NRR’s Peter Bush to talk about Old Growth Forest Policy Thurs. Nov 3, 2022

UPDATE Nov 3, 2022:
The presentation and discussion was recorded and is available at

The discussion was limited and did not address Bev Wigney’s important question, submitted ahead of time, in brief that was: “Shouldn’t the “almost old growth forests” be where we are finding these restoration opportunities?” Detailed at the end of this post *
A notice about this talk was posted today on the MTRI Facebook Page. From that page:

Don’t miss your chance to learn more about Nova Scotia’s Old-Growth Forest Policy this Thursday, Nov. 3 from 7-8 PM with Peter Bush, Old-Growth Forest Coordinator with the province. Peter will give an overview of the policy and give an opportunity to answer any questions you may have.

The Nova Scotia government recently released a new Old-Growth Forest Policy. The purpose of this policy is to conserve forest biodiversity and ecosystem services through the protection and restoration of old-growth forests in Nova Scotia.

You will have a chance to ask questions live or you can submit them in advance by emailing or commenting below.

To join our seminar, you can register here…/tZYsdO6spzosG9fP… or watch out for our live stream on Facebook. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing the link to our seminar.

The updated, final, Old Growth Forest Policy was released on Aug 18, 2022.
That’s pretty well all that has come out about implementation of the Triad in 2022, with full implementation supposedly now less than 2 months away.

Some Related Links

Old Growth NRR webpage

Consultations: Old Growth
On Nova Scotia Forest Notes. Includes some of the feedback on the Draft Policy

What’s left to do to implement the Forest Triad in Nova Scotia by 2023? Plenty 13Jul2022
Post on this website

*Bev Wigney’s questions

Bev Wigney
I have at least one question as well. In the document that was linked to in the info about this presentation: “Public and Stakeholder Consultations onOld-Growth Forest Policy for Nova Scotia” it discusses the topic of minimum size now allowed for an OGF stand — having bee reduced from 2 ha. to 1 ha. My concern is about stands under 2 ha. that were disqualified from OGF designation because they didn’t meet the 2 ha. requirement and were either subsequently harvest, or, more importantly, have been approved as part of harvest parcels that are “in waiting” to be harvested now. What about those? When I’ve looked at the HPMV parcels in the past — especially in parcels listed 2 or 3 years ago — there were *a lot* of small stands being approved — many of them that were likely old forest — in ravines, close to lakes, etc.. A couple of forests which I have particular interest in had smallish stands of old growth type forest, but were “dismissed” as OGF as the polygons didn’t meet the 2 ha minimum size. Aren’t we sentencing a lot of OG stands that should have been protected, to certain death by having approved them for harvests because they didn’t make the 2 ha minimun size which has NOW been down-sized to 1 ha? Shouldn’t there be a complete reassessment of all parcels approved for harvesting but that have not yet been chopped down? Doesn’t that seem of rather critical importance considering that some of these small pockets of OG may be some of the best and only remaining biodiversity hold-outs left standing in between swaths of clearcuts and low retention shelterwood cuts? I feel this is a very valid concern and of critical importance.

Here’s another question. In the “Public and Stakeholder Consultations on Old Growth Policy for Nova Scotia”, this paragraph:
“Any recent forest harvesting—however light-touch or partial treatment—does not meet the conceptual definition of relatively undisturbed. However, old-growth forest on Crown land is in short supply, so although these areas are not by definition OGF, the policy now clarifies that recent partial harvests may be added to protection as old-growth forest restoration opportunities.”

This concerns me — what do you define as a “partial harvest” that could be designated as an “old-growth forest restoration opportunity”? We have seen some forests around here that were very likely “old growth” even though, for one reason or another, they didn’t make the grade. The “legacy” type trees that were left standing were often the worst of the worst — broken, or damaged during the harvest — or were basically snags — while everything around them was removed. Are these what are going to be designated as these “old-growth forest restoration opportunities”. I would not like to find that these types of stands are being used to pad the numbers as far as meeting area targets of old forest in each region. I think we need to have more information on just what kind of forest will be given “old-growth forest restoration opportunity” status and that these types of stands won’t be used to meet area quotas while other existing “almost old growth stands” with 100+ year old trees that don’t meet your criteria of 140+ year old shade-tolerant hardwoods are being razed. Wouldn’t it be better to drop the minimum age of the shade-tolerants to 100 years and retain those less-human-altered forests, than to cut them down and instead create these “old-growth forest restoration opportunity forests”? I realize that the issue of 140 year old forests has been addressed elsewhere in the above-mentioned document, but I think we really need to see how this works. Shouldn’t the “almost old growth forests” be where we are finding these restoration opportunities?

My comment to BW: “Shouldn’t the “almost old growth forests” be where we are finding these restoration opportunities?” Absolutely. Those are the forests Betts et al 2021 showed are critical for Old Forest Birds and by extension other old Forest species); they are also critical for carbon storage. If the Triad as it finally unfolds (by 2023 according to the current Gov., but you wouldn’t know it, given the complete lack of any public consultations – as originally promised – in the last10 months) does not stop and reverse the harvesting of Old Forest 98 (yrs +), then implementation of the TRIAD will NOT stop and reverse losses in Biodiversity on Crown lands nor will it increase forest carbon sequestration on Crown lands. (Forget about Private lands in NS, at least from a public policy perspective, Big Forestry & friends won that battle when they spread misinformation and conducted a backdoor campaign to do in the Bancroft/Crossland recommendations, most of which were adopted by the Steering Comm for the Natural Resources Strategy back in 2009-2011.) The NS government likes to say how they are protecting Old Growth… but at something less than 0.5%, there’s not much argument about it, even from big Forestry, versus B.C. where there is still significant OG. So the focus on Old Growth in NS is a bit of distraction, it is really Old Forest (as well as Old growth) that we should now be protecting, at the very least on our Crown (public) lands.

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