Coun­cil con­cerned

Prov­ince puts two more parcels of An­napo­lis County Crown for­est har­vest on list

Annapolis Valley Register - - FRONT PAGE - BY LAWRENCE POW­ELL THE SPEC­TA­TOR WEST DAL­HOUSIE, N.S.

Some res­i­dents in An­napo­lis County are con­cerned about an­other planned for­est har­vest on Crown land, this time two large parcels near the Morse Road be­tween Bridgetown and West Dal­housie.

Mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil may call a spe­cial meet­ing dur­ing the hol­i­days to talk about what’s hap­pen­ing. A lo­cal home­owner said the moun­tain is al­ready be­ing raped, roads are be­ing ru­ined, and wildlife dis­placed.

“It’s cer­tainly cause for con­cern,” said An­napo­lis County War­den Tim­o­thy Habin­ski, “and I think coun­cil as a whole will be con­cerned about this. It’s of suf­fi­cient im­por­tance. Nor­mally we don’t have any meet­ings be­tween Christ­mas and New Years, but I think we’re go­ing to con­vene a spe­cial meet­ing of coun­cil di­rectly af­ter Christ­mas in or­der to ad­dress this and de­cide as a group what our re­sponse should be.”

The two parcels, AP068637B and AP068637D, are 21.48 and 18.88 hectares, re­spec­tively, and are lo­cated be­tween two lakes just east of Morse Road. The com­ment pe­riod on the Depart­ment of Lands and Forestry Har­vest Plans Map Viewer site is un­til Jan. 19. Go to https:// nsgi.no­vas­co­tia.ca/hpmv/.

“I think it’s im­per­a­tive An­napo­lis County take an ac­tive roll in this and we will be jointly pre­par­ing some sort of cor­re­spon­dence to go to the prov­ince to state our po­si­tion,” said Habin­ski.

Res­i­dents

“I’ve been re­fer­ring to it as the Cor­bett-Dal­housie Lakes par­cel,” said Bev Wigney, who with other con­cerned county res­i­dents is busy analysing the prop­erty.

She looked it up in ‘Ca­noe An­napo­lis County: A Pad­dler’s Guide To Out­door Ad­ven­ture’ pub­lished by the county. It’s listed as Route 12 and is on page 89.

“The pro­posed har­vest would re­move much of the for­est be­tween the two lakes,” she said. “Based on some older NS For­est maps, it looks like the north­ern par­cel is pre­dom­i­nantly Sugar Maple 14.5 me­ters tall – prob­a­bly taller by now. I have a maple of that size in my yard and it is a

goodly sized tree. Should we be har­vest­ing stands of Sugar Maple?”

She said the south par­cel is pre­dom­i­nantly Red Spruce.

“The next step is more re­search on the pro­posed har­vest sites, which may well in­clude some ground-truthing, depend­ing on ac­ces­si­bil­ity and weather,” she said. “There are plenty of peo­ple al­ready do­ing some let­ter writ­ing and ready to post sub­mis­sions on the HPMV web­site. This tract is not go­ing to go over well with area res­i­dents - es­pe­cially as more peo­ple get to know about it as it is close to Bridgetown, and a pop­u­lar place for fish­ing, ca­noe­ing, ATV and other out­door re­cre­ation.”

Fredericks

Ran­dall Fredericks, who with Wigney and oth­ers helped change the prov­ince’s mind on a 20-hectare har­vest on nearby Hard­wood Hill, might be one of those peo­ple head­ing out to Dal­housie Lake dur­ing the hol­i­days.

He said peo­ple are con­cerned about pos­si­ble flood­ing is­sues as a re­sult of the for­est har­vest­ing. “There’s been a lot of cut­ting on both pri­vate and Crown land in that area and Dal­housie in gen­eral.”

And he’s con­cerned about his- toric Bloody Creek at the bot­tom of the moun­tain, an his­toric site with many ar­ti­facts, and farm fields below that on the val­ley floor.

Dal­housie Lake was formed when Bloody Creek was dammed. And the county’s ca­noe routes book notes within the Dal­housie Lake reser­voir is pos­si­bly a me­teor im­pact crater mea­sur­ing about 400 me­tres across.

Wigney said ru­ral peo­ple value pub­lic lands in ways that ur­ban peo­ple may not un­der­stand.

“They have many out­door venues - bi­cy­cle paths, pub­lic swim­ming pools, hockey are­nas, ten­nis courts, dog parks, the trail sys­tem in HRM, etc...,” she said. “We don’t ac­tu­ally have that many pub­lic out­door places out here. It looks like there is, but a lot of it is pri­vate land. If we turn our few Crown land forests into torn-up, muddy, rut­ted messes cov­ered in slash, that won’t leave us with many out­door places.”

She said that’s un­fair to res­i­dents. “And it’s also very un­fair to the wildlife. When a for­est is de­stroyed, we lose it for at least two or three hu­man gen­er­a­tions,” she said.

Surge of In­ter­est

“I’m an­tic­i­pat­ing a sig­nif­i­cant surge of in­ter­est in the com­mu­nity around West Dal­housie and on Morse Road over this,” said Habin­ski.

Morse Road res­i­dent Bleu Rae said she never goes two days with­out log­ging trucks com­ing down the moun­tain past her prop­erty. It’s not un­com­mon to hear trucks us­ing their air brakes at 3 or 4 a.m. Although it’s cut­ting on pri­vate land, she com­plained to the county and even the RCMP and ve­hi­cle com­pli­ance.

“They’ve not stopped cut­ting up there,” she said. “It’s ev­ery­where. I don’t use the term lightly, but they rape the moun­tains – for noth­ing.”

She’s also con­cerned about the newly paved Morse Road that she says the trucks are de­stroy­ing. And she said the Dal­housie Road go­ing back to High­way 10 was fixed up and then was de­stroyed by trucks this past sum­mer.

Wants It Stopped

As for the pro­posed Crown land har­vest, she thinks it should be stopped.

“Per­son­ally I don’t think there should be any cut­ting with­out one-to-one re­place­ment – proven, re­ceipt-driven proof one-to-one re­place­ment,” she said.

Her wor­ries, like Fredericks, are about ero­sion and flood­ing. She said the runoff would be fill­ing the aquifer that her well draws wa­ter from. And she’s wor­ried about de­stroyed habi­tat and the dis­place­ment of wildlife.

“And then the moun­tain,” she said. “The moun­tain’s be­ing ru­ined. It’s just hor­ri­ble and they act likes it’s fine. Like it’s noth­ing. ‘Like, you know, ‘we’ll deal with it later.’ And who’s it help­ing? It’s not help­ing any­one lo­cally, I mean ex­cept for a few big wigs fill­ing their pock­ets. But it’s not help­ing the com­mu­nity.”

“We don’t ac­tu­ally have that many pub­lic out­door places out here. It looks like there is, but a lot of it is pri­vate land. If we turn our few Crown land forests into torn-up, muddy, rut­ted messes cov­ered in slash, that won’t leave us with many out­door places.” — Bev Wigney

BEV WIGNEY

This is the south end of a pro­posed har­vest site on Hard­wood Hill near Tup­perville. It’s mostly hem­lock, and some small beech trees. On Dec. 17 An­napo­lis MLA Stephen Mc­Neil’s of­fice in­formed res­i­dents the 20-hectare Crown prop­erty was taken off the har­vest list.

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