Public Consultation Summary Report - Summary of Results

In section 4 all the public and stakeholder submissions and comments have been summarized and categorized. The verbatim submissions will be used by the Department of Natural Resources. They are not being published due to privacy issues. As mentioned, some well-organized groups were better at getting members out to sessions and that is reflected in some of the numbers around points.

*Attendance: 215
*Includes comments from paper questionnaires and flip charts
*Numbers indicate the number of individuals who supported a comment or made an identical comment (the number indicates the total number of times that comment was made and/or supported)

How can we best use the 1.5 million acres of Crown land and the associated resources in the Western Region to most beneficially and sustainably grow and diversify Nova Scotia's economy?

Forestry (145)

  • No whole tree harvesting for biomass 25
  • Establish community forests for local economic benefit and environmental benefit 17
  • Do not let forestry giants such as northern pulp ruin our land 13
  • End clear cutting by any name 13
  • Food forests 13
  • All licenses should be FSC certified 6
  • No long term leases 6
  • Enforce meaningful forestry reform re-clear cutting 6
  • A mix of protected areas and community forests. Do not hand licenses over to large forests companies let local communities manage land for mixed values, and encourage diversification in the timber market away from pulp 5
  • Sustainable forestry 5
  • Community forests for 100% of working forests with diversified economic activity eg. (matsutake mushroom harvest, maple syrup, blueberries, other non-traditional forest products, soft wood lumber, trim, etc 5
  • Encourage forestry 4
  • Multi-user forests 3
  • Some of the land needs to go back for forestry operations 2
  • Public Firewood lots 2
  • Biomass from waste only 3
  • Some of the land should be used for Biomass demonstration (different species, densities, treatments, etc.)
  • Community based forestry for all of the St. Margarets area – and for all these lands
  • No more pulp and paper forests
  • Through the use of co-ops, owned by the province/sustainable practice softwood market for compressed wood fibre blocks. Hardwood for fuel as well as develop lumber
  • Woodland to be used by Nova Scotia companies to make NS products. No foreign control. No wood products shipped out to be processed
  • We need to focus on Acadian forest attributes according to FEC classification
  • The focus on old growth is pushing young stands towards old growth condition to obtain higher value products and increases provincial aesthetic appeal
  • Less large machinery
  • We can continue with forestry; but we need new management ideas eg certain areas for industrial forestry
  • Ensure that inherent value of forest increases year-to-year
  • Some of the lands (5-10%, minimum) should be used for biomass demonstration/production.
  • Suggest: different for species (eg poplar, willow, miscanthus) various treatments (zero, fertilizer, biosolids) various spacings etc
  • Follow the GPI forest accounts – manage it for ecosystem values which might mean learning a lot of it alone
  • Let the land be used by approved forestry companies to harvest proper growth trees.
  • Multi-aged forestry
  • Selective cutting

Vehicular, ATV & snowmobile access / General access (100) In favour (89)

  • People with camps need access by motor vehicle 22
  • Permit system for ATV users to gain access to lands 15
  • Make access decisions quickly 14
  • Provide Keys or make available to camp owners 10
  • The land should be open to the public 5
  • Off road vehicles should have a free permit to access crown land. Property owners adjacent to crown lands require access to their property which should be granted using off rods vehicles. Permits should be free with vehicle permits at a cost of $50 per off road vehicle 4
  • Controlled access during spring and fire season 3
  • Open access for motorcycles 3
  • Permit system for using roads and all uses 2
  • Why a permit? 2
  • All crown lands should be open to OHVs 2
  • My father in law may have only one more year of fishing. Don’t diddle dally around open gates once frost is out
  • Government only needs to be involved in land access
  • Existing ATV trails/roads should remain open
  • When land is not in use in winter time have it so ATVs can use
  • The $40 OHV fund should be a permit available to all. Therefore permit would/ could act as accessibility to all crown land and trails
  • Reduction of outboards on small lakes. Electrical motors or canoes on small lakes (only) Fly fishing only on specific lakes along with catch and release policies – to improve lake quality and fish quality – returned to catch again
  • Do not close down areas that have been used for generations by responsible people – for me 40 + years

Against or policy suggestions (10)
  • Off road vehicles should not be permitted and where they cause lots of destruction: plants and wildlife 4
  • ATVs should not have access to all lands 3
  • Access inland by foot/canoe but not motor vehicles
  • Off road vehicles never should be allowed in wetlands or along the banks of waterways. Minimal roads
  • Please leave some portion of each area open to people without a machine or motor
  • Keep the gates closed

Tourism and recreation, walking, skiing, canoeing and hunting/ fishing (51)

  • Provide access to former Bowater lands for the fishing season (in May and June after roads dry out) 15
  • Encourage recreation uses 14
  • Encourage eco- tourism 7
  • Encourage tourism 7
  • Support fishing and hunting 5
  • Outfitters
  • Promote development of non-profit groups to develop and manage trail systems that include food + lodging in strategic locations so that tourists can experience a trek-type tour that includes wilderness and communities heritage etc. look to the European type hut-to-hut experience, Maine Huts + trails are doing it, Quebec also
  • Use some lake property for recreation and parks

Protected Areas/Ecological Protection (44)

  • Post “leave no trace signs” 8
  • Some of land should be protected as proposed in 15.7% plan 7
  • Create a waste removal and prevention policy. Prevent illegal dumping 7
  • Support environmental protection 6
  • Camp owners and ATV users remove garbage left by litterers 3
  • Protect watercourses and water supply basins 2
  • Maintain Wetlands 2
  • Protected areas need to be controlled. We need to slow the shrinking of the working forest – industry will soon be impacted by wood supply issues 2
  • Keep the land pristine 2
  • No permanent development 2
  • Concerned about dumping possibility high video tower at entrances to prevent dumping 2
  • Illegal dumping connected to fees for dumping at the land fill
  • Keep Bowater gates in place to restrict access to interior forest/ lakes/ rivers. Protect wildlife habitat/ fish habitat
  • Create parks
  • The use of “vision” or herbicides should be banned, there is enough pollution
  • Protect old growth stands – and target areas well on their way towards recovery
  • Protect river banks by 300m with no cutting allowed

Value Added Products (20)

  • Think value added: (Tone wood, furniture, veneer, saw logs = ) (Biomass = ) 7
  • Focus on value added products 5
  • Encourage innovative small pilot businesses to find profitable high-value use of woodlands 4
  • Huge potential for maple syrup production – an export product 3
  • High end forest products

Broader Policies (15)

  • Allow and encourage continuous public engagement to ensure transparency and accountability 4
  • A variety of uses is a great idea, Wilderness Areas, OHVs, etc
  • Economic energy (cost and availability), and environmental conditions are now in such a state of accelerating change that the conditions of today are not what our near future will experience. So we should not plan for tomorrow like today. Clear cut pulp wood tree lands will no longer serve us properly. We need forests cultivated for multiple use and multiple users. Go see Windhorse farm near New Germany for a good example of positive directions to serve our future; we need to build resilience. Forests that provide multiple types of trees and other plants and animals will give us a far better future
  • No more land use by large corporations
  • Utilize NGOs and request meetings/consults with community stakeholders. SMBSA, FBWH + WRWEO, to name a few
  • Value be assessed holistically – ecosystem services, biodiversity, and extraction potential
  • Only allow approved use
  • Land trades involving crown land should be required to go through a public hearing process and be advertised to the public
  • Environment = economy in the long run
  • Consider native rights and claims
  • Think long – term – beyond the next election – for generations to come (150 – 200 years down the road)
  • Why are these consultations taking place at the same time as protected areas consultations very confusing + dilutes public involvement

Infrastructure/trails (6)

  • Roads should be fixed up, and some wood contractors could use certain areas 2
  • The non profit group manages and works with all land owners to create an integrated trail system that works in four seasons, benefits local establishments and leads more tourists to a world class system with food and lodging in the trail system
  • ATV and motor cycle associations might be able to fund maintenance
  • Since Darrell Dexter borrowed the money; roads should remain open to public except frost out time
  • Well managed trail system

Business/Jobs (6)

  • Allow experimentation and some will be viable to show future potential 4
  • Support Local Jobs
  • Support Local business

Food production/ agriculture (4)

  • Maple Syrup production 3
  • Blueberry

Resource extraction/ other (2)

  • Limited resource extraction ie. Put quotas on what can be used per year
  • Companies or organizations that are involved in the resources development/ extraction can only be owned by Canadians

Increase home-building/Camps (1)

  • Allocate camps around Officers Camp Lake and Timber Lake. There are other areas that could be used for camping

QUESTION 2 What activities would be the most effective use of Crown land in the Western Region that would generate the most sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits for your community and Nova Scotia? Where would you locate these activities on these Crown lands?

Protection (27)

  • Large tracts set aside for wildlife (no vehicles) 6
  • 50% Protect 25-33.3% of the area. Would not be accepting to any bio mass in the crown land. The purpose is to help the species in the area, not wipe them out 4
  • Protected completely. The rest shared by people and the ecology 3
  • Protect corridors and provide connectivity between public land blocks through wilderness protection 2
  • Put a double sided lock pin on Tote road. Too much garbage being dumped. ATV should have full access to all lands
  • Protect all identified wilderness areas/parks – exciting
  • Headwaters of St. Margarets Bay to be used and need to be maintained and exempt from development so people can access
  • Maximum of 5% of land should be protected. Protected land is neglected land
  • Protect areas along the Ingram river
  • Give priority to strong legal protection of the drainage network though to protected (as wilderness) setbacks from water – at least 50m from each water border
  • Your priority of economic benefits is not the most important. If you meet environmental and social objectives the economics will follow. The first priority is to protect any and all old growth areas that remain as well as much more land should be places in a protected status at least 20% of the Bowater lands at a minimum
  • Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area proves that recreation (including ATV use) and environmental preservation can work well together with appropriate management agreements
  • Create at least 1 other park like Keji
  • I believe in a critically important wetlands (Simms’ Lake) Simms’ Settlement biodiversity of amphibians, reptile, migratory birds, fish, turtles, muskrat beaver, bobcat etc. But because the area is privately owned its land to protect. The private land owners of wetlands must be taught practices and must be held accountable
  • The proposed Wilderness Areas for the Holden Lake (57 area should be expanded to include the White Gull lake and lonesome lake shorelines). The proposed area is too small, given the small amount of crown land protected in Lunenburg County
  • This is a very diverse area

Tourism and walking, skiing, canoeing and hunting/ fishing (13)

  • Camping areas 3
  • Ensure the search and rescue of endurance challenge continues to be allowed on ex. Bowater lands 3
  • Walking trails
  • Hiking, biking trials at head of St. Margarets bay. (by permit only?)
  • Allow access to big St. Margarets and Falls Lake for hunting and fishing
  • Create a tourism world class anchor. Either a Theme Park, or Professional athlete training facility. etc
  • Designated trails (tourism attraction) similar to NFLD
  • Timber Lake and Officer’s Camp Lake are great for wilderness experiences
  • The population requires winter activities that are near to HRM
  • Pockwock watershed area is the only place presently other than the oval that can sustain winter activities through the winter, as it holds the snow cover much better than near the city. Need to keep it as non-motorized winter recreation area. It is being used now, but like all other trails, the ATVs ruin it

Vehicular, ATV & snowmobile access (12)

  • ATV/Snowmobile tour routes/ with access to fuel/food accommodations etc
  • Access for development of motorcycle trails in Wilderness Protected Areas (single track)
  • Separate non-motorized trails near Head of Saint Margarets Bay. Have a few dedicated trails for walking
  • ORM tourism through the development of single-track by NSORRA, especially close to HRM
  • East river access road to the gate stops dumping or patrol it. (Cameras)
  • Mostly what we need in St. Margarets Bay area is more access to crown land
  • Would like to see gates remain closed but, understand how many citizens don’t have ATVs and would like to go hunting and fishing in the deep woods. We have a long history of having no crown land in St. Margarets Bay area and playing a cat and mouse game with Bowater to get into the NS woods
  • There should be no limit on OHV (motorcycle/ATV/snowmobile) usage on any crown land except for wilderness protected areas
  • The Old Annapolis Road has been highlighted as a priority for Safety Minded ATV Group.
  • My concern is the use of the current trail used for snowmobiling and ATV on the south side of Porcupine Lake. We use it regularly to access roads in the round lake area. (Porcupine Lake Nature Reserve)
  • Near Shingle Lake, there is an access road to privately owned land on the east side of the lake. The road “Medlee Lane” must be continued for public use and the area nearest the road to be wilderness area, not nature reserve. Especially keep land east of Medlee Lane as Crown or wilderness but not a nature reserve. (Pleasant River Nature reserve)
  • Access to Island Cuke through the tote road

Forestry and resource extraction - for and against (4)

  • Coppice hardwoods
  • For pulp, fibre, firewood, biomass, round wood construction, more small scale diverse products for a market influx
  • Economic (Forestry, Mining, Fisheries, Agriculture, Tourism, Energy)
  • Allow campers to cut mature timber actually charging then a market driven stumpage fee. Keep roads open (main arteries for recreation. Don’t forget the seniors who have hunted and fished on these lands

Other (2)

  • We commend the province for purchase of these lands and the work done this far
  • Restrict property sales; keep ownership of a maximum area. Only sell if it can be replaced

Energy (2)

  • Explore the potential for windmill farm in the interior of the former Bowater St. Margarets Bay lands.

What other points do you feel are the most important for the Department to consider as it develops the land and resource management plan?

Vehicular, ATV & snowmobile access (10)

  • Public needs to be informed of land use agreements for crossing/using crown land. What DNR will issue tickets, etc
  • I own a camp on Island Lake. Hunting Fishing etc. Going there ever since I was 4 years old. I need access to my camp with Vehicle Access to the road. With my truck or ATV. Go with the permit system for camp owner
  • It is important to know how to limit or control the type of recreation that can have the most detrimental impact on the environment and wildlife such us motor vehicles and ATVs. There is a place for everyone but everyone should not be allowed in all places
  • Close most of the woods roads (remove culverts, let grow up, etc.)
  • There are enough trails set aside for in protected areas for hiking and biking. My main concern is “rails to trails” not open to OHV’s or not open to motorcycles explicitly (ATV and snowmobiles allowed).
  • There are some crown land where OHVs should not go (sugar maple production, endangered/protected species)
  • Clearly marked “no OHV” signs could be posted along and access routes.
  • Anyone wishing to visit a friend with a cottage on this land should be allowed, whether they are on an OHV or car or truck
  • Areas that get snow should be for snowmobile use, but not to the extent that groomers are needed.
  • Snowmobiles should break trail

Broader Policies (5)

  • Let’s not act like a foreign country managing our resources, take care of people of this land and listen to them. In the past we were dedicated to. Now the people want to be heard.
  • Yesterday’s or today’s practices will not work in tomorrow’s conditions. So just don’t do it. With climate change, economic downsizing and energy use and cost transitions we cannot afford to work this resource. So conserve it
  • Sustainable practices. It’s not all about mark up a profit. Well panel jobs through build up. N.S. was the birthplace of the co-op
  • Users wishing to use the lands should be required to complete an orientation program that could outline the usage, ie what is allowed and when, example camping
  • Proper wilderness skills, how, where or when you could have a campfire, the process for building new trails, just basic overview so people will be safe and the land and infrastructure will be preserved

Other (5)

  • People within the same Department, ie DNR, should all give the same information, not conflicting information
  • Concern that we are not able to access our Camp which we pay a lease to the NS government. We only use the camp twice a year. April-May for fishing and fall for working on camp etc. We have paid the lease, plus the yearly rental + taxes but not able to use. We have always been responsible and appreciated use of the key from Bowater would appreciate having a key this year for fishing end of April to May
  • The lands/ volume tonnes licensed to mills small as possible because the stumpage rates the mills pay to the Crown are a lot less than private land stumpage rates. As a private land owner this would influence where the mill get their fibre from
  • Consider siltation and/or contamination of St. Margarets Bay via outflows of fresh water from this land if improperly managed
  • Taking away access to these lands would forever change my life and would forever change my life and would strip my family of generations of traditions

Objection to former Bowater staff

  • Several people in attendance at the Black Point open house were upset with seeing former Bowater staff at the event and mentioned ATV access