Public Consultation Summary Report - Summary of Results

West Northfield Public Comments: First stage categorization (in order of most to least support)

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: 115
*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 (23)

  • Sell logs to small sawmills 2
  • Working forests 2
  • Community Forestry 2
  • Don’t export logs out of NS
  • Put logs up for tender
  • Please describe the reporting system followed by forestry companies or contractors cutting on crown land.
  • Selectively cut: 45 acres 6 men worked all winter
  • Manage the forest; allow cutting do it in a way that is beneficial to the forest. Mature timber should be cut
  • Work with local woodlot owners
  • Strictly limit biomass
  • Sustainable forestry
  • Non-timber forest products
  • The woodland can be managed to cut the right amount annually
  • Non-timber forest products
  • Recreation and traditional forest products
  • Mixed, uneven age forest should predominate
  • Maintain high forestry standards
  • Sustainable wood product development instead of “fibre-mining”. Ban biomass energy production except as genuine by product of other wood product production
  • Maintain forest management program/ that was established by Bowater
  • The resources must not be a monopoly for certain large mill owners in the area. This could be managed between DNR/Dept of Environment and local mill owners and wood cutting contractors

Tourism and walking, skiing, canoeing and hunting/ fishing (16)

  • Community access to fishing, hunting, hiking, cycling, OHVs to allow a full diversity of residents to enjoy the lands, regardless of physical state or ability.
  • Will ensure community + resident ownership
  • Recreation – fishing, hiking, hunting and ATVs: with these activities of course there are issues such as keeping groups apart, safety, road maintenance, garbage collection
  • Make it accessible to everyone for recreation 1
  • Fishing
  • Canoeing
  • Give general public access and permits to hunt and fish on these lands
  • Focus on tourism and recreation
  • Maintain access for hunting and fishing but also protect wilderness areas
  • Eco-tourism potential needs a lot of development –resources such as outfitters, campgrounds and B+B’s need help in accessing wilderness/park areas. Development of rails trails (for example) is haphazard and un-coordinated. Long range hiking trails (no vehicles) would be a big draw- eg Appellation trail system
  • Recreational use including public access
  • Eco-tourism
  • Children’s’ experiential education programs
  • Hunting, fishing, hiking and camping many of the same activities as at Keji Park
  • Government regulated camp grounds should also be considered. This could improve our tourism income as a province
  • Multi use recreational properties require close control and monitoring by DNR or some equally responsible department as motorized ATV and dirt bike traffic can be very hazardous to walkers and cyclists
  • Perhaps selected areas could be set aside for recreational such as when there is no active woods work in process OR perhaps set aside groups of days in each season for recreational use. Let us share the land

Broad Policy (14)

  • Mixed use 4
  • Comparative benefit from per/acre usage of lands for various purposes in the economic model for forestry high productivity – doesn’t consider who’s not working because company uses equipment to do work of many people. A large amount of the money for larger equipment goes to companies making equipment not Nova Scotians
  • Provide Satellite imagery and interpretation
  • Keep this as crown land and do not allow it to come under control of private industry ever again
  • This is public land owned by us and purchased with our own tax monies
  • Firstly we should go back in time to the first European settlers arrive these were vast forests in NS. So what was done was dole out land to these settlers which worked very well for these settlers. Just as feudalism was in a state of turmoil in Europe. These settlers cleared the land and farmed the land for generations. Now we are in a state of turmoil again. Who is the owner and tend these vast lands must be for the good of all. Nothing less will be satisfactory
  • Use local experts BUT make decisions quickly
  • It must be available for the use of all tax payers as a multi-use area. No simple group or interest should be catered to
  • Respect the diverse needs of the human and natural communities of the area. Avoid large industrial
  • Rural people here are very protective and will not necessarily be vocal unless provoked. I think this open format session is a good way to warm people up to the idea that there are going to be changes made. The land should certainly be reserved for hunters, fishers and other recreational users, but we need jobs, too. Pulp-powered plants, value added construction
  • Former crown land has existed for many years to be accessed and used by all citizens. Right way to go planning the use of newly acquired Resolute lands, BUT leave existing crown land be as it is

Vehicular, ATV & snowmobile access (10)
   In favour (9)

  • Access to private land on Timber lake by water and by land (through possible wilderness area)
  • ATVs should not have access to wilderness areas, nature reserves, lake borders, parks
  • We need to work together to develop planned trail system need cooperation of OHVers
  • ATV routes and permits – ATV clubs. Access funds for trails
  • Open the gates on roads to give access to hunters, fishers ATVs, hikers
  • Give permits to ATV groups to run controlled groups on these crown lands
  • Off road vehicles and highway vehicle access
  • Keep the land for future generations by giving controlled access
  • I would like to see a plan for recreational fishing in place with controlled vehicle access or if necessary allow ATVs to use roads after the first is out in the spring

   Against or policy suggestions( 1)
  • I know it’s not a popular position, but I would like to see some limits on ATV access

Enforcement/ Staffing (5)

  • You can best use the property by ensuring that sufficient enforcement is in place to make sure that whatever land choices able to be managed. P.S. Not just enforcement, DNR needs more staff please.
  • Land management and enforcement staff need to be increased proportionally
  • DNR is understaffed
  • The areas will need to be patrolled for fire watching etc. anyway
  • Do not create too many jobs to manage the forests. Government management jobs

Energy (4)

  • Wind generation – on a community level 3
  • Pulp fired generators for electricity – provide work and uses the pulpwood. Also should use private woodlands for this. Not just big plants but smaller plants for generations

Protection (3)

  • Protection
  • Routine enforcement patrols included
  • Protect the land from destruction and damage by vehicles, especially ORV’s

Increase home-building/ Development (3)

  • Property development and economic development – planned community
  • RFP for guided development of selected areas of crown Lake front communities that respect nature and create jobs. The province makes the development rules
  • GIS map of crown leases and who has the leases for what areas of the province

Value Added Products (2)

  • Value added products
  • Resources should be harvested by and as much as feasibly possible processed to value added products by Nova Scotia companies or private individuals

Food production/ agriculture (1)

  • Blueberry, cranberry, maple syrup, Christmas trees

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?

Vehicular, ATV & snowmobile access (4)

  • Access to private land on Timber lake by water and by land (through possible wilderness area)
  • Gate in West Dalhousie gate open for fishing
  • Right hand side road off highway 8 – no gate – want ATV access in there for (trapping)
  • Concerning lands behind Hubbards-East River and St. Margarets Bay. Allow ATV traffic on roads only and use trail fees paid by permits every year to grade the roads also have interested parties such as ATVANS and anglers and hunters to be on the Board to make these decisions on these tax payers lands

Protection (4)

  • Area 128 – Old Annapolis Road should be a wilderness area instead of a nature reserve so that people can still use etc
  • Area 133 Nature Reserve, Why is this happening? No consultation or notice to adjoining private land owners. This area has been protected by hunter and fisherman for past 50 years or more. Still has not received any impact. Where is the information justifying the classification?
  • Sensitive environmental areas such as the Rossignol District should be kept gated on both ends for a number of reasons (a. Keji Park and Tobeatic are here and need to be protected b. Moose population in area [biggest on mainland] c. Shelburne river heritage area
  • Keep sensitive areas gated and save some of Nova Scotia’s wilderness

Tourism and walking, skiing, canoeing and hunting/ fishing (2)

  • Since we all will be paying for the recently acquired Resolute lands, we all must have benefits accrue to us; ie recreational use
  • Not familiar with acquired Resolute lands, use of existing crown land as is now, works well for all people using then move

Other (2)

  • There is a steel Russel boat going down the East Branch in Medway. (near Medway Lake)
  • Suggestion for communication: Some people do not understand the way there was exchanged between the oak hill sawmill and other sawmills and woodlot owners. It would be helpful if they did

Forestry (1)

  • Lunenburg- Get controlled and managed responsibly. It would be folly to return it to what it was when Bowater owned these 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?

Other/ Comments on Process (19)

  • Will DNR be enforcing the ban of OHVs on former Bowater lands while consultation process ongoing?
  • Boom Boat, museum piece
  • I put my dot there because I think it is important to me. Because that is where all my water comes from in my community, and it’s where I live in Nova Scotia or Canada and the world
  • Price of power is really an issue Muskrat falls may help hold the line
  • In mean time leave things as they were under Bowater
  • There is a need for people to know the forest will be sustained for future use. This includes the wood as well will preserve other stands. There could be a column in the local paper and it could include a web address for people to respond
  • Each of us have our own concerns. I would hope we could see a share agreement. The forestry needs their piece of the pie and so do people with recreational interests. Consideration must be given to us all
  • How do we find a full list of companies or contractors who have been issued licenses/ permits and their annual quotas?
  • I was most disappointed by this “presentation”. I expected to hear from those from Natural Resources where we are and what the possibilities are. An opportunity missed
  • Keep consulting
  • Make sure the realistic at large (area communities and other Nova Scotians) are informed and engaged throughout the process
  • Don’t take too long to implement this. People are sick of waiting, no, even more so, they cannot wait any longer for new forestry jobs. There is opportunity here. The Medway forest co-operative is the model you have been looking for- just use it
  • No Special interest groups or individuals are to have preferred access to these lands
  • All citizens must be treated as equally as possible
  • Input public “wants”
  • Economic gains are not always the top consideration
  • Keep the forest “working”
  • Advocate sustainable use
  • Thanks for the opportunity to have input

Forestry (11)

  • Forestry is one of the few resource based industries left. We need to make decisions quickly because people can hold on for long waiting for decisions. This isn’t just a problem in West- problem in all of Atlantic Canada
  • What government department issues permit to cut timber on crown land and how are the cutting quotas determined?
  • GIS: Who is mapping the clear cuts or the amount of wood in the forest? Map the clear cuts. What % of what age level? Make information available online
  • Bowater lands well managed for forestry
  • Would like to see more Acadian mixed and move age classes
  • Capability for updating clear cut status using satellite imagery – very important and good value.
  • Need legislation to protect private wood land owners + woodlands in general from illegal cuts and trespass
  • For example a fine as a deterrent (high amount) not just pay the land owner triple or double stumpage
  • What are the consequences for forestry companies or contractors exceeding their annual cutting quota?
  • How often are the quotas for each company or contractor reviewed?
  • The stumpage fee doesn’t return the woods to the landowners

Vehicular, ATV & snowmobile access (5)

  • Do signs mean we are breaking the law? Can gates be closed without signs?
  • In most cases I believe people would expect to be responsible + share in expenses for road maintenance. Perhaps more responsibility can be established through membership in clubs or other association
  • Enforcement of ban on ATVs on trails and roads traditionally used (within Bowater) will ruin goodwill of OHV owners and operators to work with DNR into the future
  • I don’t think the gates should be taken off, because as a kid I bicycled and boated and camped in these wilderness areas and if the gates come off, it will take this true natural wilderness away. Instead of hearing just birds sing, you will hear the sounds of ATV and vehicles. I want my kids to be able to bike, canoe, camp and fish in true wilderness like I did. Thank you; please don’t take the gates off, and save this wilderness for our kids to enjoy
  • Keys for gate right –of-way to private lot