Save our old Forests

The bird in the Save Our Old Forests logo is a Blackburnian Warbler.  They breed in old forests. Their population in the Maritimes has declined by 70% since 1985.

Logo Design: Amanda Suutari

Nova Scotia needs old forests. Old forests are valuable in and for themselves. They also:

In Nova Scotia, there aren’t many left. In 1958 forests over 80 years old made up 25% of Nova Scotia’s forests. By 2003 that figure was down to 1.5%. Most of the remaining old natural forests are in the southwest.

We need to protect the best of what is left, for the health of nature, yes, but for our health too, and for the health of our economy.

The good news is that our government has made a legal commitment to protect 20% of Nova Scotia’s lands and waters by 2030. To do this they will need to add 330,000 hectares to protected areas in the next 8 years. Fortunately there is more than enough publicly owned land to do this and still have ample crown land available for forestry and other uses. 

The bad news? The way things are going, the remaining old forests will be logged before they can be protected.

This is why we are asking the Premier for a pause on all harvesting and roadbuilding in forests over 80 years old on Crown land until such time as protected areas meeting the 20% target have been designated.

It is fine for the government to take its time deciding which forests will receive permanent protection. They need to make thoughtful decisions based on science, Indigenous consultation and public input.

We are not opposed to all forestry.  We are opposed to logging forests that should be protected.

But without a pause on logging in old forests, what will be left to protect?

What do we mean by "Our Forests"? By law, forests on Crown land belong to the people of Nova Scotia. But, like the rest of Mi’kma’ki, Crown land is the unceded and ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaw people. It was taken from the people who called this land home for thousands of years. In Mi’kmaw culture, forests and trees are seen not as resources to be owned but as relations. Forests belong to the two-legged and the four-legged, the winged ones and the swimmers and crawlers.