Independent Review of Forest Practices: Process Update: Jan. 23, 2018

Written Submissions and Meetings

Written Submissions

The Review has received more than 170 written submissions. While the majority deal with the forestry practices aspect of the Review’s mandate, many focus on the Review’s mandate to consider market access issues. All submissions are being read by Professor Lahey and analyzed by the Review team for issue identification, leading themes, useful information and interesting ideas.

Written submissions have arrived in many forms: some are formal submissions written in the style of policy documents addressing multiple issues, while many are informal emails dealing with very specific issues, often based on personal experience.

Submissions in all styles and formats are welcomed, and can be sent to

Meeting with Individuals and Representatives of Groups and Organizations

Professor Lahey has held more than 60 meetings involving over 140 groups and individuals. Participants in the meetings held to date are listed here.

In November, Professor Lahey and other members of the Review team held a first round of “scoping” meetings with a cross section of groups and individuals, most of whom were invited by the Review to participate in this round of meetings. The purpose of this first round of meetings was both to help the Review identify the issues that would be critical to its work and to hear a representative sampling of information, advice and opinion on those issues. Through December, Professor Lahey and members of the Review team held meetings with a broader range of groups and individuals, most of whom requested a time to meet. In these meetings, the Review’s listening has been informed by its first scoping round of meetings, written submissions, two days of briefing on forestry by the Department of Natural Resources and its own analysis of the issues and the applicable literature, including the various reports which contributed to or flowed from the development of the department’s Natural Resources Strategy that was released in 2011.

Work of the Team of Expert Advisors

Professor Lahey recently held a three-day workshop in Halifax with most of his team of expert advisors: Professor Mac Hunter, who was unable to attend, provided written input, and Mr. Al Gorley will be consulted separately by Professor Lahey on matters within his particular area of expertise. The names of team members, which were announced in November, can be found on the Review’s website.

This workshop gave the experts the opportunity to be briefed on the issues that have been identified in the Review, and to have a first round of discussions on the options the Review might consider for addressing those issues. This included a discussion with officials of the Department of Natural Resources on the natural disturbance regime and related planning tools that are an important part of the Department’s approach to ecological forestry management. As a result of the discussions that took place over the three days of the workshop, experts are now working on providing their written views to Professor Lahey on a wide range of issues of potential relevance to his report.

Ongoing Listening, Upcoming Events and Ongoing Work

The Review will continue to welcome written submissions until its mandate is completed. The Review is however more likely to have the opportunity to fully consider submissions it receives prior to or on January 31.

Meetings with stakeholders who are interested in meeting with the Review are continuing. By the end of January, the Review will be limiting further meetings to those that can be reasonably expected to offer new or different information or perspective to what the Review has already heard. There may be continuing follow up with specific stakeholders to clarify points they have raised with the Review or to seek their further input on issues related to their input to the Review.

The Review will soon be receiving advice from the Forest Biodiversity Science Advisory Committee of the Department of Natural Resources on the biodiversity issues or questions it believes the Review should address or consider as it formulates conclusions and recommendations on forestry practices that will balance economic, social and environmental values.

The membership of the Committee, can be found on the Review’s website.

Professor Lahey has asked Amanda Lavers, Executive Director of the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, for the Institute’s assistance in organizing and hosting multi-stakeholder discussions on the following two topics:

  • The condition of Nova Scotia’s forests and what is known and unknown about the condition of the forests; and
  • The options for creating an ongoing forum or forums for continuing multi-stakeholder discussion of and contribution to forestry policy in Nova Scotia.

This Institute’s website is at:

The team of experts will be continue to working together through technology for the balance of the Review. In addition, the team will be brought together for at least one further multi-day workshop in Nova Scotia.