54 Groups from across NS Call for Better Forestry and Oppose Large-scale Biomass for Electricity | Ecology Action Centre

54 Groups from across NS Call for Better Forestry and Oppose Large-scale Biomass for Electricity

The crowd at the event

54 Groups from across NS Call for Better Forestry and Oppose Large-scale Biomass for Electricity

April 13th, 2011

Over 250 individuals and 54 groups from across Nova Scotia gathered for a press conference followed by a march to Province House in support of Nova Scotia’s forests and rural communities.

The groups represented wildlife, woodlot owner, tourism, angling and conservation organizations from across the province, and called on the government to release and follow through on the recommendations of the Natural Resources Strategy Phase 2 report and the government’s recent promises to 1) substantially reduce clearcutting (50% reduction in 5 years), 2) put an end to whole-tree harvesting, 3) stop funding herbicides with public money, 4) put a cap on the total allowable annual harvest and 5) to get moving on their legally-mandated commitment to protect at least 12% of the province’s landmass by 2015.

The groups also sent a clear message that large-scale forest burning for biomass electricity is not acceptable.  The government recently reduced the cap on biomass renewable electricity, but is still proposing a 14% increase in cutting to fuel biomass electricity.

View photos and media coverage of the event on our Facebook page.

Videos of the event:

Group Statements

Albert Marshall - Mi'Kmaw Elder

 Bob Bancroft (video coming soon)
 Martin Willison (video coming soon)

Matt Miller

Kathy Didkowsky

Donna Crossland: Video #1

Donna Crossland: Video #2



Group Statement to Premier

April 13, 2011

Dear Premier Dexter:

We, the undersigned 54 groups from across Nova Scotia, urge you to act immediately to fulfill your government’s commitments and responsibility to Nova Scotians to (a) reform forestry practices, (b) put the brakes on forest biomass electricity projects and (c) move forward aggressively on our province’s protected wilderness area goals.

We value Nova Scotia’s forests and a vibrant, diversified and sustainable forestry industry and forest ecosystem.  The status quo of wide-spread clearcutting is not acceptable. Nor is the squandering of our forests for inefficient, large-scale biomass electricity projects or dawdling on protecting our rapidly vanishing wilderness. Nova Scotians have spoken clearly and in great numbers on these issues through exhaustive public consultations.  We expect the findings of the Natural Resources Strategy process to be respected and acted upon. We call on you, Mr. Premier, to show leadership in this regard and to take the concrete steps needed to ensure that our children have healthy forests that support wildlife, clean water, clean air, beautiful landscapes and rural jobs.  We can have a forest and a forest industry to be proud of, but only if you respect the public process and follow through on the recommendations from that process.

Your government’s recent decision - through the flawed Renewable Electricity Plan - to allow forest biomass harvesting for electricity generation will increase forest cutting by roughly 14% (an additional 700,000 million tonnes per year).  This is the equivalent of adding another large mill to the province and clearcutting a 1 km-wide strip from Yarmouth to Sydney once every 6.5 years. Furthermore it in direct opposition to the results of the Natural Resources Strategy and is unacceptable.
Specifically, we call upon you to immediately:
1.    Release the now over-due Natural Resources Strategy
2.    Reduce clearcutting by 50% in 5 years
3.    Ban whole-tree harvesting
4.    Stop public subsidies for forest herbicide use
5.    Stop  large-scale biomass energy projects and new clearcutting for biomass fuel
6.    Remove forest biomass from the Renewable Energy Standards and Electricity Plan except for small-scale, highly efficient combined heat and power projects
7.    Get moving on achieving the government’s 12% protected areas target

Further, we call on you to act decisively to support low-impact forestry on private woodlots, as well as value-added and diversified forest products manufacturing.

Ecology Action Centre
Sierra Club – Atlantic Chapter
Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association
Mi’kmaw Elders of Unama’ki  (Cape Breton)
Eastern Shore Forest Watch
Lunenburg County Forest Watch
Tobeatic Wilderness Committee
Hope for Wildlife
Friends of Nature
Nova Scotia Bird Society
Trout Nova Scotia
Nature Canada
Nature Nova Scotia
Halifax Field Naturalists
South Shore Naturalists
Wildlife Habitat Advocates
Save Caribou
Cheticamp River Salmon Association
Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society
Margaree Environmental Association
Citizen Action for Protection of the Environment
Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia
Antigonish Eastern Shore Tourism Association
Central Nova Tourism Association
Destination Southwest Nova Scotia Association
Halifax Wildlife Federation
Kings County Wildlife Federation
Queens County Fish and Game Association
Digby Fish and Game Association
Canadian Association Of Smallmouth Anglers – NS Chapter
Atlantic Canada Geocaching Association
Hike Nova Scotia
Halifax Hiking Club
Halifax North West Trails Association
Friends of Redtail
Indian Point Young Naturalists Club
Nova Scotia Environmental Network
Les Amis Du Plein Air (Cape Breton)
Canadian Youth Climate Coalition
Council of Canadians – North Shore NS Chapter
Council of Canadians – Inverness County Chapter
Council of Canadians – South Shore NS Chapter
Social Responsibility Committee of the Unitarian Universalism Church of Halifax
Sackville Rivers Association
Antigonish Rivers Association
Cobequid  Salmon Association
Medway River Salmon Association
Cheticamp River Salmon Association
Southwest Paddlers Association
Clean Annapolis River Project
Shubenacadie Watershed Environmental Protection Association
St. Margaret's Bay Stewardship Association
Tusket River Environmental Protection Association
Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organization

View photos and media coverage of the event on our Facebook page.