Nova Scotia's forests play a vital role in the economic,
environmental and physical well-being of all Nova Scotians.
Based on a rich and diverse resource, forestry contributes about
$1.4 billion to this province's economy. In addition to its sales
value, it provides 12,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs for
May 5 to 11 is National Forest Week. This week, consider the true
value of Nova Scotia's forests and their significance in our
environment, lifestyle and economy.
The Department of Natural Resources focuses on this every day.
Its mission is to build a better future for Nova Scotians through
responsible management of our natural resources.
To ensure that the forest resource is there in the future, the
department has implemented the Forest Sustainability Regulations.
These regulations became law in Nova Scotia in April 2000.
"Our wood supply analysis shows that our current harvest is
sustainable as long as we manage the new forest wisely," said
Natural Resources Minister Ernest Fage. "The new regulations help
ensure there is a sustainable amount of wood fibre over the long
term through increased silviculture activity."
The regulations tie the amount of harvest directly to the level
of silviculture activity. Silviculture programs must be conducted
on small private woodlots and industrial lands in proportion to
the volumes of wood acquired from those lands.
Nova Scotia's new Wildlife Habitat and Watercourses Protection
Regulations came into effect earlier this year. These regulations
will help ensure the sustainability of woodland diversity, water
quality and wildlife habitat on all lands in forest production.
For example, they require that a strip of natural vegetation at
least 20 metres (66 feet) wide be left along watercourses that
are 50 centimetres (20 inches) or wider when trees are harvested
in the area. Some harvesting is allowed inside this special
management zone under certain conditions.
"The regulations were developed with the expertise of government,
non-government, industry and public representatives," said Mr.
Fage. "They reflect the minimum harvesting standards that all
agreed are necessary to help maintain diversity of wildlife and
water quality in Nova Scotia."
The department will work with industry and landowners to
implement the new regulations, which evolved from the
Forest/Wildlife Guidelines and Standards of 1989.
More information on these regulations and the forest strategy is
available on the department's Web site at gov.ns.ca/natr/forestry/strategy
Crown land silviculture programs are an integral part of ensuring
that the province's forest resources are sustainable, said Mr
"About 85 per cent of Nova Scotia Crown land is productive forest
land. That's more than one million hectares that we must ensure
for the future."
The department is managing resources within its mandate by areas
or ecosystems. Integrated resource management (IRM) is a planning
process that considers a broad range of interests and values when
planning land-use and resource-use activities.
"IRM strikes a balance among potential uses of the resource and
the various interests, demands and benefits of resource uses,"
said Mr. Fage.
The department also supports private woodlot owners in their
efforts to practice good forestry through education programs.
These programs are designed to help Nova Scotians make well-
informed choices concerning natural resource use. Provided by the
extension division, the programs include school visits, home-
study modules in woodlot management, woodlot field tours and
information sessions for Christmas tree growers.
During National Forest Week, Natural Resources staff will visit
Grade 6 classes throughout the province. Staff will talk with the
students about the importance of our forests and will distribute
seedlings the students can plant. As well, every Grade 6 class in
the province will receive a National Forest Week package and
The department is also working with the Nova Forest Alliance to
place displays in malls in Yarmouth and Sydney during National
Forest Week. A children's forest planting will take place in
Hilden on May 7, and the Nova Scotia Envirothon competition will
be held in Bible Hill May 9 to 11.
"Our forests are important to Nova Scotia," said Mr. Fage. "We
must manage them wisely if they are to sustain the quality of
life and economic and recreational benefits that we all enjoy."
For more information on activities and programs of the Department
of Natural Resources visit the Web site at www.gov.ns.ca/natr .
Contact: Susan Mader Zinck
sac April 30, 2002 9:39 A.M.