Nova Scotia

N.S. names committee members to advise on ecological forest management

The committee will advise the minister of Lands and Forestry and help residents understand forestry decisions.

Committee to meet four times a year; 1st meeting planned for next month

The land was slated for logging in the spring, but those plans were temporarily put on hold after species at risk were reported in the area. (Submitted by Scott Leslie)

Nova Scotia's Lands and Forestry minister has appointed 14 people to an advisory committee on ecological forest management.

Those appointed by Iain Rankin represent environmental groups, industry, the Mi'kmaq and academia.

Rankin says the committee will help Nova Scotians understand the decisions made in managing the province's forests.

The committee is to advise the minister on policies and priorities in line with recommendations of an independent review of forestry practices by University of King's College president Bill Lahey that was released in August 2018.

Lahey's report says forest practices should be guided by a new paradigm called "ecological forestry," which treats forests "first and foremost" as ecosystems.

The report says the province should adopt a so-called triad model that sees some areas protected from all forestry, some that are dedicated to high-production forestry, including clear cutting and others that are harvested with a "lighter touch" and limited clear cutting.

'Critically important'

In a news release, committee member Cassie Turple, who is communications co-ordinator for Ledwidge Lumber, said government decisions will determine the forestry industry's future.

"As a third-generation family member in the wood business, I understand the importance of this process," Turple said.

Ray Plourde, the Ecology Action Centre's senior wilderness co-ordinator, is also a member of the committee.

Plourde said implementing the Lahey report is "critically important" to ensuring forests are managed in a more sustainable and ecologically responsible manner.

"We applaud the government on taking this important step and stand ready to roll up our sleeves and to work in good faith with all the members of the new committee towards full implementation of the report and the needed shift to ecological forestry," he said.

Members of the new committee will be appointed for two-year terms and can serve a maximum of two terms.

The government said the committee will meet four times a year or as needed, with the first meeting planned for next month.

The committee members are:

  • Karen Beazley, Dalhousie University
  • Donna Crossland 
  • Angie Gillis, Mi'kmaw Conservation Group & Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq
  • Andy Kekacs, Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association
  • Jason Limongelli, J.D. Irving Ltd.
  • Bevan Lock, Port Hawkesbury Paper
  • Raymond Plourde, Ecology Action Centre 
  • Paul Orser, Paper Excellence Canada
  • Debbie Reeves, Murray A. Reeves Forestry
  • Mary Jane Rodger, Medway Community Forest Co-op
  • Mary Tulle, Tourism Nova Scotia
  • Cassie Turple, Ledwidge Lumber
  • Greg Watson, North Nova Forestry   
  • Marcus Zwicker, WestFor

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