Nova Scotia invests $5 million into reducing clearcutting
Nova Scotia is making a $5-million investment will help the province achieve its target of reducing clearcutting to 50% of the total harvest over the next five years.
The funding, announced in the 2011-12 budget, is a healthy start to the plan, giving woodlot owners the tools and resources they need to help reach this goal.
“Through this plan, and as part of the upcoming natural resources strategy, we want to help stimulate woodlot owners’ interest and participation in forestry,” said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. “As recommended in the Woodbridge report, this funding will help provide industry the wood supply it requires and ease the transition toward our new clearcutting reduction policy.”
Of the $5-million investment, $1 million will provide training and outreach for woodlot owners, $2.2 million will enhance the Private Land Silviculture program to provide professional and technical services to small, private woodlot owners and $1.8 million will go toward tree harvest tracking, monitoring and compliance.
The province’s plan is supported by a commissioned economic impact analysis by internationally recognized forestry industry specialists Woodbridge Associates. The report, released today, May 10, describes significant global and local challenges as well as opportunities that are part of Nova Scotia’s forestry economy.
“It’s very encouraging that the Department of Natural Resources is engaging small, private woodlot owners,” said Andrew Fedora, executive director of the Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners. “Everyone who was consulted with on the future of forest policies in the natural resources strategy spoke about the need to work with woodlot owners, and it’s great to see the province listened and is acting on it.”
The report recommends the province take measures to help ease the industry’s transition toward Nova Scotia’s clearcutting reduction target. The report also makes it clear that small, private woodlot owners play a key role in supplying wood fibre for the forest industry.
There are 31,000 private woodlot owners in Nova Scotia, but the amount of timber they have supplied to industry since 1997 has declined significantly. The timber in small, private woodlots makes up two-thirds of the province’s wood supply.
Reducing clearcutting is one of six policy areas the province announced in December in advance of the natural resources strategy.
The report by Woodbridge Associates is available on the Natural Resources website at www.gov.ns.ca/natr .
Source: Government of Nova Scotia
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