News Release Archive

NATURAL RESOURCES--Amendments to Forests Act
Natural Resources Minister Kennie MacAskill has introduced
amendments to the  Forests Act that will help to ensure that
sustainable forestry is practised on both crown and private
woodlands in Nova Scotia.

"The amendments are the mechanism to ensure that harvesting does
not exceed our capacity to grow timber," said Mr. MacAskill.  
"The key amendment means that all wood  buyers and exporters must
register with the province so that we will know how much wood is
actually  being harvested. Those who buy more than 450 cords of
wood each year must also submit a wood acquisition plan to show
how their supply will be sustainable."

Mr. MacAskill said a Buyer Registry is currently being
established, with registration to start soon.

The amendments also provide for regulations that will require
sustainable forest management practices on all woodlands.  The
regulations will be based on the current Forest/Wildlife
Guidelines and Standards, which are designed to protect the
forest environment,  wildlife habitats, watercourses and
wetlands, and limit the size of clearcuts.  The Guidelines and
Standards, implemented in 1989, are mandatory on Crown land and
voluntary on private woodlands.

Another amendment will require industrial forest operators to
provide information on forest harvesting operations so that
Department of Natural Resources field staff can monitor
harvesting operations.  However, this will not apply to woodlot
owners or operators who harvest fewer than 200 cords (450 cubic
metres) per year.  

"These improvements represent a new direction for forestry in
Nova Scotia," said Mr. MacAskill. "In addition to providing a
framework to achieve sustainable forestry, this
new approach will help to maintain forestry related jobs and
incomes, protect the forest environment, and  ensure that we
don't cut more timber than we can grow."

The measures taken today were announced in early October when a
forestry position paper was released.  Mr. MacAskill said the
plan to achieve sustainable forestry has been well received
within the forestry sector.


Contact: Blain Henshaw

ngr                 Dec. 11, 1997              1:15 p.m.