Are you interested in breaking news, the latest scientific research, and insightful commentary on issues of importance to the owners of woodlands in Nova Scotia, and to the health and protection of the Acadian Forest?
You’ll find it below, and also on NSWOOA’s Facebook page. The stories will be updated daily, so check back often.
For even more information, check the archive of our monthly electronic newsletter, Legacy.
Climate change impacts weakening temperate forest regions around the world
Severe droughts, disease, more extensive wildfires, and other climate change-related impacts are threatening and transforming the Earth's temperate forests. Some areas could convert to grasslands or shrublands over the next few decades, if not properly managed.
Rate of net global deforestation drops by half as wood demand continues to grow
Since 1990, the rate of net global deforestation has declined by half. During the same time, wood use has continued to grow as global populations expand, showing that sustainable forest management is a valid and successful option for forest owners.
Interim duty on Port Hawkesbury Paper products
The U.S. Department of Commerce has imposed an interim duty on paper imports from the Port Hawkesbury Paper mill. Department officials are currently investigating whether U.S. mills are being unfairly disadvantaged by the heavily subsidized Point Tupper mill, and will decide by October whether or not to keep or lift the duty.
Researchers call on governments, others to ensure a strong role for communities in natural-resource decisions
Failure to involve communities in natural resource decisions can produce disastrous results.
“The well-being of communities is linked to the health of ecosystems, and vice versa” says Tony Charles, who is director of the Community Conservation Research Network. “A healthy environment is crucial for local communities, as well as for national economies. At the same time, keeping our environment healthy takes conservation efforts, and communities can play a major role. But if community initiatives are not supported, if community knowledge is not recognized, then both the economy and the environment suffer.”
Pictou mill may re-open by the end of June
Production at Northern Pulp's Pictou mill could resume by as early as the end of June.
Latest news on Northern Pulp's Pictou County mill
Northern Pulp claims the province's environmental conditions are 'impossible to meet'.
Northern Pulp shuts down to install equipment
Northern Pulp will temporarily close its Pictou County paper mill on May 30 in order to install equipment to meet air pollution reductions demanded by the Nova Scotia government.
Read more ... http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/northern-pulp-to-shut-down-to-install-air-pollution-equipment-1.3060859
NSWOOA board warns of risks from woodlot 'conversion'
'Conversion' of woodlots to non-forestry use may have serious consequences.
Directors of the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association are concerned about reports that some logging contractors have been encouraging landowners to sign 'development agreements' to convert their woodlots to non-forestry use before a biomass harvest.
The practice is being used as a cover for contractors who want to ignore wildlife and watercourse regulations. The harvester gains a small amount of wood that should have been left standing in wildlife clumps or alongside streams, ponds or salt water.
For family forest owners, however, there are financial, environmental, and legal risks.
Wildlife and watercourse protections are critical, so removing the last few trees on a woodlot has serious implications for wildlife habitat and water quality.
At the same time, there are possible financial impacts from a change in use. By agreeing to convert a woodlot to a non-forestry use, the owner faces:
* Loss of future funding for silviculture, and the possible clawback of silviculture funding that was awarded in the previous 10 years.
* Substantially higher property taxes when the lot no longer qualifies for the forest resource tax rate of 25 cents per acre.
* Loss of eligibility for special income tax treatment that is available to owners of family forests. This allows capital gains that would otherwise be paid on the transfer of forestland from one generation to another to be deferred indefinitely, as long as a managed woodlot remains within the family.
If wildlife habitat and watercourse protection regulations are ignored, but landowners don't take steps to develop their property or use it for farming, they could even face legal recourse from the Department of Natural Resources. Enforcement officials have up to two years to file charges.
"We have been concerned to hear rumours of woodlots being harvested for biomass that are claimed to be 'converted' to other uses, so that wildlife clumps and watercourse regulations can be ignored," said Will Martin, president of NSWOOA. "This is worrying from an environmental health perspective, and also could have serious economic implications for the landowners."
NSWOOA directors advise landowners to consider the impact of their choices carefully. If you have questions about forestland conversion, call Andy Kekacs of the association staff at 1-855-NS-WOODS.
Women in Nepal become forest conservationists
Women in Nepal have become stewards of a community forest in the Terai Arc, which they rely on for necessities like food, water and shelter, as well as income and firewood. This article tells their story through a series of pictures.
New Brunswick environmental group finds success selling carbon offsets
Community Forests International, a Sackville-based forestry and environmental group, has been making about $70,000 per year on their 71 hectare woodlot by selling carbon offsets to five Canadian companies. These companies are paying CFI to manage this land sustainably.