The fight to protect mainland moose from habitat-destroying clearcut activity by the WestFor Management consortium moved from blockades deep in the Digby County forests to the courtrooms of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax. We spoke with several forest protectors protesting outside.
We spoke with naturalist David Patriquin about forestry’s ‘new focus on patches of old forests in Southwest Nova Scotia, ““If you were a woodlot owner who wanted to keep his woodlot for life, and for their children’s lives, all this would be a problem. These forestry companies are coming in and managing for profit. What incentive do they even have to manage it for the long term?”
We spoke with Nina Newington, one of the forest protectors who were arrested while defending mainland moose habitat in Digby County from destruction. “I understand that for many people the arrests have been discouraging, but gosh, most struggles take a long time and many people around the world take far greater risks than we have taken and fight for far longer.”
Lindsay Lee wrote the following letter following the call to action by Jacob Fillmore, the young man camped out on Grand Parade Square to protest the government’s lack of action on climate change. “An increasing number of Nova Scotians are exasperated by the lack of environmental action. Together, we are telling you that this era of autocratic governance and environmental degradation must end.”
Media release and photos: On day 56 of this historic protest, nine of the forest protectors from both encampments peacefully refused to honour the intent of the injunction. They were subsequently arrested and charged by the RCMP with being in contempt of a court order with conditions to appear in court in Digby in the new year.
RCMP have arrested at least 8 people camping out at the blockades in Digby County. Earlier Westfor had served a temporary injunction against the forest defenders who for almost eight weeks blocked access to woods flagged for clearcutting in the remote area.
The Digby County forest defenders are facing a temporary injunction in their efforts to protect the threatened mainland moose. Here are some of the reasons why protesters are willing to be arrested if it comes to that.
Designating the Ingram River Wilderness Area near St. Margaret’s Bay will protect some of the most pristine publicly owned forests and waterways from logging and industrial activities. The process has reached a stage where the province is looking for public input. It’s important that we show the politicians we care, Helga Guderley, a member of the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association tells me.
Spokesperson Nina Newington invites Minister Derek Mombourquestte of Lands and Forestry to a meeting. “If mainland moose are to recover, we need to give them more, not less, habitat so that they can sustain larger populations. Those habitats must be based on what moose need to survive. Any discussion of moose habitat must be ecosystem based. Tweaking current inadequate protections while accommodating the forestry industry will not be enough.”
An open letter to Iain Rankin, former Minister of the department of Lands and Forestry, now running for the leadership of the Nova Scotia Liberal party. “Mr. Rankin, your pledges need to be trustworthy if you want them to translate into votes, and how are voters to trust you with a record like that? More needs to be done to restore credibility, and clearly, much more needs to be done towards a sustainable future in this province,” writes Shanni Bale.