HALIFAX: Lands and Forestry Minister, Iain Rankin, appointed a new advisory committee with 14 members from environmental non-government organizations, industry, the Mi’kmaq and academia.

Advisory committee members include Angie Gillis, with Mi’kmaw Conservation Group and Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, Bevan Lock of Port Hawkesbury Paper and Mary Tulle of Tourism Nova Scotia.

The committee will advise the minister on the policies and priorities related to implementing the model recommended in Prof. Lahey’s independent review of forestry practices.

“I’m happy to be part of the advisory committee to ensure the science of forestry is what future decision-making is based on,” said Cassie Turple, communications coordinator, Ledwidge Lumber. “All forest industry players are interested in having a promising future in forestry in Nova Scotia and decisions that our government makes today will either enable or inhibit that from happening. As a third-generation family member in the wood business, I understand the importance of this process.”

Members will be appointed for a minimum of two years and can serve a maximum of two terms.

The first meeting of the committee will be scheduled in November and will include finalizing terms of reference. The committee will meet four times a year, or as needed to meet their mandate.

“Implementing the Lahey Report is critically important to ensuring Nova Scotia’s forests are managed in a more sustainable and ecologically responsible manner for all users and values,” Raymond Plourde, senior wilderness coordinator, Ecology Action Centre noted. “Engaging stakeholders from the various sectors in an advisory capacity is an important component of successfully implementing the report and fulfills a key commitment of the Natural Resources Strategy. We applaud the government on taking this important step and stand ready to roll up our sleeves and to work in good faith with all the members of the new committee towards full implementation of the report and the needed shift to ecological forestry.”

For more information on ecological forestry, visit: https://novascotia.ca/ecological-forestry/.