Environment Media release

MEDIA ADVISORY: As hunger strike enters 23rd day, people rally for a moratorium on clear-cutting crown lands across Nova Scotia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WHAT: Rally for a temporary moratorium on clear-cutting, in support of
hunger strike (Halifax rally)
WHEN: Tuesday, March 30th, 12noon
WHERE: Province House, 1726 Hollis Street, Kjipuktuk/Halifax
WHY: Critical Habitats for Endangered Species are being destroyed while
necessary reforms are delayed

This Tuesday marks the 23rd day of Jacob Fillmore’s hunger strike, and
the 106th day he has been camping outside government buildings in
protest of decades-long clear-cutting policies which have destroyed the
vast majority of critical habitat for the endangered Mainland Moose and
continue to destroy what is left. People are rallying in Halifax and
across the province to support Jacob’s demand for a moratorium on
clear-cutting so-called crown land until the Lahey recommendations are
fully implemented.

There will also be solidarity rallies at NOON in:

Wolfville – Clock Park – 472 Main Street
Bridgewater – Mark Furey’s office – 425 King St
Annapolis Royal – Market Square – George Street
Masstown, Debert – Karen Casey’s office -10653 Hwy 2
Yarmouth – Zack Churchill’s office –  392 Main St

                                        ###

Media inquiries: Jacob Fillmore 902 410 7377

BACKGROUND:
This hunger strike is the latest in a series of bold actions to protect
the habitat of the critically-endangered Mainland Moose, which is
currently being destroyed by private interests on public lands.

Mainland moose were listed as an endangered species in Nova Scotia in
2003. In May of 2020, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia found the
provincial government had failed to follow their own legal obligations
to protect species at risk.  This included the absolute failure to
identify any core habitat sites. There now could be fewer than 100
Mainland Moose left in Nova Scotia.

In October and November 2020, two blockades were set up – an hour deep
into logging roads in Digby County – to directly stop these cuts. These
off-grid camps were held by a group of forest protectors until a court
ordered their removal and arrest on Dec 15, 2020.

Jacob Fillmore started to camp out and occupy space outside government
buildings in Halifax to protest the forest protector’s arrest. On March
3, 2021, after 12 weeks of his outdoor protest without government
action, Jacob announced his intention to escalate his protest by
refusing to eat until this moratorium is declared. He has not eaten
since March 8.

38,000 people have signed a petition asking for a halt to clear-cutting
in the area the blockades were protecting. Additionally, the NS
Department of Lands and Forestry has received around 10,000 postcards
demanding a moratorium on clear-cutting.

Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs also sent a letter to the
Minister of Lands and Forestry demanding “that any operation at Fourth
Lake halt until a full mainland moose assessment is done.” The same
letter stated that “so-called ‘clear-cutting methods’ — low retention,
single age management — should only be prescribed in extremely
exceptional circumstances.”

It is important to note that this so-called “crown land” is the unceded
territory of the Mi’kmaq. This issue highlights how the provincial
government is a terrible and unauthorized custodian of these lands.

Because of modern clear-cutting techniques, when a 100 year old forest
is clear-cut, that same forest will never grow back. Clear-cuts degrade
the soil, depleting its nutrients through weathering and erosion.
Climate change is making it harder for forests to regrow due to more
severe storms, droughts, and wildfires. What do grow back are even-aged
stands of short-lived species. These ecological deserts are particularly
vulnerable to disease and insect damage. 

Mature trees absorb much more carbon than immature trees. It takes at
least 50 years for a clearcut forest to start storing any significant
amount of carbon. We need forests to absorb carbon from the atmosphere
now, not in 50 years.

The government accepted Lahey’s recommendations in December 2018. In
2019 and 2020, harvest plans for cutting 95,000 acres of crown land
forest were submitted for comment on the province’s Harvest Plan Map
Viewer. Of those proposed harvests, 88% were clearcuts. A stark contrast
to the 20-25% proposed by Professor Lahey.

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One Comment

  1. “When the power of Love
    overcomes the Love of Power.”
    (And money)

    Our lands will be saved.💗🌍🌎🌏💗

    Relying on Government officials to do the right and good thing these days is like expecting a leopard to change its spots and become something that doesn’t chase down its food, like a wolf in sheeps clothing, it hides for its own reasons…

    Thankfully not all elected officials fall to corrupt behaviour but many are silenced and outnumbered, hoping those honest and true few will Step Up and Speak Out and do what they are getting paid to do.

    Protect our environment, Listen and be the voice for the people that pay their salaries…doing what IS just and right is non negotiable.

    Reply

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