The forest industry is one of the biggest drivers of Nova Scotia’s economy and important aspect of the province and the livelihood of many of its residents. The protection of Nova Scotian forests is equally important, and finding a balance between ecological preservation and industry can be an ongoing challenge.

Sterling Belliveau, the NDP’s Natural Resource critic, was recently cited as saying that the current Natural Resource Minister Lloyd Hines is not respecting the balance between industry and preservation with respect to Nova Scotia’s forests. This criticism came out shortly after Hines approved a large proportion of a proposed clearcutting initiative next to Kejimkujik National Park. Hines argued that the proposed initiative would be beneficial to the thousands of people who depend on the forest industry in the province for a living.

Hines argues that the approved plan doesn’t derail the government’s target to protect 13 per cent of all Crown land in the province. Currently no deadline exists for the government to reach that intended target. Belliveau and other critics have advocated for the province to institute buffer zones around protected areas to ensure that they aren’t affected by clearcutting in surrounding areas, while Hines argues that buffer zones between forested areas are naturally-occurring. Other critics have argued that the province needs to institute clearer and more accessible guidelines about clearcutting and forest protection so that a balance between industry and ecological preservation can be more widely understood.

How Does This Tension Effect Nova Scotian Foresters?

The debate between industry expansion and ecological protection will be a tension that continues throughout Nova Scotia for many years. This means that every Nova Scotian woodlot owner must strategize about how to best temper their economic needs with the needs of the ecosystem around them. Preservation is not only helpful to the environment; it also helps to create a more sustainable forest industry that can last well into the future. If you’re a woodlot owner struggling to strike a balance between environmental protection and economic viability, the expert team at H.C. Haynes can help you develop a business strategy that is both profitable and environmentally conscious. For more information about our silviculture, woodlot management, and lumber marketing services, contact us today at H.C. Haynes.