AFR November 2016 Letters

AFR: Hats off to the protestors at Muskrat Falls for complaining about flooding forestland without removing the wood.
       In 2014 I drove the Trans-Labrador Highway. Back about the time of the First World War, Nova Scotia prospector E.H. Horne (later of Noranda fame) walked from Northwest River to James Bay. I wanted to see what type of land he was able to walk over. What I saw up on the tableland from the Quebec boundary to about 80 kilometres west of Goose Bay were small trees of little merchantable value, quite sparsely spaced. 
    Then I went down a big hill into the Hamilton River Valley. What I saw then was a good forest of sawlogs, pulpwood, and firewood. When I headed out of the Valley toward the coast, the forest got small and sparse again and eventually disappeared to barren land. The Muskrat Falls project is in the best of Labrador’s timber. According to data, they intend to flood about 45 square kilometres of real forest. At 10 cords to the acre, this is in excess of 100,000 cords of wood. And it will likely produce a lot more than that.
       Obviously, any studies done before the $10 billion project was started in about 2013 did not include a timber cruise. That is a lot of barge loads of timber. Further to that, flooding the trees can cause a monumental trash problem at the hydro plant. So, to Nalcor: cut the trees and burn the brush.

Charles Jess
Yarmouth, N.S.