Stop clearcutting

In Nova Scotia, most forest harvesting is done using clearcuts. Something must change, and soon.


Stand in a Nova Scotia clearcut (360 degree virtual panorama)

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In Nova Scotia, over a half-million hectares of forest have been clearcut in Nova Scotia since the 1990's, or roughly 15% of the province's forests.  Rates of disturbance are highest in Central Nova Scotia, where over the past two decades 27% of the forests in Colchester County have been cut down and 20% of Pictou County.  Only about 17% of the provincial forest remains in an intact condition, in stands larger than 500 hectares in size.  Quite simply, clearcutting is ruining our forests.

Nova Scotia clearcutting map

Clearcutting in Nova Scotia over the past two decades, standardized as percent disturbance per square kilometre (Source: Global Forest Watch Canada)

But, some progress is being made.  The Nova Scotia government has commited to reducing the amount of clearcutting in the province by 50% in five years and has shifted some silviculture funding toward more sustainable forestry practices, but more action is needed.  The long-awaited Natural Resources Strategy is overdue.

What CPAWS is doing

CPAWS has been exposing the problem of clearcutting in Nova Scotia.  We've worked collaboratively with Global Forest Watch Canada to map clearcutting in the province and determine rates of anthropogenic disturbance.  We've visited some of the worst clearcutting in Nova Scotia to catalogue the damage and worked with local communities who are enduring the impacts of outdated forestry practices.

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