Sustainable Forestry for Nova Scotia, Op-ed
NOTE: The following is an op-ed from Natural Resources and Renewables Minister Tory Rushton.
Nova Scotians care deeply about their natural environment and about our collective efforts to ensure a sustainable, prosperous future for generations to come.
Part of that bright future for Nova Scotia is clean air and water, an abundance of biodiversity, spaces where we can connect with nature, climate change mitigation – and economic prosperity.
From farming, fishing and forestry to our growing renewable energy sector, thousands of jobs, families and communities depend on the responsible and sustainable use of our natural resources, particularly in rural Nova Scotia.
To succeed, we must all recognize that environment and economy go hand in hand. Our government is committed to succeeding on both fronts.
That is why we are transforming Nova Scotia’s forestry sector. We are building the triad model of ecological forestry on Crown land as recommended in the independent review of forestry practices. This complex, integrated model balances many interests and will secure sustainability for our environment and our forestry industry.
It ensures that more than a third of Crown land will always be conserved and makes more than half available for lower-intensity forestry that prioritizes biodiversity. A small portion will be allocated for high-production timber harvesting in areas where this activity won’t conflict with other interests. This is truly transformational for an industry that’s been a key driver of Nova Scotia’s economy for decades.
We could have advanced this work faster alone, but we believe our collaborative approach improves transparency, builds stronger relationships and achieves the best policy decisions and outcomes for all Nova Scotians. Our efforts to date are built on consultation and partnerships with industry, environmental groups, the Mi’kmaq, Nova Scotians and other stakeholders. I thank all of them for their input and ongoing involvement as we continue this work.
I also thank the dedicated staff in the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables for their focus and leadership in doing the research, analysis and consultation needed to put the pieces of this complex puzzle together. I look forward to giving an update on our progress soon.