What Nova Scotia Forestry Does When Government Lets It Police Itself

For over a year, I and other woodsmen/homesteaders/organic-permaculture farmers around the province have been telling Nova Scotians that the government is allowing the illegal cutting down of old forests for pulp wood. NS government has ignored this because apparently it’s “good for the economy”, and they have given NS forestry the ability to “police” themselves. I have photographed this ongoing destruction at various sites. You won’t see this from the roads. It’s often tucked away behind a hedge of trees or in folds of hills so it’s not obvious to passersby. This is one old forest that was destroyed, probably to feed the Pictou County pulp mill, over the last year. In the first image, my wife and daughter stand near a great tree for scale. In the second, taken middle summer, you can see the loggers going to work. I figure they’ve cut about 100 acres in this image. In the third section, taken yesterday, they have leveled roughly a square mile (640 acres) of old forest. The cut is so large, I had to zoom way back to squeeze it all in and still couldn’t get all of it in the photo. Why? Either biofuel or for the pulp mill, to make toilet paper or fuel pellets to sell to the “green minded” Europeans, where green really means buying the environmental destruction of other places of the world.

forest kill sequence small

This is “responsible” Nova Scotia forest industry at work. Hundreds of acres of old forest leveled for pulp. Apart from the irreplaceable value of the forest itself, anyone one of those trees represented layers of employment if used wisely, from cutting and air drying these aged woods to carving into fine musical instruments, art and furniture. But the NS forestry’s modus operandi is slash and burn, fast as they can.

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2 thoughts on “What Nova Scotia Forestry Does When Government Lets It Police Itself

  1. canadiandoomer

    We live on a mountain and it’s horrifying to see the number of lumber trucks that drive by us. Since we’re on a remote dirt road, we always see and hear them. And the forest around here is in the same state as yours.

    A local logger, who just retired this year, said to us last year, “I just don’t understand it. When I was a kid, my father logged huge trees. Now all I can find is tiny ones.” Sigh. Really? This is a mystery? That same man said to us that it was too much work to replant, and besides, it was out of his pocket, so he was happy that it is voluntary – he just doesn’t do it. And yes, he makes sure to leave a “pretty strip” of trees in front to “shut people up”.

    And when my husband said recently to a lady, *wife* of another logger, “Wow, I’ve been hearing the chainsaws a lot lately” she gave a disgusted look and said, “It’s because there aren’t enough TREES left to stop the sound.”

    They KNOW what they’re doing.

    My grandfather and his father logged the same 400 acres for their entire lives. I learned the basics of woodlot management listening to my father and grandfather. Then my uncle inherited the land after my grandfather died, had a clear cutter come in, and then sold it to DNR.

    If there’s something that can be done, I’d love to know. For now, all we can do is protect our little 14 acres of woods.

  2. It’s pretty much the same here. My grandfathered nurtured one of the big estate forests all his life. Mixed deciduous, with a good sprinkling of species. Every tree removed was initially replaced by half a dozen which were thinned out and maintained such that for every tree out, guaranteed one tree in. The “natural” habitats for wildlife were never disturbed, and each logged tree was removed by horse power alone. You’d never know, walking through, that anything had been removed / planted in a 100 years.
    The estate was broken up shortly after he retired. Stripped the entire forest (some 200 acres in all) completely bare and replaced the lot with row on row of sitka spruce. The wildlife is pretty much entirely absent, and they don’t even manage what they have planted in any sensible way that will result in decent timber – all for pulping, with a short cycle to maximise profits… meanwhile the biodiversity quotient is zero…
    The old timers recognised a responsibility, and took that responsibility seriously, to manage and maintain, not just the forest, but the entire ecosystem that flourished in and around it.

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