Public Consultation Summary Report - Summary of Results

What Was Heard — Most prominent themes from the four stakeholder focus groups

The comments and suggestions in the four stakeholder focus groups were the result of considered discussion among multiple stakeholders with different viewpoints. Stakeholders of varying backgrounds, sitting together, were asked to consider each question and agree, as much as possible as a table group, on what priorities to put forth. At every stakeholder meeting there was appreciation for this process and it was suggested by at least one of the discussion tables that there be ongoing exchange of information and / or consultation with the Department.

Below is a summary of the overall prominent themes. The notes of the four stakeholder discussions are included in Section 4.2 and are well worth reviewing.

The most prominent themes that came out in discussions overall were around forestry; followed by broad policy considerations such as diversification of use to generate economic benefits for communities and using the land for what it is best suited for; economic development; recreation and access including multiple users while still regulating and controlling access; protection and using local knowledge about the land. Some meetings had more representatives from some stakeholder sectors than others and this may impact what themes came out in each meeting. The themes are broken down based on each stakeholder meeting below:

Yarmouth –

  • Forestry – forest management that is sustainable economically and environmentally to minimize economic turmoil and maximize improvements to the environment; uneven age management; locally managed lands e.g. community forests; develop local markets; look at other uses for land other than wood.
  • Protection – ensure biodiversity
  • Recreation & access – promote trapping and game management and other recreational use of land; ensure connectivity between various areas for fishery; allow access for ATV’s but not to all areas

Berwick –

  • Multi-users for the land with co-management – ensure there is diversity of use such as forestry and recreation on the same land and have user groups assist in the co-management of the land while clearly defining roles
  • Sustainability – have small scale diverse operations for all resource extraction; make the best choice for the land based on what it best produces and ensure all harvesting is managed sustainably
  • Recreation and access – a western loop trail that can provide economically for tourism while still having controlled regulated access to the trails; use existing roads as much as possible for resource harvesting
  • Forestry – smaller scale operations to sustain communities
  • Broad policy – ensure ongoing consultations and transparency with multiple departments participating in the management of the lands with users
  • Protection – species at risk, eco-systems, wildlife corridors

West Northfield –

  • Broad policy – diversity of use ensuring waterways and watersheds are protected; usage is diversified, based on eco-system management and using the land for what it is best suited for; ongoing stakeholder consultations and public education; transparency; flexibility and responsiveness of government departments involved including using consensus and developing means to resolve any disputes
  • Economic development – look at uses that will create local well-paying year round jobs; high value added products that are sustainable; use research & development and innovation for resources available
  • Forestry –sustainable practices that look at multiple uses and value to communities nearest to the land
  • Recreation, tourism and access – encourage recreation on lands and promote via tourism; accessibility should be managed
  • Protection – of the environment and of the resource that creates economic benefits for Nova Scotians

Black Point –

  • Forestry & working forests – economically and environmentally sustainable to secure long term employment; diversity of uses, harvesting for high value products: timber and non-timber harvesting (e.g. agricultural products) using residuals as by-products not as reason to harvest; added value products and development of such; small scale with some industrial; use land based on its most productive and sustainable potential use; silviculture; model of working forest for education; develop and train contractors
  • Recreation and access – controlled and balanced access management; promote wide recreational uses including camping, hiking, canoeing, prospecting, hunting; develop inventory of trails; promote tourism
  • Protection - of environment including wildlife and endangered species should be built into any planning; protect high ecological value areas
  • Broad policy – ongoing public and stakeholder engagement; look at interim plan to get people back to work as soon as possible; regular review periods for plan; consider ideal length of leases for best management of resources