Forestry in Nova Scotia is largely lawless.
Numerous laws and policies are supposed to shape the way our forests are managed, but these have little impact on forestry practices. Laws that could encourage better forestry are either not enforced or are just aspirational purpose statements that lack specific on-the-ground requirements.
For example, one of the purposes of our Forests Act (section 2(a) is to develop “a healthier, more productive forest capable of yielding increased volumes of high quality products.” In fact, forestry practices in Nova Scotia are overwhelmingly producing the opposite result.
Similarly, section 4(4) of our Wildlife Habitat and Watercourses Protection Regulations requires forestry operators to “ensure that levels of snags and coarse woody debris on all harvested sites are similar to natural patterns to the fullest extent possible.” Has this law ever been enforced? Not to our knowledge.
What about laws from other jurisdictions? Massachusetts passed a law that requires biomass energy to be 60% efficient in order to qualify as “renewable energy”. If Nova Scotia adopted a similar law, the Point Tupper biomass plant would not qualify as renewable energy and would never have been built.
- Jamie Simpson, Juniper Law (www.juniperlaw.ca)