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"A sustainable environment is one in which the natural environment, economic development and social life are seen as mutually dependent".
-- Centre for Innovative Education

Coastal Communities Network

NS Public Lands Coalition

Feedback on 'Sanctuary'

"Thank you, thank you, thank you. I didn't even know this was happening. As a long time camper in
Liscomb Mills, where my father was born and raised, I looked to the Game Sanctuary as one place that couldn't be touched."
Dianna Lynn Tibert, Liscombe Mills, NS

" Let's hope there is enough public outcry to stop this in its tracks. Then let's get on with some real protection for our wilderness areas...." Joan Massey, MLA
Dartmouth East
NDP Environment Critic

"Well done on your proposal for saving the sanctuaries. We read it all and fully agree. We sent it to our MLA. Hope he gets thousands of them. Good Luck and thank you for caring and taking the time to put this thing together. Lets hope it not too late...Rod & Valerie Horne, Moser River


Please Print & Post This Downloadable Flyer in A Public Place!
Sanctuary.zip (52kb)
Sanctuary.doc (71kb)

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"...and no birds sang..."

Chronicle Herald - Thursday March 2, 2006

Nova Scotians must demand public lands be protected


I know I speak for many Nova Scotians who are angry and disappointed by the content of the Sanctuaries Report, released last week by the Department of Natural Resources after a year of "deliberating" on issues of wildlife protection and massive clearcutting in the Liscomb Game Sanctuary.

Last spring, then-minister of natural resources Richard Hurlburt announced, in response to petitions and submissions from many Nova Scotians, that he was not about to remove the existing protection from the sanctuaries and that he was also "considering a ban on logging."

Almost a year has passed while staff in his department and government scientists studied the issue by tabulating the number of submissions received.

Liscomb circa 2001
(Click image for larger version, abt. 243kb)
Green areas had not been clearcut
other colours denote clearcuts of various ages.

View Google map of Liscomb
as it "used to look" (date unknown)
or composite

The minister’s decision to maintain and even strengthen protection for wildlife is to be commended. What is altogether missing from the report is any mention of the ongoing destruction of wildlife habitat through the long-discredited practice of clearcutting the forests.

As the minister took his time to "consider a ban on logging" in the Liscomb Game Sanctuary, clearcutting has been continuing at an accelerated rate.

While it is widely established that clearcutting destroys the habitat of wildlife, a department spokesperson has implied in an interview with The Chronicle Herald that moose and deer need browse, and clearcutting does provide that (Feb. 23 story).

Such glib statements by DNR staff can only serve to detract from the fact that clearcutting destroys habitat for all wildlife, including the Atlantic salmon, bears, bobcats, eagles and hundreds of smaller species such as the rarely seen pine marten and eastern cougar, vegetation and trees such as black ash and tamarack.

As one Eastern Shore resident comments in an e-mail: "I can only shake my head and wonder what the so-called experts are thinking about theclearcutting. Even stupid people know moose, deer and other animals need trees, not clearcut areas."

Another writes: "… If this was true, why doesn’t Nova Scotia have 10,000 moose?"

Perhaps most important, clearcutting undermines the long-term strength of our economy and contributes to the demise of our shrinking rural communities.

There are few jobs in the Bay of Islands region between Sheet Harbour and Sherbrooke, yet the government of Nova Scotia – through its sanction of DNR policies, in partnership with offshore companies driven to maximize profits in the short term – is literally stealing the future from rural Nova Scotians, whose livelihoods will ultimately come from sustainable forestry practices, small-scale manufacturing and nature tourism.

That is, if any nature remains for the people of Nova Scotia when our once-majestic forests have finally been reduced to slash and insect-infested thickets suitable only for bean poles.

According to a thorough study conducted by GPI Atlantic, only .01 per cent of old-growth forest still stands. For shame – and for shame to the people of Nova Scotia for allowing short-term profits to destroy what is rightly theirs. The sanctuaries are publicly owned lands.

Fully 97 per cent of the public wants an end to clearcutting. This includes representation by sport fishing and hunting groups, ATV and recreational hiking groups, the health and tourism industries and many others.

Even those employed as contractors to the large pulp and paper companies say they just need work. Contractors have their futures staked in expensive harvesters and forwarders. What happens to them when the trees are gone?

As GPI Atlantic states in its report on forestry: "… the continued focus … on quantity rather than quality not only encourages clearcutting, but also conceals a significant loss of value … due to the changing age and species structure of the province’s forests. The potential lost market value of premium-priced large-diameter and clear lumber through the destruction of old trees in the last 40 years alone is roughly estimated at $260 million annually…"

Using even simple arithmetic, that’s $10.4 billion over 40 years.

The GPI Atlantic report concludes: "Sustainable forest management is not the whole answer. Even with the most careful harvesting techniques, there will be some level of impact on forest ecosystems. While there is a great difference between clearcutting and selection harvesting systems, they both involve the construction of roads and the removal of biomass.

"And even the highest standards applied on a particular woodlot cannot guarantee needed protection of critical forest values at the landscape level.

"Therefore, no matter how excellent forest operations may be, they are not a substitute for an adequate network of representative protected areas in Nova Scotia."

Nova Scotia’s public lands, and Liscomb particularly, demand this protection for the sake of all residents and future generations.

Jurgen Teuwen is co-founder of the Bay of Islands Centre for Sustainable Rural Economic Development.

Bay of Islands Sustainable
Economic Development Center Association


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