refers to the complete felling and removal of a stand of trees. In
Nova Scotia it is the predominant harvesting method. According to
the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers clearcutting accounted for
536 of the 542 square kilometres of Nova Scotia forest logged in 1998.
Most people recognize that removing all the trees from a forest has
a negative environmental impact on that ecosystem. The science backs
An annotated bibliography of scientific papers on the effects of clearcutting
is posted here.
Criticisms of clearcutting cited in these and other studies include:
desiccation (extreme drying)
Loss/fragmentation of wildlife habitat
Sedimentation of waterways
"Hit and Run" overland water flow
Adverse impacts on fish and many bird species
Loss of carbon to the atmosphere
Increased risk of insect infestation
Public opinion in Nova Scotia is against clearcutting.
This was clear in a recent public opinion survey completed by researchers
at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (Sanderson, L., K. Beesley,
and R. Colborne. 2000. Public Perceptions and Attitudes toward Sustainable
Forest Management: Central Nova Scotia 2000. Rural Research Centre,
Nova Scotia Agricultural College. Truro, NS.). The survey can be downloaded
from the Nova
Forest Alliance, which commissioned the survey.
am unfamiliar with clearcutting and do not have an opinion at
should be no restrictions placed upon clearcutting.
should be allowed only where suitable for the area and tree species.
should not be allowed anywhere.
45, p.39; n=597
as a threat to the forest:
Respondents were asked if clearcutting presented
a potential threat to the forest. 7% said "slight or no threat",
81% answered "moderate to great threat", and 12% said "don't
know" (Table 49, p.43; n=615)
On government regulation:
survey asked "Should the provincial government regulate clearcutting?"
84% said "yes", 7% said "no", and 9% said "don't
know" (Table 48, p.41;n=611).
currently no regulations governing forestry practices in Nova Scotia.