AFR January Letter 2016

AFR: I cannot help but wonder if the cutting of Crown and former Bowater land in Western Nova Scotia by outsiders is such a good idea.
    First of all, have those companies exhausted their wood supply in their home areas? If they have, then move the mills. Hauling green raw wood long distances requires huge trucks that require expensive woods roads and play havoc with our highways.
    The extra trucking cost reflects in lower stumpage value. Importing cutters leaves out the chance of employment for local people. More importantly, where does it leave the wood supply for the local mills that we do have? Is this consortium going to follow up in 10 or 15 years’ time with a proper thinning of the growth that resulted from all that clearcutting?
    I sincerely hope that something is left to allow our milling industry to grow in the western end of Nova Scotia, employing local people as it does and adding value to the wood it produces.

Charles Jess
Yarmouth, N.S.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Charles. We have heard from others in Western Nova Scotia who share your concerns – people who feel DNR’s centralized approach to Crown forest management treats some parts of the province as resource colonies. Of course provincial Crown timber belongs to the province as a whole, not just the local community, but something is amiss if hauling that timber long distances is viewed as anything other than a stopgap measure. People need to see that there is some vision for generating more benefits and economic opportunities locally (and not way down the road). DL