started this petition to
Premier Stephen McNeil
Nova Scotians want clear cutting on our public lands
to stop. Our forests are being overharvested for the lowest possible end uses – burned to generate power or turned into pellets and biofuel. In the 25 years prior to 2014, 42% of the operable forest in Nova Scotia was clear cut. Our Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is allowing our lands to be devastated.
Selection management can maintain our mixed, multi‐aged Acadian forests. Clear Cuts and most “Partial Cuts” sanctioned by DNR promote even aged, short rotation forestry, ideal for harvesting pulp, but not for biodiversity. While selection management can maintain our Acadian forest it was only used on 7.3% of forested lands in 2014.
Public lands must be managed in the public interest. On DNR’s watch, industrial interests reign supreme. The many benefits of intact forests are ignored. Withthe blessing of DNR, WestFor, a consortium of 13 mills, has become the manager of 1.4 million acres of public forest in western Nova Scotia. There is little doubt that clear cutting will be their method of choice. Nova Scotians have little say on how public land is used, instead we are providing large volumes of cheap, subsidized wood to the mills. WestFor’s license must not be extended.
Government commitments to improving forestry practices must be honoured. In 2011, after years of public consultation, the province adopted the 10 year Natural Resources Strategy. This policy committed to reducing clear cutting to <50% of harvests. In 2016, the government backed away from this crucial commitment. Meanwhile, Nova Scotia’s Auditor General has chastised DNR for failing to protect endangered species.
Government must recognize the vital ecosystem services provided by intact forests and ban clear cutting on Crown land. Clear cutting results in losses of wildlife habitat, increased flooding, depletion of soil nutrients, major losses in soil carbon and acidification of water ways. Clear cutting is bad for Nova Scotia’s public image and dismays tourists. Clear cutting is
like spending your savings; you use both the principal and the interest and are left with little or nothing for the future.
Sign to ask Premier McNeil to:
1) Ban clear cutting on Nova Scotia Crown lands.
2) Support selection management on most of our forests
3) Cancel WestFor’s license to manage 1.4 million acres of Crown lands