David P to Waye Mason, cc
To:Stephanie R, Tapper, Alana,’Wood, Crispin’,Steenberg, James,, Peter DuinkerHide

May 21 at 10:24 p.m.

Waye, thank you for forwarding the information from Alana Tupper, Superintendant Parks West and asking for comment. 
As suggested, I forwarded your e-mail to Peter Duinker, also to Stephanie Robertson of the Halifax Field Naturalists and Friends of Point Pleasant Park.  Peter Duinker  replied promptly, copying several others as well, so I am replying to this full suite.

I note that  Tender Closing Date is tomorrow, so I am forwarding these comments in some haste.

 I concur with Peter Duinker’s comments (below) entirely

 Some further comments

1.     I had expressed some concerns about Rosa multiflora and am pleased to see that one of the five projects addresses Rosa multiflora and Japanese Knotweed. However I urge that R. multiflora be addressed sooner rather than later, as it really is poised to take off.  A few days ago I was looking at some large plants  in one the PPP wetlands.  Just have a look at some of the wetlands in Standford Fleming Park to see what it can do in those areas in a few short years- when it get’s that bad, it can’t be fixed without routing up the whole wetland. I urge park personnel  to do a full assessment of R. multiflora in early July when plants are flowering and can be surveyed readily as I did in 2016 (

2.     Stephanie Robertson interviewed on the Rick Howe Show today expressed concerns about the amount of crusher dust being used in the park and the effects. I have attached an audio of her comments; these deserve attention, especially given Project 6. Are we going to be both adding and removing crusher dust going forward? Stephanie also expressed concerns about chipping that should be considered.

3.     Peter Romkey interviewed on CBC on May 13 highlighted the need to take a microsite-specific approach, related to root development, soil depth, winds etc. I am attaching an audio of the interview. I urge that his comments be taken to heart and that whoever does the work has the capabilities and understanding to make the related on-the-spot decisions.

4.     If Peter Duinker’s and Peter Romkey’s suggestions were to be followed, they are inconsistent with some of the key specifications cited in the tender issued on May 3, 2019  (closing date of May 22, 2019).

5.     I can’t see why some of the larger existing exotic trees that are not seriously invasive should have to be removed; I believe the Comprehensive Plan envisaged that many would remain where they are important for structural integrity. We may lose more resilience by removing them than we gain.

6.     When the Comprehensive Plan was developed, it was preceded by a public consultation process that was very successful,  elicited widespread applause, and gave direction to the Comprehensive Plan;  that in turn was highly successful and widely applauded. I think users of PPP  expect and would be highly appreciative of more of the same.  

2 audio files attached.

Thanks for your consideration of these comments.

Audi01 S.R. on Rick Howe Show May 21, 2019:

Audio02 Peter Romkey interveiwed on CNC Info-AM 13May2019

On Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 3:53:44 p.m. ADT, Peter Duinker  wrote:


To:      Waye Mason, Alana Tapper, Steve Rice

 Copy:  David Patriquin, Stephanie Robertson, Crispin Wood, James Steenberg

 From:  Peter Duinker

 Re:      Thinning plans in PPP

 Noting that Waye asked David to forward to me the message from Alana about thinning in PPP, I thought I should take a moment to comment on what I read.

 1. A thinning is called for at this time, in my view, but primarily to remove alien species (particularly the invasive ones) and to adjust the conifer/non-conifer mix on south-facing slopes (as Steve points out in his item 1 of the 10-yr plan).

 2. I would prefer a tighter average spacing (say, 1.5 to 2.0 m) to try to keep the tree canopy as closed as possible. If the sites are opened up to average spacings of 2.5 to 3.0 m between trees, I fear that the ground flora will flourish in a way that is not natural for a young and developing Acadian forest. The lower the removal rate, the less likely that park visitors will even notice what’s going on, and that’s a good thing when trees, even little ones, are cut down. Perhaps a worthwhile strategy would be to do half this year’s thinning with tight spacing and half with wider spacing, and then we can monitor the ensuing stand conditions (see item 6 below) to see which worked best.

 3. The concept of spacing in a setting like PPP should be understood as an average with huge variation around the average. That would characterize a natural Acadian stand, where some trees are naturally close together and some are far apart. The concept of average spacing with small variation works for timber production, but not for producing natural stand conditions, which I would argue is what the PPP Comprehensive Plan calls for.

 4. I like the concept of coming back in some years (the emailed text that I read was inconsistent on the number of years before the return visit – 3-4 years in one place, 5 years in another) to continue with removal of alien species. The implication of the planned program is that the first thinning is a heavy one and the second thinning is a light one. With my proposal of tighter average spacing on the first go-round, these could well be both medium-intensity spacings.

 5. I’m not convinced on the need for thinning of the coppices (of red maple, oak, and birch, in particular). In nature, there might be 50-100 new stems coming from the stump, and in due course – say, several decades – there could be 3-5 stems, all the others having died. Again, if we were in the business of timber production, we would want to cause the per-stump stem count to go down very quickly because then we capture all the future wood growth onto stems that will stay alive until harvest. However, we are not producing timber, so under natural conditions, the stump sprouts will do their own thinning and deliver 3-5 stems after several decades. What is the advantage in a park to hasten this, or even to get to one stem? Again, doing this is contrary to natural stand development in Nova Scotia.

 6. The text I read makes mention several times of monitoring. I would like to make a pitch that whatever monitoring is contemplated be done in a scientifically rigorous way so that we build up a reliable package of knowledge, properly documented, about how the PPP woodland is rebounding after Juan. Such monitoring opportunities are ideal for both undergraduate and graduate thesis students supervised by professors – the monitoring would by definition be done competently and inexpensively. Folks like Jeremy Lundholm and me (there may be others) could readily design and implement the monitoring so the results can serve as a learning base for both park managers and budding professionals in their degree programs.

 In sum, I’ve long been wondering when the next woodlands treatments would be made in the Park. The thinning is exciting and, if done well, should improve woodland conditions. Doing some strong science around this makes it even more exciting! I’d be glad to help in any way I can.

 Cheers, Peter

Peter N. Duinker, PhD, P.Ag., Professor

School for Resource and Environmental Studies

Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University

6100 University Ave., Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4R2

Phone: 902-229-5141


Recent Book on EIA:

Stephanie Robertson
To: David Patriquin Cc: Waye Mason; Tapper, Alana; Wood, Crispin; Steenberg, James;

May 22 at 6:33 a.m.

Thank you David for putting these points together,

I too believe as you do, and as also does the Comprehensive Plan of 2008, that some of the non-native trees should be left, if not forever, at least until native trees have achieve a good height. For instance some of the European Beech, especially along Heather Road, and the large Douglas Firs along the Park Road going south from Shakespeare by the sea opposite the south container pier.

It is especially important about the gravel. It is seriously harming the park’s plants and forests and constantly bringing in more weed seeds. It is also making the park very ugly by widening the roads and erasing the pleasing grassy/low plant/shrub edges, and is deleteriously affecting the soils, streams, and wetlands. Pictures over the years sadly reveal the increasing extent of this. Do the math. 50 or 60 tons of this salted stuff every year, year after year, will gradually replace everything else. We will have to rename it Crusher Dust Point.

If the Comprehensive Plan was followed over the years as prescribed, we wouldn’t have to be going through this all the time. And Peter Duinker has made such an important point about the approach to cutting. Point Pleasant is a park to be enjoyed for its magnificent forested beauty, not a wood-lot to be always treated, when something needs to be done, as if it was being prepared for future harvesting.

Please, can we stop always consulting and worse, using, only industrial forestry people who will always cut, treat, and look at the park from that perspective, and describe what needs to be done from that perspective, because of their training? For the park’s sake, we need always to consult people who have studied, understand, and know how to support the vitality and resilience of different trees, forests, and their soils. For instance, a firm that was ‘contracted out’ last year to do cutting and also snow-ploughing, broke some of the beautiful native White Pines which were planted after hurricane Juan. Some were actually cut. The ploughing also exacerbated the spreading of gravel and broke and knocked down more trees.

This park is a very precious and valuable asset which could be lost because of bad practices. Please, lets not always give whatever has to be done to the cheapest bidder. Lets step up to the plate and show our respect by giving it the type of care and resources it deserves, and that the public deserves, long into the future. The Comprehensive Plan more than fulfills that mandate. A lot of time, money, expertise, planning, and hope went into it.

Stephanie Robertson