After much consultation, Nova Scotia’s natural resources strategy now includes a technical definition of clear-cutting that will help the province achieve its commitment to reduce clear-cutting to no more than 50 per cent of the total tree harvest by 2016.
The definition, finalized and reviewed by industry and non-governmental partners, was released Aug. 15, along with a progress report outlining progress made on the province's natural resources strategy.
"The work to implement this important strategy is going very well. It will mean better and more sustainable management of our natural resources -- parks, geological resources, forests and biodiversity," said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. "The strategy is improving management of Nova Scotia's forests and woodlots and will make it easier for prospectors and exploration companies to make new discoveries."
To help meet strategy goals, the province has announced more than $8 million so far, to help woodlot owners' operations be more sustainable, provided training to more than 120 woodlot contractors and employees, and launched a mineral incentive program to expand exploration and mine development.
As planned, 18 specific actions were started within the first 12 months of the 10-year strategy. Other actions have timelines starting after the strategy's first year, including developing rules related to whole-tree harvesting and biomass use. The completion dates for those two actions have been extended to redirect resources to urgent challenges facing the pulp and paper sector. Details of the strategy's 32 actions and the new clear cutting definition, as well as progress to date, are at www.gov.ns.ca/natr .
"It is good to see government moving forward, in spite of delays caused by the pulp and paper industry downturn. There has been real progress towards achieving the goals and objectives laid out in the natural resources strategy," said Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners Executive Director Andrew Fedora.