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Province outlines plan for forestry allocations

WESTVILLE – The government announced its forestry plan for the western Crown lands Thursday and released 10-year fibre allocations for the lands.

"We are taking a bold and innovative approach to managing our forests that reflects the economic, environmental and social needs of all Nova Scotians," said Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill. "This model gives us the flexibility we need to balance economic and conservation goals."

For the first time, allocations will be based on a percentage of available harvest rather than a fixed volume. According to Churchill, this will make it easier to adjust to changing forest conditions or threats, such as a large forest fire.

Two Pictou County mills have received allocations, including Scotsburn Lumber Ltd, which received 17,200 green metric tonnes and Groupe Savoie Westville Division, which received 2,400 GMT.

"We're encouraged to see government balance a number of values in our forests with today's announcement," said Jeff Bishop, executive director, Forest Products Association of Nova Scotia. "Providing a reliable source of wood fibre to our industry from Crown lands helps keep jobs here in Nova Scotia, selling our products to the world, and strengthens the province's economy."

Private landowners remain the primary source of fibre in the province and no mill has received more than 21 per cent of its spruce and fir fibre from Crown allocations. The sustainable all-species harvest in the western Crown lands is expected to be 698,000 green metric tonnes. Spruce and fir, the most desired trees, account for 366,000 GMT, 52 per cent of the total harvest.

Stumpage rates associated with these allocations will be market-based.

"Private landowners continue to play a major role in conservation because 70 per cent of land in Nova Scotia is privately owned," said Churchill.

Land-trust agreements with the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Nova Scotia Nature Trust protect more than 3,000 acres of land. Land purchases by the Department of Environment have been put in place to protect mature hardwood, endangered species and wildlife corridors.

No fibre will be harvested on lands identified in the Parks and Protected Areas Plan.

Sixteen mills, making both hardwood and softwood products, will jointly hold one western Crown harvesting licence and will establish a consortium to manage the harvest. It will take six to eight months to set up the consortium. During this time, the mills may harvest up to six months of their allocation.

"We have listened, and will continue to listen, to individuals and organizations who have a stake in forest management," said Mr. Churchill. "We are committed to increasing education and awareness of our forestry plans."

Primary allocations, based on today's estimated sustainable harvest on the western Crown land, are:

– Harry Freeman and Sons Ltd., Queens Co., 70,400 GMT

– J.A. Turner and Sons (1987) Ltd., Lunenburg Co, 3,700 GMT

– Turner and Turner Lumber Ltd., Lunenburg Co., 3,400 GMT

– Elmer Lohnes Lumbering Ltd., Lunenburg Co., 2,600 GMT

– Ledwidge Lumber Co., Halifax Co., 43,100 GMT

– Elmsdale Lumber Co., Ltd, Hants Co., 22,400 GMT

– Scotsburn Lumber Ltd., Pictou Co., 17,200 GMT

– J.D. Irving - Truro Lumber, Colchester Co., 39,900 GMT

– Hefler Forest Products Ltd., Halifax Co., 3,400 GMT

– F.W. Taylor Lumber Ltd., Halifax Co., 500 GMT

– Lewis Mouldings and Wood Specialties, Digby Co., 4,300 GMT

– Louisiana Pacific, Lunenburg Co., 39,700 GMT

– A.F.T Sawmill Ltd., Digby Co., 1,500 GMT

– Groupe Savoie Westville Division, Pictou Co., 2,400 GMT

– Maurice Bruhm Ltd., Lunenburg Co., 1,100 GMT

– Scotia Atlantic Biomass, Halifax Co., 50,000 GMT

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