Will problematic Bill 149 be amended?

In Nova Scotia, it’s not uncommon to hear politicians speak fondly of the “Law Amendments” process. This is where members of the public have the opportunity to participate directly in the development of new legislation, in the brief period between Second and Third Reading when a new bill has been introduced into the House. It tends to attract experts who have particular knowledge or first hand experience relevant to the implementation of a Bill under consideration.

A look back and a look ahead

To put this all into perspective, more land was protected in Nova Scotia this year than any other year since 1998, when the original 31 protected wilderness areas were created. For the overall number of sites designated by the government within a single year, 2015 is hands-down the winner over any other year, with 88 new protected areas.

An update on the status of Nova Scotia’s pending new protected areas

Nova Scotia has made great strides in recent years expanding the amount of protected land in the province. In 2013, the provincial government approved the final version of the Parks and Protected Areas Plan, which seeks to create many new protected areas. This plan has garnered national and international attention for being proactive in conserving nature.

Lively discussion about protecting wilderness at Holden Lake and South Panuke

Last night, I attended a public information session held by the Nova Scotia Department of Environment to discuss the pending designation of two new protected wilderness areas along the South Shore; Holden Lake and South Panuke Wilderness Areas. The venue was Branch 88, of the Royal Canadian Legion, in the wonderful community of Chester Basin. Interestingly enough, the meeting was originally planned for another location nearby, but was moved because of fears of a roof collapse; a concern that has becoming all too common in Nova Scotia after a tough winter.

FSC commitment a step in the right direction for improved forestry in southwestern Nova Scotia

Much has been said recently about clearcutting on public lands in southwestern Nova Scotia, including the former Bowater lands acquired by the province in late 2012. Comments both for and against have shown a large, and potentially growing, gap between the various viewpoints of stakeholders and members of the public. Amongst that confusion, however, and the potential for entrenched positions, the Minister of Natural Resources has come forward with a welcome policy statement that has the potential to improve this situation substantially.

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