MLA MacKay’s Response to Proposed Forestry Parcels in the Ingram River Area

As a result of public input and additional field work during the posting period, proposed harvest prescriptions have changed for the parcels for which concerns have been received.  These changes are all to selection harvests that will move the stands on an uneven-aged management path.

None of the areas that were proposed for harvest are in the 2013 provincial Parks and Protected Areas Plan.  The Old Annapolis Road Nature Reserve has been designated in this part of Halifax county and, following department requirements, no clearcutting would be permitted with 100 m of this existing designated protected area.  However, interest in an additional protected area has been expressed by community members.  A biodiversity assessment will be carried out this field season (spring / summer) involving staff from both the Department of Lands and Forestry and Department of Environment to ensure current data is available on ecosystem representation, and for species or ecosystems of conservation concern.

Concerns have also been raised about possible old growth in parcels HX068080 and HX068686.  Dr Peter Bush, the Provincial Old Forests Coordinator will complete field checks at both parcels this week.  Old growth forest stands will not be harvested.

As a result of public input and further field work, the harvest prescription for the HX068686 parcel has been changed from uniform shelterwood to a tree selection method, with a goal of creating multi-aged stands that retain a proportion of long-lived species and protect advanced regeneration, standing snags and coarse woody debris.  No more than 30 percent of the trees would be removed under this harvest prescription. In addition, this prescription applied to the HX068686 parcel will minimize the impact of the view from Scout Island and has received support from Scout leaders. The treatments will move all these stands along an uneven-aged management path and are consistent with the approaches recommended by Professor Lahey in his Forestry Review.

The remaining proposed parcels in the areas planned for harvesting will be deferred while a biodiversity assessment occurs, and government considers multiple values with the community and the Crown forest license holder.