Archive for July, 2009

In the News – Woods and wastelands

Nova Scotia loses over 1/10th of its forest in 17 years. (link may expire)

“It is a concern because certain species require intact forests for their best survival,” said Cheng. “It is significant that this amount of landscape can change, especially this quickly, when in other forest management zones across Canada it is much lower.”

The Forest Products Association of Nova Scotia deflects by claiming that Hurricane Juan cleanup, as well as “parking lots and highways,” could have been a significant portion of the forest, half the size of Cape Breton, that has disappeared since 1990.

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Nova Scotians might be concerned to hear that we are harvesting our forests at twice the rate of places like Northern Ontario and inland British Columbia. If there is a good reason this is being done, and if the forestry companies are taking measures to restore the forest sustainably (and not just for harvesting in another 20-30 years), tell us. Don’t pretend parking lots are the villain.

If you’d like to read Global Forest Watch’s report, you can read the press release here. A link to download the report can be found here.

To be fair, this more detailed response of the Forest Products Association is better phrased and raises some good questions about the report’s methods.

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If you go for a hike on the Eastern Shore, you might find that wooded path has become a 485-hectare clearing. Harvesting wood for biomass, the new up-and-coming energy source which really means, “first we clearcut, then we strip and chipper every last bit of branch and twig and add it too a pile until we’re ready to burn it in a giant furnace” is causing concern among environmentalists.

If you read the comments section of any cbc.ca article, I always advise you use the “agreed” comment sorting option, and pay attention to how many people voted “agree” or “disagree” on the comments. It will make you feel better.

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