Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Hundreds of People Protest about NDP Nova Scotia Forest Policy

The campaingners want the government to release its long-awaited forest management strategy.
Charlie Parker, the province's natural resources minister, says the strategy will be out within a few weeks.
Parker says he believes people will be excited by the report.
A preview of the strategy last December called for a 50 per cent reduction in clear cutting over five years.
Global Maritimes News Link
Eastern Shore Forest Watch Facebook

Darrell Dexter Ignoring Science Ignoring People: The State of Nova Scotia Forests

My comments are directed to our premier, Darrell Dexter. 

Mr. Dexter, I am from rural Nova Scotia and can safely say that my comments reflect the feelings shared by many communities in our province. 

I grew up in rural Nova Scotia where our recreation involved long walks in the woods, skiing, hiking, fishing and for many, hunting. Over the years, we have monitored and acted as guardians of our precious woods that surrounded our community. Logging companies have come and gone under our watchful eyes. In March, 2009, the type of logging changed drastically. They were harvesting for biomass. We witnessed what was once a nature lovers paradise being literally ripped up by the roots and ground into shreds. The forest floor, with its delicate ecosystems, was churned by the heavy machinery like a poorly plowed garden. Along with this, we have witnessed a serious decline of wildlife, fish and strikingly, there are no birds. In a few short months, it took just 6 men with their huge machines to lay flat more than 700 hectares of land surrounding our community. To put this into perspective for you, this is equivalent to 10 point pleasant parks. And this is just one block.  Mr. Dexter, we are extremely angry and frustrated that this is allowed to happen.

In June, 2009, the people of Nova Scotia went to the polls and voted for you because we believed that you would listen to us, represent us and be our voice. We had great hope that your government would bring about a positive change in the way our forests are managed.
Thousands of Nova Scotians participated in the Public Consultation process and gave our input  toward a new Natural Resources Strategy. We participated because we were told our opinions were valued and we had faith that our input could and would make a difference. Mr. Dexter, you have made a mockery of this process. Many citizens attended the biomass hearings, the Dr. David Wheeler consultations on renewable energy and have taken every available opportunity to be heard. Through all of these meetings, there was overwhelming evidence that burning forest biomass for energy was not sustainable. The removal of massive amounts of wood for forest biomass has a major negative impact on our environment and our wildlife. Our forests will take a century, if not more, to recover, and the ecosystems damaged by the heavy machines will never recover. 
Despite ongoing attention and displays of the horrendous biomass harvesting, you continue to not only condone the practises, you are enabling it to continue with copious amounts of funding for large foreign forest companies who continue to degrade our forests. Instead of supporting the people of this province, you are partnering with the industrial giants and at our expense. You have rewarded bad forestry practise with our money. You have given consent for harvested crown land timber to feed a wood biomass fuelled facility. This company, was rewarded for their bad business planning, as they quote their massive deficit of more than $650 million dollars.
You justify this by boasting that you created new jobs. Mr. Dexter, there is no job worth what we are losing. This is not only a very bad business decision, the premature decision to fund a biomass facility came before a biomass policy is in place. And to top this off, Mr. Dexter, the same month that you made this announcement, you had received this letter which I am holding, from the David Suzuki foundation, the Ecology Action Center, Canada Parks and Wilderness and Forest Ethics group, urging you to hold off on any biomass decisions as a renewable energy source and put restrictions in place before further environmental damage occurs. Mr. Dexter, you are ignoring science and you are ignoring the people of this province who put you into office.
It has been stated by you on various occasions that biomass is the burning of “waste wood”. Mr. Dexter, there is no such thing as waste wood when it comes to a biomass harvest. I invite you to come to Caribou Gold Mines where 1000’s of acres of forest have been taken for biomass....sugar maples, tall red oak, white and yellow birch, spruce and fir and everything that falls in the path of the monstrous machines. They leave behind nothing. We are left with no forest floor, wildlife has disappeared, there are few birds and streams are alarmingly devoid of even mayflies. Mr. Dexter, we are extremely stressed by this and we are suffering. We live with this daily and we can’t escape it. We wake to the grinding of the machines and we no longer have the once beautiful forest surrounding us. And even when the machines have left, we see only a wasteland. What do you expect rural families to do..bundle their children into a car and drive for hours to one of the few pockets of protected land that we will have left to show them what a forest looks like?
All governments have a responsibility to protect our environment which in turn looks after us. It must have a moral and legal obligation to create laws under which industry has to comply. You have failed to provide the leadership for the incorporation of such laws. The Natural Resources policy, due to come into effect last December, has not yet been released. There is no biomass policy and where, by the way, is the wetland policy? And as we speak, massive machines are grinding their way through large swaths of forest at an alarming rate and every minute that we wait for you to turn this around we are losing habitat, precious ecosystems and our province is being turned into a moonscape. This is happening on your watch, Mr. Dexter. You are feeding the industrial giants at the great expense of the very people who put you into office. We are intelligent human beings who love our province. We expect and deserve more than this from you. You have the power to put an immediate moratorium on clear cutting until the NR strategy and a well positioned monitoring system are in place. Mr. Dexter, we all have an obligation to protect what we have for the future generation of our forests, wildlife and our young people.
Mr. Dexter, these pictures are of our backyard.  Without an immediate stop to the destruction of our forests, this will be everybodys backyard. We are asking you to reach deep into your conscience and turn this around for the people, the wildlife and the forests who cannot speak for themselves.
 Published on Behalf of Kathy Didkowsky a Nova Scotia resident.
Be part of the debate on Facebook

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Memory Lane Nova Scotia Heritage Quest - April 17th

Boat Shop Memory Lane. Photo: Lynda Mallett

Heritage Quest - April 17th, 11:00 - 4:00

Free Admission

Take a Sunday Drive to Memory Lane on April 17th as part of HRM’s Heritage Quest commemorating World Heritage Day. We’re launching our new Heritage Hunt for families—a riddle-based mystery tour of the Village with some unique prizes if you solve all the clues. Join our animators in bending a few boat ribs using our new steam box in the Boat Shop. See our Shingle Mill in operation, learn how to use a peavey, and try your hand at tying fishermen’s knots. We’ll have the fires on in the Homestead, and plenty of treats and stories to keep you warm.
In recognition of World Heritage Day, it’s free admission!
The Cookhouse will be open from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, serving fishcakes & beans, soup, “fresh from the oven” bread and dessert, all for $10.
The Eastern Shore Archives will also be open for family research.
For more information go to www.heritagevillage.ca or visit the HRM Heritage Quest Site at www.halifax.ca/events/. Call 1-877-287-0697 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-877-287-0697      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Full Schedule:


Family “Heritage Hunt” with Prizes

Follow a set of riddles through the Village in search of mystery objects. Once you have solved all the riddles, you win a prize.

Steam Box Demonstrations

Join us for the first firing of our new steam box in the Norm Hutt Boatshop. See how wood is softened in order to form the ribs of a boat.

Shingle Mill & Engine Demonstrations

If you haven’t seen the shingle mill in action, this is your chance to be wowed by the big blade. Take home a souvenir shingle.

Woodstove Treats & Stories in the Homestead

The home fires will be burning and the smell of baking will be coming from the homestead, along with lots of stories about the Eastern Shore.

Knots & Logs

Learn how to tie some fishing knots, how a lobster trap is made, and the right way to roll a log using a peavey.

Deep Roots: Find Your Family

The Eastern Shore Archives will be open from 11 AM -3 PM with volunteers on hand to help you find out more about your family tree.

Cookhouse Chow: Fishcakes & Beans Special $10

Includes soup, fishcakes, beans, fresh brown bread, gingerbread, cookies and beverage. Cookhouse will be serving from 11 AM to 3 PM.
Admission: We will not be charging admission on this day. Donations are warmly welcomed. As we are opening specially for the Heritage Quest, there will be some aspects of our regular Memory Lane experience missing, such as the Soundscapes in the buildings and our heritage vehicles, which are still in storage. However, there will still be plenty to do, and we hope you will return in the summer when we’ll have lambs, kittens, chickens and a thriving garden!