Natural Resources Strategy - A Framework for Forestry
A Policy Framework for the Future of Nova Scotia’s Forestry
The government of Nova Scotia is committed to making life better for families. Protecting our natural resources, balanced with the need to protect good jobs that grow the economy, will help us meet this commitment.
Nova Scotians have sent a clear message through the Natural Resources Strategy process that a new course of action is required on forest harvesting. At the same time, any changes must consider the vital contribution the forest industry makes to Nova Scotia’s economy.
The best decisions will be those that enable Nova Scotians to make a good living from our natural resources while ensuring future generations will be able to enjoy similar benefits. Policy development in the forestry management area, therefore, must integrate economic, social and environmental values in order that a balanced solution can be reached.
The following strategic directions provide the basis for future forestry policy. Specific rules and guidelines to support these directions will continue to be developed as the Natural Resources Strategy is approved and implemented.
- Reduce the proportion of wood harvested by the clear cut method to no more than 50% of all forested lands over a five-year period. Commercial harvests will be registered with the Department of Natural Resources and progress will be reported annually. Existing ecosystem-based forest management analysis of Nova Scotia's forests identifies approximately 50% of the land is appropriate for uneven-aged management. The Code of Forest Practice will provide consistent principles and standards of ecosystem-based science to support the goal.
- Prohibit the removal of whole trees from the forest site in order to maintain woody debris at these sites, with the exception of Christmas tree harvesting. This practice is important for soil and biodiversity maintenance and is consistent with the province's Renewable Electricity Plan.
- Public funds will not be directed to herbicide spraying for forestry.
- Private land owners will not be required to have management plans to harvest their woodlots for non-commercial energy use.
- Undertake an analysis of options regarding a province-wide Annual Allowable Cut in order to limit total harvested amounts.
- Incorporate the requirements for harvesting forest biomass in the Code of Forest Practices and, as stated in the Renewable Electricity Plan, revise the regulations under the Forests Act to ensure commercial users of biomass for energy or fuel production are registered buyers and subject to the same rules as the existing forest industry.