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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


Meet Lowell DeMond and learn about the transformation he has stimulated on a 32-hectare woodland that was burned over in 1956. This 244-m-wide by 1.6-km-long property contains a mixed forest of hundreds of planted trees, a small Christmas tree lot, and two brooks.. read more

“Time to move biodiversity and wildlife to Environment”

clearcutIn an opinion piece in the Oct 4 Chronicle Herald, Jamie Simpson cites the clearcutting of environmentally sensitive Western crown Lands as evidence that responsibility for protecting for biodiversity and wildlife should be moved from the N.S. Dept. Natural Resources to N.S. Dept. of Environment. Read more


lighthouseChris Mills will explore the history of Canadian lighthouses, interwoven with his own lightkeeping experiences as an assistant and acting Principal Lightkeeper on 11 light stations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and British Columbia. Read more

Mushroom Foray Sep 26-28, 2014

mushroomWhy not have an outdoor WILD MUSHROOM experience? The Nova Scotia Mycological Society is holding its 6th annual foray in Wallace, NS beginning Friday, Sept 26 through Sunday, Sep 28. All are welcome. This event is geared to anyone interested in mushrooms and/or natural history. See the full program, registration and accommodation details at


With Pat Leader, visit historic Cabin Lake Trail, developed and maintained by the Halifax North West Trails Association (HNWTA). It leads to and around Cabin Lake, both of which are part of Hemlock Ravine Park. Details on our Walks and Talks Page

HFN’s Archived Newsletters are still relevant

newsletterRead about The Cheticamp raised Bog – before if was flooded for the Wreck Cove Hydroelectric Project – some common edible and poisonous mushrooms in Nova Scotia, and how to recognize ten common N.S. grasses, all in July/Aug 1976 issue of the Halifax Field Naturalist! View Archived Newsletters for those items and lots more.

DNR and the disappearing science

forest clearcut A Halifax Media Co-op article by Robert Devet asks if our forests are “not a renewable resource after all” and highlights nutrient supply issues as a matter of concern. “Poor soils, acid rain and a history of clearcutting make Nova Scotia’s forests vulnerable to aggressive harvesting practices, a biologist argues. Yet the Department of Natural Resources is not releasing a scientific report that identifies where not to clearcut.” View Article

Tuesday, Sep. 9: Why Forests Matter

forestsAn evening of discussion about forests, their influence on society and why they matter to Canadians. A Nature Conservancy of Canada Event at Pier 21. $8 admission, students free. Details

Thursday Sept. 4: Native Wild Bees

Bee decline is a worrying phenomenon. In our first evening meeting for the fall season, Andony Melathopoulos will introduce us to the key Nova Scotian species, provide a glimpse of their natural history, and talk about what we need to do to ensure their conservation. 7:30 p.m. at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History on Summer Street in Halifax. All welcome. Read more

Prospect Head, Caramelized White Spruce

ProspectOn our joint Halifax Field Naturalists/Nova Scotia Wildflower Society walk at Prospect Head Nature Reserve yesterday (July 12, 2014), we noted extensive browning of vegetation which was attributed to salt burn associated with sea spray from Tropical Storm Arthur 8 days before, preceded and followed by hot, dry weather. At one point, a few of us paused and wondered about a strong smell of caramelized sugar that seemed to come from a white spruce.. read more