More updates from Nova Scotia NRR including Triad info. on Harvest Plan Map Viewer 27Apr2023

Received from Forestry Maps today:

New Map Legend

The Harvest Plans Map Viewer is receiving an update to its legend that aligns with the Department’s continued work towards the implementation of Ecological Forestry on Crown lands.

The updated legend, shown below, has two (2) new prescriptions categories.  The first prescription category is “Research Trial” and the second is “Final Felling”.

The “Research Trial” prescription (seen as red in the legend) applies to proposed harvest areas that will be established to support continuing forest management research objectives on Crown lands. For more information about research conducted by the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables, you are encouraged to read more here: Biodiversity Conservation and Forestry Technical Report Series | novascotia.ca .

Continue reading

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Some Ecological Landscape Analysis & Other Updates from Nova Scotia Natural Resources & Renewables 24Apr2023

A new interactive map  – the Ecological Landscape Analysis Report Finder – conveys a lot of useful information. An updated  Forest Development Stage Layer on the Provincial Landscape Viewer appeared to introduce some significant errors for a site I have been monitoring;  NRR is working to address such errors.

Nina Newington passed on this info she received recently from Peter Bush (Old-Growth Forest Coordinator, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables):  Continue reading

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Soils, Restoring Forests on Abandoned Farmland, Invasive Plants, Agroforestry, & the Forest Triad in SW Nova Scotia 15Apr2023

Soils, Restoring Forests on Abandoned Farmland, Invasive Plants, Agroforestry, & the Forest Triad are amongst  a range of topics covered in the latest issue of the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Newsletter.

I think most of us are aware that SW Nova Scotia has a high level of biodiversity and a rich cultural heritage, but the special status of the area as a “Biosphere Reserve” is not so well known. Continue reading

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Nina Newington on Citizen Science and the hold on harvesting at Goldsmith Lake 10Mar2023

Nina Newington, writing on Extinction Rebellion Mi’kma’ki / Nova Scotia (public FB group), Mar 9, 2023:

“Citizen scientists working to protect the forest around Goldsmith Lake got some good news last week and some excellent media coverage this week: thanks to the 17 (and counting) Species at Risk they have identified in the area, Natural Resources and Renewables has put on hold harvesting in all the cutblocks touched by the SAR. NRR’s Resource Manager for the Western Region noted that, with the discovery of multiple occurrences like this, the response would go beyond just adding individual buffers, saying the department would look for ‘alternative avenues’ to steward the area. Continue reading

Posted in Conservation, Triad, Wabanaki Forest | Comments Off on Nina Newington on Citizen Science and the hold on harvesting at Goldsmith Lake 10Mar2023

Why was the Port Hawkesbury Paper FULA not preceded by an EA or equivalent process?11Feb2023

Application of EA or EA type of process to FULAs (Forest Utilization License Agreement) was seen by Prof Lahey as a critical “to bring transparency and accountability to the [planning] process and to mitigate the concerns about how DNR internally manages its competing responsibilities”.  Yet, there has been no mention of an EA or equivalent process in NRRs recent announcement that its FULA with Port Hawkesbery Paper has now been extended to 2043. I asked Prof. Peter Duinker, the chief architect of the EA process,  “What happened to the EA?”.  Evidently he has the same question.

Can an EA type process for forestry on Crown lands in NS  as recommended by Lahey ensure that planning for biodiversity conservation takes place on a landscape level scale and put to rest public concern about Crown land forestry practices? Clearly it can’t if it’s not conducted!
Click on images in this post for larger versions

I saw the NRR Press release Port Hawkesbury Paper Agreements Extended, Renewed (NRR Feb 8, 2023) and  wondered immediately what happened to the EA (Environmental Assessment) process that I understood from the Lahey Report was supposed to apply to such agreements in future.

I figured a person who would know and might answer my question would be Dalhousie University Emeritus Professor Peter Duinker.  Prof. Duinker proposed the EA process when he served as an Expert Advisor to Independent Review of Forestry Practices (see  Addendum to Lahey Report, pages 99-100), clear recommendations were made to implement such a process in the Lahey Report, an Environmental Assessment  project team  was formed within L&F to move it all  ahead and finally Prof Duinker  served as a member of the consulting team contracted  to develop the process.

To my surprise,  Prof Duinker has the same question – I received this response shortly after  I wrote to him: Continue reading

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“New paper out on life cycle #GHG dynamics for different scenarios of forest-based bioenergy in Nova Scotia” 21Jan 2023

Curved arrows represent biologically mediated flows of GHGs: the straight arrow, industrial emissions of GHGs; and the symbols at bottom right, long term sequestration of carbon in the oceans. Carbon dioxide is the most important GHG in relation to forestry.

“New paper out on life cycle #GHG dynamics for different scenarios of forest-based bioenergy in Nova Scotia”.

So reads an announcement on Twitter on Jan 2, 2023 by James Steenberg, first author of the paper. The tweet provides a link to : Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Forest Bioenergy Production at Combined Heat and Power Projects in Nova Scotia, Canada, by James W N Steenberg, Jérôme Laganière, Nathan W Ayer, Peter N Duinker, published in Forest Science Jan 2, 2023.

Comment. The full paper is not publicly available on the publisher’s site. I learned about the paper from a Facebook Post on Jan 20, 2023 in which a PDF of the paper was also provided. I was asked to comment. Read more

Posted in Forest Bioenergy | Comments Off on “New paper out on life cycle #GHG dynamics for different scenarios of forest-based bioenergy in Nova Scotia” 21Jan 2023

Nova Scotia Government: ‘Triad forestry model is complete’ but Landscape-level Biodiversity plan and EA component are still lacking 18Jan2023

From NS NRR Twitter feed

The current government deserves credit for moving faster than its predecessor to “implement the Lahey recommendations”. However in regard to Lahey’s directive that protecting ecosystems take priority over all else, the jury is still out.

From Natural Resources and Renewables News Release (italics inserted):

The Province has dedicated a high production forest zone, completing its triad model of ecological forestry.

This will support the economy while ensuring that 90 per cent of Crown land is managed with biodiversity as the top priority.

Continue reading

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Tues Jan 10, 2023: “The Chebucto Peninsula and Moose Habitat Connectivity”

Join us for this Nature NS Talk:
“The Chebucto Peninsula and Moose Habitat Connectivity”
Tues Jan 10th at 7 pm. Recorded on YouTube

UPDATE Jan 10, 2023
A few items of interest from the webinar:
– The main reason for excluding the Chebucto Peninusla from the CORE areas for Mainland Moose are, to paraphrase, (i) the  low number of moose, on the Chebucto Peninsula even in better times, and (ii) the very poor connectivity between the interior of the Chebucto Peninsula and the greater NS mainland due to development/major highways along the neck of the peninsula. The target is to bring the population up to 5000 animals province-wide and the Chebucto Peninsula will simply not play a significant role in reaching that target.  K.B., a member of the Moose Recovery Team said she strongly advocated for including the Chebucto Peninusula as a CORE area, but understood the reasons that was rejected by the team as a whole and she noted that nevertheless, the moose on the Chebucto Peninsula are still  protected.

The Chebucto Peninsula, courtesy of Plasma_east

– There was a lot of discussion of the need  for increasing wildlife connectivity between the Chebucto Peninsula and the greater NS mainland regardless of the moose issue.  Concern was expressed that the NS Government is not giving much attention to this issue, e.g. as massive new road building is announced.
– C.C. emphasized the importance of ‘building up, not out’ in urban areas so as reduce impacts on wildlife habitat in more rural areas; social equity is part of the issue as well.
– M.L. noted that a lot of the interior of Chebucto Peninsula is roadless and protected;  development occurs mostly around the periphery. Significantly, the interior generally hosts very few white-tailed deer*
*Low deer numbers are very much a positive benefit for moose because of the role of deer in propagating moose brainworm.
– M.L., who knows the area well and has been looking for moose and signs of moose (especially their browse of red maple), is confident that there are at least 5 animals on the Chebucto Peninsula currently, and that there has been calving in recent years. He observed a dead moose this past December, the death apparently due to natural causes (he mentioned predation) rather than poaching. Continue reading

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Celebrating Winter: “Ask an Elder: What do you call the winter months in the Mi’kmaw language?” 21Dec 2022

This CBC item of a few years ago is a wonderful and “seasonally appropriate” introduction to the Mik’maq language.

To delve  further into this language, as a settler descendant I highly recommend The Language of this Land, Mi’kma’ki
by Trudy Sable and Bernie Francis (2012 and 2018): Continue reading

Posted in Wabanaki Forest | Comments Off on Celebrating Winter: “Ask an Elder: What do you call the winter months in the Mi’kmaw language?” 21Dec 2022

Will the PCs deliver on their promise to implement Triad Forestry in Nova Scotia by year end? 10Dec2023

The Big Question: Will we see an end to “Highgrading at the Landscape Level”  on Crown lands on Jan 1, 2023?

‘Just wonderin’ re: items (c) and (d) below and ‘The Big Question” (right).

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).

There was lots left to do as of July 13, 2022

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