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Newsletter Contents
  • CFAC Update
  • Northern Pulp Withdraw of EA  Application
  • Our History in Forestry
  • Misconceptions of the pre-contact forest
  • A Walk In The Woods
  • Green Ideas - dealing with climate change deniers 
  • Did You Know...
Northern Pulp has withdrawn its application for an environmental assessment by the province of Nova Scotia on it's proposed replacement effluent treatment facility. Northern Pulp is now working on a new plan with more details to come in the following weeks. For more information, click here
Our History in Forestry
The pictures below are of a sawmill that was located in Moose River, called Lumber Flume.
Misconceptions of the pre-contact forest
When it comes to forestry, there are negative perceptions. A reason for this is the idea of the pre-contact forest. This misconception is that the pre-contact forest was a healthy thriving natural forest that European settlers ruined by cutting down trees. In reality, there have been natural organisms within these pre-contact forests that existed to kill the forest, such as the pine beetle, beavers, and natural events like wind storms and wildfires. Negative views of forestry have stemmed from the subjective view of clear cuts. But the science behind clear cutting has shown that in certain areas, a clear cut can emulate natural forest management and be beneficial for the forest. Pre-contact forests still needed forest management but relied on organisms and natural events that killed the forest. Now with natural forest management, silviculture work and clear cutting (in moderation) is used to manage and create a forest that is better and thriving. Accepting that our forests may have burn patches means to accept that our forests may sometimes have areas cut out of them in order to have a well managed forest. In Canada, we are home to 40% of the world's certified forests. This means that these areas are independently audited to ensure forest management is carried out legally and in a sustainable way. Canada is a global leader in sustainable forest management and less than 0.5% of Canada's forests are harvested every year. A presentation from Mark Kuhlberg, professor of history at Laurentian University discussed pre-contact forests at the CWF 2021 Spring Meeting. You can check out the recap of the CWF 2021 Spring Meeting and more about Mark’s presentation here
A collaborative project with Robotic Research and FPInnovations is in the works to accelerate the adoption of off-road automated-vehicle technology. This technology will create unmanned convoys of Class 8, ADS-enabled trucks that follow a driver in a lead vehicle. This project hopes to address the ongoing labour shortage and improve safety. To read more about this project, click here
Log haulers and truck fleet owners are facing ongoing shortages of drivers. The Trucking Human Resources Sector Council Atlantic has been working on a Forest Truck Driver Training Program. This pilot program will be based on the training requirements for truck drivers in Nova Scotia. This program will also include forestry-specific features, such as a forestry simulator to give those interested a hands on learning experience in both the forestry and trucking industry. This pilot program is still in the works and has not yet launched, but it is a great step in educating our youth on the different careers in Cumberland, and Nova Scotia. For current programs and training being offered, check out the Trucking Human Resources Sector Council Atlantic's website here
A Walk In The Woods
Ticks cause golfers to follow forest fashion due to increasing risk

Have you noticed an unusual amount of attention lately being given to ticks in various media?  I hope so, because it is for good reason.  In Nova Scotia we are experiencing ticks like never before.  Research has indicated that ticks have been in North America for tens of thousands of years.  They remind me somewhat of a prehistoric creature that has been able to survive brutal conditions over time and somehow evolve into something more dangerous.

After my recent column on Lyme disease and ticks, I heard from several people regarding stories of Lyme experiences they, or friends, or family members had.  They are sad and scary stories.  Common elements include the infected person was not aware they had been bitten by a black-legged tick.  This is normal because the tick is often not felt on the skin and is able to bite through the skin with out causing pain by injecting a type of chemical that numbs the local area affected.  Similarly, ticks are also able to prevent the blood from clotting for days at a time while it slowly fills up with blood.  Finally, after engorged with its blood meal, it can then infect the host with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, or some other bacteria that can cause other problems and then vacate the area, often without knowledge of the victim.  They can be surprisingly tiny in size and easy to miss. 

Another similarity to most Lyme cases that lag on for a long time, is the variety of seemingly unconnected symptoms that people often suffer.  A couple weeks ago a colleague told me about a friend who began to have unexplained intestinal issues.  She said that her friend, “lost an incredible amount of weight really quickly (he was a big guy) and could eventually only walk with sticks. He aged two decades in a matter of months and was failing badly. As soon as I saw him my first thought was Lyme disease, but he'd never been tested! He did get tested a few days later, and sure enough was diagnosed with Lyme. Luckily, it wasn't too late for him and he responded well; he's almost back to normal now.”

Other Lyme symptoms include but are not limited to: headaches, loss of balance, dizziness, loss of appetite, aches, joint stiffness and pain, stomach upset and pain, lethargy, organ slowdown.  Although there statistically is a target rash occurring approximately 75% of the time for black-legged tick bites that cause Lyme infection, it cannot be counted on as an indication.

Since the deer population is increasing in most places in mainland Nova Scotia and climate change is warming most locations, the wood (dog) tick and black-legged (deer) tick populations are increasing and spreading like wildfire.  The percent of black-legged ticks carrying Lyme ranges from 20 to 40% across the province.

Since the most common place to pickup these unwanted hitch-hikers is in long grass, that could be just about anywhere.  So, when you are possibly going to be walking in long grass, precautions should be taken.  I would strongly suggest doing something I have made a regular part of in my preparations before going into fields or forest.  I call it “forest fashion”, which refers to tucking one’s pants into their socks.  This doesn’t allow ticks to sneak up your sock onto your bare leg without your knowledge.  One can often spot and remove them as they crawl up your pants and shirt as they search for their next blood meal.

Finally, it is critical that each of us get into a daily routine to check over our body after you have been outdoors in possible tick habitat, which can include backyard lawns and golf courses.  So, this provides an opportunity for golfers to look like Payne Stewart as they play their favourite game because most golfers have occasions to visit tall grass and woods when trying to find imperfectly hit balls.

Recently, a colleague had a terrible experience with his dog related to Lyme Disease.  Over one night, his dog went from being a normal, energetic eating dog to one that was moaning, couldn’t get up, was losing control of bladder and bowel and wouldn’t eat or drink.  Fearing the worst, he went to the Vet’s to later find out that his dog, which had been on tick medications, had Lyme Disease and would have died from kidney failure had it not been brought in for medical attention.  A heavy dose of antibiotics has fortunately brought my colleagues best friend back to his old self…

More information will be provided in a future column regarding pets and Lyme disease.

-Don Cameron
Registered Professional Forester
May 28, 2021
Green Ideas - dealing with climate change deniers 
Climate change is real, and it’s happening fast – yet some people still insist on denying its existence (and I heard of another case literally yesterday). So how do you persuade someone who thinks climate change isn’t real?

First, a few human realities. No one likes feeling threatened or challenged. No one likes being ignored, or being told they’re wrong. No one likes losing an argument; in fact, arguing usually just makes people cling more tightly to what they already believe.

In view of those realities, here’s a straightforward five-step process for having that difficult climate conversation, courtesy of the David Suzuki Foundation’s CliMate Conversation Coach (a great resource worth clicking!):

Step One:  after hearing a denial statement, ASK for more information. Use non-threatening, open-ended questions to help people feel safe and respected, and to open the door to self-reflection.

Step Two:  LISTEN closely, and then ask follow-up questions. This makes them feel heard, and adds valuable information. It helps you better understand them and discover things you agree upon.

Step Three:  REFLECT back what you’ve heard. Try to say in your own words what the other person said and, when possible, highlight emotions and feelings. It shows you’re listening, and making an effort to understand their point of view.

Step Four:  find something you AGREE upon because agreement breaks down barriers and builds bridges.  In particular, strive to connect with people’s goals, values and emotions: they tend to be strongly held, and can serve as anchors or foundations for further agreement.

Step Five:  SHARE your own perspective, including your own vulnerabilities. Try using emotion and personal stories, because they’re easier for people to relate to and remember than facts and arguments. Try to create a comfortable situation that encourages people to rethink and reconsider.

Sound a bit slow and tedious? Alas, effective persuasion always requires an investment of time. Two final points to consider:

Complete, instant turnarounds in thinking are rare.  Progress comes in small steps. If you’ve opened someone’s mind a crack and you’ve both gone away happy, that’s a success. 

If you happen to come across someone who wears their denial as a badge of honour and has resolved that they won’t be persuaded ever, the best approach is probably to smile, walk away and save your efforts for more open-minded people.

Happy persuading!
-Carl Duivenvoorden 
Green Ideas
Wood pellets are an alternative to oil and coal that is more sustainable and represents significant savings on carbon emissions. Using locally produced wood pellets could reduce carbon emissions in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick by 3.2 million tonnes per year. Industry leaders and Government officials are meeting next month to discuss this untapped renewable source of energy. For more information and to register for the 3 hour conference, click here
Did You Know...
At the start of the pandemic, the forestry industry was deemed an essential service. Our forestry sector has continuously supported Nova Scotians throughout the pandemic. The forestry industry plays an important part in the supply chain and providing PPE such has masks and gowns, packaging for food and pharmaceuticals, and hygiene products like tissue and toilet paper. Our forestry industry has helped keep us safe throughout the pandemic and ensuring our needs are met. 
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