Sunday, December 18, 2005

What The Chronicle Herald could not print

What The Chronicle Herald could not print
by Dan Costello Friday, Oct. 17, 2003 at 6:14 AM

October 3, 2003

Dear Editor,

Clear cutting in the Baxter's Harbour area highlights a province-wide credibility issue on the part of independent woodlot owners. Common sense should rule. One man among many practicing sustainable and responsible harvesting is awarded, it draws light to the lack of sense of another legally cutting out wide swaths of landscape, biodiversity, and dwindling forest habitat. Upon each others doorsteps. So good is undone.

Geological formations the length of the North Mountain form unique aquifers for the Annapolis Valley. So residents of the valley should have cause for concern that such important water sources, babbling brooks, and Kaiser Creeks are not already legislated buffer zones afforded to them by the counties or province concerned. To ensure future viable supplies for already protected farmlands.

Does our province not need more concerned residents and woodlot owners, and owners associations, province-wide, to take suitable stands to ensure that large, or irresponsible commercial enterprises are not clearing away many bush or dwarf trees, many in excess of hundreds of years of age? Trees that may have been passed over by past generations? Has anyone, studies to indicate that the North Mountain does or does not have significant numbers of such trees? They are in obvious evidence on Blomidon. Are they not indigenous under-story species? How much of the regeneration of past lumber activities in the area could be attributed to their presence?

In these days of sick buildings, scent-free offices, workplaces, and bans on public smoking for the good of our communities, it is hard to believe that while noisy highways require sound barriers, clear cutters do not, even in inhabited areas. Where automobiles are strictly regulated for emissions with catalytic convertors, oil/gasoline chainsaws, two-stroke lawnmowers, out-boat motors, etc., have no such pollution controls. Staggering are such environmental loop-holes. And the levels of pollution generated by such types of equipment.

Nova Scotia as a provincial and cultural community has embraced the common sense of recycling and excelled; produced poets, painters, and fishermen who have immortalized many babbling brooks, and a large number of withered, stunted, or dwarf trees, and laid the seeds and pods for it all. The roots of wise community, left by some, generations ago and in the present. But a free patchwork of visible slashes and clear cuts indicate a patchwork of province wide concern and awareness where there could be seamless unity, an obviously incomplete object.

And which method really allowed The Chronicle Herald a steady ream of paper over these decades? Which method sustains the beauty and industry of small communities, which destroys it? There would be none for all without common sense.

MLAs and associations that want to preserve the rural character of our smaller communities for future generations should be commended for their efforts and the exercise of their right to protest. Even your paper could have presented a more balanced argument, identifying the place and time of the protest. And the defence of the unidentified owner, the unidentified buyer of the cut.

Yes, let us protest the lack of legislation to protect our vision from the blindness of such greed. And also for what is unseen. Has the great inner wild all been done already? Ancient, little trees are sacred in Japan, and would sell there for more than the price of pulp. Citizens of Nova Scotia deserve to lead the country instead of following, enacting the best private woodlot legislations in the land, to willingly maintain profit for all concerned, representing the highest proportion of private woodlands to Crown lands in their little province. In Canada. For some, it is a duty to the land. For others, quick cash in hand. I wrote this because I love Baxters Harbour.


Dan Costello, Abu Dhabi, UAE 971-2-445-0539


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