ANTIGONISH COUNTY, N.S. - A comprehensive presentation from Port Hawkesbury Paper personnel, on forest management practices, took up a good portion of the time, and generated the most discussion, during the Municipality of the County of Antigonish regular monthly council meeting, June 19.
Andrew Fedora, leader of sustainability and outreach with Port Hawkesbury Paper, led the presentation and answered numerous questions at the conclusion.
“I thought it was a good overview,” Warden Owen McCarron said to reporters after the meeting.
“It was a chance for council to ask questions and also hear about some of the forest management practices that are ongoing, with Port Hawkesbury Paper.”
The presentation ventured back, a few times, to the necessity of clear-cutting in some cases.
“As they said tonight, clear-cutting is part of the treatment that is needed,” McCarron said.
“It’s not a necessary treatment in every stand but, some stands really do need to be clear-cut. So it’s all putting it in perspective and then the follow-up treatment is what I think is critical; that the public knows reforestation is going to be going on in a practical and effective manner.”
McCarron talked a graph shown during the presentation which outlined protected areas.
“I think maybe there is a common myth that there is a larger area being worked on but, I think, when they gave the overview of the areas they actually have to leave as natural areas, it’s a fairly high percentage,” McCarron said. “Almost 50 per cent of the area, under the crown license, where they actually can’t go in. So, I think, they, kind of, addressed a few of the fears people have … that it’s just wide-spread clear-cutting everywhere.”
He talked about the importance of the company.
“You start to see the second and third generation forest starting to emerge and the goal is to make sure they honour the things they need to honour to keep their certification,” he said. “It’s a big employer in eastern Nova Scotia and a big contributor to the economy of Nova Scotia, so it’s important that we hear what they have to say.”
The Warden was asked about any developments regarding concerns for safety with the Beech Hill-Truck 4 intersection.
“We’re still waiting for more detail from transportation,” he said, referring to Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.
“They’ve done the study, they haven’t released it yet, It’s at the executive level we’re told.”
McCarron said just that day there was another accident at the intersection.
“We’re impressing on them the need to come up with a solution,” he said.
“Every day you travel there, you see something that makes you scratch your head. So we’re hoping they are soon going to come up with a solution, or some recommendations, that might ease the pressure which is happening there.”
McCarron said more education is a part of the need.
“You talk to different people, the police, and education is a part of it, but it’s a busy area, there is a lot of traffic moving in different directions,” he said. “And driver inattention is a factor, there is no question, I see it all the time. But we’re hopeful they’ll come up with a solution that might start to mitigate some of the challenges around that intersection.”