Public Consultation Summary Report - Summary of Results

Comments submitted via the website

The following comments were submitted online and 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.

First stage categorization

* This includes public comments submitted online via the website until April 24, 2013

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?

Tourism and walking, skiing, canoeing and hunting/ fishing etc. (70)

  • Ecotourism (27)
  • Hunting & fishing (38)
  • Trapping (4)
  • Canoeing / wilderness travel (24)
  • Hiking (27)
  • Mountain biking (5)
  • Bird- watching (2)

(Many suggestions to work with ATV Clubs to create tourism opportunities from ATV access.)

Forestry (76) (harvesting of timber products)
Comments related to forestry:

  • Forest should be managed as Community Forest (28)
  • More uneven aged management (22)
  • No clear-cutting (15)
  • No Biomass Harvesting (9)
  • Biomass harvest but not whole tree (2)
  • Require FSC Certification (21)
  • Shift to smaller scale forestry (14)
  • No herbicide (2)
  • No monoculture planting ( 5)
  • Practice ecosystem based forestry (12)
  • Develop value added products (22)
  • Establish true market price for timber (4)
  • Exclude large industrial operations (17)

Protected areas (33)

Non Timber/ Agriculture/ Food Production (28)

  • Cranberry production (6)
  • Blue Berry Production (9)
  • Mushrooms, berries (7)
  • Maple Syrup production (6)
  • General Agriculture (2)
  • Mink farming (1)
  • Vineyards (1)
  • Apples (1)
  • General Agriculture (1)
  • Balsam fir tips
  • Hascap berries

Vehicular, ATV & snowmobile access
In favour (63)

  • consider fee systems for ATV users (7)
  • Use ATV Access to stimulate the economy (15)

Against or Restricted Access (19)
  • Restrict access in protected areas(3)
  • Access only for camp owners (3)
  • Develop designated trails for ATV use (7)
  • Seasonal closure of roads (2)
  • Concerns about illegal dumping (4)

Resource extraction; other (9)

  • Mineral exploration/ extraction (7)
  • Aggregate extraction (2)
  • Peat extraction (1)

Windfarms/ Renewable Energy (17)

Research and educational opportunities (9)

Sell or Lease waterfront lots for camps (5)

Create opportunities for Mi’kmaq community (1)

Sell stumpage for firewood for to individuals (2)

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?

Access

  • There should be a license/ permit system in place for the use of the road is the Silver Lake area
  • Develop a trail network for ATV’s between the valley and South Shore
  • Hendry Lake, Lake Alma and Long Lake have beautiful sand beaches and should be accessible to all
  • Lohnes Lake Plane crash site should be accessible
  • If the Wilderness area around Lake Alma proceeds, the trails across the area that create a loop should be maintained for snowmobiles and ATVs
  • A parcel on Tedford Lake (Woodstock Rd. and Cedar Lake) near exit 33 on highway 101 is currently used for a 2 week long out tripping camps for children ages 11-14. The land is also used for hiking from time to time
  • It is important to keep gates at Keji River and West Brook locked due to proximity to the Tobeatic Reserve Wildlife Sanctuary and Wilderness Area (3)
  • Maintain access to Seven Mile Lake from highway (8)
  • ATV Trail: road that comes from Cannan on the old Annapolis trail east to the west end of Timber Lake used by ATVs/sleds this time of year, there’s a camp between the Bog Lakes which is accessed by ATV
  • ATV trail heading north from the end of the Connaught Lake road to the Timber Lake road, to which Hubbards uses for rallies etc and then runs east past Officers Camp Lake to the road that comes up to Timber lake beach out on [East River Road]
  • Our camp is just about where Officers Camp Lake runs into Timber Lake, a m/v road runs to it at the very bottom end of Panuke Lake. There’s a ATV trail that comes up from the lake through Indian Hill and south down to Westhaver/Coolens lake - this is a winter trail for us - due to boulders, comes out on Kip Hill lake road, just north end of Dauphinee Mill Lake at Blind Bay east side of Panuke Lake where the hydro wire runs north there’s an ATV trail going to camps out on the point at Two Mile lake road at its far north end above the E / W hydro wires east side of that lake by a ATV trail NE through Smokey Hill comes out on the west side of Big Indian Lake on the west Sandy Lake road it was originally a Bowater hauling road. There is also a ATV trail down to Two Mile lake for the two camps at its north end this cross over trail is mostly used by the Safety Minded ATV club, Head of St Margarets Bay for their rallies
  • On the old Annapolis trail, ATVs run west to the pulp road and take that west to the east side Ingram River road
  • Interesting to see that the new "Draft" nature reserves are cutting off roads, that won’t go down very good for those residing down the Bay using ATVs up country for fishing, hunting, rallies
  • Open gates during peak fishing and hunting periods April 15-June 15 and October 15 to Dec 15.
  • Leave gates open during the winter months
  • Restrict ATV access to protected areas
  • Concern for the loss of snowmobile trail along rail bed from Middleton to New Germany where it intersects with proposed protected area
  • Blackadar lands cannot have restricted access because it has to be crossed to access adjacent properties
  • Maintain ATV access to the New France area
  • Restrict ATV access to the Pockwock watershed area
  • The trail south east of Bear River to Digby is not acceptable because it’s too close to Tobeatic. Also a trail from Lake Mulgrave to Keji boundary

Protected Areas;

  • Protected area should be extended around Tobeatic Lake and 2,000 acres back of the Milford House
  • The Tobeatic Wilderness Area Management Plan required that a boundary review be completed and fully addressed by 2008. The primary thrust was to add to the boundary to support wildlife populations, and connectivity for endangered species. Our Association has been involved in that process, and a number of land parcels have been previously identified, with that process moving forward slowly. We are pleased that DNR has given support to Provincial Environment for land parcel inclusion to the TWA, and other areas, as part of the Parks and Protected Areas review. Specifically, those parcels located to the south of 4th and 5th Lake flowage between Sporting Lake Stream and Whitesand Stream, the parcel west of the Shelburne Heritage River known as the boot, the parcel to the northwest of Little Tobeatic Lake, the parcel west of Longview Lake, the parcel east of Eleven Mile Lake on the Mersey River, the parcel west of First Broad River Lake, land to the south and east of First and Second West Brook Lakes, land on the Roseway River near the Silvery Lake Road and below Bluffhill Lake, and the land near Carrying Lakes, Bario Lake and the Silver River. (Queens County Fish and Game)
  • Carters Beach is a wonderful beach that in recent years has become very popular to local residents and out of County visitors. It lacks parking, washrooms, and garbage receptacles. This area would be better suited to day park status, with a parking area for 40 vehicles, and necessary service facilities being established near the north end beach access area. The land is high and dry, with many mature trees starting to die. If it must retain Nature Reserve status, then the northerly 300 feet of the property, adjacent to the paved access road, should be excluded from the designation to allow for the parking area, etc. Parking on the narrow roadway is annoying to residents, and creates a major safety concern when emergency access is required, as the ambulance is unable to get to the end of the roadway, which is usually blocked by parked cars.(Queens County Fish and game)
  • Cherry Hill Beach is the most frequently used beach on the South Shore for recreational clam harvesting by residents and tourists. Commercial clam harvesters reduced their effort when vehicle access was restricted across the beach several years ago. This beach must remain open to recreational clam harvesting, and perhaps a day use park may be the more appropriate designation. Commercial clam harvesting on this beach should be restricted, as previous commercial clam harvesting virtually eliminated recreational clam harvesting on this beach for the remainder of the year. Additionally, this area is utilized by duck and goose hunters in the fall, and this activity should also be permitted in the future. It is our understanding that both recreational activities are compatible with the purposes determined for conserving Cherry Hill Beach area. (Queens County Fish and game)
  • DNR may find it wise to look at creating another designation that allows for the same level of protection as a Nature Reserve, but still allows fishing and hunting. It was suggested that a flexible criteria for a Nature Reserve could be created, however we prefer set, fixed criteria for designations so everyone knows the rules, and they do not change overnight on a whim of Government. (Queens County Fish and game)
  • The area around Dunraven Bog has been nominated as a Nature Reserve. It should become a Wilderness Area, and preferably be added to the Tidney Wilderness Area. This is one of the few remaining remote areas of refuge for endangered mainland moose, and is a main connectivity corridor to the Tidney River, Broad River, and West Brook watersheds from the Tobeatic Wilderness Area. Some moose migrate to the coast spring or fall, and are not surviving to return inland to their preferred habitat. In the winter of 2011, a new harvest occurred near Porcupine Hill and logging trucks on the roadway south and west of Dunraven Bog, found moose on the road in front of them on several occasions when snow was in the woods. The moose did not want to leave the road and traveled a sizeable distance before going off the road. Stressing moose in winter snow is not good for the moose. (Queens County Fish and Game)
  • We strongly support protected status for more than the promised 30,000 acres of the newly acquired Crown lands. For starters, every single property identified for protection as a wilderness area, nature reserve, or Provincial Park in the former Bowater Mersey territory by the draft Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan should receive a protected status. However, we note that several important recreational and scenic areas such as the upper Ingram River lake district and Island Lake/Rees Brook in the former St. Margarets Bay district didn’t make the list. Moreover, several important properties such as Labrador Castle (Patch 203), the Westhaver Lake/Coolen Lake property (part of Patch 3) and Pogwa Lake (Patch 28) are also excluded. We note that much of these lands are wetlands, narrow peninsulas, steep valleys,(Canoe Kayak Nova Scotia)
  • Maintain former Bowater lands as productive forest. Protected areas network already heavily weighted to western NS
  • 19% of Queens County is already protected. We don’t need more protected areas. Focus on economic development
  • Protect the bear allow near Tobeatic boundary on former Bowater land near Lake Mulgrave
  • Support for proposal for protected area at Medway Lakes (#112), Skull Bog Lake (#166), Tobeatic Lake Wilderness Expansion (#191) & Fisher Lake (#596)
  • Follow through on commitment to protect 30,000 acres of former Bowater Lands (5)
  • Expand Protected area in the following locations: south side of Tobeatic Lake, east side of Panuke Lake, Milford House back country, Kaiser Meadows and East River, Ingram River, Eagle and Toney Lake, Lower Medway, Mersey and Jordans Rivers, fill in/ expand proposed Medway Lakes protected area
  • Proposed protected area at Medway Lake is too large an area to be taken out of a well managed FSC certified forest
  • DNR should consider connectivity of canoe routes in Annapolis County in developing management plan
  • Areas dropped during Colin Stewart Forest Forum negotiations should be added to protected areas
  • At least 8% of land should be selected, designated and mapped as old forest or potentially old forest
  • Establish linkage between protected with areas of restricted forestry activity
  • Consider including Provincial Crown land including former Boater lands along the Shelburne River corridor adjacent to the Tobeatic and between Kejimkujik and Cloud Lake as buffers for the cores protected area of the biosphere reserve and establish best management practices for those areas to support conservation functions
  • Consider adding a portion of the Rossignol areas within the Roseway River Glacial Plains and the Lake Rossignol Hills in protected areas network
  • Consider adding hardwood hills at Milford, Lake Alma and South Mountain to protected areas network
  • Medway River is a hotspot for species at risk; recommend immediate purchase of lands adjacent to Luxton Meadows where new population of Blanding’s turtle has been discovered
  • Consider establishing protected area on the north side of Tupper Lake where all five threatened land-bird species were located last summer
  • Other sites for consideration include: site in Queens county where boreal felt lichen recently discovered, sites where eastern ribbon snake found east of Shelburne River, sites at Dunraven Bog with threatened gold crest and fifty old forest sites included in old growth research conducted by Bowater Mersey and Dalhousie University. In St, Margarets Bay additional sites include old forest along Panuke Lake and hardwood hill near Porcupine Lake

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?

  • Don’t give long term leases to pulp mills or sawmills (10)
  • Reduces prices paid to woodlot owners for logs and pulpwood
  • Public consultations on Crown land management should be done on a more routine basis (5)
  • Postharvest plans for comment on public registry at least two months prior to harvest
  • Develop new technology to facilitate value added opportunities (13)
  • Collaborate with municipalities on land use opportunities (2)
  • Crown land should be the only place where wind farms can be located
  • All wood produced in western NS should be locally processed
  • Set aside 500 acres for landfill development
  • Develop and teach sustainable harvest techniques
  • Look to ATV access to create economic opportunities. Work with clubs to establish trail network
  • Explore market for carbon credits
  • Create small sized tender blocks that logging contractors could bid for right to harvest. Don’t restrict stumpage tenders to mills
  • Look
  • at Windhorse Farm as model for forest management
  • Change the definition of clearcutting. Current definition allows too much to be removed
  • DNR should clarify how consultation about Crown land in western NS will be incorporated in planning and how planning will be reviewed and made public
  • Information should be made available on how much land or timber volume is already allocated and to whom