A whacky title? Trees talk? Well don't take it from the HFC, listen to UBC's Dr. Susan Simard.
Oblivious to the vital world beneath our feet, the busy network of soils, roots, and fungi, Canada continues to harvest its forests at 4X a sustainable rate like there's no tomorrow. Indeed, there won't be if we don't make some changes, like now.
In other blog entries we've talked about current harvest practices and how they deplete our soils. Well, check out Dr. Simard's TedTalk below, or check out her recent Quirks & Quarks episode. Learn about the work of Dr. Simard and her team. If her arguments change the way you look at forests, as we sincerely hope they do, please, spread the word. Like or link to this post, and help get people turned on to what's happening.
To paraphrase Dr. Simard, we need to do four things:
1.) We have to get out into the forest and learn about it. Driving by on public highways shielded by protective buffers which screen what's really going on is clearly not enough. Learn about forest systems. They are essential to our survival on this planet.
2.) We have to save old growth forests. They are repositories for the vital biodiversity which will equip forests to withstand climate change. Without diversity of species, our forests are doomed. We don't have to stop all harvest, but we have to cut back and change the way we do it. Elsewhere on this blog are links to Global Forest Watch. See for yourself how Nova Scotia intends to harvest right up to the Kejimkujik Park gates just like the BC's harvest right up to Banff National Park.
3.) We have to save our "mother" or "hub" trees. Listen to Dr. Simard explain her research, how big mother trees use underground fungi threads to transmit life to their offspring, and encourage neighbouring species that protect and enhance their genepool. Trees are definitely not inanimate objects. Again, clearcut and spray to convert the mixed species and uneven ages of old growth to an industrial monoculture, and we will kill our forests.
4.) We have to take steps NOW to regenerate our forests with diverse species so they can adapt to the huge climatic challenges they are about to face. A self-righteous nation, Canada thinks of Brazil and their over-harvest of the Amazon as the big culprits, but we have even more sap on our hands.
While you may have been sucked in by the big budget government-industry Forest NS video full of happy young faces and laced with words like "healthy and sustainable," "a "legacy for Nova Scotians," and their core message, "No one loves the forest more than the people who care for it," you might want to take a look at these two videos by serious documentary filmmaker Kent Martin featuring two real heroes of NS forestry, veteran forester Ralph Wheadon and biologist Dave Patriquin. Indeed, you might want to watch another lovely film of Kent's on Windhorse Farm, Raising Windhorse.
Here you go, two real heroes...
PS: Thanks a million to Kent and the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Heritage Trust for making these productions available.
Dear Premier McNeil,
You are getting bad advice from the Department of Natural Resources. For example:
Backward policies and initiatives, our province lags seriously behind states, provinces, territories, and countries which are setting examples which we could emulate.
In short, Mr. McNeil, it is not the volume of wood we cut, but how we cut it that is important.
Per the Natural Resource Strategy, the alternative is to work with willing Nova Scotians, indigenous people, industry, academia, communities, and the general public, people who helped draft the Natural Resource Strategy, people who have written to you or spoken with you, who on a volunteer basis have dedicated years of their lives to this cause, to draft and implement wise policies to utilize our forests to best effect. "Netukulimk" is the Mi'kmaq word, I believe - live now with respect for seven generations down the road.
For the sake of our forests and for our future, we appeal to you once again to listen and act on these arguments. You are getting less than half the story.