Forester says old-growth trees cut on Crown land in violation of policy
Daniel George says woods near Guysborough should not have been harvested
Nova Scotia's Department of Natural Resources is investigating after a veteran logger says old-growth forest is being cut on Crown land near Guysborough.
The stand consists of shade-tolerant hardwood species such as yellow birch and hard maple, and many of the trees are hundreds of years old, George said.
He showed CBC News hundreds of immature yellow birch and hard maple trees that had been razed.
Policy to conserve
Nova Scotia's Old Forest Policy states it will "conserve the remaining old-growth forests on public lands."
Bruce Stewart, DNR's manager of forest research and planning, told the CBC's Information Morning they have sent a specialist to look into the allegation.
DNR staff will now use the department's "old forest scoring system" to evaluate that forest. Stewart said the department has no indication that it's old growth, but if it is, staff will find out how it was cut.
Nova Scotia has 27,000 hectares of protected old-growth forest, he said.
Licence to cut
Port Hawkesbury Paper has a licence to cut 95 per cent of Crown land in seven counties in eastern Nova Scotia.
The method being used by Port Hawkesbury Paper cuts too wide a swath, he said, allowing sunlight that discourages the original, shade-tolerant hardwood trees from growing back.
Mark Pulsifer, the regional resource manager for DNR, said George's analysis is "not entirely correct," and Port Hawkesbury Paper's harvesting method does encourage the regrowth of yellow birch, which is one of the most valuable species in the forest.