County accepting public submissions on crown land forestry concerns

Published on March 7, 2017

Clearcutting, not the forestry industry itself, is what concerns Digby residents, according to Warden Jimmy MacAlpine.

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DIGBY, NS - Digby Warden Jimmy MacAlpine is accepting submissions from the public regarding concerns about clearcutting forestry-methods across the county.

This comes after Bear River resident Jay Stone expressed concerns in a meeting with the warden about clearcutting which is advancing increasingly toward private properties.

With the upcoming regional meeting of the municipalities Mar. 10, MacAlpine decided to open it up to the public for submissions.

Stone is a member of Nova Scotia’s Healthy Forest Coalition, and is a certified arborist. He’s worked as an urban forester for 40 years and says the amount of clearcutting over the last ten years is “shocking.”

He hopes people will submit their concerns and that they’ll help stop non-sustainable forest cutting, referencing the province’s  Westfor land deal which would allocate forest to be managed by 11 logging mills on a 10-year lease, causing mass clearcuts and deforestation.

“If we don’t do this, we’ll have nothing there,” he says.

MacAlpine says he’s not a fan of clearcutting forestry methods and that this method – not the entire forestry industry – is what concerns people.

“This method means they go in and they just wipe everything out,” he said, adding the issue has been around for some time.

“I’m not a forester, but I think most people want to see responsible forestry take place on crown land.”

Crown land is government-owned, and makes up for 29 per cent of total tree coverage in Nova Scotia.

Digby CAO Linda Fraser will receive emails at until 4 p.m. March 9.

Content from the emails will then be voiced at a Regional municipalities meeting Mar. 10 during the local concerns portion of the meeting.

MacAlpine encourages anyone with concerns to voice them now, but to also bring them to Clare-Digby MLA Gordon Wilson, since crown land forestry is a provincial issue. He also said his office wasn’t notified of Minister of Natural Resources Lloyd Hines’ recent visit to the area to discuss forestry industry with local business people.

MacAlpine says he’s hopeful grassroots-level concern will heed notice from the province this time around.

“Every time people raise the issue, the more traction will be made,” he says.