KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Three new billboards in Halifax remind tens of thousands commuters each day that all is not well with Nova Scotia’s forests. “80,000 birds nests destroyed last year; Stop clearcutting; Tell Premier McNeil,” the billboards state.
“We’d read the recent estimates around bird nest destruction as the result of forestry operations, and we were really appalled,” says Neal Livingston, co-chair of the Margaree Environmental Association, the group that paid for the billboards. “We just hope to galvanize people in urban areas to become more vocal about this.”
The very first anti-clearcut billboards were erected in 2000, by a coalition including the Margaree environmental group. “Going, going, gone. The Nova Scotia we love,” was the message at the time.
“Nova Scotia forest policy mostly consists of chipping forests, and then burning these chips in the biomass plant, or exporting the chips. There has been a steady decline here in terms of forest policy, and for the last 40 years government is running the clearcut show,” Livingston says.
“In Quebec they have a marketing board for woodlot owners, and they’re getting $1000 more per truckload than here. Woodlot owners are making a good living in Quebec, whereas in Nova Scotia the prices are appalling and you simply can’t do good forestry under those conditions,” says Livingston.
Two billboards on Barrington Street catch commuters in the morning and afternoon. The third one is on the Windsor Street / Bedford Highway junction The billboards will stay up for the next four weeks, and possibly longer, says Livingston.
For more on nest loss due to forestry productions see this post on the excellent Nova Scotia Forest Notes website. Last year the Margaree Environmental Association released an eight-point blueprint on how Nova Scotia could transition from clearcutting to a selection cutting forest economy.
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