Sustainable Communities And Resource Management In The Southwest

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Information about Sustainable Communities And Resource Management In The Southwest

Published on July 6, 2009

Author: Greg_French



Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve

Sustainable Communities and Resource Management in the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Prepared by Cliff Drysdale Mi’Kmaq drum by T Labrador

This presentation, based on the report “Sustainable Communities and Resource Management in the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve”, was prepared for the Biosphere Reserve Association with the support of the Nova Forest Alliance and Canadian Forest Service Sustainable Forest Communities Programme. I would like to acknowledge Rita Fraser and the Nova Scotia Voluntary Planning Natural Resources Citizen Engagement Committee for advice and assistance in providing material from the public meetings held in western Nova Scotia. (It should be noted that reference to voluntary planning public input in this presentation will be printed in italics.)

Thank you to David Dagley, Shirley and Klaus Langpohl, Frank Fox, Paul Colville, Ken Banks, Blair Douglas, Peter Jones, Stephen Malay, Don Rice, Richard Wentzell, John Leefe, SNBRA Chairman Bob Maher and the board of directors for reviewing the text of the report. The support of the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, Department of Environment and Labour, Parks Canada , and Abitibi-Bowater is also appreciated. Finally thanks to Councillor Peter Waterman for his assistance in facilitating this initiative.

What is a Biosphere Reserve? A “Biosphere Reserve” is a designation from UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) for an area which demonstrates a “balanced relationship between humans and the biosphere.” Collaborative efforts among people in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve promote the sustainability of local economies and communities, as well as the conservation of the terrestrial/or coastal ecosystems

A Biosphere Reserve is also a mechanism used for regional planning and multi-sector collaboration.  It offers an opportunity for the community to envision what they want for the region, and to work toward achieving it. A Biosphere Reserve does not have any law-making or land-use changing powers.  The main goal is to seek a balance between the conservation of natural and cultural heritage and sustainable economic development. 

The Nova Forest Alliance (NFA), a partner in this “Sustainable Forest Communities “ project initiative, is part of Canada’s Model Forest Network. The Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve has been chosen as one of 5 project sites in the maritime provinces The Model Forest Network is supported by the Canadian Forest Service, a division of Natural Resources Canada. NFA facilitates collaborative decision-making between partners to address sustainable forest management challenges within our distinct regions. Together, the NFA shares information and fosters technology transfer that helps promote sustainable forest management throughout Canada and the world.

The setting: Forest lands of Nova Scotia are 75% are privately owned, with a 55% held by smaller private woodlot owners and 20% by larger companies. The large proportion of smaller, privately held forest lands is a significant variable for harvest planning for crown and corporate holdings, as well as for biodiversity protection across the region. The majority of remaining of working landscapes are managed by the Province of Nova Scotia under the auspices of the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Environment , Department of Fisheries and the municipalities.

Nova Scotia forest use and the socioeconomic environment: South western Nova Scotia communities struggle with a variety of resource management related economic, social and ecological challenges typical of many northern hemisphere countries. The forest environment provides significant economic income to many rural communities in the region, and it was stated repeatedly in the VP hearing process that if the forest industry fails, so will many of our towns and villages .

The economic challenge: -The forest industry, a major rural employer and source of tax income, faces increased competition from countries with low labour costs, faster tree growth rates, protectionist policies, and often more lax environmental management standards. -Forest product use is changing: synthetic composites replace traditional sawed lumber, and electronic media reduce the demand for paper. -Mechanisation has increased harvest rate potential while reducing labour costs. -Competition from other regions be significant. For example, the high rate of climate change related mountain pine beetle range extension, and subsequent salvage tree harvest in western Canada, has been impacting the economic viability of sawmills in the maritime provinces.

-The 2008 economic downturn that began in the United States slowed housing construction, creating further stress for the rural communities that support the forest industry in Nova Scotia. -Demand for forest products has decreased at least temporarily. -This has resulted in lower prices for lumber/ paper and reduced prices paid to private suppliers for saw logs, stud wood and pulpwood.   -The lower price has discouraged private land owners from harvesting their wood, and companies have had to rely more heavily on wood from their own land.

-To maintain cash flow in this global trade environment, some forestry companies in Nova Scotia have been forced to increase harvest volumes to offset declining prices to keep workers employed and operations financially viable. -Some companies have sold off significant portions of their land to remain in business, while a number of smaller operations have succumbed to bankruptcy or simply ceased operation.

While the NS Voluntary Planning public meetings focused primarily on the terrestrial environment, recognition of the socioeconomic dynamics and cultural context associated with the marine fishery, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism is essential if effective community resiliency strategies are to be developed. These natural resource based sectors share many of the global economic and sustainability challenges with other industries in the province.

Submissions in the Voluntary Planning public input process pointed out that tourism and associated recreational land use activities are major contributors to the economic viability of the province including many communities in the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve. This value extends beyond monetary considerations, and includes the immeasurable benefits of mental stress release, companionship, family sharing and spiritual affirmation.

People and communities of south western Nova Scotia: The people in the region are hard working and progressive. The civic structure of the region is notable even in a global context. Land owners participating in the VP process express pride in their properties, and indicated they would prefer to make land management decisions to use resources or not based on their own knowledge and values, rather than be forced by excessive government regulation, coerced by corporate policy coming from distant urban offices, or by aggressive lobbyists. Western Nova Scotians are adept at supplementing their income through work in the forests, towns, on farms, or at sea.

The community is an important element of western Nova Scotia life, and the sense of duty and responsibility among its citizens is strong. Over the centuries, in a sometimes harsh physical and economic environment, Nova Scotians help their neighbours and support cooperative community development. This fact contributes to the importance of the UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve as a global model.

Biodiversity and the provision of ecological services: Biodiversity occurs in intensively managed forests, lakes and rivers, in the soils, under the land surface and in our human communities, in addition to being found in so- called ‘pristine’ natural ecosystems. Biodiversity does not just include threatened species, but all living things. Many VP public submissions, apparently from across land use sectors, identified biodiversity and a healthy environment as important values.

Canada’s and Nova Scotia’s commitment to the protection of biodiversity was formalized when the Government of Canada became a signatory to the United Nations International Convention on Biodiversity. The reasoning for this global agreement is important. The international community recognised that if humans continued to degrade earths’ environment through unsustainable management practices and irreversible impact from unwise exploitation, the rich biodiversity of the globe would be lost. The benefits of these living organisms to mankind would be eliminated.

Examples of such failure already exist across the globe: -Unsustainable harvest practices in Africa and the Middle East have increased desertification, drought, and erosion of productive soils . -Destruction of South American and African moist forests, as a consequence of poor harvest practice including slash and burn agriculture, has had negative sociological impact while increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

-Thousands of hectares of forests have been lost in eastern Europe because of air pollution impact. -Loss of biodiversity in forests is reducing opportunities for development of cures for constantly evolving human diseases. Many modern pharmaceuticals are based on the molecular structure of wild plants and animals collected from throughout the world.

Threats to biodiversity in Nova Scotia: In addition to the potential impacts from urban sprawl and/or unsustainable harvest practices, the Acadian forests of Nova Scotia are vulnerable to external stressors. These ‘externalities ‘ include acid precipitation and climate change.

Long range transport of air pollutants: Concern was expressed by a number of VP contributors that serious impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems can be caused by acid rain and climate change. These ecological stressors can interfere with the best attempts to manage resources sustainably. At its most severe acid rain was killing the biodiversity in our poorly buffered lakes and rivers, while removing available calcium and other nutrients from our soils.

Soils in the Kejimkujik area are among the most acid in North America (Keys K. and P. Arp 1998). Arp (pers. con.) suggested that if acid levels weren’t diminished, some sites would be limited to one more rotation of spruce tree growth, (assuming total biomass removal), before the soils would be unable to grow quality harvestable trees.

Fortunately, Canada and the United States subsequently have regulated emissions of acid causing sulphate pollution by 50% over previous maximums. However, research by Templer P. and Pardo L. (2006) in the Hubbard’s Brook area of New Hampshire indicates that calcium depletion in the soils cause by largely unregulated nitrous oxide air pollution can affect the health of hardwood species. Environmental acidification remains as a threat and important consideration when considering aquatic systems management, and soil use practices including forestry.

Climate change: Concern about climate change, caused by excess industrial and domestic production of carbon dioxide and other pollutants was expressed by a number of VP contributors. The Atmospheric Environment Service of Environment Canada continues to monitor weather and air pollutants at the Kejimkujik site. The Adaptation and Impacts Research Group have applied General Circulation Models (GCM) to project climate change impacts across Canada (Scott and Scuffling 2000). The projections for Kejimkujik inland and at Kejimkujik Seaside could be considered representative for south western Nova Scotia. .

-Based on a doubling of atmospheric CO2 projections (Shaw et al 1998), sea level rise around the coast could increase by 0.5m, with coastal community flooding, intercoastal erosion and salt water intrusion. -Changes in currents could occur as a result of cooling coastal waters resulting in more fog. -Air temperatures could increase by 3.4C in winter and 3.9C in summer (Scott and Scuffling 2000). -Rainfall could increase in the spring and fall, but decrease by 3-5% in the summer. -Storm frequency could increase.

Image courtesy Tim Webster; Applied Geomatics Research Group , NSCC Middleton

-Lakes and rivers could become too warm for native fish species such as brook trout. -Peak run-off would change from May to April, with minimum flow changing from September to August, with decreased summer water levels Clair (1998 ). -Exotic pest species will become more prevalent and damage already stressed forests and aquatic ecosystems. (Arrival in Nova Scotia of the gypsy moth over the last decade may be an example of this phenomenon. -Red maple and poplar would likely show a positive response to the change in climate, while red spruce, sugar maple, hemlock, beech and white ash may show a negative response.

Sustaining biodiversity services on working landscapes and protected areas: In context with cumulative impact of environmental stressors, care must be taken to ensure forestry, mining, agriculture, the fishery, recreation, and urban development practices do not further threaten biodiversity across the landscape, coastal, and marine environments. The native terrestrial biodiversity of western Nova Scotia depends on the existence of the Acadian forest ecosystems typified by a mixed wood forest, interspersed with pure stands of hemlock and red maple, along with numerous wetlands, barrens and rich intervals. The sea and coastal zones also play an important role.

In a worse case scenario----- -Poorly planned cutting practices could cause drainage basins to lose their water retention abilities, increasing localized runoff flooding. - Excess removal of slash for processing as fibre or fuel could result in loss of forest productivity (McCurdy D. and B. Stewart. 2005) . -Inadequate natural regeneration or planting on cut-over areas could reduce productivity for valued tree species.

-Insect pests could become more prevalent in monoculture forests. -Without stream buffers, erosion may become problematical. -Stream productivity would collapse as temperatures rose and nutrients from hardwood leaf fall declined.

-In protected areas biodiversity including wildlife species would be impacted because of habitat connectivity loss across the landscape. Few parks and protected areas are large enough to provide essential food, habitat and gene pool reservoirs for all species. -Poorly planned harvest blocks visible to the travelling public would impact on Nova Scotia’s popularity with tourists.

Over the generations, exacerbated by environmental acidification, climate change stress, loss of soil fertility, and high fossil fuel costs, a significant amount of the socioeconomic potential of our forest landscapes could be lost.

Rising to the challenges: Fortunately, we are a ways off from realizing the scenario of Acadian forest ecosystem collapse. While we do not live in a perfect world and there is always room for improvement, many contributors to the Voluntary Planning process including those who own private woodlots and large landholdings expressed optimism that Nova Scotia can achieve a ‘balanced approach” to resource management and biodiversity protection based on scientific information and common sense.

A progressive approach to sustainable resource management is clearly evident in south western Nova Scotia. The challenge for our leaders, communities, and individual land managers is to continue to improve and broaden use of sound resource use practices, and ensure there is a high level of understanding among all Nova Scotians about sustainable forest use, and strategies for maintaining biodiversity, soil and water quality. This will ensure working landscapes and protected areas continue to provide essential environmental services for Nova Scotia society.

Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources: - NSDNR is using an integrated approach to manage a wide range of values on Crown land including timber, wildlife, recreation, and water (Stewart B. And P. Neily, 2008).    - developing ecosystem based management for planning at landscape scales, and guiding stand level activities. These products are applicable for all land ownerships.   - provide ecological planning tools to assist certification processes such as FSC and CSA for industry and woodlot owner groups.   have extension programs and staff in local DNR offices to assist landowners and public with resource issues such as woodlot management, wildlife, species at risk, Christmas trees.A sylviculture fund to replant harvested areas has been established that functions in collaboration with sawmills.   

have extension programs and staff in local DNR offices to assist landowners and public with resource issues such as woodlot management, wildlife, species at risk, Christmas trees.

A sylviculture fund to replant harvested areas has been established that functions in collaboration with sawmills.

Research is undertaken to better our understanding of the environmental impact of forestry operations In partnership with the Sustainable Forest Management Network , a five year project was undertaken In some Bowater Mersey’s’ old growth stands to define “old growth”, their unique characteristics and to determine whether these characteristics could be maintained or enhanced through silviculture intervention. Species at Risk protection is an important objective for Bowater Mersey woodlands operations. A two year study on the impact of forest operations on treed bogs was undertaken to determine if operations adjacent to treed bogs impact the species that inhabit them. Mersey Woodlands participates on recovery teams for mainland moose, Blanding’s turtle. Abitibi-Bowater: Old Growth Focus Group at Panuke Lake. Photo by Rochelle Owen Insect sampling in tree bogs, photo D. Hurlburt

Forest Certification Bowater Mersey Woodlands operates within the requirements of internationally recognized standards for environmental management (ISO 14001) and sustainable forestry (SFI) on all Company land with third party verification of compliance.Currently developing FSC forest management certification for Medway District most of which is located in Annapolis County. Sustainable harvest determined based on current forest inventory and growth and yield data Establishment of Best Management Practices (BMP) to ensure minimal impact on soil, water and wildlife Regular BMP training for staff, contractors and private suppliers. Opportunities for the public in forest management planning through a Forest Advisory Committee and Open House meetings. Standards for culvert Installations are documented in BMP’s and communicated to staff through annual training Sustainable harvest levels are determined Using a wood supply model with 100 Year time horizon. Mersey Woodlands accommodates other users of company land where possible. Ex, work with Paddlers to mark and maintain portages

Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour:Protecting 12% of the Nova Scotia Land base by 2015 A new Wilderness Area for Shelburne River(1) 2270 hectares along the nationally recognized waterwayb. New Nature Reserves for Southwest Nova(1) Martins Brook, 18 Mile brook, West Branch Medway, Sixth Lake(2) A further 9 more Nature Reserves committedc. Additions to 7 existing Wilderness Areas(1) 5470 hectares over 14 parcels for Tidney River, Tobeatic, McGill Lake, Cloud Lake, Lake Rossignol WA d. The Land Legacy Trust(1) A $23.5 million Crown Share Fund to support key land acquisition in partnership with NCC, NSNT & others e. Potential win-win for Water Supply Lands(1) Using the Antigonish & Amherst models of wilderness protection for town water supply lands designated for greater certainty of use and secure drinking water f. Engaging New Partners(1) Citizen science for research and monitoring

Parks Canada; Species at risk management Ecological Integrity Monitoring Vegetation Management Ecological Restoration Environment Canada, Atmospheric Environment Service operates the long range transport of air pollutants monitoring equipment array in the Park. It represents one of 5 of Canada’s five national atmospheric monitoring sites that have contributed to knowledge and subsequent legislation with regard to acid deposition, and toxic element policy.

Exemplary public participation and habitat stewardship initiatives for the study and protection of biodiversity have been recently demonstrated in south western Nova Scotia: Innovative, multi-disciplinary species at risk recovery teams have proven highly successful. The Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute Cooperatives (MTRI) mandate is to increase public understanding of biodiversity conservation and sustainable resource management, while conducting ecological research. MTRI works as an affiliate with the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Association. The Clean Annapolis River Project Association (CARP), the Queens County Fish and Game Association and the Tusket River Environmental Protection Association (TREPA) among others also help to protect important natural resource values while informing and involving the public.

Conclusions: 1. It is apparent that there is a broad common understanding among contributors to the VP process as to the importance of natural resource sustainability and the Acadian forest. There are commonly held views about the importance of maintaining biodiversity. 2. There appears to be a requirement to advance understanding of forestry practices and principles in the urban community as well as for rural landowners. 3. There appears to be a need to broaden understanding of biodiversity protection needs (including water and soil quality management), practices, and principles within forest communities. 4. It is suggested that the differences in Voluntary Planning respondents perception regarding sustainable resource use issues serve as indicators of need for better distribution of existing information, more education, refined planning, increased collaboration and sharing of values . 5. In the light of recent turmoil in the energy and economic sectors there is also a need to develop community resilience strategies using the knowledge, wisdom and good will of western Nova Scotians.

Recommendations: 1. It is recommended that the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Association facilitate the presentation of a series of open community meetings in the region during 2009-10. Topics to be presented could include the challenge of sustainable management of natural resources, enhanced communication among interest groups, and development of community resilience planning strategies.   A theme title could be “Meeting the Forest Community Sustainability Challenge.”  

2. It is recommended that dialogue be initiated with municipal representatives in the Biosphere Reserve to explore interest and opportunities for SNBRA participation in “Integrated Community Sustainability Planning” (ICSP). Part of this proposed collaboration could include the presentation of a citizens brainstorming exercise for some selected issues. The focus could be on economic resilience planning for the future (10-25 year horizon). Issues to be addressed could include transportation, energy alternatives, value added product development, optimizing UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve potential etc.

3. It is recommended that SNBRA develop a communications plan to facilitate the regular distribution of available information on sustainable community development, resource management research, best resource management practices and cultural development throughout the Biosphere Reserve area using a variety of existing media and publications. Partners could include government agencies and industry, MTRI and other NGO’s. Target audiences could include the general public, businesses and students in the region. Media to circulate information could include a regular newsletter, press releases and programming, lecture series, drama presentations, field trips etc.

4.  It is recommended that SNBRA explore opportunities, in collaboration with economic development agencies, businesses and communities in the region, to develop a branding strategy for products coming from the Biosphere Reserve area. Branding could be used on food products, raw materials and manufactured items intended for sale to regional, national and international markets. Similarly, Biosphere Reserve branding could contribute to effective promotion of the south western Nova Scotia region as a high quality tourist destination.

5. The Community Mapping initiative of the Atlantic Geomatics Research Group at NSCC Middleton offers the opportunity to engage and empower rural communities. By providing improved online access to geographic, sociometric and economic information, planning and education associated with community development, tourism, and management of resources could be enhanced. It would seem appropriate to develop a strong linkage with this project and other SNBRA initiatives to advance resource and community sustainability.  

It is recommended that SNBRA promote the application of a soil productivity and watershed based approach to forest management within the region. Best practices strategies consistent with FSC certification; maintenance of Acadian forest diversity, water and soil quality; and use of appropriate riparian and visual buffers should presented for public and private woodlot owner information.

7. It is recommended that a national level conference on ‘protecting the sustainability of resource based communities’ be presented in the SNBRA region in 2010-11. Presentation themes could include; science and best practices for resource use and biodiversity protection; long range transport of air pollutants and climate change pertaining to Nova Scotia; and socioeconomic sustainability of rural communities. Workshop topics could include a gap analysis to identify additional environmental research and monitoring needs; demonstrations of remote sensing and information management technology; protected areas monitoring; community technical training requirements and opportunities.

References: Brylinsky, M. 2002. Nova Scotia Lake Hypolimnion Project- Searching for Cold-water Fish Habitat. Report prepared for the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. 51p. Cheng R and PG Lee. 2008. Recent (1990-2007) Anthropogenic Change within the Forest Landscapes of Nova Scotia. Edmonton, Alberta: Global Forest Watch Canada. Clair,T., Ehrman J., Higuchi, K.: 1998, Changes to the Runoff of Canadian Ecozones Under a Doubled CO2 Atmosphere. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 55, 2464-2477. Drysdale C. T. Webster,C. McCarthy, D.Ure, D. Kehler, I. Spooner, M. Brylinsky, M. Richard, A. Fenech, Anthony Liu, Kyla Milne, Margaret Murphy, D. Colville and Andrew Ross. 2008. Climate Change and Adaptive Management In The Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve. “Biodiversity and Climate Change Symposium”, Panama City, Panama. Proceedings in press. Kerekes and Schwinghamer P. 1973. Kejimkujik National Park, N.S.: Aquatic Resource Inventory, Part 3 Hydrographic Maps, Area and Volume curves. Dartmouth (NS): Canadian Wildlife Service, Eastern Region.

Keys K. and P. Arp. 1998. Benchmark soil descriptions for biodiversity monitoring and sustainable forest management research plots; established by Bowater Mersey Paper Company, N.F.Douglas Lumber Company., Harry Freeman and Son Lumber Ltd. University of New Brunswick, Fredericton N.B. 33p. McAfee, B.J.; Malouin, C. 2008. Implementing ecosystem-based management approaches in Canada's forests. A science-policy dialogue. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Headquarters, Science and Programs Branch, Ottawa. 111 p. McCurdy D.and B. Stewart. 2005. Changes in Dead Wood Structure Following Clearcut Harvesting in Nova Scotia Softwood Forests. Ecosystem Management Group, Forest Management Planning. Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources. FOR 2005-1 No. 76 Rowe, J.S., 1972. Forest Regions of Canada. Department of the Environment, Canadian Forestry Service. Ottawa. Scott D. and Suffling R Edit. 2000. Climate Change and Canada’s National Parks System; A Screening Level Assessment. Report by the Environment Canada Adaptation and Impacts Research Group, and the University of Waterloo School of Planning. Catalogue number En56 155/2000E, ISBN:0-662-28975-5.

Shaw J., Taylor R.B., Forbes, D.L., Ruz, M.-H. and Solomon, S.:1998, Sensitivity of the Coasts of Canada to Sea Level Rise. Geological Survey of Canada, Bulletin 505, Ottawa. Stewart B. And P. Neily, 2008. Implementing ecosystem based integrated resource management In Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, Truro, Nova Scotia. Templer, P. and L. Pardo. 2006. Effects of calcium depletion on nutrient uptake by dominant tree species of northeastern forests. Pamela Templar, Dept. Of Biology, Boston University, MA 02215. Linda Pardo, U.S. Forest Service, 705 Spear Street, South Burlington, VT 05403.   Personal Communications;   Paul Arp. 1998. University of New Brunswick. Fredericton, N.B..   


Further analysis of voluntary planning input; identifying common needs and the role of SNBRA: As noted in the introduction, it is not the intent of this discussion paper to duplicate the analyses of Nova Scotia Voluntary Planning public input to support legislation and policy development by the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources. Rather this analysis of VP public input is intended to identify needs and opportunities for study, education, and community development that SNBRA and its partners can facilitate, to ensure western Nova Scotia remains a vibrant ecologically sustainable, socioeconomically progressive region.

Throughout the process of assessing the information and opinions resulting from the VP process hearings and discussion groups, it is apparent there is a broad recognition of the need for sustainable forest management and the protection of biodiversity values. However there were differences of opinion about the appropriateness of certain management methods for certain areas in context with understanding of the terms "sustainability" and "balanced management". For example: -There was concern that clear cuts and monoculture forests that may change Acadian forest composition will reduce biodiversity, important wildlife populations, water quality and run off rates, regardless of the presence of parks and wilderness areas Alternatively many felt that the clear cut and herbicide use was a valid forest harvest method that could subsequently support renewed and healthy forest regeneration.

-There was recognition of the importance of protected areas, but the extent of their boundaries and limitation on use was sometimes questioned. Comments were recorded that too much protected land may create excessively intensive management demands on working forest landscapes. On the other hand others suggested protected areas should be increased in number and area. -There were conflicting views on the need and role for riparian (stream) buffers. -There was recognition that tourism and recreation were important uses of Nova Scotia’s landscapes, but the methods used to enjoy them (e.g. mechanized versus not) in certain locations were the source of disagreement. In a similar context there was concern that highly visual clear cuts were an eyesore to the public and tourists.

However there were many values shared by participants obviously coming from different communities of interest: For example: - There was agreement that a balanced approach to resource management, including use and protection, was required. -A need was identified for education highlighting sustainable resource management practices while protecting biodiversity. There is a commonly held view that many Nova Scotians living in urban communities do not understand the challenges of rural sustainability and employment, or the contribution resource based industries make to the socio-economic well being of all Nova Scotians. -There was perception that examples of poor resource use practices are limited to specific cases. Some industries and landowners demonstrate good practices, including use of clear cutting, while apparently others do not.

- There was a shared view that protection of private ownership rights is important. -There was a common view that citizens should be able to enjoy Nova Scotia’s public lands, including access to protected coastal environment and sea shore. -There was concern that government was being unduly influenced by pressure groups including environmentalists on one hand, or industrial lobbyists on the other. -Valued-added development supported by incentives was suggested to facilitate diversification of the economic base using forest resources. -There was a frequently expressed view that the ban on uranium mining in Nova Scotia should be upheld and that an improved environmental impact process was required pertaining to other mining and quarry activities.

Institutions of higher learning are readily accessible to students in the region and include universities in nearby Halifax (Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University, Mount Saint Vincent University, the Pine Hill School of Divinity and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) and Wolfville (Acadia University) in the Annapolis Valley. College Saint Anne, located in Meteghan, serves an important education role for the Acadian francophone communities of south western Nova Scotia and nationally. Similarly, campuses of the Nova Scotia Community College are located in Middleton, Lawrencetown, Digby, Shelburne, Yarmouth and Bridgewater.

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