Area near local Scout camp that is a popular recreation destination slated to be clearcut
An area of Crown lands purchased from the former Bowater paper mill that are a popular destination for hunting, fishing, paddling and cranberry picking, as well as the home of a local Scout camp, is slated for clearcutting, and local residents are concerned about the impact the harvest will have on their ability to enjoy these lands in the future.
The proposed harvest sites cover an area of roughly 358 hectares (ha) (885 acres (ac)). Of this, approximately 330 ha (815 ac) is scheduled to be clearcut, an area roughly equal to 550 football fields.
As shown on the map below, harvest block 720 is directly across from Scout Island, which is used by local Scout troops as a camp site.
The lake shore northeast of Block 720 is a popular cranberry picking area for local residents. Numerous other harvest sites are located in close proximity to the Old Annapolis Road Nature Reserve and hiking trail, and several blocks will be clearcut to within a stone’s throw of lakes that are popular paddling and cranberry picking destinations for local residents.
Nova Scotia Power recently upgraded a fish ladder at the south end of Sandy Lake, and the extensive cutting of lands directly adjacent to the lake could have impacts on fish populations, potentially negating the investment in improving fish passage.
The St Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association (SMBSA) made the following statement via their Facebook page regarding the proposed harvest sites;
“SMBSA is deeply concerned that the land use planning for this area, and particularly the allocation of this land for clearcutting, has been done without taking the lands recreational, ecological and cultural values into account. The proximity of these lands to the quarry and proposed asphalt plant is highly troubling for the community because of the many facetted impacts on the region’s ecological integrity and on the health of its inhabitants.”
The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources posted maps of the proposed harvest sites and is soliciting comments from the public.
Nova Scotians who are concerned about the impacts on recreational activities and environmental impact from these proposed harvests are encouraged to send comments to DNR before Saturday, March 12th, when the comment period for these harvest sites closes.
Comments can be submitted by email to ForestryMaps@novascotia.ca