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Archived Posts

Sunday Oct 15th: Trail-Building Workshop

Bluff Trail Oct. 6, 2012: Join us for the first build of the Bluff Trail as a newly designated Wilderness Protected Area! Garnet McLaughlin of Cobequid Consulting will lead us in trail restoration on the first loop. Children and youth most welcome! Read more

Troop Island Protected

Troop Island Oct. 5, 2012: A campaign to raise $820,000 to purchase 28 acres of Troop Island in St. Margaret's Bay has been successful through the efforts of the St. Margaret's Bay Stewardship Association, the Nova Scotia Nature Trust and many volunteers and donors. The island, not far from the mouth of the Woodens River, boasts beautiful beaches, old growth forest, intertidal marsh lands, a rich bird life, a large freshwater pond and more. Read more About Protection, view some Pics

Buy Back the Mersey: Three motions passed at WRCC

Old Annap Hiking Trail July 24, 2012: Last night at meeting of the WRCC (HRM's Western Regional Community Council comprised of Councillors Reg Rankin, Peter Lund, and Steve Adams) three "Buy Back the Mersey" motions were passed unanimously. Report by Geoff LeBoutiler. Read more | More about St. Margaret's Bay Back Country

Bowater Lands

Tuesday, July 17th: Buy Back the Mersey Rally

July 11, 2012: A Rally/Information Session to address options for the Bowater-Mersey Lands including the 150 square mile block near Tantallon will be held at 7 p.m. at the Hubley Community Hall, 4408 St. Margaret's Bay Road. There is lot's at stake for forestry, recreation, conservation - please attend! See Poster | Masthead News Item

One-step liquidation worst case scenario for Bowater Lands

July 5, 2012: These lands include 150 sq. mile of backcountry that feed St. Margaret's Bay Hydro-electricity system. See comments by Chris Miller of CPAWS, OHV groups and others calling for government action to keep the lands in forest.

Monday, June 4: Ban open-pen & support closed-containment salmon aquaculture

SALMON PENS Post-event Update June 5, 2012: 109 groups, including WRWEO, have signed on to the Coalition. Approx. 300 attended the Press Conference. See CTV report. May 28, 2012:The Atlantic Coalition for Aquaculture Reform is holding a press conference & Rally on Monday June 4th, 10am to Noon at the Lord Nelson Hotel, Halifax. Show your support for a ban on open pen salmon farms and support for closed containment systems. See WRWEO's letter, Salmon Wars (Silver Donald Cameron video), Closed Containment in N.S, Ford and Myers Paper, & more about the June 4th event.

Thursday May 31: Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park

Lake Post-event Update June 5, 2012: See Wild surprise as proposed park doubles in size in The Coast.
May 18, 2012: an Information event to share the HRM Vision for this long awaited Regional Park - Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes. Come out and view the maps and learn more about and support the proposed plans that will help shape the largest wilderness urban park east of Montreal. 6:30p m preview for 7pm presentations at St Peters Church Hall, 3 Dakin Drive (near Kearney Lake Rd and Bedford Highway, Halifax. Read more

Sat. June 2, 2012: Trail Running Workshop on The Bluff Trail

May 24, 2012: To celebrate International Trails Day (June 2), WRWEO will be hosting a trail-running workshop on The Bluff Wilderness Trail. Read more


Harrison Lewis Centre spring offerings

May 28, 2012: Women-only chainsaw course Patrick Allan, certified instructor - June 1 - 3, 2012; Introduction to Plants and Ethnobotany - June 8 - 10, 2012; Writing from Nature with Harry Thurston - June 15 - 17, 2012 and MORE - see HLC Programme Details

HRM Greenbelt

Montreal and Quebec City go for Greenbelting

April 12, 2012: The Quebec government announced in their budget on Tuesday that $60 million will be used to develop greenbelts in Montreal and Quebec City. Our HRM Alliance is proposing a greenbelting solution for Halifax. Read more


Monday April 16th: Meeting about Business Park Expansion

April 11, 2012: Expansion of the Bayers Lake Business Park threatens the integrity of the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area. A meeting to inform the public about this issue will be held on Monday, April 16th April 7:00 pm at Keshen Goodman Library. See Poster

Trail Work

trail workApril 9, 2012: Our volunteers do an immense amount of work to maintain The Bluff Trail and the associated parking lot. Recently, several volunteers cleared a fallen tree from the trail and made a new bench and a crossing for a stream in the process. See Photos

Details of Our HRM Greenbelting Proposal Released

Our HRM AllianceApril 5, 2012: Go to Our HRM Alliance website for details of their (our) proposed Greenbelting of HRM. It envisions four physical zones (Protected areas and natural corridors, Natural resources and agriculture, Rural communities and Coastal Management Area, Regional Centre and suburban growth centres) and four corresponding zones of policy that can help direct growth and development within HRM.


Sun. April 1, 2012: Poetry in The Bluff

Mar. 23, 2012: Join us on a light 8 km meditative hike on The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail. Silent, reflective hike in. Poetry exercise (optional). Social hike out. Read more
Apr. 2, 2012: View some Photos from the Event


Mon. March 19th, 2012, at Tantalon: Regional Plan Review and Release of a Draft of the Greenbelting Solution

Mar. 13, 2012: HRM is holding a public consultation meeting in connection with the first five year review of the Regional Plan March 19, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm at the St. Margaret's Centre in Upper Tantallon. Also on the same day & place but at 10:30 am: Release of a Draft of the Greenbelting Solution. Read more


N.S. Wetland Courses

Feb. 11, 2012: The Fern Hill Institute for Plant Conservation in assocation with the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre is offering four practical 3-4 day wetland courses in 2012. Details

Tuesday March 6: AGM & Bob Bancroft on Interacting with Wildlife in Protected Areas

coyoteFeb. 8, 2012: Please mark this one on your calendar. Our AGM will be held at the Tantallon Library, Tuesday, March 6. Doors open at 6:30; meeting starts at 7:00 with formal business lasting about 40 mins. Then keynote speaker Bob Bancroft will talk about moose and coyotes and other wildlife in protected areas and how we interact with them. All welcome. More details

Sat & Sun March 3rd & 4th: Woodlot Seminars/Worskhops at Tantallon

logFeb 17, 2012: Trees Company is offering a free 6-hr workshop on Chainsaw Safety & Maintainence on Saturday followed by presentations on Sunday on Woodlot Management, Tree and Disease identification & Woodlot Management Techniques and the Structure of the Acadian Forest. They are being held at Tantallon Superstore Community Room. More Details

Nova Scotia Environment seeking Info on Vernal Pools

vernal poolFeb. 2, 2012: Vernal pools are small, shallow wetlands that lack permanent inlet or outlet streams and often dry out in the summer. They provide critical breeding habitat for frogs, salamanders, insects and fairy shrimp, and feeding and drinking sites for birds, mammals, turtles and other wildlife. Are you aware of any shallow wetland pools in the forests near your home or near places you vacation, hike, hunt or bird watch? Please tell NSE about them!.

Local Lakes Not Yet Safe for Winter Activities!

ice and water

Jan. 17, 2011: Local lakes have thin ice and open water. Check out HRM's Ice Thickness Reports when you think it's ready. The website Lake Ice describes how to read the ice and how to be safe on the ice. It's a "must read" for ice-goers.

Applied Stormwater Management Workshop

vegetation to reduce flooding & erosion Jan 13, 2012: This 1&1/2 day workshop is being offered Feb 20-21 by the Ecology Action Centre in collaboration with the Halifax Regional Municipality Environment and Energy Office, Halifax Water and the Insurance Bureau of Canada. It is designed to increase capacity of participants to identify and implement stormwater Best Management Practices to reduce infrastructure damage, flooding and impacts to marine and freshwater systems. Limited enrolment; register by Feb 3. Details

Thoughts By A Stream.. and for the New Year

wilderness scenes and sounds Jan. 1, 2012: Landscape painter Mark Brennan shares scenes and sounds from the Acadian Forest in this and other very moving video and audio recordings. Mark's plea to recognize the intrinsic value of all living things echoes thoughts expressed in the Dedication to The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail.

HRM Alliance

Seven Solutions for a More Sustainable, More Liveable HRM

Dec. 1, 2011: On Wed., Nov.30th, Our HRM Alliance, of which WRWEO is a mamber, presented their seven recommendations for a more sustainable, more liveable HRM. "The solutions were developed with 33 groups and with the needs of urban, suburban and rural residents and taxpayers in mind," says Jen Powley, Alliance Coordinator. Read more

protected area

Monday Dec. 5: Talk on Protected Areas in N.S.

Nov. 26, 2011: Dr. Martin Willison will give a talk on Protected Areas in N.S. at 7:30 pm on Monday Dec. 5 at the Museum of Natural History Auditorium (1747 Summer St., Halifax). The title is "From Picnic Parks to Systematic Protection of Biodiversity: A Review of the Development of Protected Areas in Nova Scotia". The talk is a free public lecture in the Nova Scotia Institute of Science 150th Anniversary series. Read more

Bob Chambers

New data on acid rain in the Woodens River Watershed

Nov. 20, 2011: Bob Chambers reports on acidity of rain and lakewater measured periodically from November 5, 2010 to October 30, 2011. See listing under Water Quality on this website.


Bluff Numbers Count!

Nov. 16, 2011: Thanks to the efforts of a WRWEO volunteer, there is now a "Bluff Numbers" booklet at the junction for the Pot lake Loop, where the Trail Dedication sign is located as well. Please take a moment when you go by this point to make an entry in the book. Most important: provide the date, and number in your group. This will help us to better uderstand trail usage for most effective planning. See Photo.


What's NOT going to happen to barrens in the FBLWA

Nov. 2, 2011: Where it's not protected, barrens habitat can become prime real-estate. See Requiem for a Barrens.


Article expresses concern for the moose

Oct. 26, 2011. An article in OPENFILE about the new wilderness area expresses concern about the effects of recreational activities on the moose. One expert interviewed suggested there might be some restrictions during the calving/immediate post-calving period, an idea that has been discussed by WRWEO members (see Moose & Wildlife Corridors 2)


Oct. 25, 2011: The Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area is designated under the Wilderness Areas Protection Act.

In a ceremony at the St. Margaret's Bay Centre, The Honourable Sterling Belliveau, N.S. Minister of Environment, designated lands of the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area under the Wilderness Areas Protection Act. See NSE Press Release and page on the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area. After the designation, WRWEO Co-chair Richmond Campbell conducted a virtual unveiling of the new sign at the trailhead for The Bluff Trail. See Photos from the event

wilderness area Formal protection of Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness to be be announced on Tuesday Oct 25th

Oct 24, 2011: Nova Scotia Environment will announce formal protection of Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area on Tuesday Oct 25th at a ceremony at The St. Margaret's Centre in Tantallon begining at 1 p.m. That will be followed by a virtual unveiling of the new signs at the Bluff Trail at 2 pm, also at Tantallon (NOT at the trailhead). Read more


Trail Camp on Nov 5 & 6.

Oct. 20, 2011: WRWEO members are invited to attend Trail Camp, a two day event (Nov. 5 & 6, 2011) where volunteers as well as government representatives get together to discuss issues about trails in Halifax. Read more

Monday, Oct 24th: Nova Scotia's Diverse Forest Ecosystems

DNR Forest PhotoOct. 19, 2011: Peter Neily and Eugene Quigley of the Nova Scotia Dept. of Natural Resources will talk to the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society about Forest Ecosystem Classification (FEC) in Nova Scotia, highlighting results of ten years of study on over 1500 FEC plots. All welcome! 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct 24th at N.S. Museum of Natural History, enter via the parking lot. Read more

N.S. Wetland Conservation Policy released

wetland Oct 18, 2011: The province released its Wetland Conservation Policy on Oct. 14th. The policy "identifies what legislation, regulations, and policies are currently relevant to wetland conservation; clarifies the roles and responsibilities of government and the public in relation to wetlands; and makes this information more accessible to Nova Scotians. Ultimately, the policy establishes specific objectives intended to prevent the net loss of Nova Scotia's wetlands." Read more


N.S. Government posts Draft Coastal Strategy

Oct 13, 2011: The government posted the much awaited draft Coastal Strategy today and is seeking feedback until November 30th, 2011. See Our Coast to download draft Coastal Strategy, feedback questions and online feedback form. The Coastal Coalition of Nova Scotia comments: "A Good Start; now let's get moving on an Act!" - see Press Release


Sun. Oct 23rd:
Free Workshop on Forest Health and Stewardship

Oct 6, 2011: MTRI, NFA, Whippletree Farm and the Warners are sponsoring a half day (12-5) workshop. Come find out more about traditional woodland crafts, portable miling, forest regeneration, selective harvests… View Poster


Tues, Sept. 13th:
Sep 5, 2011: Development in Susies Lake/Blue Mt-Birch Cove Lakes area

Bruce Smith and others from Halifax North West Trails Association will make presentations at 7 pm related to impending sale of 180 acres of Public Lands in the Bayers Lake Business Park which will impact access to Susies Lake/Blue Mt-Birch Cove Lakes area. Also, future plans for the extension of the trails in Halifax West will be discussed. For details, please View Poster.

trail building

Saturday, Sept. 17th:
Volunteer Trail-Building Workshop with Garnet McLaughlin

Aug. 27, 2011: Learn ecologically-sensitive and highly sustainable trail-building techniques by participating in this practical workshop on The Bluff Trail. Read more


Sunday, Sept. 11th:
Hike and Compass Work on The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail

Aug. 27, 2011: Join the Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organization on Sunday Sept. 11th for a 5-6 hour hike over the rough terrain of The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail. We will be hiking both Pot Lake and Indian Hill loops while doing some compass work. Read more

New protected areas for Nova Scotia

pic July 29, 2011: The Nova Scotia Dept. of Environment has identified potential lands for future protection required to achieve the 12% figure by 2015 and is seeking input from individuals and groups on which of these sites to select. A lot of land has been or is slated for protection on the Chebucto Peninsula, including the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area. A major block of crown land that is NOT currently slated for protection but for which a number of groups have been seeking protection lies in the Herring Cove Area. Read more


WRWEO Member publishes "Urban Tigers"

July 20, 2011: Local resident and WRWEO member Kathy Chisholm has recently published a novel called Urban Tigers, Tales of a Cat Vet. It is a humorous account of "Dr. Emily McBride's" first year at Ocean View Cat Hospital. Kathy and her husband Hugh Chisholm plan to use any profits from the sale of the book to help animal welfare and wildlife preservation groups (including habitat preservation organizations like WRWEO). For example, they were able to raise $1000.00 for Pierre's Alley Cats Society at the recent book launch. Read more


Low Impact Forestry Workshop August 3,4

July 17, 2011: Managing small woodlots for timber and non-timber values. Picea Forestry Consulting and horse logger Tristan Kelley join us at the Harrison Lewis Centre woodlot for practical, In the field instruction. Read more

Workshops for the Nature-Oriented at Harrison Lewis Centre

July 5, 2011: The Harrison Lewis Coastal Discovery Centre at East Port L'Hl'bert on Nova Scotia's south shore hosts a variety of workshops of interest to nature orinted people. Amonst those coming up: July 8-10: Writing From Nature, Juty 15-17: GPS for Farm and Forest, July 29-31: Know and Grow Wild Mushrooms, August 12-14: Plein Air Watercolour, Painting with Roger Savage. See 2011 Schedule for details and other workshops except for Mushroom Workshop. Aug 2-5 is Forestry Week.


Our HRM Alliance

July 4, 2011: WRWEO is a member of Our HRM Alliance. "The Alliance came together because our members want to ensure HRM is a great place to live for our entire lives and for the entire lives of our children and grandchildren."


Socio-economic Report for the Five Bridge Candidate Wilderness Area released

June 6, 2011: "Nova Scotia is a step closer to designating Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area for protection with the release of a socio-economic study for public comment." Read more


Celebrate International Trails Day on Sat. June 4

June 1, 2011. Volunteers from WRWEO will be at the trailhead all day to sign up new members (only $10), sell our new waterproof map at $5 to support trail maintenance, talk to you about trail (pros, cons, events, protection, whatever), and THERE WILL BE A DRAW for all members new and old just for showing up with a $25 prize. If you are new to the trail, go to The Bluff Trail for info on how to get there, what to bring etc.


Workshop produced 27 meters of stone tread

June 1, 2011. In a little more than 6 hours we found stone and laid down 27 metres of stone tread trail on the Pot Lake loop. View photos and short report (on WRWEO's Facebook Page).


Some "green lawncare" practices can be harmful to aquatic life

June 1, 2011: HRM Regional Council recently rejected a motion to allow use of chelated iron as a herbicide. One argument for doing so: it can harm aquatic life. Some other lawn inputs that are allowed under HRM's Pesticide By-law can also be harmful to aquatic life. Read more


WRWEO has a Facebook page

May 31, 2011: Thanks to Nanci Lee and Daniel for creating a Facebook page for WRWEO. Click here. (You don't have to be a member to view our facebook postings).

stone tread

Saturday May 28th : Trail-building workshop with Garnet McLaughin

May 26, 2011: Participants should meet at parking lot, 9 a.m. Read more


Gardners asked to look out for brown marmorated stink bug

April 28, 2011: This invasive bug was found in New York in 2009 and is expected to arrive in Nova Scotia within a year or two. It feeds on numerous agricultural crops (beans, peppers and apple) and seeks out homes as an overwintering sites in the fall. Read more


April 25th: Poetry in the Bluff

April 13: Join us on a light 8km meditative hike on the Bluff Wilderness Trail. Silent, reflective hike in. Poetry exercise (optional). Social hike out.
Read more



April 13th: Rally for Our Forest

April 8, 2011: The N.S. government appears to be backtracking on its commitment to reduce clearcutting by 50% in Nova Scotia. See No such thing as "waste wood". Join this rally at Province House at noon on Wed April 13th, or earlier at a 10 a.m. Press Conference at the Four Points Sheraton (1496 Hollis Street), followed by a march to Province House. Details


Workshops for the Nature-Oriented at HLC

April 8, 2011: The Harrison Lewis Coastal Discovery Centre at East Port L'Hl'bert on Nova Scotia's south shore hosts a variety of workshops of interest to nature orinted people. Amonst those coming up: May 6-8: GPS for Farm and Forest, May 13-15: Grow and Know Mushrooms, May 16-22: Dalhousie Seaside program - Ornithology, June 10-12: Birding by Ear, June 17-19: Digital nature photography, See Learn while doing. . .


Protection of FBLWA on Track

March 29, 2011: See Report #12 from the Chebucto Wilderness Coalition.

April 5th meeting postponed

A meeting to discuss Fish, Aquatic Habitat and Water Quality in the Woodens River system that was scheduled for April 5, 2011 is canceled. It will be held at a later date.

Monday, February 28 - Treemarking for quality products & wildlife habitat

Feb. 24, 2011: Forest ecologist and technician Minga O'Brien will talk to the N.S. Wild Flora Society on Monday evening on the topic of Treemarking: managing for quality products while maintaining wildlife habitat. This topic is very timely, given the recent announcement by the N.S. Government of new Strategic Directions for foresty. All welcome. Read more

stone tread

Wed. March 2, 2011: The Future of The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail - How To Keep It Wild, Inspiring, and Safe

Feb 23, 2011 : At our AGM on March 2, keynote speaker, Garnet McLaughlin, will talk about how volunteers can work to preserve the wildness and beauty of our trail. All are welcome. Place: Tantallon Public Library Time: Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Read more


Natural History of The Bluff Trail

Feb 23, 2011: A report on the Natural History Hike on The Bluff Trail held on Aug. 21st, 2010 as a N.S. Parks Event is available under Maps and Articles.


Ice Time on the Lakes: Be Safe!

Jan. 31, 2011: It's ice time on the lakes, but not all may be ready for group activities - see HRM's Ice Thickness Reports. A new website - Lake Ice - describes how to read the ice and how to be safe on the ice. It's a "must read" for ice-goers. Thanks to Dusan S. for forwarding this link.

2011: International Year of Forests

Jan. 26, 2011: "Since Canada is home to 10% of the world's forests - forests cover half the Canadian landscape - Canadians have a key role to play in the global effort to conserve and sustainably manage forests." Read more

Drinking shade-grown coffee is good for the birds!

Jan. 20, 2011: Olive-sided Flycatcher, a summer resident of the Woodens River Watershed, is amongst the species cited in a recent report by Saving Our Shared Birds as in immediate need of Tri-National Conservation efforts. The biggest concern is about losses of wintering habitat in tropical highland forests in southern Mexico/Central America. Buying shade grown coffee is one way we can help.

Focus on Fish & Fish Habitat

Jan. 9, 2011: The January 2011 issue of WRWEO's newsletter, WRWEO WATCH, offers an overview of issues relating to fish and fish habitat in the Woodens River system. In an essay entitled "Where have all the mayflies gone"? Bob Chambers examines possible explanations for the precipitous decline of the spring mayfly in 1989/90 and the near simultaneous decline of the brook trout populations. See Newsletter


We look forward to a good year for the Woodens River Watershed

Jan. 2, 2011: …as we anticipate the formal designation of the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area as a Protected Wilderness Area in 2011. That still leaves a lot of work to be done to nurture the watershed as much of it lies outside of the protected area. Look under Aquatic Habitat and Water Quality for new postings about water quality, fish and fish habitat.


It's a Green One!

Dec 25, 2010: … except for the reindeer lichens.
Merry Christmas


Clearcutting to be slashed

Dec. 2, 2010: Yesterday, the N.S. Government released a Policy Framework for its Natural Resources Strategy which includes a directive to "reduce the proportion of wood harvested by the clear cut method to no more than 50% of all forested lands over a five-year period." (Clearcutting has averaged over 520 km2 a year over the past decade.) Another directive: "Public funds will not be directed to herbicide spraying for forestry". Read DNR Update

stone tread

Tuesday, Nov. 23rd: How volunteers can make a difference to The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail

WRWEO members, friends and users of The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail are invited to attend the upcoming Board meeting that will feature a 30 minute presentation by Garnet McLaughlin (Cobequid Trail Consultants) on how volunteers can make a difference to The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail. Read more

Rally for our Forests - Friday October 29

Oct. 28, 2010: On Friday October 29th at 10 am at the Legislature building in Halifax, hundreds of Nova Scotians will join in a public show of support for the future of Nova Scotia's forests and the communities that depend on them. Read more
Hundreds joined the rally including Mark Parent! See Pics

coastal barrens

Monday, September 27, 2010 - Ecology of Coastal Barrens

Plant ecologist Jeremy Lundholm of Saint Mary's University will talk to the NS Wild Flora Society about research he and his students have been conducting on Nova Scotia's coastal barrens. These barrens, which occur mainly along the Atlantic Coast and are prominent on the Chrbucto Peninsula, host a number of provincially rare vascular plant species. Their research involves quantitative description and investigations into their dynamic interplay with forests, significance of fire etc. All welcome. N.S. Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax at 7:30 pm, Monday, Sept. 27th.


Trail Dedication Sign

Sept. 8, 2010: A sign dedicating The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail to wilderness preservation has now been placed at the junction for the Pot Lake Loop, the first of four successive loops making up The Bluff Trail. Read more

wild raisin

Wild Raisin on The Bluff Trail

Sept. 8, 2010: Fruits of wild raisin (Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides), also known as witherod, seem to be ripening a bit early this year and are unusually sweet right now. I like them because they are chewy as well. However, don't confuse them with berries of chokeberry (Aronia spp.) which are also ripening, but are quite bitter. Read more

Bob Chambers' Studies of Lakes in the Woodens Watershed now available on WRWEO website

Aug. 30, 2010: WRWEO has been especially fortunate to have the volunteer services of Bob Chambers over the last decade. He has conducted careful, extensive and intensive monitoring of key limnological variables on a number of lakes in the Woodens River Watershed. Two key reports are now available on this website: see listings on the Water Quality and Sheldrake Lake pages, also some observations related to algal blooms.


Fish-Friendly Culvert Construction, Wed. Aug. 25th at 7:00pm at MTRI

Aug 20, 2010: Come to this session to learn how to protect fish habitat when working around streams and to ask experts questions about best practices for working around fish habitat. More info

Summary of Public Input on FBLWA now available

Aug. 13, 2010: A summary of input received by Nova Scotia Environment during public consultation on the designation of the proposed Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area is now available on the NSE website: see NSE Link. The full submission from the Chebucto Wilderness Coalition is available on our website - go to CWC Reports, select No. 12.


Sat Aug 21: Natural History Hike on The Bluff Trail

Aug 13, 2010: We will walk the first loop of The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail, exploring and talking about the natural history of the area. The terrain is a patchwork of black spruce, red spruce, oak and mixed forest types, lakes and associated wetlands, granite barrens and bogs. Read more

forest Natural Resources Minister pressured to discount Bancroft-Crossland Recommendations

July 30, 2010: "There's a lobbying effort afoot among the major players in Nova Scotia's forestry industry, says Natural Resources Minister John MacDonell, and it's aimed at convincing him to reject proposed changes to forestry management" (Chronicle Herald, July 15). Write a letter of support for recommendations in the Bancroft-Crossland Report. Read more

More vandalism on The Bluff Trail

July 22, 2010: On July 16th between 1 PM and 7 PM vandals destroyed signs and trees on the Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail. The trailhead sign was previously vandalized in June 2010. Please report instances of vandalism you might observe or related happenings. Read more

olive-sided flycatcher

A welcome summer resident on the Woodens

July 14, 2010: An Olive-sided Flycatcher was spotted on the lower Woodens on a couple of days in early July. It is one of 30 bird species that are yellow or red listed in Nova Scotia, so it's heartening to see it on the Woodens. It winters in the Andes from Panama to Bolivia. Read more

royal ferns

Royal Ferns on the Woodens

July 8, 2010: The Queen didn't visit the river, but it was ready for her: some magnificent stands of Royal Fern occur on the lower part of Gates Lake and are visible from the Wooden's Road. View pics.


Natural Resources strategy in the works

July 8, 2010:The Bancroft-Crossman phase 2 report, "A Natural Balance" recommends significant changes in forest harvesting practices to conserve biodiversity and the forest resource. Please express support of their recommendations. Read more

Deadline for input on Sustainable Coastal Development Strategy extended to July 18

coast July 4, 2010: Wildlife and Nova Scotians alike value the Nova Scotian coast, but it is being altered and made less accessible at an alarming rate. It's important to register your concern and priorities with the N.S. Government as it develops new policies for coastal protection and development. The deadline has been extended to July 18 (June 30 previously). Read more

Sat. July 10: N.S. Environment offers guided exploration of Wilderness Area by lake and trail

July 3, 2010: "Come explore Nova Scotia's newest Candidate Wilderness Area by lake and trail! The combined guided canoe and hiking adventure will explore Hubley Big Lake and the outer loop of The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail. " Read more at N.S. Park Events. Scroll down to July 10th.


Vandalism at the trailhead

June 25, 2010: The large sign at the trailhead for The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail was defaced sometime between June 8 and 12. The incident has been reported to police. Several members reported on this incident. Thanks. It will be addressed ASAP. We very much appreciate members - or any visitors - reporting on vandalism, trail conditions and the like. See Contact Page for how to reach us.

FBWHT & WRWEO nominated for EAC Sunshine Award

June 21, 2010: The Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust and the Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organization are amongst the nominess for the EAC 2010 Sunshine Award, to be announced at their AGM on June 24th.

Precautions on the The Bluff Trail

June 20, 2010: A front-page item in the Chronicle Herald today described a rescue from the Hay Marsh Loop of The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail. Apparently a couple was hiking the trail and one of them collapsed from heat stroke and exhaustion after 6 hours of walking and had to be air-lifted out. They had a cell phone which helped both to get the message out and to locate them. The event underscores our advisements related to use of The Bluff Trail, especially during these hot days.


Critical UARB hearings on Forest Biomass in July

June 15, 2010: UARB hearings related to the NSP-New Page proposal for using forest biomass to generate electricity take place end of July. Deadline for comments is July 14, 2010. More details

Mon May 31: Jamie Simpson on forest biomass

May 31, 2010: Kick off Environment Week by attending this presentation by Jamie Simpson, author of Restoring the Acadian Forest and learn more about forest biomass and how it fits into the Nova Scotia Power Inc.-New Page deal, and the New Renewable Energy Plan for Nova Scotia. 7-9 pm at SMU. More details

Hike The Bluff Trail on International Trails Day Sat. June 6th

May 28, 2010: To join in this worldwide celebration, the board members of the Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organisation (WRWEO) invite hikers and walkers in our community to hike a loop or two of The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail system on Saturday June 5th 2010. Read more


Warblers & MayFair at Jerry Lawrence Park on Sunday, May 30.

May 27, 2010: All who would like to have a great family time this Sunday May 30 are invited to the annual MayFair, sponsored by Five Bridge Wilderness Heritage Trust, at Jerry Lawrence Park (formerly called the Lewis Lake Park) on St. Margaret's Bay Road. The event goes from noon to 3 pm. For early risers, a Warbler Walk, led by Hans Toom will take place earlier in the day, meeting at 7 a.m. More info SUNDAY a.m.: MAYFAIR CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER

canoe trip

Canoe Trip into the Hay Marsh Loop of the Bluff Trail

May 24, 2010: Jim Carwardine comments on the challenges and pleasures of an outing on The Bluff Trail on May 24th, 2010 in a Photo-Report. A disappointment: garbage left at one site by previous visitors. (WRWEO promotes leave-no-trace techniques of wilderness travel.)

State of The Coast

May 16, 2010: The government released its State of the Coast report in Dec. '09. The final open house to discuss priority coastal issues will be 4-8 pm in Dartmouth, May 26th, 2010. Final feedback is due June 30, 2010. Read more


Are algal blooms becoming more common in the lakes and streams of the Woodens River watershed?

May 13, 2010: Bob Chambers has made some interesting observations on algal blooms ("green muck") on Black Point Lake Lake. Please help us to determine if such blooms are becoming more common. Read more

How are the mayflies doing?

May 13, 2010: Red maples are just past peak flowering, leatherleaf is in full bloom, shadbush is beginning to blossom, mayflies are emerging and trout are jumping. Have you seen large hatches of mayflies on the Woodens River System this spring? Please let us know. Read more

Wednesday, May 12: Silence of the Songbirds

Bridget Stutchbury will share her research findings on declining species of birds associated with continuing threats such as pesticides, loss of habitat, and the bright lights of urban areas in a special, public presentation, 7 p.m. at Dalhousie University. See poster

MAY 29 & 30: Forest and Field: Drawing and painting spring wildflowers

flower Apr. 21, 2010: A workshop with artist and illustrator Twila Robar-DeCoste at Harrison Lewis Centre, Port Joli. For details of this and other workshops, (e,g. Chainsaw for beginners (May 15), Heating with wood (May 16), see Harrison Lewis Centre

Five Bridges publishes Walking Guide

book March 30, 2010: Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust has completed a wonderful guide for walking enthusiasts who enjoy nature and learning about our local history. It's A Walking Guide to the Old St. Margarets Bay Road. The official book launch is April 29 at Tantallon. Read more    

Moss Worshop, April 27-29th

March 30, 2010: This three day workshop on how to identify common mosses of Nova Scotia is set in the natural and relaxing setting of Mersey River Chalets. The workshop includes daily field trips, an introduction to the use of microscopes, identification keys, and a useful booklet. Registration by April 12. Read more

Western Common Wilderness Common: Feedback and Open House x April 14th.

pic March 16, 2010: HRM is seeking feedback on its recently released Draft Master Plan for the Western Common Wilderness Common by April 14th, 2010. It is also holding an open house on Wednesday, April 14 from 6:30-9:00 pm at Brookside Jr. High School, 2239 Prospect Road. See HRM Website for the plan, where to submit comments and details of open house.

uneve age

Uneven-Aged Management Workshops

March 15, 2010: Beginning on April 24, 2010, the Uneven-Aged Management Outreach Project will offer 15 free workshops for woodlot owners and silviculture contractors at locations throughout the province.
Read more


Green Map Exhibition March 15th - 19th, 2010 at SMU

March 11, 2010: As part of Sustainability Week @ Saint Mary's, the University will host a Green Map Exhibition from March 15th - 19th, 2010 to showcase some of the Green Maps their partners have created here in Nova Scotia and beyond. Read more

Consultations for Candidate Wilderness Area scheduled for March, 2010

Mar. 8, 2010: Public consultation for the Five Bridge Lakes candidate wilderness area is now underway. A page on the N.S. Environment's website provides a consultation newsletter, background documents, dates of open houses (March 10, 24, 27th), locations of information displays (available March 1 to 31). See NSE website. See pages under the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area tab at left for some background.

Protecting Mainland Moose on the Chebucto Peninsula

Sheldrake Lake Mar. 8, 2010: Is the Chebucto group of mainland moose sustainable? Yes, with our support and there are many benefits for conservation at large. See new pages on moose & corridors under the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area tab at left or click here.

Beth McGee & Richmond Campbell receive awards

Bet McGee & Richmond Campbell Mar. 7, 2010: Beth McGee, Chair of the Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust and long-standing member of WRWEO, and Richmond Campbell. one of the founders of WRWEO and Chair or Co-Chair since its inception, were recognized recently for their contributions towards enviromental stewardship. Beth received NSEN's Nickerson Lifetime Achievement Award and Richmond, HFN's Colin Stewart Conservation Award. Congratulations!

January Newsletter

newsletter Jan. 26, 2010: The latest issue of WRWEO Watch contains photographs and information about the upcoming AGM on Feb 17, perspectives on clearcutting for biomass, WRWEO's position on the proposal to develop in the planned parkland next to the Blue Mountain- Birch Cove Lakes protected area, and more. See Newsletters

AGM Presentation (17 Feb.): Our New Candidate Wilderness Area by Land and Water.

wilderness Jan. 14 2010: Our AGM is Wednesday evening, February 17, from 7 pm to 9 pm at the Tantallon Public Library. Registration and renewal of membership ($10 per person) begins at 6:30 pm. All are welcome regardless of membership. Keynote speakers David Patriquin and Dusan Soudek will provide a conceptual and pictorial tour of the Five Bridges Lakes Wilderness Area that has recently been designated as a Candidate Protected Area under Nova Scotia's Wilderness Areas Protection Act. Details.


Jim Carwardine on Snowshoeing for Breakfast TV (Jan 15)

Jan. 14, 2010: CTV roving reporter Cyril Lunney took a lesson in snowshoeing from Jim Carwardine at the trailhead for The Bluff Trail for showing on CTV's popular Breakfast Television (7-9 am daily). Read more & see video-clips

stone tread

Stone tread trail construction

Dec. 1, 2009: Wherever possible, we are now using stone tread to provide passage across wet areas, rather than wooden structures. The stone tread is more durable and has a more natural appearance. Read more

Old growth forest stands in the FBLWA

oak Nov. 16, 2009: An article in the November issue of The Bridge describes old growth red oak and red spruce stands in the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area (now a Candidate for protection under the Wilderness Protection Act). Additional photos are posted at .


coyote Nov. 3, 2009: Coyotes are sighted occasionally, more often their scat, on The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail. A CBC posting about the recent fatal attack on a young woman in Cape Breton by coyotes offers the following advice on how to act if approached by a coyote. Read more

Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area is now a Candidate Wilderness Area

Bluff TrailOct. 19, 2009: Today, at a celebration for the official designation of Ship Harbour Long Lake Wilderness Area under the Wilderness Areas Protection Act, N.S. Minister of Environment Sterling Belliveau announced that The Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area is now a Candidate Wilderness Area!
See News Release

Invitation to Tender for Capital Work
on The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail

stone tread

Oct. 13, 2009: Each year, WRWEO undertakes a variety of trail improvement work on The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail. Currently, we are inviting tenders for stone tread trail construction at 12 sites on loops 3 & 4. See


Witch-hazel in Flower

Oct. 13, 2009: Witch-hazel, a common understory shrub/small tree in deciduous woodland on The Bluff Trail, flowers from mid-September to December. Read more


fall colours

Fall colours

Sept. 25, 2009. Time to begin checking out the fall colours. Barry Perrault forwarded links to some wonderful photos taken on the Bluff Trail in the fall and winter of 2008/2009. See Photos.

tall oak

The case for protection

Aug 20, 2009: The Chebucto Wilderness Coalition reviews its case for protection of the The Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area under the Wilderness Protection Act in Steering Committee Report No. 10.

cuc root

Indian Cucumber Root

July 15, 2009: This species was spotted by a participant on our June 7 Nature Walk. Yesterday, there was lots of it in flower in deciduous woods on the upper part of the Pot Lake Loop. Read more

Website Reverberations

July 12, 2009: Apologies to our visitors in early July '09. Our Wordpress application went haywire for still unexplained reasons, and we have re-instituted the site in traditional HTML mode. 'Guaranteed fast and not to malfunction again!

yellow marker

Color Coded Trail Markers

June 26, 2009: The trail crew has just finished maintenance work on The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail. The Bluff Loop and the Hay Marsh Loop have had a "hair cut" and are now much easier to follow. In addition, colour-coded trail markers have been installed on all four loops… Read more


The Red Bog Orchids

June 25, 2009: Flashes of pink or crimson red in bogs of The Bluff Wilderness Trail and by the BLT trail this time of year could be one or more of three red bog orchids. Read more

Keep an eye out for Goldenheather

flowers June 20, 2009: Goldenheather (Hudsonia ericoides) is in flower on the barrens around Halifax and easy to spot this time of year. (Click on the photo for a larger version.) This species commonly co-occurs with broom crowberry, which is abundant on barrens of The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail, but hasn't yet been reported for the trail. If you see it, please record the date and location (as well as you can), take a photo if possible and forward the info. to Thanks! More about Goldenheather

Fishing Derby '09


June 16: 2009: Our Fish Derby day (June 6) was wet and cold but that didn't deter fishers. Read more

Pink Lady's Slipper

Pink Lady's Slipper June 8, 2009: Yesterday, during our International Trails Day Nature Walk on the Bluff Trail, we saw lots of Pink Lady's Slipper in full bloom beginning near the trailhead, also Labrador Tea (by the boardwalk over the bog).
See Nature Walk Photos.

Fish Derby & Trails Day on Sat June 6, Trail Walk now on Sunday June 7

May 20, 2009: This will include two fun events side-by-side:

  1. Fishing Derby on Cranberry Lake
  2. Nature Walk on Bluff Trail

Read More
Sat. a.m: .due to rain/wet conditions, the Nature Walks is postponed until Sun Jun 7 at 10 a.m. Walk, approx 2 hours. Meet at the trail head. Note that there will be another, longer nature walk on Aug 23 (see Events).

Warber Walk, Sat. May 30

May 18, 2009: The Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust is holding its Annual Warbler Walk at Jerry Lawrence Provincial Park in Lewis Lake on Saturday, May 30 from 7 a.m. to noon. Well known bird watching enthusiast Hans Toom will lead the hike. Birders are asked to meet at the Picnic area inside the Park at 7 a.m. The warbler walk usually takes place both in the confines of the Park and along the St. Margaret's Bay Rails to Trails . The Jerry Lawrence Provincial Park is the summer home of 14 species of the twenty-one species of warblers that nest in Nova Scotia. For further information please call Beth McGee at 823-2245. See Hans Toom's The Warblers of Jerry Lawrence Provincial Park for a preview!

BioBlitz also on June 6

May 16, 2009: June 6 is a busy day… one could take in both WRWEO's International Trails Day/Fish Derby AND BioBlitz by doing the WRWEO event in the morning and joining BioBlitz in the afternoon. Regardless, an information session about BioBlitz on May 20 will have lots of relevance to The Woodens River Watershed and the larger Chebucto Wilderness Area. Read more

Spring Mayfly Hatch


May 12, 2009: Red maples are just past peak flowering, leatherleaf is in full bloom, shadbush is beginning to blossom, mayflies are emerging and trout are jumping. Have you seen large hatches of mayflies on the Woodens River System this spring? Please let us know. Read more

Comment from George Taylor of Trout Nova Scotia (May 21, 2009) The following From George Taylor of Trout Nova Scotia: "The mayfly on the Woodens starts as early as April 25 and are finished by May 8th. In the distant past on the upper system the mayfly came out in great numbers over the two weeks with new hatched every other day. It was often said that our upper lakes had the largest hatches in Nova Scotia. I remember folks who drove from Cape Breton and Shelburne 25 years ago to fish the mayfly hatch on Hubley Lake. We now have only a remnant population and with a PH of 4.6 /4.8 it is highly unlikely that we will see improvement in numbers. This year on the lower section below Long Lake the numbers looked better then in the last 8 to 10 years. The main hatch this year came on May 2nd in stronger numbers all at once which looked good but only lasted until the 6th. I expect the cold weather in April kept them down until we had a few days of record temperatures. If the hatch was spread out over the two weeks I expect the total numbers would be the same." (Message was orwarded by Brian Saulnier. )

MLA endorses WRWEO's Efforts

May 12, 2009: On Thursday, April 30, 2009, The Hon. Judy Streatch gave notice of a resolution commending the efforts of WRWEO in regard to The Bluff Wilderness Trail and in seeking protection of the larger area. Read more will also get to this website

May 8, 2009: A WRWEO member suggested that we make an alternative domain name that connects with Done!. So if you want to tell someone how to reach us, you can say "W-R-W-E-O DOT C-A (all lower case)" or "". Thanks for the suggestion!

Mainland Moose & The Proposed Chebucto Wilderness Area

May 1, 2009: A herd of Mainland Moose, which are listed as an endangered species under the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act, occurs in the Proposed Chebucto Wilderness Area. On Wed. May 6, at 7 pm, personnel from DNR are presenting a talk and discussion on the current status of this herd and in particular will discuss the impact of human activity there on their movement and chances of survival. This is an important topic and could affect the delineation of the proposed Chebucto Wilderness area. The presentation will be at the Tantallon Public Library (Exit 5 on Hwy 103). More Info. on Mainland Moose