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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.

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)