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Sharing Halifax space with wildlife

Unlike most Canadian cities, the urban core of Halifax is surrounded not by farms or endless burbs but by forested and coastal landscapes. Even within 30 kilometres of downtown Halifax, where approximately three-quarters of the population resides, developed areas are interspersed with substantive wild spaces. An article in the Nova Scotia Naturally series in the Chronicle Herald, highlights Halifax’s wild spaces and discusses some of what has to be done to preserve their wildness. View Article. Some supplementary materials are posted on the Wildland Writers’ website.

Bees of Canada

beeMargarita Miklasevskaja, Jakov Musafija and Laurence Packer of the Department of Biology at York University have set up an image database for the Bees of Canada View Image Database

Birds At Risk

Birds at Risk“Birds At Risk is a half hour documentary that travels to birding hotspots around Nova Scotia to examine the health of our bird populations. The film introduces a passionate group of birdwatchers, biologists and volunteers that are playing an important role in the scientific research that is critical to keeping bird species alive.” See the Broadcast Premiere on CBC Television’s Land & Sea on Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 12 Noon. View Trailer UPDATE (Dec 8): Entire Show

Jellification of our lakes

jelly planktonStudies by Jon Smol and colleagues at Queens University on lakes in Nova Scotia and Ontario reveal a very worrisome trend – a change in the phytoplankton species associated with declining calcium levels. “Without calcium entering the lakes in run-off, some crustaceans at the base of the aquatic food chain, which make their exoskeletons from the mineral, are at a disadvantage, and they’re being displaced by species that have an jelly-like coating. These jelly-organisms are inedible to many predators, and disruptive to the lakes’ ecological balance.” (CBC report). Acid rain combined with inherently poorly buffered soils, especially in SW Nova Scotia, is the major driver; clearcutting is also cited as a factor. View references.

THURSDAY DEC. 4, 2014: The Right to a Healthy Environment

Jamie Simpson, Executive Director of the East Coast Environmental Law Association, will talk about what the right to a legally binding healthy environment would mean for Nova Scotians, and outline the impacts it has had elsewhere in the world. This will be followed by our traditional Holiday Social. Read more

Clearcutting the neighborhood – a community fights back

clearcutK’JIPUKTUK, HALIFAX – We will soon find out what happens when local residents say no to clearcutting in their community.
The community in question is Round Hill, just a fifteen minute drive from Annapolis Royal. It’s a lovely spot. Nestled along the Annapolis River, you immediately sense that it is rich in history. And there are lots and lots of trees… a forestry company wants to harvest all the trees. Maps published by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) indicate that the lands will be clearcut. Read more in the Media Co-op article by Robert Devet

HRM puts out RFP for Greenbelting & Public Open Space Priorities Plan

“The Halifax Regional Municipality (the Municipality) invites the submission of proposals from qualified professional firms (and teams) … for the development of a Greenbelting and Public Open Space Priorities Plan (Open Space Plan) for the protection of a regional network of lands for resource conservation, public service delivery and community shaping. This Plan is a key deliverable under the Halifax Regional Municipal Planning Strategy (Regional Plan).” Pages 21 on give readers a good sense of the envisaged why, what and how of greenbelting for HRM. View RFP. (The Closing Date is December-04-14.)

SATURDAY, NOV. 15 : PURCELL’S COVE QUARRY WALK

Marcos Zentilli, geologist and resident of Purcell’s Cove, will lead us to a few local quarries  in the BacklandsRead More Update (Nov 16): It was a well attended & wonderful walk. View some photos

Halifax Field Naturalists on Facebook.

Clarence Stevens, Vice President, Halifax Field Naturalists has created and maintains a Facebook page for HFN. It’s a great place to share nature photos, comments about recent hikes and talks and more.

See HFN on Facebook

Write a few words for HFN

Your 40th Anniversary Committee invites you to take up pen and paper, or to turn on your computer, to compose a 250 -300 word description of, or a poem about, your favourite natural place or wild species, whether it be animal or plant, in Nova Scotia. Or write about any exciting nature encounter or exceptional discovery you may have had. Be sure to include the exact location for the place or species seen. With these ‘pieces’ you’ll be contributing thereby to the celebration of HFN’s 40th year! Submit your write-ups to Stephanie Robertson, HFN Newsletter Editor; they will be published in the Winter 2014 and Spring 2015 issues. The deadline for submissions is November 21st, 2014. See Contact Us page for addresses.

Fracking-Dollars and Sense

frackingIn a commentary posted on the website of the The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Dr. Michael Bradfield clarifies the economics of adopting a serious ban on exploration and exploitation of shale gas reserves. He provides some interesting numbers about the royalties and actual economic benefits, as well as our ‘dependency’ on federal transfers. Bradfield was a member of the Nova Scotia Hydraulic Fracking Review Panel. Read more.

Sunday Nov 2, 2014: Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Trails Project

The Blue Mountain – Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area (BMBCL) is a spectacular near-urban wilderness located on the doorstep of Halifax. The site is comprised of public land totalling approximately 1,300 Hectares located to the west of Halifax-Bedford urban areas and Highway 102. “Please drop in to our community engagement session on November 2 to discuss the project and share your ideas with us.” Sunday November 2, 2014 2:00pm-6:00pm,St. Peter’s Anglican Church, 3 Dakin Dr, Halifax. More Info|Poster