INDUSTRY POSITION

The Nova Scotia Forest Products Association position on clearcutting is posted on their website. Their position reflects a common belief within industry that clearcutting mimics Nova Scotia's natural forest disturbances and improves wildlife habitat. These ideas have long been debunked (see Scientific Papers above and Clearcutting Ain't Fire by Fisal Moola).

"Industry merely tries to utilize the resource prior to its natural decline, providing jobs and superior wildlife habitat."

Nova Scotia Forest Products Association

The Forest Products Association and the Nova Scotia Wood Products Manufactuers Association claim to recognize that clearcutting is not appropriate for all forest types. But practices on the ground suggest most forestry companies are still indiscriminate about where and how much they clearcut - in 1998 clearcutting accounted for over 98% of forest area cut in Nova Scotia (Canadian Council of Forest Ministers).

FINAL WORD

The final word here goes to Ralph Johnson, chief forester at the Bowater Mersey Paper Company for 31 years. It is taken from the Epilogue of his 1986 book Forests of Nova Scotia (a "must-read" for anyone interested in the history of Nova Scotia forestry). Since his book was published the annual rate of clearcutting in Nova Scotia has increased by over 60%.

"I am also aware of the economic advantages of concentrating all the road building, felling, and extraction in one streamlined operation, and of the difficulty of assembling the skilled labour, specialized machinery and sustained investment which (non-clearcutting) methods call for.

Still I remain unconvinced that clearcutting is the best option for the majority of our forest types, especially in Western Nova Scotia. After studying the lessons of history and the experience of the United States, Scandinavia, and Germany, I am reasonably certain that clearcutting as commonly practiced here offers little or no economic advantage over partial cutting systems when all the costs are added in; and furthermore, that over the long run it is ecologically unsound. Yet clearcutting and planting is the chief method practiced in Nova Scotia today. Down the road I think we will pay for this with decreasing water quality."

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