FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, August 21, 2018
New “Lahey” Forestry Report Prioritizes
Biodiversity and Ecosystems but gaps remain
[K’JIPUKTUK / HALIFAX] – The Ecology Action Centre is feeling cautiously optimistic following the release of a long-awaited review of forestry practices in Nova Scotia. The 70-page report, authored by Dr. William Lahey and a team of expert advisors was released this morning, and contains 163 conclusions and 45 recommendations.
“Although we’re pleased to see the report and all conclusions framed around the core recommendation of ecological forestry and biodiversity protection,” says Raymond Plourde, Wilderness Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre, “We are disappointed that Dr. Lahey’s report did not explicitly address the ongoing and systemic problems within the Department of Natural Resources (now the Department of Lands and Forestry).”
Ecological forestry is an academic term that infers managers take a holistic, ecosystems-based approach to forest management. “If biodiversity and ecosystems are prioritized above forest production and harvesting, whether on crown or private land, then there is certainly hope for positive change within the forest industry and the [recently rebranded] Department,” Plourde says.
Upon initial review of the extensive document, the Ecology Action Centre notes that the report misses the mark on several fronts, including how to address biomass production and export, conflict of interest issues within the Department and the forestry industry, and the returned use of herbicides on crown land (pesticides were banned on crown land for the last 7 years). The Ecology Action Centre, encouraged by our 5500 members, 300 volunteers, and allies, including forestry specialists, will complete a deeper dive into the Report and will provide a collated list of the good, the bad, and the missing aspects of Dr. Lahey’s report on forestry practices.
Despite some flaws, the Ecology Action Centre sees the Report as a positive step forward and hopes implementation of the recommendations within the report will proceed at a pace that is required for proper and long-lasting protection of the Nova Scotia environment. “With less than 1% of old growth forest remaining in our province, and with about 70% of land privately owned, there is little room for error or mismanagement,” says Plourde.
The full report, including all addenda, technical papers, and appendices can be found online on the Nova Scotia Government website here: https://novascotia.ca/natr/forestry/Forest_Review/
For further information, please contact:
Wilderness Senior Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre
(902) 478-5400 (cell)