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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.

Scott Leslie’s clear-cut photos of clearcuts

Scott Leslie was our guest speaker on Thurs Dec 7, 2017, his topic: Untamed Atlantic Canada.

Scott’s photographs and reading from his latest book (Untamed Atlantic Canada) held us spellbound. After the final questions about his presentation he asked if we would be interested in seeing some of his aerial views of clearcuts in Annapolis Co. and Cape Breton. HFN members and generally most of our visitors have a keen interest in forests and forestry, so there was little hesitation. We again sat spellbound, this time by some much less comforting pictures than those we had just seen.

Scott has allowed us to post a selection on our website. The photos “speak volumes” as they say, in this case the volumes of wood that have been scraped wholesale off of our landscapes, leaving wildlife without homes, burning up carbon in the soil and who knows what else. There are alternatives – selective harvests – which leave the habitats largely intact, retain most of carbon and keep the rest of us happy, but there’s not much of that in Nova Scotia today.

Read more and view Scott Leslie clearcut photos

Thurs Dec 7, 2017: Scott Leslie on Untamed Atlantic Canada & Holiday Social

Spanning twelve hundred kilometres from New Brunswick’s Passamaquoddy Bay to Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula, Atlantic Canada stands as a nexus between North America and the North Atlantic. Its diverse geography, variable climate, and ocean currents coalesce to create a rich medley of habitats both on land and in the sea. Scott Leslie, renowned Nova Scotia author and nature/wildlife photographer, will present a selection of the diverse wildlife photographs found in his latest book, and will speak about some of his experiences capturing this natural beauty in pictures. In addition, he will present some of his new work on habitats from the air not found in the book. A Q&A Session will follow and Scott will be available afterwards to sign any of his books you may have.

Our annual Holiday Social will follow. See Walks & Talks page for more details.

Thurs Nov. 2, 2017: Challenges of the Little Brown Bat

Little Brown batSt. Mary’s University graduate students Nicole Besler and Cody Fouts discuss some of the strategies used by little Brown Bats in Newfoundland in order to cope with the potential limiting factors of life in a harsh environment. 7:30 pm at NS Museum of Natural History. Read more.
(Photo from Newfoundland and Labrador Fisheries and Land Resources)

Thurs Oct 19, 2017: Forest Funeral

The Healthy Forest Coalition is sponsoring a “Forest Funeral” on Thursday, October 19th, 2017 – 1:00 pm, meeting at the Grand Parade Square (1770 Barrington Street) for a march to PROVINCE HOUSE.

HFN is member of the Healthy Forest Coalition. We invite all members and friends to join this event. Read more »

McIntosh Run Trails Opening Sept. 25th

Mac RunFrom the Mac Run folks:

The McIntosh Run Watershed Association (MRWA) is pleased to announce the official opening of the first 2 km of singletrack trails in the McIntosh Run Trail System. Join us for ribbon-cutting and trail tours (hiking and biking) on Monday September 25th at 6:00 pm at the Norawarren Drive Park in Herring Cove (map to trailhead). The trails were built by volunteer labour, with financial and in-kind support from the Province of Nova Scotia, Dillon Consulting, Scotia Scapes Landscaping, BroMoc Print, Custom Clean Atlantic and Bicycle Nova Scotia. MRWA volunteers have invested over 2000 hours in building these trails – come help us celebrate this achievement!

The McIntosh Run Trail System will be over 25 km of singletrack trails for non-motorized recreation on public land between Spryfield and Herring Cove, authorized by the Province and HRM, designed, built and managed by MRWA, with funding from private and public sources. The system will connect Spryfied to Herring Cove through a combination of new trails and adopted existing informal trails. The trails are designed and built for (and by) hikers, bikers, runners and snowshoers according to standards used worldwide for shared non-motorized singletrack trails. We aim to draw a diversity of people into the wild areas surrounding the McIntosh Run, and to make it fun so that kids of all ages will want to come back again and again.

The McIntosh Run flows from Long Lake, through Spryfield, across the “Backlands” and into the ocean at Herring Cove. The McIntosh Run Watershed Association (MRWA) was founded in 1994 to protect the river and its watershed. We promote awareness and stewardship of the river and the watershed by facilitating sustainable public access to the wild lands surrounding the river.

To learn more about MRWA and the trails please visit our website:

We hope to see you on Monday!

Thursday Sep 7, 2017: Cold Critters – how insects survive the winter

Our first fall meeting will be held on Thursday evening, Sep 7 (2017) beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History on Summer Street in Halifax.

The featured speaker is Dr. Laura Ferguson who will walk us through how insects survive the winter, from creating their own antifreezes to “re-animation” from a frozen state.

As usual there will be Nature Notes and Announcements and a juice & cookie social after the talk. All are welcome!

HFN’s full fall program is given on our Walks and Talks page.

NSDNR responds to HFN Conservation Committee document

Clearcuts and planned clearcuts on Crown land in Halifax Co.

The Conservation Committee of the Halifax Field Naturalists submitted a document, Impacts of forestry in Nova Scotia on conservation of biodiversity: Concerns and Questions, to government on April 19, 2017. View Post (Apr 29, 2017) .

A detailed response was received from NSDNR Minister Margaret Miller on Aug 24, 2017.

The Conservation Committee expressed its thanks to Minister Miller for the response.

The Conservation Committee is currently reviewing the document and invites comments on the NSDNR Response from members.

Independent Review of forestry in Nova Scotia announced

budget addressIn its pre-election budget address on April 27, 2017, the Liberal government announced get underway within weeks.

Yesterday (Aug 30) the government announced the review is beginning, that it would be headed up by University of King’s College President William Lahey and that it would take place in three phases with a final report on February 28, 2018.
Read more »