Public Consultation Summary Report - Summary of Results

Stakeholder Focus Groups

Black Point

Date and location of session
April 8, 2013, Black Point Fire Hall

Number of participants
25 participants and 1 observer; see list of stakeholders in attendance and additional invited at end of document

Facilitator’s comments about the session
There were 25 participants out to the meeting in Black Point plus one person invited as a stakeholder from Department of Transportation who chose to be an observer representing 23 stakeholder groups out of approximately 91 invited. Four tables were set up for people to take part in the facilitated discussions with a good mix at each table including conservationists, industry, private contractors, saw mills, ATV clubs, prospectors and other. People were encouraged to sit with those they did not know or ensure they were not all from the same organization at the table to ensure a diversity of views were shared. There was good discussion and participation by all. People were urged to ensure that comments they wanted noted were put up on the flip charts.

Black Point Stakeholder Comments

Question 1
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 Related (10)

  • Some degree of “working” forest
  • Encourage/ focus on harvesting for high-value forest products that employ more people per unit of wood harvested. use residuals (bark, chips, sawdust) as by-products only (no purpose driven harvesting)
  • Support development of community-based forestry operations (multi-use)
  • Provide places for non-timber forest products (blueberries, mushrooms, sugar maple, etc. (need a support process)
  • Managed forestry – contractor development
  • Allow communities, individuals, groups an opportunity to be actively involved in the forest economy- Harvesting at: different levels and different products
  • Due to historical use as forest production, should maintain ability to sustain local industry dependent on forest production.
  • Forest Management
  • Licenses for sawmills (local)
  • Silviculture

Recreation/tourism/Access (4)

  • Access needs to be carefully managed (seasonal restrictions, safety considerations, designated trails – not everywhere, some no-go areas (streams, wetlands, ecologically important areas, Parks and protected areas, etc.)
  • Eco-tourism
  • Integrated Recreational opportunities
  • Tourism and recreation

Economic Development (3)

  • Maximize local manufacturing/processing opportunities.
  • High value products
  • Research and Development

Broad Policy (3)

  • Multiple uses in different areas (same where compatible)
  • The length of time being considered for lease agreements is extremely important… the longer the better. Is the crown prepared to have leases for 20+ years for any crop (trees, Agriculture)?
  • Allow for all the ‘soft’ uses: camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, prospecting, etc

Protection (2)

  • Concerned about the wetlands policy in that it may hinder development of any kind. Is there going to be permits/allowances? Want to develop property that is not currently being used to grow trees
  • Support development of some protected areas

Resource Extraction (1)

  • Allow for open-pit mining, could turn it into HRM dump later

Agriculture (1)

  • Niche Agriculture Development

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?

Forestry (10)

  • Forestry (traditional/industrial)
  • Forestry (uneven-aged management)
  • Forestry: Use whole tree. Catalyst for long term including growth (training). Develop new markets
  • Forest economy activities not tree based
  • Christmas trees
  • Ash and aspen for tactical use
  • Demonstrate woodlot for educational opportunities to HRM schools/public
  • Forest harvesting – all kinds
  • Community Forests
  • Working forests-licenses (local sawmills)

Recreation/tourism/Access (7)

  • Eco-tourism operations (protected areas river corridors) and needs promotion and marketing. Interpretation. Development surrounding tourism infrastructure
  • Hunting, fishing, orienteering, etc
  • Access fees to maintain roads/trails. Also trail passes for OHVs.
  • Integrated Recourse use: ATV, canoe etc
  • Controlled ATV use; even a course built to allow for travel or races. Keep ATVs off the roads
  • Upscale “hunting lodge” style resort
  • Trail management

Energy (4)

  • Wind farms 3
  • Local distributed heat/power biomass plant (small scale, local, high efficiency)

Economic Development (3)

  • Micro lending, Business coaching
  • Research and Development: Strategic alliances (university, colleges, etc). WTFPs etc. NTFPs
  • Show case Nova Scotia and Nova Scotian products

Agriculture (3)

  • Agricultural products (natural) including berries, mushrooms, maple syrup, etc.)
  • Maple syrup
  • Berry production (all sorts)

Broad Policy (2)

  • Small licensees
  • No homes

Protection (2)

  • Protected areas
  • Acid rain research station

Resource Extraction (1)

  • Other resources: mining etc. licensing, prospecting, exploration

Question 3
What other points do you feel are the most important for the Department to consider as it develops the land and resource management plan?

Broad Policy (9)

  • Ongoing public engagement
  • 5 year reviews
  • Don’t allocate all the land/forest. Hold back some for new opportunities
  • Look for education opportunities (schools, community groups, etc.)
  • Mechanism/ process for small players to be given consideration
  • No permanent housing at the expense of potential forest use
  • Oversight should require professional accountability
  • Listen to communities, continue public engagement
  • Adaptable plan that changes as per cause and effect

Forestry (5)

  • Avoid long-term fiber commitments (tender/ auction system)
  • How do we kick-start forestry? Turn all lands to a few mills or a new tenure method? Chronic shortage of contractors, train them now! (like PHP). Engage NSCC. How do we get wood flowing now? Tenders? Leases? Community management?
  • Interim plan for harvesting and silviculture to keep jobs and people here and also to take pressure off the planning process
  • Establish open, strict forestry guidelines to support biodiversity conservation on working landscape

Protection (4)

  • Wildlife and endangered species habit need to be factored into land planning and activities
  • Consider protecting more of the former Bowater lands (where there is high-ecological value- not just anywhere)
  • Protected lands – keep CSFF or add to it? Has CSFF mitigation gotten lost?
  • Don’t close anything off to all use to attain preservation

Economic Development (R&D) (3)

  • Imperative lands support local industry
  • Must generate enough money to sustain use, and not rely on funding
  • Create revenue to pay the annual interest $4 million

Vehicle Access/Trails/Tourism (2)

  • Restore old Annapolis trail as eco-opportunity hiking
  • Don’t prohibit ATV use prematurely

Other Comments/submissions -Sticky notes from maps

  • Tourism Saint Margarets district: Where’s the old Annapolis hiking trail and Indian hill @ south end of Panuke Lake and 6,000 year old Mi’kmaq sites?
  • Recreation Values Portages and canoe routes, endangered species, connectivity, biodiversity
  • Rivers and lakes monitored & stocked Indian and NER trout population cut off by dams?
  • Vehicle Access: Access to existing trail system and roads local ATV clubs to supply GPS files to identify trails in St. Margarets Bay district. Initiate a coalition of all potential users of such trails to ensure they can be maintained and used by all
  • Vehicle Access eventual inventory of complete trail system (including roads). Have all OHV users mandatory membership into provincial org. (Local Clubs) to be involved in ownership and maintenance of trails (improvements) ATVANS, trail permit available to OHV owners in N.S. Without mandatory joining of a club member club. This is a long way helps in having a well informed and connected OHV riders in an organization that offer info, insurance training, communication with members and as well with Government organizations
  • Vehicle Access Closed March to May in the next season. Have volunteer groups in each area control access with a written contract to eliminate the dumping of garbage and tearing up roads etc.
  • Tourism Remember tourism support a second hand car economy and people working with the industry cannot access the facilities they work in!

Additional Stakeholder Submissions

Additional material from stakeholders was received by DNR and is currently being reviewed.