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Thursday June 7, 2018: Peter Duinker on Old Forests in HRM

Admirals Cove_Old Growth forest in Sept. 2014. Photo by Peter Duinker

Old forests are special ecosystems in Nova Scotia, partly because of their rarity and partly because of their awesome biodiversity and big, old trees.

Most of the province’s old forests are deep in the rural forest. On the other hand, are there any in the city? Peter Duinker, Dalhousie Professor and Acting Director of the School for Resource and Environmental Studies, and his students searched for old forest in six large wooded municipal parks and documented the best we have in the urban core.

In the talk, Peter describes these examples of old forest and compares them with data from some of the province’s iconic rural old forests. 7:30 p.m. at the Nova Scotia Museum o Natural History on Summer Street, Halifax. All welcome!

Nature Conservancy of Canada proposes innovative approach to accessing new urban wilderness area: underground parking and elevator

“In September HRM [Halifax Regional Municipality] announced that the tentative agreement for the Urban Wilderness Park on the Purcell’s Cove Backlands would include a parking lot and main entrance.

“Since then some questions have been raised about the concept and possible scale of parking adjacent to a wilderness area.

“Nature Conservancy Canada in partnership with urban parking specialists UrbanMobility has arrived at a solution that will provide for those who visit by car while meeting the concerns of conservationists.
Read more »

April 12, 2018: Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park Citizen’s Meeting

“All are invited to a public meeting on April 12th for updates and information on park progress. We will also explore interest in forming a citizen’s group, such as a “Friends of Blue Mountain” group, to speak up for creation of the promised park and collaborate with the municipality and other levels of government.
Please come to St. Peter’s Anglican Church Hall from 7-9pm on Thursday, April 12th.
There will be a formal presentation at 7:15, and opportunity for questions and public comments at 8pm.”
Read More

Expansion of HRM Goodwood Composting Facility

After the hike to the Drysdale Bog in Goodwood, we learned via the Western Commons Advisory Committee that the area, situated near the Halifax Western Common, is partially considered for expanded development.

Please consider their statement (as follows):

Thurs Feb 1: Life and decline of the American eel

american eel from WikipediaLydia Stevens, of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, will give an introduction into the life history, importance and status of American eel, Anguilla rostrata. She will discuss species range, life cycle, sex and diet. The importance to Indigenous people, recreational and commercial fish harvesters. Population decline and conservation. Finally she will talk about her own research: Population demographics and habitat use of American eel in a protected watershed in Nova Scotia. 7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH. All welcome
View more about our Talks and Walks

Sewer Stroll postponed again, now to Sun Feb 4, and again to Feb 25, 2018!

Due to the continuing unstable state of some of the coastal viewing sites, the annual sewer stroll planned initially for Sunday Jan 7 and then postponed to Sun Jan 14, 2018 is now postponed to Sunday January 28, 2017 and now to feb 4m 2018… and now to Feb 18, 2018, now to Feb 25. Never say die until winter is over at least.

Mother Nature apologizes to all but notes that we have not been too kind to her either…

Land purchased for Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes

EAC photo“On January 18, the Halifax Regional Municipality purchased approximately 197 acres of lands to form part of a Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park. This important acquisition marks the first parcel of land to be acquired by the municipality towards the creation of the regional park, which is proposed in the municipality’s Regional Plan…

“The Hobson Lake lands have been acquired from West Bedford Holdings and will both enable public access into the regional park and support the protected wilderness area by acting as a buffer between it and developed lands. ”

Read more from HRM announcement

Also, a letter in the Chronicle Herald


Congratulations to Halifax regional council for purchasing a 80-hectare parcel of wilderness land in the Hobson Lake area of the proposed Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park (Jan. 22 story) — and to West Bedford Holdings, the development company that sold the land, presumably at fair market value.

After many years of inaction, HRM finally owns land within the boundaries of the future suburban wilderness park. May this deal inspire other property owners within the boundaries of the future park, most notably the Annapolis Group, to not waste money on lawsuits and to work with HRM.

Dusan Soudek, director of environment, Canoe Kayak Nova Scotia
(Chronicle Herald Jan 24, 2018)

For some history, see Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes: A Brief History (EAC)

West Mabou Beach Provincial Park is under threat

West Mabou Beach Provincial Park is under threat of partial development in the form of a golf course.

View Fight brewing over potential golf course in Mabou area
CBC, Jan 1, 2018

The West Mabou Beach Committee is asking naturalists to help them in their efforts to protect the park:

“You may or may not be aware that the beautiful West Mabou Beach Provincial Park is under threat, once again. Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources has been in discussions with Cabot Links/Cabot Cliffs owner to development 18-hole golf course at West Mabou Beach Provincial Park.

“We feel that any attempt to compromise any part of this park with any type of development is unacceptable. We ask for your support in getting the word out on how important this park is to all of us and why it must remain, in its entirety, a provincial park.
Read more »

Winners of the Young Naturalists Nature Art and Writing Contest 2017 announced

YNCOverall the contest went great and we have some lovely entries from all over the Province. One of the best things is to see entries come from communities where we don’t even have Chapters. View YNC website for the list of winners and honourable mention in Junior and Senior categories and keep an eye out for shows in New Glasgow, Berwick and Halifax in the new year that will showcase these great young artists!

Sewer Stroll postponed again, now to Sun Jan 28, 2018

Due to the continuing unstable state of some of the coastal viewing sites, the annual sewer stroll planned initially for Sunday Jan 7 and then postponed to Sun Jan 14, 2018 is now postponed to Sunday January 28, 2017.

Mother Nature apologizes to all but notes that we have not been too kind to her either…

January Presentation Cancelled

Due to the weather situation, the meeting has been cancelled.

The presentation by Syd Dumaresq on the Shubenacadie Canal Restauration will be rescheduled at a future date, most likely in the summer or fall of 2018.

Scott Leslie’s clearcut photos of a mine’s lasting footprint

Recent aerial photos by Scott Leslie of the East Kemptville mine near Yarmouth, across the 203 highway from the Tobeatic Wilderness Area. “Although it closed in 1992 and it’s been 25 years, it’s hard to see any evidence of remediation.”
Click on photo for larger version

We are hearing a lot about the MANS (Mining Association of Nova Scotia) efforts to open up protected areas for mining these days, how some of our protected areas have been clearcut with the implication that if we can clearcut them why not mine them? Scott Leslie has provided one answer.

There has been no clearcutting of declared protected areas of course. Some private lands purchased by government to go into a protected area were partially clearcut before they were finally acquired, which Protected Areas (section of Nova Scotia Environment) accepted as part of the price of acquiring the land. That’s not a deal anyone except the sellers likes, but the clearcut lands will come back, albeit slowly, and surely a lot faster than the East Kemptville mine!
Pease support the CPAWS’s efforts to ensure that we do not open up our protected areas to mining.