Q: How big are the Western Crown lands and where are they?
This land area is located in Western Nova Scotia and the land owned by the Crown totals 1.5 million plus 345,000 acres protected under the Wilderness Act for a total of 1.8 million acres. Most of these lands were purchased from Bowater Mersey Ltd. The lands are located in the seven western counties as well as parts of western Halifax and Hants counties that comprise St. Margaret’s Bay district.
Q: How much land is protected from harvesting?
Including the proposed Parks and Protected Areas Plan, there is 32 per cent in the western lands. Land trust agreements with the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Nova Scotia Nature Trust protect more than 3,000 acres of Crown land. Those purchases were made to protect mature hardwood, endangered species and wildlife corridors.
Q: How is this new plan different from the previous process of allocating wood?
Long term allocations are being provided to facilitate business planning for the forest sector and to provide clarity to Nova Scotians as to how the fibre from the Western Crown lands will be used. Rather than giving saw mill operators short term license, allocations for harvesting will be based on a percentage of the available wood to harvest rather than a fixed volume, making it easier to adjust to changing forest conditions.
No mill will receive more than 21% of its historical spruce/fir wood requirement. They will be based on the next 10 years which is normal forestry practice.
Q: How does government determine who gets what?
Staff at the Department of Natural Resources with an expertise in forestry applied a model based on the past five years of a mill`s production and determined the percentage of that as the most equitable and fair model. It allows the industry and government to move forward in a planned way.
Q: How can a member of the public find out what is being harvested?
Maps of the spring short term allocations are posted on our DNR website. Other harvest plans will be posted as they become available.