As reported earlier this year, University of Kings College President Bill Lahey reviewed forestry practices in the province. Government has reviewed Mr. Lahey’s report and will move forward with recommendations meant to shift Nova Scotia to an ecological forestry model and reduce clear cutting.
Minister of Lands and Forests, Hon. Iain Rankin, noted “Forestry is a longstanding economic driver in Nova Scotia and it’s important we get it right. We accept Prof. Lahey’s findings and will immediately begin work to put in place the tools to achieve ecological forestry in Nova Scotia.”
The Department of Lands and Forestry will focus on the following priority actions:
- protect and enhance ecosystems and biodiversity as the department’s overarching forest policy priority
- implement what is known as the triad model of ecological forestry, which includes conservation areas, high-production forest areas and a combination when conservation and forestry objectives are blended
- make revisions to the Forest Management Guide to place more emphasis on ecological values in the decision-making process
- begin a peer review of the department’s approach to natural disturbance regimes to ensure alignment with ecological forestry
- increase the focus on wildlife and species at risk with a focus on health and recovery plans
- improve openness, transparency and accountability of the department’s decisions
- explore opportunities for small-scale wood energy projects to allow low-quality wood to be used in heating public buildings, such as hospitals, schools, and government offices.
“This will result in significant changes to the way forests will be managed, including less clearcutting on Crown land,” said Minister Rankin.