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Old forest policy and regulatory frameworks in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick with a comparison to British Columbia

Publication: The Forestry Chronicle19 February 2018https://doi.org/10.5558/tfc2018-003

Abstract

Old growth forests (OGF) represent ecological continuity and are rich in biodiversity. These unique landscapes are becoming increasingly rare in Canada, especially within the Acadian Forest Region that covers the Maritime Provinces. Less than 1% of the total forest cover in these provinces is OGF — this is drastically lower than the 55% represented in British Columbia’s Temperate Coastal Rainforest. The authors of this paper conducted a comprehensive comparative analysis of old forest policies and regulatory frameworks in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and British Columbia to offer recommendations for improving the conservation and stewardship of OGF in the Maritimes. The analysis revealed that in Nova Scotia there is a strong old forest policy underpinned by a quantitative scoresheet, coordinator, and database. In New Brunswick and Nova Scotia the conservation targets are up to 8% on Crown land, but neither have a regulatory framework nor have evidence of achieving these targets. British Columbia has integrated Forest Stewardship Plans that promote the retention of OGF as legally enforceable tools for licensees in Old Growth Forest Management Areas. Such an approach could prove useful in improving the restoration and conservation of OGF in the Maritime Provinces.

Résumé

Les forêts anciennes (old growth forests-OGF) représentent la continuité écologique et montrent une grande biodiversité. Ces paysages uniques sont de plus en plus rares au Canada, tout particulièrement dans la région forestière Acadienne qui couvre les provinces de l’Atlantique. Les OGF représentent moins de 1 % du couvert forestier de ces provinces ce qui est nettement inférieur aux 55 % de représentation dans la forêt pluviale côtière tempérée de la Colombie-Britannique. Les auteurs de cet article ont effectué une analyse complète du cadre légal et réglementaire sur les vieilles forêts en NouvelleÉcosse, au Nouveau-Brunswick et en Colombie-Britannique en vue de formuler des recommandations pour améliorer la conservation et la gestion des OGF dans les provinces de l’Atlantique. L’analyse a montré que la Nouvelle-Écosse a une solide politique sur les vieilles forêts appuyée par des données quantitatives spécifiques, un coordonnateur et une base de données. Le Nouveau-Brunswick et la Nouvelle-Écosse se sont donné des cibles de conservation allant jusqu’à 8 % sur les terres du domaine public, mais ni l’une ni l’autre n’a de cadre réglementaire ni d’indicateur précis pour démontrer l’atteinte de ces objectifs. La Colombie-Britannique s’est dotée de plans de gestion forestière (Forest Stewardship Plans) qui favorisent la rétention des OGF que les titulaires de licences ont l’obligation d’appliquer dans les zones de Forêts anciennes sous aménagement. C’est une approche qui pourrait s’avérer utile pour améliorer la restauration et la conservation des OGF dans les provinces de l’Atlantique.

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The Forestry Chronicle cover image
The Forestry Chronicle
Volume 94Number 01January 2018
Pages: 13 - 19

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Published online: 19 February 2018

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Key Words

  1. old growth
  2. forest policy
  3. Acadian Forest Region
  4. comparative legislative analysis
  5. Nova Scotia
  6. New Brunswick
  7. British Columbia
  8. Crown land
  9. old forest scoresheet
  10. conservation
  11. legislation
  12. regulatory framework

Mots-clés

  1. vieilles forêts
  2. politique forestière
  3. région forestière Acadienne
  4. analyse comparative des lois
  5. Nouvelle-Écosse
  6. Nouveau-Brunswick
  7. Colombie-Britannique
  8. terres du domaine public
  9. feuille de pointage sur les vieilles forêts
  10. conservation
  11. législation
  12. cadre réglementaire

Authors

Affiliations

Amy Berry
Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, 9 Mount Merritt Road, PO Box 215, Kempt, Queens County, Nova Scotia, Canada, B0T 1B0
Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, 9 Mount Merritt Road, PO Box 215, Kempt, Queens County, Nova Scotia, Canada, B0T 1B0
Lisa Mitchell
East Coast Environmental Law, 6061 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4H9

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