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May 27-29, 2022: Nature NS Celebration of Nature

The Celebration of Nature is our big annual event, a talk and hike series as well as our AGM, and it always falls on the last weekend in May. Pre-COVID when the event took place entirely in-person, we would rotate locations around the province and a local NatureNS member group would host the event. This year, we’re running a hybrid event, where the talks and AGM are virtual and the hikes/outings are in-person and take place all around the province.
For further details and to register, follow this link:  https://naturens.ca/events/2022-celebration-of-nature/

Saturday Apr 9, 2022: Rally in Support of Eisner Wetland (Dartmouth, NS)

Rhodora coming into full bloom in Eisner’s Cove Wetland on May 29, 2017.

The Protect Eisner Wetland folks are holding a rally on Saturday Apr 9, 2022 1-3 pm by the block of land that includes the Eisner Wetland in Dartmouth.

The surrounding, steeply sloping forested upland is one of 9 priority areas in HRM  identified by the province for accelerated development, with only 10% or less conserved as greenspace. A causeway would be built across the wetland, which is expected to remain intact!

The upland includes well developed mixed and coniferous forests, with patches of mixed-multi-aged forest/old growth. Both areas store a lot of carbon, and host almost entirely native species.

The whole area is an important stepping stone  for connectivity of wildlife across the urban landscape.  It is highly treasured by local residents – and bird watchers and and other naturalists from all over the Halifax area.

Please come to the rally as possible and/or otherwise support the efforts to  retain as much of this area as possible in its present state. Read more »

Wed Apr 13, 2022: Community Engagement (virtual) on BMBCL

Notice of this event just received.

Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes (BMBCL) Comprehensive Study

Wednesday, April 13th, 2022, from 7:00 – 9:00 PM

Registration for the virtual meeting, which will take place on the Microsoft Teams platform, can be accessed by clicking this link. Read more »

Zack Metcaalfe in Rural Delivery: Whale Nation

About  a masterpiece of writing and photography in the Dec 2021 issue of Rural Delivery, that wonderful magazine about life in rural NS produced by Dirk van Loon & Co.  that’s been with us for over 40 years, Zack Metcalfe  commented

“I spent much of 2021 working on this article, reading books on the natural history and evolution of the world’s whales, and chasing these wonderful creatures throughout the St Lawrence Estuary. The article published in December, and is finally online! All photos are my own. See if you can spot my favourite.”

“In few places on Earth have the forces of geology, hydrology and biology conspired more successfully to attract the whale nation”…. read More!

Thx. ZM. Thx RD.

Tues. Mar 15, 2022: Three Nova Scotia Nature Writers

Mar 15, 2022:
(Event Announcement)
Three Nova Scotia Nature Writers
“Join three nature writers of contemporary Nova Scotia / Mi’kma’ki—Harry Thurston, Søren Bondrup-Nielsen, and Brian Bartlett—as they read passages from their newest published books and have an informal discussion about putting passion for nature into words. Attendees will then be welcome to offer observations and ask questions”

Friends of Eisner’s Cove Wetland seeking support 14Feb2022

Rhodora in flower at Eisner’s Cove Wetland. View more about the site 

From Susan Van Iderstine:

“I am writing on behalf of the Friends of Eisner Cove Wetland, a group of citizens headed by Bill Zebedee. We are dedicated to the preservation of the wetland and its protective forest belt, situated in Dartmouth, and we are very concerned about a large residential development proposal currently in planning for the wetland site. We are asking for your help and support.

The property including and surrounding the wetland and its watercourse was once owned by the Province. It was sold a few years ago to private ownership. In 2021 the owner, A. J. LeGrow Holdings, partnered with Clayton Development and Zzap Consulting to propose a mixed residential neighbourhood, including single and multiple family dwellings and two apartment buildings, as well as an elevated access roadway that will cross directly over the wetland. The site is referred to by the city as the Southdale Future Growth Node. The planning process has been initiated and was approved by Halifax City Council on January 11, 2022. You can find information about the proposal here: https://www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/southdale-planning Read more »

Hang onto to your hats: “Ocean geoengineering” to address climate change

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Panel calls for $2.5 billion in ocean geoengineering research
by Warren Cornwall in Science, Dec 8, 2021

In the fight against climate change, humanity owes the ocean a big thank you. It has already absorbed nearly one-third of the carbon emissions from human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.

But many researchers think the ocean can shoulder even more of the burden, with technologies that would enhance its natural ability to suck carbon from the air and store it for centuries. But to better understand how such strategies might change the ocean—or whether they would even work—funders will need to pour as much as $2.5 billion into research over the next decade, a U.S. panel of leading ocean scientists recommended today.

Related:

A Research Strategy for Ocean-based Carbon Dioxide Removal and Sequestration
US National Academy of Sciences 360 pages. Available gratis as PDF

Comments submitted Dec 8, 2021 to Old Growth Policy Consultation

Pit and Mound topography in Old Growth
hemlock/yellow birch forest by Sandy Lake
(Bedford, NS).

Comments on the proposed Old Growth Forest Policy submitted on Dec 8, 2021 on behalf of the Halifax Field Naturalists and the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society
by
David Patriquin, Prof of Biology, Dalhousie University (retired), Member of the Conservation Committee of the Halifax Field Naturalists, Member of the Board of the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society.

Context
A draft “Old-Growth Forest Policy for Nova Scotia” was released by the Nova Scotia government on Nov 9, 2021 with a general invitation to Nova Scotians to give their feedback on proposed updates to the policy by Dec 8, 2021.

The short version follows. Read the Full Submission

Comment 1: The draft Nova Scotia Old Growth Forest Policy is weak on conservation of old forest species

Recommendation 1: Define an Old Growth stand as follows

An Old Growth stand is any forest stand (polygon) or circumscribed area of 0.5 ha and greater with 20% or more of the basal area greater than or equal to 100 years of age.

Comment 2: The goal of including a minimum of 8% of Crown land in each ecodistrict in the Old Forest Policy Layer is arbitrary and insufficient to properly conserve Old Growth Forests and associated species dependent on old forests. Read more »

We lose a beloved naturalist and HFN supporter, Bob McDonald (1944-2021)

It is with heavy hearts that we heard this past week of the passing of Bob McDonald.

Bob and Wendy, his always present spouse, partner, campaigner, have contributed so much to HFN, Halifax and the province over the years, it really cannot be summarized in a few words. They were awarded our Colin Stewart Conservation Award in 2009 in recognition of those contributions, which only continued up until Bob’s untimely passing.

Our hearts are with Wendy and all of the family. Thank you for sharing truly wonderful and gentle man with so many of us.

Please view the Obituary on the JA Snow website 

Visitation will be held at J.A. Snow’s Funeral Home, 339 Lacewood Drive Thursday, November 25, 2-4 and 6-8 PM, with a Celebration of Life on Friday, November 26 at 2 PM. Proof of vaccination and masking protocol are required. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bob’s memory to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust (nsnt.ca/) the QE2 Foundation (https://qe2foundation.ca/) or the Dr. Bob MSVU Scholarship (https://www.msvu.ca/). Online condolences may be made at: www.jasnowfuneralhome.com

Comments submitted to PPA Consultation with a focus on the Ingram River Conservation Area 27 Sep 2021

Nova Scotia Parks and Protected Areas Summer 2021 Consultation

Comments submitted on Sep 27, 2021 on behalf of the Halifax Field Naturalists and the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society by David Patriquin (Member of the Conservation Committee of the Halifax Field Naturalists & Member of the Board of the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society) Read more »

HFN and NSWFS make a joint submission to the Regional Plan Review

Halifax Regional Plan Review 2021: Feedback from two naturalist societies – the Halifax Field Naturalists and the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society

Submitted to regionalplan@halifax.ca on July 15, 2021

WHO WE ARE

The Halifax Field Naturalists (HFN), founded in 1975, seeks to “educate ourselves and the public at large in the natural history of Nova Scotia.” Current membership is 110 paid up members. We have a website at www.halifaxfieldnaturalists.ca

The Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society (NSWFS), founded in 1990, is dedicated to the appreciation and conservation of wild flora and habitat in Nova Scotia. Currently we have 47 paid up members. We have a website at www.nswildflora.ca

Both groups are Halifax based for in-person and now some virtual meetings, but we have members from all over the province, and our field trips occur throughout Nova Scotia.

Whenever possible, meetings and field trips of HFN and NSWFS are open to the public at large. In the last several years we have seen rising interest in our activities, reflecting the increased appreciation generally today of nature and of the many and special opportunities we have in Nova Scotia to enjoy nature.

Many of our members are involved as individuals in trail organizations and in specific conservation efforts. As naturalist societies, we are often asked to support such efforts by visiting specific sites and documenting the flora and fauna, and by writing letters of support.
HFN and NSWFS are members of Our HRM Alliance and are highly supportive of the draft document that has been circulating “Our HRM Alliance Response to the Proposed Regional Plan Review Themes & Directions”. We highlight some special concerns that we have as naturalist organizations below.

GREEN SPACE IN HRM: A LOT OF PROGRESS, BUT CONTINUING DEGRADATION

As naturalist societies and individually, it has been gratifying to participate in various HRM initiatives related to our ‘green spaces’ and we have been especially encouraged by the unanimous Regional Council support for the Halifax Green Network Plan in 2018 (but yet to be implemented). At the same time, however, we are witnessing continuing degradation of our green spaces. Read more »

City Nature Challenge April 30th to May 5th 2021

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City Nature Challenge 2021: Nova Scotia
“This umbrella project brings together all the 2021 Nova Scotian CNC entries. Lets go Nova Scotia!” Locations: Halifax, CA, NSAnnapolis, CA, NSKings, CA, NSCape Breton, NS, CA

City Nature Challenge 2021: Halifax Regional Municipality
“Help put Halifax Regional Municipality on the global nature scene! On April 30th to May 5th cities/places from across the planet, from here in our province to other locations around the world, will compete for the title of the most Biodiverse City. We need your help. Whether you’re an avid naturalist or a dog walker, everyone can participate: it’s easy, fun, and will encourage you to get outdoors.”

A page with info related to iNaturalist and its use in NS has been created on this website under the Conservation section, View iNaturalist page