#SaveTheMainlandMoose - letters page - addresses, samples, details
South Mountain, Mi'kma'ki (Nova Scotia)

Day 109 at the Last Hope camp - March 20, 2022 - Re Harvest Plan AP068499: Beal's Brook

Many Nova Scotians wrote to the Minister of Natural Resources, Tory Rushton in January asking that he cancel the proposed cutting of the forest we are protecting. What follows is his reply to the author of one such letter and her response.

Day 92 XRNS Forest Defending graphic

Eastern end of Beal's Meadow, Nova Scotia near proposed harvest area.

Dear Sandy Martin:

As Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables, the Premier has asked that I respond to your letter of January 3, 2022, regarding harvest plan AP068499 Beals Meadow on Crown lands in Annapolis County.

Thank you for your interest. You are among the many Nova Scotians I hear from who care about how forestry is taking place across this province and how we are implementing new ecological forestry practices. I have received many letters about this harvest plan, and I hope the following information is helpful to you.

Forest Management on Crown lands in Nova Scotia works to identify and integrate social, environmental, and economic values when reviewing and approving proposed activities including management of wildlife habitat for species at risk, identifying and conserving protected areas, and harvesting of forest products. These interconnected values are reviewed in detail during an Integrated Resource Management review process.

Department of Natural Resources and Renewables resource management professionals review every proposed harvest plan as part of the Integrated Resource Management review process and determine if the plan is appropriate and meets all requirements for operating on Crown lands. The Integrated Resource Management team considers many things including: the provincial strategic forest management plan, property lines and land ownerships, adjacency to protected areas, wildlife habitat, wetlands, forest maturity and old growth, geological information, known recreational activities, areas of significance to Mi'kmaq, and requirements for Special Management Practices for species-at-risk.

AP068499 Beals Meadow is not known to involve occurrence records of Mainland Moose or Wood Turtle, Special Management Practices have not been triggered, nor does it involve identified core habitat (which identifies specific habitat that must be managed in particular ways for recovery once regulations or agreements are developed). American Marten is not currently listed under the Endangered Species Act in Mainland Nova Scotia and is only protected within Cape Breton at this time, although no records for the species exist in the area of concern. If species listed under the Endangered Species Act are observed, they should be immediately reported with coordinates and photos (if available) to biodiversity@novascotia.ca.

This harvest plan was approved on August 19th, 2021 and was followed by a review in November 2021. The plan is a prescription of a Uniform Shelterwood, which prescribes the removal of 30 to 35 percent of the trees with a goal to leave long-lived, shade tolerant species such as white pine, red oak, red spruce, and eastern hemlock.

A Uniform Shelterwood prescription aligns with the new Silviculture Guide for the Ecological Matrix (SGEM) and Lahey recommendations as it maintains forest structure that supports ecosystem and biodiversity processes by retaining more than 60 percent of the forest canopy. It creates and fosters a multi-age forest by creating multiple age cohorts within the stand and encourages establishment and regeneration of a variety of shade tolerant Acadian Forest tree species.

Any future harvest in shelterwood treated stands will be determined based on the results of the pre-treatment assessment at that time. It is not predetermined that a follow-up treatment will result in an even-aged stand.

On January 21, 2022, the department was alerted to potential occurrences of rare lichen near this site and placed a temporary hold on the harvest plan until a lichenologist could conduct a survey in the area. The lichen survey was conducted on February 13, 2022, and five occurrences of three different SAR lichen species were confirmed (2 of the species are listed both provincially and federally, and one species just federally) were identified in a portion of the block. This proposed harvest plan will be amended to an SGEM prescription and will include buffer zones to protect the rare lichen species, in accordance with Special Management Practices for this species, prior to the temporary hold on harvest approval being released. The department is taking necessary steps to protect and conserve species at risk.

Regards,
Tory Rushton
Re: Harvest Plan AP068499: Beal's Brook Log # 2022-00143

And here is Sandy Martin's reply to the Minister of Natural Resources, Tory Rushton:

Dear Mr. Rushton

Thank you for your reply of March 9 to my letter of January 3, 2022. The group camped at Beals Brook / Last Hope Wildlife Corridor have now exceeded 100 days. And that during a Nova Scotian winter. Their conviction and bravery should win them more attention from your office than a letter crafted with a "cut and paste" function.

To be specific, the science tells us that "Unified Shelterwood" only works when the surrounding forest and ecosystems remain undamaged and/or untouched. This is what Dr. Lahey describes as landscape-level planning. When the surrounding ecosystem is devastated by variable retention of 10% (ie clearcutting), the few remaining sad clumps of trees will succumb quickly to wind and run-off. Those left standing will invariably be included in future harvest plans. In addition, the roads constructed to carry the heavy equipment and haul-trucks will require tree and vegetation removal. This extraction is not included in the proposed harvest plan, yet it has a definite impact on the cumulative destruction of the ecosystem. This is the situation all over South West Nova Scotia and in many, many areas of the province. And this is the situation specifically at Beals Brook.

This harvest plan was approved in August 2021 when there was no snow on the ground and a complete survey was possible by the venerable professionals of your department. However, that investigation was incomplete if carried out at all. Instead a lichen enthusiast found, in the middle of winter, endangered lichen that require protection. How is this possible?

According to your letter: "The department is taking necessary steps to protect and conserve species at risk." If this is truly the case, why is there no plan to complete a comprehensive survey for all species-at-risk in this area once the snow has melted? DNRR professionals have clearly missed important aspects of this 24 hectare forest. Therefore how can we, the general public, trust and believe in the process that your department staff, including yourself, hold up with such conviction? How many species and important ecosystems have we already lost through this indifference and dare I say incompetence? How much will we continue to lose?

Your letter also states: "Forest Management on Crown lands in Nova Scotia works to identify and integrate social, environmental, and economic values." If this is the case then I would argue the following:

"Business as usual is not an option. Forests are not a collection of fiber, useful only to the industrial forestry industry. This is our home. L'nu and settlers alike. A home we share with the flora and fauna of this province. A home we share with visitors from all over the world.

"We are a part of this ecosystem. Destroying it is destroying the heart and soul of this province and our ability to flourish. Destroying it is destroying your children's future."

1. Social:
The use of Last Hope Wildlife Corridor has been documented since the 1920s. Local hunters and trappers have identified this area as an important habitat for game, including moose. In fact, this area was the last refuge for hungry Nova Scotians trying to feed their families during lean times. The Last Hope encampment is set up on the site of the original Last Hope communal cabin.

Flying above the roof of the encampment tents is the Mi'kmaw 13-point flag, given as a gift to the Land Protectors of Beals Brook by the District Chief of Kespukwitk. This signifies the support and friendship of the Kespukwitk people, welcoming the Land Protectors on their unceded, unsurrendered territory. This camp has also been visited by L'nu Grandmothers who offered their prayers of support.

This forest is socially and culturally important for settlers and L'nu alike!

2. Environmental:
This small forest is the last retreat for wildlife forced out of their habitat in the sea of clear-cuts surrounding it. The wetlands and bogs that are a part of this ecosystem are an important carbon sink, necessary in the mitigation of the climate crisis in which we find ourselves. When disturbed, wetlands release all three gasses that contribute to global warming ie, CO2, CH4 and N2O. Add that to the carbon released by trees and other vegetation and we have a perfect storm.

It is difficult to ascertain just how important this forest is environmentally, as an in-depth study of the area has obviously not been conducted. It is now anyone's guess as to the number of species-at-risk hidden beneath the snow and in hibernation burrows.

3. Economic: Bowater left this forest standing 20 years ago, because they recognized that the social benefit of this stand far outweighed its economic value. This is even more relevant now considering low-quality fiber will be extracted while dodging clumps of shelterwood and lichen buffers. A feat of great dexterity and finesse on the part of the Feller Buncher operator, making this harvest time-consuming and barely worth the inflated fuel costs.

"Business as usual" is not an option. Forests are not a collection of fiber, useful only to the industrial forestry industry. This is our home. L'nu and settlers alike. A home we share with the flora and fauna of this province. A home we share with visitors from all over the world. We are a part of this ecosystem. Destroying it is destroying the heart and soul of this province and our ability to flourish. Destroying it is destroying your children's future.

I am asking you, again, to reverse the approval of Harvest Plan AP068499: Beals Brook. Place this small forest under protection and complete the in-depth survey this ecosystem should have received. Stop the harvest on Crown Land until the implementation of the Lahey Report and full consultation with the Mi'kmaw Nation have been completed.

I look forward to receiving your answers to the above questions and your plan of action with regard to the above requests.
Sincerely,
Sandy Martin

March 3, 2022 - Day 92 - Letter template
Re: Harvest Plan AP068499: Beal's Brook

email Premier@novascotia.ca
cc your MLA
Please bcc: xrns [at] riseup.net.

Day 92 XRNS Forest Defending graphic

Dear Premier Houston,
Please halt the proposed harvest of the Last Hope forest by Beal's Brook in Annapolis County (harvest ID AP068499). Your Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables does not grasp that biodiversity loss is a global emergency requiring immediate action.

Citizens have camped on the side of a logging road for three months now, through this harsh winter. Their camp is a legal protest on "crown" land. They are there at the invitation of the District Chief of Kespukwitk. Local residents who have hunted and fished this land for 50 years fully support the camp.

When those residents first raised the alarm about the proposed shelterwood harvest, the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables told them that its biologists had reviewed the area not once but twice. They found no reason to halt or modify the cut. These biologists never actually visited the area. Within hours of setting foot in this forest, a lichen enthusiast discovered a lichen so rare that there are only three known occurrences in Canada, one in BC and two in Cape Breton. That's the Frosted glass-whiskers lichen. He then found two other rare lichens, Wrinkled shingle lichen and Black-foam lichen. All three are classified as Species At Risk.

A freeze was placed on the proposed harvest and DNRR committed to surveying the whole 24 ha cut block. The lichenologist hired to do the survey confirmed the identification of the lichens, then he discovered 2 more specimens of the Black-foam lichen, all in an afternoon with snow covering the bottom 2-feet (61cms) of the trees. Instead of acknowledging that local residents knew what they were talking about when they said this forest was too ecologically important to be logged, DNRR's plan is to call the survey done, slap on buffer zones for the lichen specimens discovered so far, then allow the harvest to go ahead. This is not good enough.

A proposal to protect the Last Hope area of Annapolis County, including this forest, was submitted by Nina Newington to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change on January 26th. She requested a freeze on all harvesting and roadbuilding activity while the area is under consideration for protection. There has been no response so far.

I appreciate that your government has made a legal commitment to protect 20% of our province by 2030. In order to do this, the Department of the Environment will need to identify 330,000 hectares for protection. Why is your government insisting on cutting the 24 hectare forest at Beal's Brook? It is a small forest of outsize importance to Species at Risk. The economic benefit of taking 30% of this forest is minimal. The ecological cost of logging it is enormous.

Please, Premier Houston put a halt to the proposed harvest of the Last Hope forest by Beal's Brook. We desperately need a government that takes action to protect nature and address climate change. We need solutions not promises.

Sincerely,
Name
Address

January 20, 2022 - Day 50
Re: Harvest Plan AP068499: Beal's Brook

Dear Premier Houston,

The Department of Natural Resources and Renewables needs to work with DECC to determine which areas of crown land are off limits to harvesting (protected), which are available for ecological forestry (the ecological matrix) and which are available for high production forestry.

Please Note: We are told it is most effective make your email a brief cover note with your letter attached.
Email Premier@novascotia.ca
cc to your MLA if possible
Find your MLA
Please bcc xrns [at] riseup.net so we can keep track of how many letters are sent in.

It makes no sense that cutting is proceeding on crown land as if all of it is available for harvesting when that is patently not the case. In order to meet the 20% goal, a further 330,000 hectares must come under protection. Unless your government plans to spend a great deal of money buying private land, most of those 330,000 hectares will come from crown land.

If you are sincere in the commitments you have made and enshrined in the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act, you will ensure that harvests planned for areas that should be protected are halted. Fortunately, your minister, Tory Rushton, has committed to reviewing all unexecuted harvest plans to ensure they adhere to Lahey's guidelines. All that is missing, then, is to make it crystal clear to Mr. Rushton that it is impossible to follow Lahey's recommendations without first identifying the different areas of the triad.

Nova Scotians are sick of promises to end the destruction of our forests. This is particularly true for those of us who live in rural areas. Industry seems to be after the last fragments of good wildlife habitat. Consider the protest against the proposed cutting of 24 hectares of forest near Beal's Brook in Annapolis County. People have been camped out through snow storms and frigid weather for 7 weeks. They are not going away. Local residents are mobilizing in support, delivering meals and firewood.

Climate change and biodiversity loss are upon us. We are frightened and we are angry. We need action. Please, set your government apart from all previous ones. Do what you said you would do. Act now. To show your good faith, begin by halting the harvest of the Last Hope Wildlife Corridor at Beal's Brook (Harvest ID AP068499).
Sincerely,
Nina Newington

Detail: Letter to Minister Tory Rushton









Nova Scotia Annapolis MLA Carman Kerr writes to the Natural Resources and Renewables Minister, Tory Rushton.
See Mr. Kerr's full letter here.

January 4, 2022
Dear Mr Houston from the Strange Valentines - video 2:39

save mainland moose habitat

This is happening under our noses - even though a thorough analysis and guideline exists in how we Nova Scotians should do forestry and still maintain enough for animals - they are not being implemented and the destruction continues. Dear Mr. Houston and colleagues, please take a moment to listen to our plea . . .

January 3, 2022
Re: Harvest Plan AP068499: Beal's Brook
Dear Mr. Rushton, Mr. Halman and Mr. Houston

Please Note: We are told it is most effective make your email a brief cover note with your letter attached.
Email minister.environment@novascotia.ca
cc to your MLA if possible
Find your MLA
Please bcc xrns [at] riseup.net so we can keep track of how many letters are sent in.

Thirty-three days. That's how long a group of Forest Protectors has been camped out at Beal's Brook in Annapolis County, otherwise known as the Last Hope Camp wildlife corridor. They are not dangerous radicals or extremists. They are just ordinary citizens - grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, settlers and Indigenous people who care deeply about the environment that sustains human life. They have toughed out freezing temperatures, rain, high winds and snow. And they are not alone. This seemingly small group is supported by tens of thousands of Nova Scotians. Average Nova Scotians who care about this province and are concerned about the future their children and grandchildren will face.

Mr. Rushton, your department has not amended harvest plan AP068499. This plan will allow intensive logging of this valuable piece of forest. Twenty years ago, Bowater recognized its ecological value over its economic value and left this small 24-hectare forest standing. Your staff tell us that stopping this "harvest" is not possible. That is false. You have the authority to retract this license. I implore you to do so.

Mr. Halman, it is your responsibility to protect the wildlife and biodiversity of this province. It is also your responsibility to help move us towards decreasing CO2 levels. Protecting this piece of Crown Land is a small step toward meeting your responsibilities and goals. This small forest is an oasis in the middle of a sea of devastation and a known habitat for species at risk. In addition, protecting all remaining Crown Lands until further research is conducted into whether more of these lands should be harvested, would be a bold statement. A statement that would answer Dr. Lahey's Recommendation 13 regarding Landscape-level planning and in his words make the health of nature "the overarching priority". If you took this step, we would know your government is sincere about reaching emissions targets and protecting the environment.

Mr. Houston, as Premier of our province, it is your responsibility to ensure that your government act in the best interest of all Nova Scotians and in accordance with the mandate letters issued to the Provincial Ministers. Yet industrial forestry continues to receive provincial support and subsidies even though they have proven themselves to be extremely poor corporate citizens. The Mandate Letter you issued to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables requires these two ministries to work together to protect at least 20% of the total land and water mass of Nova Scotia. Amending harvest plan AP068499 as outlined above and setting this ecologically valuable forest under protection would be a first step in putting the interests of Nova Scotians ahead of that of industry.

There are so many arguments that could be made in an attempt to persuade you to listen to the voices of concern, raised all over this province. I am sure you have heard many of those arguments put forward by voices more articulate than mine. Still, it behooves me to summarize the most compelling issues:

1. The Science is clear. Forest mismanagement has contributed greatly to this climate crisis. Forty years of peer-reviewed research carried out by Dr. Suzanne Simard has made it abundantly clear that industrial forestry has severely weakened our planet's ability to restore and heal itself. We are destroying the very ecosystems that are able to protect us from the devastating effects of severe weather systems and increased CO2 levels. We don't have to look to BC to see the effects of clearcutting and a disregard for the total landscape when issuing "harvest" permits. Cape Breton is now suffering as is South West Nova Scotia. If you have not yet read Dr. Simard's book Finding the Mother Tree, Uncovering the Wisdom and Intelligence of the Forest, I would be happy to gift it to you. It will provide you valuable insight.
2. Common Sense. Even to the untrained eye, satellite images make it quite clear that our forests are being destroyed and with them the plants and animals many of us depend upon for our livelihood, medicines and food. This small forest at Beal's Brook is now not only a wildlife corridor, but a refuge for wildlife displaced by the devastating "harvests" in the area. The wetlands are also being destroyed and water systems disrupted by heavy machinery, impacting well systems and food sources. Just speak with any hunter, trapper, angler, ecotourism operator, small woodlot owner or Mi'kmaq Grandmother, Land Protector or Water Protector and they will tell you that common sense should have put an end to this destruction long ago. No ecosystem can sustain this level of destruction and regenerate and heal itself.
3. UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. According to the UNESCO website:
"Biosphere reserves are learning places for sustainable development. They are sites for testing interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and managing changes and interactions between social and ecological systems, including conflict prevention and management of biodiversity. They are places that provide local solutions to global challenges. Biosphere reserves include terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems. Each site promotes solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use."
And according to the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Website, the Association: "seeks to balance the conservation of nature and cultural heritage with sustainable resource development to support prosperous local economies and healthy communities."
As you know, most of South West Nova Scotia falls under the UNESCO Southwest Biosphere Reserve. So, I am wondering how the destruction of Crown Land forests, with the resulting destruction of wildlife habitat and therefore the decimation of biodiversity fit within the goals and objectives of the UNESCO organization to manage biodiversity. How does forcing local residents to camp out at the onset of winter, fit with the goals of this organization and conflict prevention? How does completely ignoring the voices of local Mi'kmaq communities and the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs1 fit in with this program of nature and cultural heritage? How does destroying a small wildlife corridor that has been known as the Last Hope Camp since 1920 fit within this same program goal? I would suggest that none do.
4. The economic question is complicated. According to WestFor and Forest NS, this province needs industrial forestry to maintain economic growth. Yet the only discernable growth can be found in the pocketbooks of the large mills and logging companies. Mills receive large subsidies and support from the Province in many forms. However, the financial business risks are passed along to their contractors, forcing them to invest in extremely expensive machinery, while the mortgage on these investments are held by the mills. The numbers of people employed in our forests has plummeted dramatically under this system that serves only the big mills and their owners. Serfdom is indeed alive and well in Nova Scotia. Industrial forestry not only erodes our forests, but the health and well-being of rural communities as well!

My requests to you Mr. Halman, Mr Rushton and Mr. Houston are simple:

1. Immediately amend the harvest plan AP068499 for Beal's Brook and stop the "harvest".
2. Protect this 24-hectare forest permanently.
3. Stop all harvesting on Crown Land until such time as can be ascertained what land should not be harvested. This must be achieved through consultation with holders of local, traditional and scientific knowledge.
4. The responsibility for our Crown Lands should be placed under the Department of Environment and Climate Change. The Department of Natural Resources and Renewables has been compromised by industry.
5. Disband WestFor and remove all its rights to manage public land, which the citizens of Nova Scotia paid to buy from Bowater. This is a failed Liberal experiment.

Tens of thousands of Nova Scotians are willing to fight for a healthy future for our children and grandchildren. A future in which they can flourish in a province that is itself healthy with clean water and air, diverse in wildlife and sustainable. A province in which forests are not prized for the amount of fiber that can be extracted, but the extent to which its ecosystem can sustain all life. And you, gentlemen, should be leading the charge. The healthy future of your children and grandchildren will depend on that.

Wishing you wisdom, strength and good health in 2022.
Sincerely, Sandy Martin (Ms)
Retired educator
Nova Scotian-at-large
Presently in The Netherlands

January 2, 2022
Bob Bancroft to
Nova Scotia Minister of Natural Resources & Renewables

Bob Bancroft letter to Tory Rushton
Supporting Bob Bancroft letter to Tory Rushton

January 2, 2022
Re: Harvest Plan AP068499: Beal's Brook

Thanks to everyone who wrote to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Tim Halman, asking him to place the Last Hope forest at Beal's Brook under consideration for protection. (And it's not too late if you didn't get around to it yet - see Day 28.)

Now it is time to ask the Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables to do his part: halt the harvest at Beal's Brook. Feel free to use this letter as a template. As much as possible, use your own words in your letter.

The Honorable Tory Rushton,
I am writing to inquire about the status of harvest plan AP068499, a 24 hectare forest near Beal's Brook in Annapolis County.

The forest in question is a vital wildlife corridor in an area of wetlands surrounded by clearcuts. Three endangered species have been observed in the area: Mainland moose, pine marten and wood turtle.

Local residents sounded the alarm as soon as they learned of WestFor's plan to log this stand of 80 year old trees. Randolph Neily, a farmer, hunter and trapper, managed, with help from his MLA, to get a meeting with DNRR representatives in late November. They told him it was too late to stop the harvest.

Learning of this, Forest Protectors set up camp on site. They have been there for a month, through Christmas and now New Year. They are receiving very strong local support. Nobody wants to see this forest cut, and most express disbelief that anyone would think it worth destroying this crucial habitat for the meagre lumber pickings it could supply. In the words of master guide Perry Munro, "this forest is worth far more standing than on the back of a truck."

I was glad to hear the interview with you on CBC radio on December 8th. You committed then to reviewing all unexecuted harvest plans on the books to ensure they adhere to Lahey's guidelines. You noted, "There could be plans that do have to be amended. I'm not hiding that fact as the minister."

Harvest plan AP068499 should be amended. No harvest should take place in this forest. Instead it should be placed under consideration for protection due to its high value to wildlife. I have written to Minister Halman requesting he take this action. I am asking that you do your part.

The issue here is not the specific prescription - a Shelterwood cut - but the fact that this parcel should be not be harvested at all. If Lahey's recommendations are to be implemented, the first step must be to determine not how a forest should be cut but whether it should be cut at all. Landscape level planning (Lahey recommendation 13) is required to identify what areas should be protected, what should be available for ecological forestry and what for high production forestry. Forests of 80 years or older now make up only 1 to 5% of Nova Scotia's forests. Forests such as the one at Beal's Brook are of particular ecological value in areas that have been as extensively clearcut as this part of the South Mountain.

The protected leg of the triad is set to expand substantially. Your mandate letter requires you to work with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to protect at least 20% of the total land and water mass of Nova Scotia by 2030.

Please make this the year when protecting and restoring the health of nature becomes, in Bill Lahey's words, "the overarching priority."

The people camped out in the woods at Beal's Brook would far rather be sleeping in their beds. They are there because successive governments have allowed and even encouraged the decimation of our forests. Your government can turn over a new leaf. Please start by halting the harvest at Beal's Brook.
Sincerely, (Name and town)

Please send your letter to The Honorable Tory Rushton by emailing mindnr@novascotia.ca with a cc to your MLA (Find your MLA) and a bcc to xrns [at] riseup.net so we can track how many letters they are receiving. It is preferable to write a brief cover note then send your letter as an attachment.

January 1, 2022
Re: Harvest Plan AP068499: Beal's Brook

Some people can deliver firewood, others can camp. Some can drink tea by the fire. Lots of people, we hope, can write letters to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Tim Halman. Please feel free to use this letter as a basis for yours, but put as much as you can in your own words.

The Honorable Tim Halman,
Your government has made a significant commitment to protecting 20% of Nova Scotia's lands and waters by 2030. This election pledge was enshrined in law in the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act.

In addition to moving all the areas on the proposed Parks and Protected Areas list into protection, you will be protecting another 6% of our lands, or 330,000 hectares, to meet this commitment.

I am writing to urge you to place 24 hectares of forest on Crown land near Beal's Brook in Annapolis County under consideration for protection. This forest is a vital wildlife corridor in an area of wetlands surrounded by clearcuts. Three endangered species have been observed in the area: Mainland moose, pine marten and wood turtle. Twenty-two years ago, Bowater Mersey agreed to leave this forest uncut, based on its high value to wildlife.

It is the historic site of the Last Hope Hunting Camp, established in the 1920s in an area known for its moose population. At a time when game was growing scarce, people trying to get their winter's meat would come to this camp to hunt. Moose are still present in this area, with sightings of tracks throughout the wetlands surrounding this forest as well as a photograph taken in 2020.

Now WestFor plans to log this stand of 80 year old forest. Local residents sounded the alarm as soon as they saw flagging go up, the first they learned of WestFor's plan. The Department of Natural Resources and Renewables did not respond at all until they enlisted the help of their MLA. DNRR then told them it was too late to stop the cut.

Learning of the situation, other Annapolis County residents set up a protest camp on the site. Forest Protectors have been camped out there since December 2nd with strong local support.

People who have hunted and fished this area for a lifetime are passionate about protecting this forest from logging of any sort. They know how little forest of any age is left, having witnessed the massive amount of clearcutting that has happened on the South Mountain in the last 40 years. They know the impact this has had on wildlife.

It is time to save what little is left, Minister Halman. It is my understanding that your Department is responsible for protecting our lands and forests. Please take the small but important step of placing this forest under immediate consideration for protection.
Yours sincerely, (Your name and civic address)

Note: We are told it is most effective make your email a brief cover note with your letter attached.
email minister.environment@novascotia.ca
cc to your MLA if possible - Find your MLA
Please bcc xrns [at] riseup.net so we can keep track of how many letters are sent in.

December 3, 2021
Re: Harvest Plan AP068499: Beal's Brook

Annapolis County MLA, Carman Kerr, is trying hard to help defenders protect forest critical to the Endangered Mainland Moose and to stop this foolish, greed-driven cut. PLEASE HELP by sending him an e-mail asking the cut be stopped now - before it's too late. #NSPoli

Protect Last Hope Wildlife Corridor