key ranking criteria have been discussed as part of this report, the process for identifying HPF sites has yet to be finalized. Final identification and ranking of sites will need to be informed by an analysis of biodiversity and other values at a landscape level (including defining core habitat for species at risk), site visits to verify suitability, and consideration of other Forest Practices Review related objectives. Taken together, these factors will likely result in additional adjustments to the potential suitable HPF area.”
5. The papers:
– A review of natural disturbances to inform implementation of ecological forestry in Nova Scotia, Canada
by Anthony R. Taylor et al., 2020. Published on the web in Environmental Reviews Aug. 18, 2020.
– Natural disturbance regimes for implementation of ecological forestry: a review and case study from Nova Scotia, Canada
by David A. MacLean et al., 2021 Environmental Reviews 4 August 2021 (Open Access paper).
View comments about the process here
6. View comments on the The Draft Old Growth Forest Policy submitted by D. Patriquin on behalf of the Halifax Field Naturalists and the NS Wild Flora Society; the Draft Policy is attached to this document. UPDATE 4Aug2022: the Draft Old Forest Policy is now posted on the Ecological Forestry page under “Ecological Forestry Material: Draft Old Forest Policy – Consultation (2021) (A revised policy had been anticipated by this time, but has not yet appeared – dp
7. View these posts on archived NSFN pages:
– Draft Nova Scotia Forestry EA Process surfaces 21May2021
– Biodiversity Landscape Planning for Nova Scotia is being developed as part of the L&F Environmental Assessment Project 16Jun2020
According to the info doc, we can still expect public consultation on the 20-year Stewardship Guide
8. View comments here.