Draft Forest Management Guide Open for Public Consultation

General Intrests

**** LANDS/FORESTRY Media Release

Draft Forest Management Guide Open for Public Consultation
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The province continues to make progress implementing the triad model of ecological forestry on Nova Scotia’s Crown lands.

Public consultations have opened on a draft forest management guide, now titled the Silvicultural Guide for the Ecological Matrix. Once finalized and implemented, this technical guide will outline allowable silviculture and timber harvest methods within matrix zones on Crown land.

“The adoption of ecological forestry represents an unprecedented shift in how we manage our Crown land forests, and we’re taking the time to involve the sector and other Nova Scotians,” said Derek Mombourquette, Minister of Lands and Forestry. “While finalizing a new guide is a key step in this process, it is designed to work with the other two legs of the triad model, which are also in development.”

The triad model of ecological forestry being adopted on Crown land consists of three legs that work together: conservation zones, high production forestry zones and mixed use or matrix zones.

Key changes reflected in this draft guide include prioritizing biodiversity, considering natural disturbances in management decisions and greatly reducing clearcutting on the Crown land matrix zones where the guide will be applied.

Anyone interested can visit https://novascotia.ca/natr/consultation/forest-management-guide-public-consultation.asp, to view a summary of the stakeholder consultations to date, read the new draft guide and provide feedback by email. The guide is only available in English. However, the department will accept feedback in either English or French. Consultations will close in 30 days.

Work on another leg of the triad, high production forestry areas, continues and the final report for the first phase of this leg is expected to be released early this year. The report, which will outline criteria for site selection, was informed by public and targeted stakeholder consultations held in 2020.

Quick Facts:
— an independent review of forestry practices in Nova Scotia by Professor Bill Lahey has provided a series of recommendations to change how the province manages Crown land forests, while maintaining a sustainable forestry industry
— the three zones of the ecological forestry triad model work together to allow ecological and economic goals to coexist, leading to healthy forests and a sustainable forestry sector
— The new draft Silvicultural Guide for the Ecological Matrix incorporates feedback from extensive stakeholder consultations in August 2019 and March 2020. It includes feedback from industry, environmental groups, private landowners and forest professionals. It also includes feedback from consultations with the Mi’kmaq and the minister’s advisory committee
— interim retention guidelines for Crown land harvests continue to be in place across the province, which have significantly decreased the number of clearcuts approved on Crown land while the triad model is being implemented

Additional Resources:
To learn more about ecological forestry, visit https://novascotia.ca/ecological-forestry/ and watch a short video explaining it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDB1j_0Dzno

The minister’s advisory committee advises the department on policies and priorities related to implementing recommendations from the Forest Practices Review, with members representing diverse interests, expertise and perspectives on forestry in Nova Scotia. A full list of members can be found at https://novascotia.ca/ecological-forestry/

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