Fight for Forestry
It’s time to fight for forestry. The forced closure of the Northern Pulp mill is devastating rural Nova Scotia. Hundreds of jobs have already been lost and thousands more are threatened. Forestry related businesses are laying people off, trimming production, and not investing in new equipment. Many forestry operations will fail and shut down. The fear in forestry families and communities is real. It’s time to fight back. The landowners, forestry companies and workers have had enough! We are the foresters, harvesters, truckers, sawmill workers, silviculture and road experts that make healthy forestry possible.
For decades, those of us working in the forestry sector believed that our elected representatives supported what we did, understood its importance to maintaining healthy forests and appreciated the massive contribution modern forestry makes and should continue to make to the economy of rural Nova Scotia. The Northern Pulp closure is a wake-up call. We must fight for our sector and defend what we do or be meek and get pummelled.
Fight for Forestry is joining the public debate. We will speak the truth and name names. We will share the facts even when our opponents don’t want them disclosed. We will hold indifferent and weak politicians to account. We will challenge the Halifax bureaucrats and their urban viewpoints. We will expose the duplicity and hypocrisy of our professional environmental critics. We will fight!
To start, there are six indisputable truths about the Northern Pulp closure and forestry in Nova Scotia;
1. Northern Pulp was a kraft mill operating like 89 others in Canada. All have wastewater treatment facilities with treated water being released into rivers, lakes or oceans. They are all regulated by the Federal Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations (PPER). The $130 million environmental upgrade proposed by Northern Pulp would have exceeded the federal standards.
2. Boat Harbour is now closed. It will never receive any pulp-making related effluent from the mill again. There is a Federal/Provincial environmental assessment underway to determine a Boat Harbour clean-up approach. It will be at least two years before any actual clean-up work begins. Boat Harbour will never be used by Northern Pulp again.
3. Northern Pulp’s operation was vital to Nova Scotia’s integrated forestry sector.
Northern Pulp was the hub around which the entire industry turned. The company paid fair market prices for pulp wood, funded silviculture activities, provided saw logs to and purchased wood chips from sawmills, provided woodlot owners with a good return on their woodlots, and helped build roads and infrastructure. Over 2500 businesses and thousands of workers from Yarmouth to Cape Breton benefited from Northern Pulp.
4. Re-starting the Northern Pulp mill will not negatively affect lobster fishing in the Northumberland Strait. Lobster fishermen are proud of their fishery and claim they harvest a great product. We agree. For over 50 years, fishers have been fishing lobsters in an area where the mill was discharging its treated wastewater. All the science shows the mill hasn’t negatively affected the lobster fishery up to now. It certainly won’t when it operates to an even higher standard.
5. Nova Scotia is home to abundant forest land – in fact over 75% of the province is made up of forests. The vast majority of this forest land is owned by over 30,000 private woodland owners. Many of these owners provide Nova Scotians with free benefits and enjoyment of their forests by allowing hiking, bird watching, hunting, fishing and use of trails for off-road vehicle use. We must respect the rights of these woodland owners. Those who oppose a working forest need to learn to share!. There are many groups and individuals who believe that forests should not be harvested. Some don’t even want a forestry industry here at all. We believe Nova Scotia has plenty of forests to accommodate biodiversity, cultural, recreational and social uses, along with a sustainable, thriving forestry sector.
6. Our industry is proud of the vital, environmentally responsible work we do every day in our forests. We support the findings of the Lahey Report – an Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia and its recommendations for Ecological Forestry under a Triad Approach. The existence of Northern Pulp is vital to the Report’s implementation.
We know that tens of thousands of Nova Scotians support our industry and our people. We need your help now. Help us build a sustainable rural economy with a thriving forestry sector. Join our Facebook page and follow us on twitter. Join the Fight for Forestry.