In the News

Items “In the News” that have come to our attention for publication
dates June 1, 2024 and onward. Most recent at the top.
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The Mill (NP)

July 17, 2024:
‘Shady accounting’ of forest biodiversity
In the Halifax Examiner Morning File, by Tim Bousquet, referencing the post by Nina Newington on this website. “Writer and citizen scientist Nina Newington (who Suzanne Rent profiled here) has posted a detailed analysis of biodiversity calculations at Nova Scotia Forest Matters.”

Screen Capture from CBC News Video shows map of areas for which an Emergency Alert was issued on evening of Jul 11, 2024 due to heavy rains and flash flooding

Jul 12, 2024:
Heavy rains, flash flooding ravage parts of Nova Scotia
CBC, YouTube Video (3.2 min). Also view CBC News post Jul 11, 2024 by Anjuli Patel.

Nova Scotia NRR hiring Old Growth Forester
Advertised on Department: Natural Resources & Renewables; “Location: TRURO; Type of Employment: Term; Union Status: NSGEU – NSPG
Closing Date: 02-Aug-24 (Applications are accepted until 11:59 PM Atlantic Time)…As the Old-Growth Forester, you will use your specialized field ecosystem knowledge to lead the field data collection on old-growth forest, statistical data analysis and research report writing. You will also use your technical skills using ArcPro to support department field data collection (through ArcOnline Survey 1-2-3) and Old-Growth Forest reporting. These duties will support an Environment and Climate Change Canada funded project to identify old-growth forest on crown land in Nova Scotia for their long-term conservation and protection… This may be the right opportunity for you if you have: A bachelor’s degree in forestry or master’s degree in forestry; and 1 year related experience..This is a term position with an anticipated end date of March 31, 2026; however, the position status (“term”, “temporary” or “casual”) is dependent on the start date of the successful candidate.”

Jul 9, 2024:
Intermission: Unplugging to recharge, and announcing upcoming ‘Lichen Songs’ Series
Linda Pannozzo in The Quaking Swamp Journal. It begins “Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose. Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life and wait there patiently, until the song that is your life falls into your own cupped hands and you recognize and greet it. Only then will you know how to give yourself to this world so worthy of rescue.— Martha Postlethwaite…In 2016 I had the fortunate occasion of meeting Frances Anderson for a piece I was writing about the boreal felt lichen…In 2016 I had the fortunate occasion of meeting Frances Anderson for a piece I was writing about the boreal felt lichen…”

Jul 4, 2024:
Okanagan fire/drought/flood: The Emperor Wears No Clothes
Danica Djordjevich in the Vernon Morning Star. “Poor forestry stewardship exacerbates existential risks to rural British Columbians”

Jul 3, 2024:
Climate change drives tree species towards colder, wetter regions
University of Birmingham “Climate change is likely to drive tree species towards colder and wetter regions of their geographical distribution, a new study has shown. The research, led by the University of Alcalá (UAH), in Spain, and including researchers at the University of Birmingham, draws together data from across Europe and North America to show that tree species in the Northern Hemisphere are starting to become denser in colder and wetter regions.” The article relates to this paper: Relative decline in density of Northern Hemisphere tree species in warm and arid regions of their climate niches, Julen Astigarraga et al., 2024 in PNAS.

Jul 2, 2024:
Province collects no reclamation security for large wind projects
Joan Baxter in the Halifax Examiner “In April this year, Premier Tim Houston hosted a town hall meeting in Pictou County about the proposed 100-turbine wind farm being proposed by Bear Head Energy, and found himself pummelled with tough questions from the audience. Many worried about the project’s environmental impact on their picturesque corner of the province with its rolling, wooded…”
Into in Morning File

Tree marking course showcases sustainable forestry in action
Nova Scotia Community College/ Centre of Forest Innovation success stories. View also post on this website, Jun 20, 2024

Jun 28, 2024:
Membertou First Nation celebrates construction of mass timber office building
By Indigenous Services Canada in Canadian Forest Industries “Today, Membertou First Nation and Indigenous Services Canada announced the construction of a new gas bar and a mass timber office building at the Seventh Exchange retail district in Nova Scotia.

Jun 27, 2024:
Nova Scotia wood chips dumped into Iceland coastal waters and called ‘carbon capture’
By Joan Baxter in The Halifax Examiner (subscription required, intro in Morning File) “In 2022, credulous media were writing flamboyant headlines venerating Running Tide CEO Marty Odlin as “the guy who wants to help save the planet with thousands of buoys, seaweed and giant antacids.” … Spotify and Microsoft were so taken by the hype that both bought carbon credits from Running Tide, which bills itself as a carbon-sequestration company that can “fix the planet.” …Two years after those big headlines Running Tide is being shut down. … On June 14, the Icelandic weekly newspaper, Heimildin, known for its investigative journalism, published an article about Running Tide’s carbon capture scheme, noting that it sounded “too good to be true.” That’s because it was. … last summer Running Tide dumped 19,000 tonnes of wood chips into Iceland’s coastal waters, “completely unsupervised.” … the “Canadian” wood chips Running Tide dumped were shipped from Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia … On June 14, Odlin reported that he was shutting down Running Tide’s global operations…”

Jun 26, 2024:
S5 EP1 | Keeping up with the Competition Act (Podcast, 45 min)
On / “Transformative changes to the Competition Act are here. How will they affect the competition disputes landscape? To kick off season 5 of Disputed, hosts Ted Brook and Erin Brown sit down to discuss the changes with guests Chris Hersh, Partner and Canadian Head of Antitrust and Competition based in Toronto, and Eric Lefebvre, Partner and litigator based in Montreal. In addition to the changes to the Competition Act, this episode covers the current status of bills C-59 and C-56 and their compounding effects on the potential for expanded competition litigation; environmental performance claims; and why there’s still so much uncertainty in this area. Ted, Erin, Chris and Eric discuss why the changes could result in a significant uptick in litigation on competition issues, particularly where NGOs are eager to bring complaints.”Tip of the Hat to Rob B. for forwarding this item ” I think this will be of significant interest to anyone interested in legal approaches to conservation protection and misleading environmental claims. Major changes are: 1) giving regular citizens the right to launch legal complaints about misleading and false advertising. 2) Raising the bar for corporations and their responsibilities to follow ethical guidelines/rules. 3) Increased financial penalties for rule breakers. 4) Easier access for class action lawsuits — eg, class actions are not restricted to the Competition Bureau’s discretion — private citizens and groups can now also push class action suits with the Bureau’s approval.”

Meeting of federal-provincial-territorial Ministers responsible for conservation, wildlife, and biodiversity – Federal-provincial-territorial Ministers commit to implementing the Global Biodiversity Framework in Canada
Environment and Climate Change Canada News Release “The ministers and representatives met last May 2023, when they committed to collective efforts toward halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030 and putting nature on a path to recovery by 2050. They also discussed collective efforts toward achieving Canada’s goal of protecting 30 percent of land and water by 2030, in response to the adoption of the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. Today, the ministers and representatives shared their respective initiatives to address biodiversity conservation and discussed the importance of accelerating the pace of action. Participants discussed how Canada’s 2030 Nature Strategy’s successful and ambitious implementation requires coordinated action and depends on whole-of-society, whole-of-government approaches…”

Jun 25, 2024:

For more than a year, the North Atlantic has been running a fever
By Haley Thiem, on “…the North Atlantic Ocean since March 2023. Temperatures have been so extreme that much of the North Atlantic has been experiencing a marine heatwave. This particular event has already brought devastating heat stress to nearly all of the Atlantic’s tropical reef areas and contributed to a very active 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. The top map shows where sea surface temperatures across the North Atlantic on June 16, 2024, were warmer (red) or cooler (blue) than the 1971-2000 average (white). Much of the Atlantic is colored red. Temperatures are about 2 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit (about 1 to 3 degrees Celsius) warmer than normal across much of the central North Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico, while areas along the U.S. East Coast (along the Gulf Stream) and across northern portions of the North Atlantic show anomalies (departures from average) close to 9 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) above normal. The bottom map shows the actual sea surface temperatures across the North Atlantic on June 15, 2024. Areas in white and orange show where sea surface temperatures are above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius)—the temperature needed to fuel hurricane development. The darker the orange the closer temperatures are to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius). Areas in blue show where the sea surface temperatures are below 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Much of the tropical Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico were experiencing temperatures greater than 80 degrees Fahrenheit by mid-June.

Jun 21, 2024:
Seeding change, one tree at a time
By Moira Donovan in National Observer “In 2021, the Federal government announced a commitment to plant 2 billion trees over the next decade as part of its goal to mitigate climate change and address biodiversity loss…an audit released that year said the program was unlikely to meet its long-term target without significant changes and a 2024 CBC report described its challenges — namely, finding enough land and seeds to fulfill the goal. In Nova Scotia, a program aims to address these challenges by harnessing the province’s unusual structure of forest ownership…says Rachael MacNeil, program director for the Thriving Forests program.Working on both private and public land, the Thriving Forests program — run by the Clean Foundation — aims to plant 21 million trees across the province, working with individual landowners, organizations, Indigenous communities and provincial agencies.”

Healthy Rivers, Healthy Planet Naturally (Video)
Presentation by Eddie Halfyard & Shannon Sterling to the Halifax Field Naturalists June 18, 2024. Recorded on Zoom & archived by HFN.
“The Nova Scotia Salmon Association’s Ecologist Edmund Halfyard, PhD, along with Dalhousie environmental scientist Shannon Sterling, PhD, co-founded Carbon Run, a company whose mission is to ‘restore the health of rivers and their natural ability to draw carbon from land — to sea’. The presentation details the situation we are currently in, the steps needed to rectify this, and Carbon Run’s approach to doing so. Through their research, they have found that when water quality is restored, rivers regain their natural ability to markedly increase biodiversity while drawing down carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.”
 View more about Carbon Run/Liming of Forest Soils

Jun 20, 2024:
How long will it take to put out P.E.I.’s peat fire?
CBC News (Video) “The fire at a peat harvesting operation in Foxley River, P.E.I., has been burning for several days. Mike Montigny and Nick Thompson from the province’s forest, fish and wildlife division explain why this type of fire is so hard to extinguish, and how the department is managing its resources.”

Jun 14, 2024:
Why Europe and America’s dying forests could be good news
YouTube Video on DW Planet A channel/ “Germany is losing its forests, FAST. In the central Harz region, over 90 percent of spruce trees are dead or dying because of climate change and insect damage. But this isn’t necessarily bad news. Instead of the former monoculture forest, a more resilient, wild forest is springing up, with a more abundant ecosystem.” Read more:
Background information on Harz National Park
Managing bark beetle outbreaks, Policy Brief by Forest Europe
Study on Bark Beetle Outbreaks in Europe: State of Knowledge and Ways Forward for Management

Government of Canada invests in discovery and applied research to keep the country at the forefront of scientific advancements
NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada). Page provides links to grants from the feds to support research across Canada
4 Growing Threats to Europe’s Forests: Logging, Bioenergy, Wildfires and Pests
By Sarah Carter World Resources Institute

June 13, 2024:
National strategy to protect nature in Canada unveiled alongside bill to ensure accountability
Environment and Climate Change Canada on Cision Newswire “The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced the release of Canada’s 2030 Nature Strategy and introduced an Act respecting transparency and accountability in relation to certain commitments Canada has made under the Convention on Biological Diversity (the Nature Accountability Bill). …The 2030 Nature Strategy lays out how Canada will implement the ambitious nature protection goals under the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework that were agreed upon at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Montréal, in December 2022. …The Nature Accountability Bill establishes a requirement for the Government to develop a national nature strategy, like Canada’s 2030 Nature Strategy, and report on its implementation, ensuring accountability and transparency which will help drive us collectively to reverse nature loss.”

Also view

June 11, 2024:
Westfor Management Inc. makes presentation on Old Growth to Lunenburg Municipal Council – View MODL Meeting Agenda with Westfor Slides (PDF Pages 16-20)
Also view Triad/MODL with links to audio etc.

Walking among the Ancients: Honouring a rare old-growth forest
CBC Radio/Ideas (54 min audio) and post with photos on “The World Wildlife Fund lists the Wabanaki-Acadian old-growth forest as endangered — with only one percent remaining. It is very rare to come across an old-growth forest stand, and Peter Rompkey took Mary to a secret location which was in pristine condition with trees more than 300 years old, and a rolling thick forest floor of mosses and fungi.”

June 10, 2024:
On the Northern Pulp Agreement 19Jun2024
Guest Post by Helga Guderley on “The last thing that we need is a secretive multinational corporation milking provincial subsidies while taking the last of our standing forests.”
Historic North American delegation visits Finland to explore forest industry innovations
The Helsinki Times “Business Finland is hosting an unprecedented visit by a large delegation from the North American forest and wood products industry, marking a significant milestone in international collaboration. Over 60 delegates from nine U.S. states and Nova Scotia, Canada, are touring Finland to gain insights into the country’s advanced forestry practices and innovative wood-based technologies.”

June 8, 2024:
The Clear Cut – Canada’s Forestry PR: A Game of Deception
Joa Baxter interviewed by BuzzSprout. ”
We sit down with Joan Baxter from the Halifax Examiner about her recent article on the growing problem of greenwashing in an age of digital information sharing. We discuss the Forest Products Association’s (FPAC) ‘Forestry for the Future’ advertising campaign that’s been proliferating across social media…Read Joan’s article in the Halifax Examiner.”

June 6, 2024:
Tropical forests adjust strategies to thrive even when soils are nutrient poor, large field experiment shows
by Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies on
“Tropical forests store a third of the world’s carbon in their wood and soils. However, their future as a carbon sink has been uncertain. Scientists have long wondered whether nutrient-poor tropical soils would limit the ability of mature and recovering forests to thrive. A study published in New Phytologist offers a hopeful response, suggesting that forests have flexible strategies that help them overcome the challenge of scarce nutrients…Forests of different ages responded differently to the nutrient additions, showing that “trees are actively responding to their nutrient environment,” said Wong… “We need to consider nutrient limitation when we’re reforesting,” said Batterman. “One way is to make sure we’re using a diversity of trees with different phosphorus acquisition strategies. “” Comment: In NS, we do recognize large differences in soil fertility and attempt to plant/encourage species accordingly, however as conifers have lower nutrient demands than hardwoods (especially for calcium) it can contribute to “borealization” of our forests.  It seems that NS DNR/L&F/NRR soil scientist Kevin Keys, who conducted very high calibre research on NS soils and has retired, has not been replaced.

June 3, 2024:
In Mi’kma’ki, fighting to save the hemlock ‘grandmothers’ from a deadly pest
Photo Essay By Crystal Greene in The Narwhal. “Ninety per cent of the hemlock trees in Nova Scotia could disappear. A Mi’kmaq-led effort is ensuring at least one forest will survive.”
An ominous forecast
By Brian Sullivan in Bloomberg Green Daily (Subscribe to newsletter for full story). “We are officially two days into Atlantic hurricane season… Today’s newsletter looks at how the season is shaping up. “The Atlantic has officially entered hurricane season. Again. While Saturday marked the official start, the US National Hurricane Center has been issuing advisories since May 15 because storms have managed to form early in recent years… Near-record warm water from the Gulf of Mexico to the African coast will fuel any storms that form. The possible emergence of La Niña in the eastern tropical Pacific later this year will remove one key barrier that can block Atlantic storms – wind shear. This is a perfect setup to tap the Atlantic’s ferocity, which is why the forecasts are so alarming. The wild card will be how much dust and dry air blows off the Sahara Desert, which can choke storms of needed moisture…”

Jun 2, 2024:
Organization buying N.S. forests to prevent clear-cutting
Jesse Huot “With World Environment Day(opens in a new tab) just around the corner, a local Nova Scotian organization is working to purchase and conserve forests which are in danger of being clear-cut. The CEO of Growing Forests, Dale Prest, says saving forests from being clear-cut is important to maintain our environment.”