On a clear fall day, it is easy to see the beauty of Nova Scotia’s abundant forests. Every year, astounding colours blanket the many hills and valleys that make up this beautiful province. While the forestry industry has come under scrutiny from environmental groups and some members of the general public, in Nova Scotia, there is actually more forested land today than there was 100 years ago. This is primarily due to a decrease in the amount of land used for agricultural purposes and prevention of forest fires, which used to burn out of control across the province. In fact, 75 per cent of Nova Scotia is forests — more than four million hectares — making it the second most densely forested province in the country.
Canada’s valuable forest resources supply the raw materials for the country’s largest manufacturing industry. The country is also one of the foremost producers of lumber, pulp and paper products in the world, products people use daily. Despite a growing population, Nova Scotia’s forests are thriving. And forest-industry professionals, such those at Northern Pulp and its partners, are highly invested in keeping them that way.
Achieving sustainable forestry in Nova Scotia is key from a social and an environmental aspect, it is also crucial to the province’s economic viability. Sixty-five per cent of the forested land is owned by approximately 30,000 woodlot owners. Each one has their own set of values and objectives, which guide their management practices. These woodlot owners provide approximately 75 per cent of the harvested wood in Nova Scotia. Northern Pulp provides forest management services and purchases forest products from thousands of these woodlot owners. Services include harvest plans, road plans, tree planting, manual weeding and commercial thinning, along with the implementation and supervision of those plans.
Sawmills and pulp mills in Nova Scotia are intrinsically intertwined. On average, 70 per cent of each softwood tree is delivered to a sawmill in the form of a saw log. Approximately 50 per cent of each saw log is manufactured into lumber; with the remaining 50 per cent being by-products, chips and bark, sold to pulp mills like Northern Pulp.
The sale of these by-products is essential for sawmill economic survival. Northern Pulp is the largest supplier to the province’s sawmills. Northern Pulp also purchases 95 per cent of all sawmill chips and 40 per cent of all sawmill bark produced in Nova Scotia.
“Without these sawmills, there could be no pulp mills and without pulp mills, sawmills could not survive,” states Bruce Chapman, Northern Pulp General Manager. “The connection and interdependence is just that simple.”
Northern Pulp is dedicated to renewing Nova Scotia’s forests on lands managed by the company, which include private woodlot owners, Crown and company owned lands. For every tree harvested, at least three trees are regenerated naturally or planted. The humid Nova Scotia climate allows for prolific natural regeneration of both hardwood and softwood trees. The tree nursery in Debert also grows six million trees annually, five million of which are planted by Northern Pulp, the remainder of which are sold. A portion of seedlings are donated in spring and fall for various community events, such as parades and expos.
Independent third-party certification ensures that Northern Pulp sustainably manages its forests. Over the past 50 years of managing lands in Nova Scotia, Northern Pulp has helped set aside over 60,000 hectares of high-value conservation lands to contribute toward the network of protected wilderness areas.
For more information on Northern Pulp’s sustainable forestry management, visit http://northernpulp.ca.