NOTE: A list of fibre allocations follows this release.
The government announced its forestry plan for the western Crown lands today, Oct. 9, and released 10-year fibre allocations for the lands.
“We are taking a bold and innovative approach to managing our forests that reflects the economic, environmental and social needs of all Nova Scotians,” said Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill. “This model gives us the flexibility we need to balance economic and conservation goals.”
For the first time, allocations will be based on a percentage of available harvest rather than a fixed volume. This will make it easier to adjust to changing forest conditions or threats, such as a large forest fire.
Private landowners remain the primary source of fibre in the province and no mill will receive more than 21 per cent of its spruce and fir fibre from Crown allocations. The sustainable all-species harvest in the western Crown lands is expected to be 698,000 green metric tonnes (GMT). Spruce and fir, the most desired trees, account for 366,000 GMT, 52 per cent of the total harvest.
Stumpage rates associated with these allocations will be market-based.
“Private landowners continue to play a major role in conservation because 70 per cent of land in Nova Scotia is privately owned,” said Mr.
While the allocations address the business needs of the mills, the government has also taken steps to protect land over the past year. Land-trust agreements with the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Nova Scotia Nature Trust protect more than 3,000 acres of land. Land purchases by the Department of Environment are protecting mature hardwood, endangered species and wildlife corridors. No fibre will be harvested on lands identified in the Parks and Protected Areas Plan.
Sixteen mills, making both hardwood and softwood products, will jointly hold one western Crown harvesting licence and will establish a consortium to manage the harvest. It will take six to eight months to set up the consortium. During this time, the mills may harvest up to six months’ of their allocation.
“We have listened, and will continue to listen, to individuals and organizations who have a stake in forest management,” said Mr. Churchill. “We are committed to increasing education and awareness of our forestry plans.”
“We’re encouraged to see government balance a number of values in our forests with today’s announcement,” said Jeff Bishop, executive director, Forest Products Association of Nova Scotia. “Providing a reliable source of wood fibre to our industry from Crown lands helps keep jobs here in Nova Scotia, selling our products to the world, and strengthens the province’s economy.”