What’s it take to convince Nova Scotia DNRR to give interim protection to an area with 33 occurrences of SAR Old Growth Forest Indicators? 15Mar2024

That’s what Forest Protector Nina Newington asked on Day 13 of “Lichen Camp”.

Forty SAR occurrences, 33 of them an old growth forest indicator species, are not enough, it seems, to convince DNRR to give the whole area interim protection while final decisions are made about areas that will be given permanent protection to meet the 20% goal.

Follow the developments at and related to Lichen Camp on the Facebook page for the Friends of Goldsmith Lake Wilderness. For the convenience of those not on FB,  key posts are copied (with permission) on a page on this website –  see Lichen Camp GLWA 2024

The first post in the Lichen Camp series explains what it’s all about:

What is Lichen Camp ?

Lichen Camp is a forest protection and education camp dedicated to educating the public and the government about biodiversity and the importance of protecting it. The specific focus is protecting the proposed Goldsmith Lake Wilderness Area.The camp came together when it became clear that the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables had removed the holds on extensive harvest plans in the area and that logging was imminent. In 2022, Citizen Scientists of Southwest Nova proposed this 3900 hectare area of forests, wetlands and lakes to the Minister of Environment for protection as the Goldsmith Lake Wilderness Area. They have been exploring the area ever since, discovering old growth forests and species at risk.

By March 2023 they had identified 17 species at risk occurrences, almost all lichens and almost all in cutblocks previously approved for harvesting. To their credit, DNRR put holds on all the cutblocks touched by species at risk occurrences. By the beginning of March 2024, the citizen scientists had doubled the number of species at risk occurrences they had identified within the proposed wilderness area. They also discovered that the holds had been lifted and that DNRR was allowing logging to proceed in all but “portions” of the cutblocks.

Lichen Camp is asking the government to extend immediate interim protection to the proposed Goldsmith Lake Wilderness Area while final decisions are made as to which 300,000 hectares will be conserved in order to meet the target of protecting 20% of Nova Scotia by 2030.

In the meantime, Lichen Camp will serve as a base for workshops and guided hikes, teaching people about lichens, species at risk and the importance of old forests. With a pristine lake and old growth forest nearby, Lichen Camp is a great starting point for people to see for themselves why the Goldsmith Lake Wilderness Area needs to be protected in perpetuity, for humans and for all our non-human kin.

Lichen Camp is an unfolding story of determined, respectful, rational, fact-based protest – – with a lot of soul – about issues that affect all of us. It deserves the attention of all Nova Scotians;  I expect that over time, it will be clear that most Nova Scotians respect the modus operandi  (and perhaps like me, are in awe of it) and fully support the goals of Lichen Camp.


First But Not Last

To explore the wilds of yesteryear,
So pristine and still untamed.
To look across a great expanse,
That’s yet to have a name.

To walk atop a mountain,
That overlooks the sea.
Camp in the deepest forest,
Underneath the tallest trees,

Where wildlife still abounds,
With streams filled with fish.
To stand under a waterfall,
And breathe the purest mist.

Our wilderness is disappearing,
At an ever-alarming rate.
We must take a stand to protect it,
Before it becomes too late.

By Danny Baker, posted on the Friends of Goldsmith Lake Wilderness FB page, Mar 15, 2024.
Copied here with permission.

Frontispiece from the Friends of Goldsmth Lake Wilderness Area FB Page



Goldsmith Lake Wilderness Area Project on iNaturalist, stats as of Mar 17, 2024

The Save Our Old Forests (SOOF) Association is a registered nonprofit based in Kespukwitk, Mi’kma’ki. SOOF has two primary objectives to:
– To engage the public in helping to protect the forests in keeping with the Government of Nova Scotia’s commitment to protect 20% of Nova Scotia’s lands and waters by 2030; and
-To raise awareness of the ecological importance of protecting forests over 80 years old in particular.

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