Earlier this month, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Natural Resources Lloyd Hines stated that the province will not be placing regulations on private woodlot owners in terms of clearcutting. The minister was adamant that private woodlot owners should have the right to decide upon their own methods of forestation, including clearcutting.
Hines says that the province plans to “promote and not prescribe” effective forestry practices to private woodlot owners. Hines argues that this has been the policy governing woodlot management in the province since the area was settled by Europeans more than 400 years ago. The province plans to promote eco-friendly forestry practices through programs such as the Annual Woodlot Owner of the Year Awards, which recognizes the efforts of local woodlot owners to introduce eco-conscious forestry into their communities. The province has also partnered with the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners Association and similar groups throughout the eastern provinces to promote eco forestry initiatives.
Two-thirds of the land in Nova Scotia is privately owned, so Hines’s decision could have a significant impact on the environment and the forestry industry in the province. Some critics argue that without a long-term provincial forestry plan, private woodlot owners could be bought out by larger companies who will implement environmentally risky procedures. This could lead to widespread clearcutting across the province, which could wipe out many of Nova’s Scotia’s natural wildlife. However, Nova Scotia remains the nation’s leader in wildlife protection, with over 12% of the province declared wildlife preservation areas.
What does Minister Hines’s statement mean for local private woodlot owners? The main concern for local private woodlot owners is maintaining a woodlot that is both profitable and eco-friendly. Luckily, those two goals don’t have to be at odds. HC Haynes can help local woodlot owners improve their business and grow a sustainable and eco-conscious woodlot. For more information on our eco-friendly forestry services, contact us today.