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Clear Cutting Nova Scotia - The Bio-Massacre


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#61 Terran

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:31 AM

Paul,

 

I should add that the use of Miscanthus in the production of ethanol and other biofuels looks far more promising than the incineration option.

 

Take a look at this Wikipedia piece: Miscanthus - http://en.wikipedia....nthus_giganteus

 

Ethanol production from a non-corn based production perspective also has benefits.

 

However, I'd be concerned that our Government would see this as a cash crop and create a Distillery to produce some Miscanthus Whiskey or Vodka.

 

Still, this plant could produce a promising fuel source that could perhaps be beneficial in the scheme of things.

 

Ethanol would be a much cleaner fuel than wood for energy production.

 

Here's hoping.

 

Terran


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#62 Terran

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 07:09 AM

So it would seem that the Bio-Mess idea is running into some hiccups. As predicted, biomass for the incinerators is coming up short. I believe we suggested that they'd have to strip the Province bare in order to facilitate their projections.

 

In this article, it is suggested that the facility in question requires 670,000 tonnes of biomass per year to run at peak. A tractor trailor carries about 30 tonnes.

 

So that's only about 23,333 tractor trailor loads...A YEAR. Can't believe they're coming up short.

 

Check out the story.

 

Biomass burner short on fuel

AARON BESWICK TRURO BUREAU
Published May 15, 2014 - 8:53pm 

http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1207759-biomass-burner-short-on-fuel

 

Boiler at Point Tupper paper plant getting only a portion of the fibre it needs

 

Nova Scotia is having trouble keeping up with the requirement for fibre at the biomass boiler at Point Tupper, says the natural resources minister.

 

“There’s not enough fibre right now in the province to support demands placed on that sector,” Zach Churchill said Thursday, referring to the amount of fibre available on Crown land.

 

Churchill was responding to questions from reporters about whether hardwood sawlogs are being burned in the boiler to produce electricity rather than going to hardwood sawmills where they could be processed into a higher-value product.

 

“We’ve been made aware of that,” said Churchill.

 

He added that he did not believe it to be a common occurrence.

 

The biomass boiler is expected to consume upwards of 670,000 tonnes of biomass per year when running at peak capacity. A tractor-trailer load of wood fibre weighs about 30 tonnes.

 

Construction of the facility was started by NewPage Port Hawkesbury Corp. to generate 20 megawatts of electricity. The plan was to fire it largely with wood waste that couldn’t go to the company’s two paper machines.

 

Then Nova Scotia Power purchased it for $80 million and spent $200 million on a new turbine to increase power generation at the facility to 60 megawatts.

 

Meanwhile, NewPage went bankrupt. When it was reopened by new owner Ron Stern, only one of the paper machines was put back into use, meaning less wood waste is being produced.

 

It is estimated that the waste from the operating paper machine will only supply about 170,000 tonnes a year.

 

Contracts to supply about 60 per cent of the biomass plant’s requirements for chipped wood were awarded by Nova Scotia Power to Wagner Forest Management Ltd., an American company that manages about 200,000 hectares of Nova Scotia woodland for its private investors, and Sheet Harbour wood exporter Great Northern Timber, which oversees about 170,000 hectares, primarily in central Nova Scotia.

 

Whether those two companies are finding it difficult to meet their supply requirements couldn’t be confirmed Thursday.

 

Churchill pointed to an initiative launched last week by the province to encourage private woodlot owners to make their wood available to be cut.

 

The Cape Breton Privateland Partnership will have a staff of two based in an office in Port Hawkesbury and an online database of available woodlots and contractors.

 

About half the province’s woodland is owned privately in small holdings.

 

It’s not just sawmills that are being starved by the biomass boiler, warned Mike Gillis, manager of Baddeck Valley Wood Producers. It has also been harder for people to get firewood to burn in their stoves, Gillis said Thursday.

 

His organization sells firewood off private land to about 300 customers, primarily in Victoria County.

 

“We’re having enough trouble getting enough firewood,” said Gillis.

 

“We used to get quite a bit from Crown land, but when that plant was announced they began stockpiling it and we haven’t been able to get any since.”

 

 

Anyone starting to see a problem with the Bio=Mess idea?

 

Terran


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#63 Terran

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 07:36 AM

Anyone else find articles like the following (from todays paper) disturbing?

 

 

Crown land access urged for woodlot owners
MICHAEL GORMAN PROVINCIAL REPORTER
Published May 22, 2014 - 7:59pm

 

For 66 years, Eugene Ingram has worked in the woods. And through all those years the Liverpool resident has prided himself on never needing to cut on Crown land.
 
But this year, Ingram, 76, is concerned that without access to Crown land he won’t be able to meet the demands of his customers for firewood.
 
“I have a lot of people calling me scared because they’re not going to get their wood,” said Ingram, who estimates he sells “a couple thousand cords of wood a year” to people, mostly in Queens County.
 
In the past, Ingram, who operates C.E. Ingram Construction, has cut from his own land — almost 1,000 hectares — or bought access from other private woodlot owners. But with much of his land already cut and one of the main private woodlot owners he used — Bowater Mersey — no longer in business, Ingram said he and others need access to Crown land.
 
A big concern for Ingram is that some companies do have access to that land. For example, the former power plant in Brooklyn, which is now a biomass facility owned by Emera, has access, he said.

“You shouldn’t have to be a big company or own a lot to get wood off (Crown land),” said Ingram. He’d like to see small contractors gain access to the Crown land. Everyone in the industry will ultimately benefit anyway, he said, because what contractors can’t use would be sold to mills.
 
Sterling Belliveau, the natural resources critic for the New Democrats, tried to bring the issue to an emergency debate at the province’s natural resources committee on Thursday but was denied by the Liberal majority. Ingram said if people wait too long to cut wood, it will still have sap in it when it comes time to burn, which can cause chimney fires.
 
The province’s Forestry Act says private woodlots should be the primary source of fibre supply in Nova Scotia.
 
Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill said his department has heard some concerns about access. He said the problem is likely a combination of a harsh winter, which necessitated more cutting and burning than usual, and larger companies, such as biomass sites and paper mills, using hardwood more than they have in the past.
 
“(That’s) simply because there’s a challenge when it comes to softwood supply,” he said.
 
Churchill said his department is working with the Energy Department to ensure large companies are using appropriate amounts of hardwood. The province has the second-lowest amount of Crown land in the country and much of what it has is protected. It’s for this reason Churchill is hoping a new incentive program will entice private woodlot owners to open up their land for harvesting.
 
The province gave temporary access to the western Crown lands to 15 sawmills, and department officials say they are encouraging harvesters working with temporary licences to make hardwood available to firewood markets.

 

 

It would appear that now it starts. How much of our sensitive, "protected", Crown Land's will be turned into clearcut moonscapes?

 

What consideration (if any) is being given to these locations and their proximity to water systems?

 

Are there any guidelines beyond "Strip 'er"?

 

Biomass has just begun and the evidence of it unsustainable nature is already clear. As it should have been before it began. With investments in generating equipment such as Nova Scotia Power made at Point Tupper ($280 Million); do not expect much support for protecting the woodlands from our Government.

 

My opinion anyway. Any thoughts?

 

Terran


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#64 NS_Sens

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 07:46 AM

Just as an observation I was in the former bowater lands this week and there are signs indicating that logging operations are in progress and met a logging truck twice on the roads.


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Posted 23 May 2014 - 08:24 AM

Just as an observation I was in the former bowater lands this week and there are signs indicating that logging operations are in progress and met a logging truck twice on the roads.

Which lands? I frequent one parcel of that land and there are no signs of logging, just the 4x4 Trucks tearing the hell out of everything and garbage galore.
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#66 NS_Sens

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 09:36 AM

It would end up being just south of Panuke Lake, they have signs along the road warning of the operations.


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#67 Terran

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 07:50 AM

Yeah, If you look at Google Maps in the area NS_Sens indicates it is very evident that they are actively stripping the area.

 

Go to the South end of the lake and then pan to the right. Lots of small lakes and ponds in the area in question. Looks as if they've been at it a while.

 

Always sad to see these images.

 

Terran


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#68 NS_Sens

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 08:56 AM

I think most of those areas were done when Bowater owned the land.  I don't think google maps shows this last round of logging that's taking place at the moment.  It looked to be a pretty small operation, one truck and it was brand new.


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#69 Terran

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Posted 27 December 2015 - 12:56 PM

So now the Government is faced with the BioMass energy solution? 

 

This freaking idea was panned by anyone with a clue long before the first (of sixty) truckloads a day started burning. NOW a "Report" suggests that it may not be sustainable. Go figure. Clearcutting the entire Province to generate "CHEAP" renewable energy. Yup...Renewable in about 40 to 60 years.

 

Bunch of ass headed tools.

 

And the Government response?

 

"Allan Eddy, associate deputy minister of natural resources, responded via email Tuesday that the department is working on a new forestry policy to be released in the spring. That policy will include accommodations for site fertility, soil nutrients, drainage and a proper moisture regime.
 
“The province encourages and promotes the best use of fibre from Nova Scotia’s forests and woodlands and is committed to the sustainable management of natural resources,” said Eddy."
 
Didn't we wait years for the "last" new Forestry Policy?
 
"Sustainable management of natural resources" (by a Government?), what a joke.

 

Check out this "new" News story: http://thechronicleh...an-green-report

 

And here is a link to the report; if the one on the above link isn't working: http://www.scribd.co...ing-for-Science

 

Another situation where the Government neglected to put Regulations in place BEFORE allowing the operation to begin.

 

Is no-one accountable for these huge blunders. Certainly our tax-dollar paid Government employees are not doing an even slightly competent job. This kind of incompetence is rewarded with huge pensions; again paid for by you and I. 

 

Disgusting.

 

Terran


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#70 stevebourque

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Posted 27 December 2015 - 08:32 PM

weren't; they supposed to start growing Elephant Grass or something to help feed this thing. Much better then trying to feed it all with wood. That many truckloads of wood a day will never be sustainable.

 

http://thechronicleh...-elephant-grass

http://thechronicleh...grass-trumpeted

 

 

They should start planting this will help keep our farm land and use and we won't need to trun all our forest to Moonscapes.


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#71 Terran

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 01:17 PM

Here's a bile inducing article that you may find disturbing...I did.

 

Guysborough County forester worries about fate of areas like Giants Lake

http://thechronicleh...ike-giants-lake

AARON BESWICK TRURO BUREAU 
Published January 22, 2016 - 6:49pm 
Last Updated January 22, 2016 - 6:51pm
 
GIANTS LAKE — In 10 to 20 years, Daniel George expects to see six-wheel-drive porters dropping off spruce at the bottom of this Guysborough County woods road.
 
He expects they will head to Port Hawkesbury Paper, where they will be sorted so that most will become glossy magazine paper, some will be turned into electricity at Nova Scotia Power’s biomass boiler and maybe a few of the best sticks will get sent to a sawmill to become the lumber with which we build our homes.
 
“That was once old Bobby MacIsaac’s land,” said George, a private woodlands contractor from up the road in Roachvale, Guysborough County.
 
“He died a few years back, around 1999 or 2000, but he carved a living off that land. There wouldn’t be an acre there that hasn’t been cut at some point.”
 
 
It’s not a pristine old-growth woodlot with great ecological value as habitat. The roughly 250 hectares the province bought last year for $247,640 from a woodlot-owning consortium called Five Islands Forest Development Ltd., who at some point purchased it from MacIsaac’s heirs, has long been a working property.
 
To understand this story, you’ll have to think like a lumberjack. Lumberjacks aren’t quaint bearded men clad in plaid swinging a double-bitted axe anymore. They probably never were.
 
They’re actually more like farmers, except their crops are on 40-year rotations, about the length of time it takes a black spruce in a well-managed forest to grow big enough to be turned into sawlogs and pulpwood.
 
And a good deal of the land harvested today in Nova Scotia for forest products hasn’t been forest for a long time. Much of this province was cleared or burned for farmland by early settlers and has been returning to woodland over the last century.
 
But what happens when most of the farm and forest land is beholden to large companies.
 
“It’s bringing us closer and closer to the feudal system our ancestors left Ireland and Scotland to get away from,” said George.
 
“Look at Antigonish, Cumberland and Lunenburg counties; they all have about 90 per cent of private ownership and have strong rural economies. Guysborough and Inverness and Victoria counties have the highest percentage of Crown land and industrial freehold land, and our economies are some of the weakest.”
 
About half Guysborough County’s woodlands are owned by the province, while nearly another quarter are owned by large industry. That leaves about 109,000 hectares of private woodlot ownership in the county.
 
According to George, recent purchases by the Natural Resources Department put more of northern Nova Scotia woodlands into the service of pulp mills and take them out of the equation of creating higher-value products that put more money into cash-strapped rural economies.
 
The heavily redacted 2012 Forest Utilization Licence Agreement between the provincial government and the new owners of Port Hawkesbury Paper created a legal obligation for the department to make 400,000 tonnes of undried wood available annually to the mill.
 
To return to the farmer analogy, a field or a woodlot can produce a variety of crops, some more valuable than others.
 
“The problem is we’re just murdering the land for hog fuel,” said Russell Huntington, owner of M.B. Pulp Ltd., on Friday.
 
“They’re flattening choice logs for hog fuel.”
 
Huntington employs five people, including himself, running two harvesters and two porters on private woodlots around Cape Breton. He can’t get access to Crown land because it’s being managed by Port Hawkesbury Paper.
 
Meanwhile, two of the province’s largest industrial landowners, Great Northern Timber of Sheet Harbour and Wagner Forest Products, have the contract to supply the new biomass boiler at Point Tupper. When generating electricity at peak production, the boiler is supposed to consume 600,000 tonnes of wood per year.
 
The boiler was originally supposed to rely on waste wood from Port Hawkesbury Paper, but the reality, according to private land contractors like Huntington, has been cutting hardwood to burn for electricity.
 
Meanwhile, the province’s high-value hardwood industry has been shutting down, citing lack of access to woodlands in the process.
 
Pomquet, Antigonish County, flooring manufacturer Rivers Bend Wood Products closed last February. Finewood Flooring and Lumber Ltd. of Middle River, Victoria County, closed two years ago, and the Groupe Savoie hardwood mill in Westville has been running a skeleton crew because it can’t get logs.
 
Allan Eddy, associate deputy minister of the Natural Resources Department, makes no bones about the fact the province has been expanding its land holdings in recent decades.
 
While buying up land, Eddy said, his department has been balancing the needs of small and large industrial operators while setting aside protected areas for habitat and recreational use.
 
“Next to Prince Edward Island, we have the lowest portion of Crown lands in the federation,” said Eddy.
 
Over recent years, his department has made land available to maple syrup producers and blueberry farmers.
 
Asked about the purchase in Giants Lake, he said there are “four or five mills within economic trucking distance.”
 
One of the accusations made by private lands contractors is that the province makes it cheaper for Port Hawkesbury Paper to cut on Crown land than on private, thereby creating a false economy.
 
Eddy denied this, saying stumpage rates charged to Port Hawkesbury Paper are based on market rates.
 
He didn’t say what the province pays back to the mill for managing the lands, citing privacy concerns.
 
Ultimately, neither George nor Huntington want to see the mill go.
 
It pumps over $100 million annually into the economy of northern Nova Scotia, and due to the mixed nature of the province’s forests, sawmills wouldn’t be able to afford to cut stud wood without a destination for lower-quality pulp.
 
“I know for a fact that if the (pulp mills) go down, then every damn thing goes down within one month,“ said Kingsley Brown, president of the Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers Association, on Friday.
 
And he’s an advocate for evolution to forests managed to produce high-quality hardwood processed here into value-added products. But, he said, there will always need to be a destination for low-quality products like pulp. So his group is working with Port Hawkesbury Paper to allow choice hardwood sawlogs sent along with pulpwood deliveries to be set aside in the mill’s yard.
 
But whether there is enough land in northern Nova Scotia to supply two pulp mills, the new biomass boiler and allow for high-value forest management remains to be seen. The Natural Resources Department says there is. George and Huntington say there isn’t — at least not the way things are being managed now.
 
 
And this is what our Government considers "sustainable". (?)
 
Terran

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#72 Shimanoman

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Posted 24 January 2016 - 11:56 AM

And this is the crap storm that the citizens of this province inherited from the previous government??   Is there any valid business/environmental case which justifies continuing this rape of our woodlands??  Do we continue down this,IMHO, wrong headed path other than the fact that so much money has been already spent on setting this up that to shut it down now would be a very expensive capital loss for the new government?  With oil as cheap as it is now, (and,for a while in the future), how difficult and expensive would it be to switch over from biomass to oil generating??  How long would it take to build the "elephant grass"

capacity for biomass electrical generation??   These are just some of the questions which have been rolling around in my head lately - perhaps someone out there has the expertise and knowledge to answer, or even validate them??

 

Regards


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#73 Terran

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 08:14 PM

Why is it that the most obviously ass-hatted plans are the ones that Government buys into?

 

Bio-Mass burning for instance. "Green" they call it. Let's see... Take 50 to 60 truckloads of forest and burn it to create short term power. Oh wait...and then wait 20 - 50 years for it to grow back so you can strip it again.

 

Seems totally rationale. If you're a freaking idiot. Clear-cutting the Province several times over to save Nova Scotia Power some fuel costs?

 

Seems that some others have figured it out as well. About 2700 have signed a petition to end this ...(I don't even have a word for it).

 

Foresters target biomass burner with growing petition

THE CHRONICLE HERALD 
Published February 29, 2016 - 7:02pm 
Last Updated February 29, 2016 - 7:02pm
 
Petition to close wood fibre power plant reaches 2,700
 
A petition against biomass electricity generation is gathering steam, just in time for the annual general meeting of the Forest Professionals of Nova Scotia, set for March 10 and 11 in Truro.
 
Helga Guderley of Boutiliers Point launched the effort asking the Nova Scotia government to stop cutting down Nova Scotia trees for so-called “green” biomass power generation.
 
She said 50-60 truckloads of wood are hauled daily to the Point Tupper biomass boiler to produce electricity at an efficiency of 21.5 per cent.
 
“Yet, at a recent meeting to plan the Canadian Carbon Cutting strategy, Environment Minister (Margaret) Miller announced that Nova Scotia is “greener than the rest”, leading Canadian provinces in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Guderley’s petition reads.
 
She said in addition to damaging habitat and wreaking havoc on nature in general, clear-cutting for biomass energy (wood burned to convert to electricity) has economic implications, figuring in the demise of Finewood Flooring in Cape Breton and Riversbend Flooring in Antigonish and the increasing cost of wood for home heating.
 
The power produced by the Point Tupper biomass boiler costs ratepayers an extra $6-8 million annually, Guderley said.
 
Bob Bancroft signed the petition. He has been working to restore a forest for 41 years.
 
The 56-acre plot of former farmland is at the Acadian village of Pomquet, on a harbour east of Antigonish.
 
Bancroft speaks for the trees, and he’s disappointed with clear-cutting used to fuel an energy strategy opponents say is anything but “green.”
 
“It’s defying the laws of thermodynamics — it’s not efficient at all,” he said.
 
“The forest professionals, as they call themselves, are having their annual meeting around March 10-11 … they think if only the public understood what they’re doing, they’d agree,” said Bancroft, president of naturalist umbrella agency Nature Nova Scotia.
 
“Well, the foresters of 40 years ago would be appalled if they saw what’s going on.”
 
Bancroft, who once worked for the Department of Lands and Forests, was a model forest chair, and even received an award for woodland owner of the year for Eastern Nova Scotia in 2007 from the Department of Natural Resources, said he has seen the effect of thoughtless forestry right on his property, when a neighbour got her forest cut.
 
The resulting clear-cut on a north-facing hill brought silt tumbling into Bancroft’s brook restoration and fish habitat project, breaking laws of the DNR and Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Nova Scotia Department of Environment, but those agencies wouldn’t enforce the laws, he said.
 
“They give you an award and then they let other people trash your property,” he said.
 
In the meantime, Bancroft is out, standing in his field, creating canopy holes of forest that had been taken over with the kind of plantings that “grow fast, die fast” — not the sturdy native Nova Scotia forest that once dwelled there as a sort of natural solar energy panel.
 
He is planting trees like yellow birch, hemlock, white pine, oak and sugar maples — “and all the things nature told me used to be there. I had a good sense of what was here before it all started,” Bancroft said.
 
He has nurtured three species of oak, and introduced butternut, a relative to the walnut, that grows in the St. John River Valley.
 
“We’re close to being disconnected at high tides where Nova Scotia and New Brunswick join — there are a lot of species that haven’t made it here,” he said.
 
Bancroft also looks to northern New England to see what trees are coming in because of climate change.
 
“The land tells you what trees used to grow here — there are pockets where pasture animals needed shade, and I take my clues from that,” he said.
 
The petition site had over 2,700 likes by Sunday afternoon.
 
 
Never should have been aloud and now we literally have to spoon feed the "idiots that be" in order to get it reversed.
 
Will the stupidity never end?
 
Terran

 


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#74 Shimanoman

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 06:48 PM

Terran,

         

The signatures are above 22,500 this evening.

 

Regards,,,,,,


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#75 Terran

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 11:02 AM

You must check out this "MacKinnon" Editorial Cartoon from today's Herald. Pretty much covers this whole issue.

 

http://thechronicleh...itorial-cartoon

 

 

 


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#76 Shimanoman

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 10:41 AM

Terry,

         It occurred to me that the response to the clearcutting "biomass harvest" or the rape of our Nova Scotia crown lands has not taken on the urgency it deserves is simply because the crafty devils at Natural Resources (Big Government) have authorized these clearcuts "moonscapes" to take place where the vast majority of the voting public cannot, and will not ever actually see what is taking place.  Imagine what kind of an outcry would take place if these great huge clearcuts were to take place in full view of HRM commuting public along the 103, 101,102, 107 highways.  And, by the way," biomass" projects such as our previous NDP government embraced and our current one is following along with, have been outlawed by our US cousins in Boston as, after in-depth scientific study, they have been found to be definitely "not green" and "not sustainable". We all know that we have lots of cheap natural gas offshore.  I wonder how much it would cost to retrofit the 21% effective furnaces of the "biomass project" with natural gas furnaces in the 80%+ efficiency range to produce heat and electricity for the plant ??  Perhaps you might want to do some research into the numbers. You might also be interested in knowing that a friend of mine, Bob Bancroft,was actually involved in the writing of a report submitted to the minister of Natural Resources in the previous government advising them not to proceed with the silly proposal of only burning "waste wood" before they even embarked on it,    It appears now that they have relegated these magnificent forests to "Waste Wood".  I'm sure the wildlife and fish which depend on the forests that are being destroyed do not consider either the biomass or their very existence a "waste".  But what do I know??  I like you, just live here.  

 

Regards........


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#77 Terran

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 11:30 AM

Ian,

 

I believe that there is probably far more "natural gas" sitting in the Halls of Government than will ever be discovered off our coast.

 

It boggles the mind that so many, supposedly intelligent individuals can be elected to positions of authority and then simply go f-ing insane. There should be a study to see if there is some detectable gas or radiation that leaks into Government offices and totally makes them rat-**** stupid. Common sense flies out the window and authority or power rots the little intelligence they seem to display before being elected.

 

But to be honest, the taxpayer is as much to blame for allowing the wholesale stupidity to continue. Every citizen paying a cent of taxes should at the very least be standing in front of (whatever Government Office that has pissed them off) Province House screaming bloody blue murder to every media source they can gather.

 

Yet, the sheep seem content to be sheared. (?)

 

My friend, one can only hope that at some point the tables will turn. Until then, we must stand up when and where we can. And...continue to just live here.

 

All the best,

 

Terran/Terry


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"In these sad and ominous days of mad fortune chasing, every patriotic, thoughtful citizen, whether he fishes or not, should lament that we have not among our countrymen more fishermen."  Grover Cleveland
 


#78 Shimanoman

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 08:21 AM

Terry,

          Nice to see that you are still pissed off and speaking out against those things which are just plain wrong with the policy makers and the politicians in this little, (but still partially forested) province.  I am curious if you could put your considerable skills as a researcher to discover if the Nature Conservancy of Canada has any position or opinion on the reasoning behind, or damages done by our provincial government in continuing to support their (inherited) policy of raping and burning the forest cover of our beautiful province.

 

Regards....


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#79 Terran

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 08:03 PM

Terry,

          Nice to see that you are still pissed off and speaking out against those things which are just plain wrong with the policy makers and the politicians in this little, (but still partially forested) province.  I am curious if you could put your considerable skills as a researcher to discover if the Nature Conservancy of Canada has any position or opinion on the reasoning behind, or damages done by our provincial government in continuing to support their (inherited) policy of raping and burning the forest cover of our beautiful province.

 

Regards....

 

Ian, 

 

Sorry about the delay in responding to your Nature Conservancy of Canada suggestion, however I have been trying to get some kind of response or position out of them since your post.

 

Apparently, the Nature Conservancy of Canada has ABSOLUTELY NO INTEREST in responding in any way , shape or form to email requests for some type of statement on their position. Perhaps if I were offering cash or some land inheritance they might take more interest.

 

So for now, suffice it to say that we can expect no significant help from this "Nature Conservancy".

 

Great idea though. Something else to piss me off. Thanks.  :rolleyes:

 

By the way, this Opinion article in the Chronicle Herald may be of interest with regard to the Topic.

 

OPINION: Acid rain + clear cuts = permanent loss

DAVID PATRIQUIN 
Published May 6, 2016 - 4:17pm 
 
Nova Scotia’s poor forest soil can’t recover fast enough
 
Ever-increasing pressures to clear-cut forests for fibre, biomass and chemical feedstocks tend to ignore their immense ecological and social values.
 
 
But even as simple production systems, serious challenges to our forests’ sustainability exist.
 
The broad outlines of this story have been known since the 1980s, when precipitous declines of salmon in many of our Atlantic river systems were traced to increased acidification of surface waters associated with acid rain.
 
That should have raised alarm bells about forests. Declining salmon and increased water acidity are the equivalent of bad blood tests for watersheds. Something was wrong in the forested uplands that fed those rivers.
 
Indeed, aquatic scientists knew what was going on: increased acidification was due to a combination of acid rain and the very low buffering capacity of forest ecosystems developed on shallow soils over slates, granites and felsic bedrock.
 
The bedrock breaks down very slowly and not fast enough to replace basic nutrients, mainly calcium, leached out of the soils by acid rain. So soil calcium levels drop, less calcium goes into surface waters and water acidity increases.
 
By the mid-2000s, we had quantitative models for the whole of eastern North America showing which landscapes are most impacted by acid rain. Nova Scotia is at the top of the list of 11 states and provinces involved.
 
We have the poorest soils over the largest area and receive acid rain from the industrial heartlands. Even without clearcuts, forest soils over more than 50 per cent of our landmass are losing more nutrients than are being replaced by nutrients in rainfall and by weathering of rocks.
 
Southwest Nova Scotia is in the worst shape. Unlike most other regions in eastern North America, which are beginning to recover following 50 per cent reductions in sulfur emissions over the last 30 years, surface waters in many watersheds of Southwest Nova Scotia continue to acidify.
 
Dissolved calcium has fallen below levels critical for survival of many species of aquatic life. Toxic forms of aluminum have reached levels toxic to fish. Toxic forms of mercury also increase as acidity increases.
 
Atlantic salmon were simply the most sensitive and first to go. Declines in brook trout (which are more acid-tolerant than salmon), in other fish species and fish predators such as loons will surely follow.
 
Clear-cutting exacerbates the effects of acid rain by increasing nutrient losses even further through the direct removal in wood and bark. There are more losses through erosion and leaching on land laid bare.
 
At some point, soil calcium becomes sufficiently low that tree health is affected and re-growth following clearcuts is slowed.
 
Some species are affected more readily than others. Sugar maple decline has been attributed to acid-rain-induced soil-calcium deficiency. This species is notably absent on our more acid soils.
 
Recent evidence suggest declines in soil calcium in forests of eastern North America are affecting other species, including some salamanders, herbs, invertebrates and songbirds.
 
Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources recognized the significance of nutrient loss for forest productivity and contracted a world expert to develop a forest nutrient management model to assess sustainability of biomass harvests in Nova Scotia. In 2009, DNR said it would be ready by mid-2010. The model was developed and delivered in 2011.
 
But, except for an MSc thesis on the topic now posted on a UNB website (only in part because of confidentiality concerns), it has not been made publicly available and it appears no recent decisions regarding harvests have been based on its use.
 
A DNR official I talked to said the model is still being refined and won’t be ready for perhaps five years. In the meantime, clear-cuts continue unabated.
 
However, we don’t really need to assess the nutrient balance of individual forest stands (which is what the model would do) to identify stands which clearly should not be clear-cut because of nutrient losses.
 
We already know from measurements and modeling which watersheds are in trouble. To clear-cut the poorest lands in these watersheds will reduce forest productivity, while clear-cutting the nutrient-rich drumlins will further undermine these highly stressed aquatic ecosystems.
 
There should be no clear-cutting whatsoever within watersheds stressed by acid rain.
 
We are already paying penalties in the aquatic realm. For forests, we can foresee declining growth rates, more disease and insect damage and loss of species.
 
These reduced forests may still be suitable for biomass harvests or as feedstocks for making plastics, and under the present mindset will be harvested until finally they do not re-grow at all.
 
I have heard already remarks such as, “Some of my clear-cut stands are not re-growing properly.” In addition, high blueberry demand is driving conversion of more forest land to blueberries, a final, essentially irreversible, step in conversion of forest to barrens.
 
The simple fact is we have some of the poorest soils for clear-cut forestry in all of North America and Europe.
 
That doesn’t mean that we can’t have bio-diverse, economically productive forests. Witness the few old-growth stands that we still have and successful cases of multi-aged management for hardwood timber.
 
There are growing markets for non-timber resources from our forests. But it does mean that we cannot clear-cut our forests again and again without penalty.
 
What happened in the cod fishery is being repeated in Nova Scotian forests, only spun out over a longer period.
 
Government scientists warned DFO that overfishing was occurring, but there was too much at stake on the fishing side, so they were ignored. In that case, cod stocks collapsed within a few years of the time they might have been saved.
 
For our forests, under current rotations of 20-40 years (shortened from 80-100), it will take longer to see the results of bad decisions. That doesn’t make them any less predictable.
 
Of course, there is still the acid rain. We need to press Ottawa to speed up the agenda for further reductions in acidifying emissions.
 
Regardless, we should do our part by stopping all clear-cutting in the watersheds most affected by acid rain.
 
We owe that to the wildlife with whom we share our lands and to the future generations who will inherit them.
 
At the very least we need to acknowledge these issues and involve all Nova Scotians in charting a new course forward.
 
David Patriquin is a retired professor of biology at Dalhousie University. He lives in Halifax.
 
 
Interesting stuff. Most of it as obvious as the nose on a politicians face. You know...the one that keeps growing.
 
It's sad that by the time they figure out what is SO obvious; it'll be too late, I fear.

 

Terran

 

P.S.: Yup ... still mighty pissed off, Ian. Wish more folks would get that way.


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"In these sad and ominous days of mad fortune chasing, every patriotic, thoughtful citizen, whether he fishes or not, should lament that we have not among our countrymen more fishermen."  Grover Cleveland
 





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