On Oct. 9, 2014 the Department of Natural Resources announced 10-year licenses for mills to harvest on Western Crown lands. On Oct. 23, to begin public engagement around fibre harvesting, the department began to post maps on a county-by-county basis, that indicate where harvesting will take place and what harvesting method will be used. Each map also includes a closing date for public comments on each of the proposed harvest sites, which is 20 days after the harvest site is first posted; the department will respond to those comments within 10 days.
Harvesting will either be a partial harvest or clear-cut. To learn more about the harvesting types prescribed on Crown lands, please visit http://novascotia.ca/natr/forestry/programs/timberman/harvesting.asp. To learn more about the definition of a clear-cut please visit http://novascotia.ca/natr/strategy/clear-cut-definition.asp
If a planned harvest method is changed to clear-cut for any reason, that map will also be updated and there will be an additional 7 to 10 day comment period.
All Crown land timber harvesting prescriptions are made objectively by applying field data collected during a pre-treatment assessment (PTA). This information is collected by a forest professional who is trained and certified to perform pre-treatment assessments. This data is then applied through Forest Management Guide’s (FMG) which are based on decades of forest research (http://novascotia.ca/natr/forestry/programs/timberman/pta.asp).
Every proposed harvest plan on Crown lands goes through an in-depth review by an Integrated Resource Management (IRM) team comprised of foresters, biologists, and other resource professionals who provide recommendations and are responsible for approvals for each proposed operation. If approved, each plan is then monitored by department staff during and after operations to ensure compliance with all applicable rules and regulations.
The public can sign up for notifications of updates to the Harvest Plan Map Viewer (HPMV) at the following website: https://novascotia.ca/natr/forestry/fibre-allocation/ . These notifications include summaries of proposed plans being added, sorted by county.
The HPMV has a tool available which allows for sending comments directly by clicking on the applicable harvest plan.
Your comment will automatically include the harvest area reference number indicated on the map. After the comment period closes, a 3-point scale will be used that will provide a measure of the relevance and impact of each comment. The Licensees may begin harvesting on any plan for which no comments have been received or which the department determines there is insufficient need to postpone the harvest.