Arthur Rackham illustration of Peter Pan consulting with crow. Whatever the version, new or old, it is agreed that seeing a single crow in a habinger of sorrow.The crow has been attributed with high intelligence for a bird. Peter was not a lucky lad. J.M. Barrie created his character based on his older brother, David, who died in an ice-skating accident the day before his when he was 13. His mother and brother thought of him as forever the "boy who wouldn't grow up". In books, Peter symbolizes the selfish child, willful, forgetful and self-centred. He has the ability to imagine things into existence and is ageless but is unhappy saying, "To die would be avery big adventure."What he means is that he misses being embraced by the mortal coil, and is unhappy in spite of his nonchalant, devil-may-care attitude, and and fearlessness in the face of danger. Sounds like some politicians we have heard of.

Photo by Rod Mackay, Bayview Cemetery, Mahone Bay. "People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead. But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can't rest. Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right.” - James O'Barr, The Crow. The crow is, of course, the familiar of the winter moon goddess; the Cailleach bheurr a form of the redoubtable Celtic, Mhorrigan, a death deity. That alone is enough to explain why "One is sorrow." In Mahone Bay, crows are so common we should all be dead from facing down singlecrows.

It is hard to get crows to pose. "Two for mirth." Actually a Scottish version has it that "Two is for anger." Crows seem more aware than mirhful, but their presence is a prognostication for human kind.  Wordsmiths thingk that the numbers 1 and 2 devloped before the others and in some cultures counting stops there, andy surplus being referred to as "many." One is often used in mythology to identify an immortal creator deity, whose situation is seen by humans as sorrowful since he does not enjoy the benefits ofa short, potentially happy life. This number identifies any loner, including the eaders of people. Whioe followers of Breeek numerologisy, Pathagorus thought that two was an exceptionally unlucky number, it is considered lucky in most cultures. The mortal earth gods and goddesses were often seen as dual entities. Two is the situation which allows for comparisons and contrasts, which are often ridiculous enough to tickle the funnybone.

Painting by Andrew Wyeth, 1944. Farmers don't erect scarecrows without cause and do not welcome them even when they appear as a pair..The Pythagoreans thought the number two (the Duad) to be most unlucky. They dedicated the second day of the month to Hades / Pluto (the god of the Underworld). They believed the number two had the power to bring forth evil. However without the concept of duality the positive and negative, and opposites, could not be conceivsd, eg: light and darkness, sun and moon, day and night, the sun and the moon.

Above a Germanic coat of arms from for a family whose name begins with "g". In the matter of good and evil, the question arises as to whether they are entirely separate concepts. The geneticists Bryan Sykes has suggested that, "In all fields of human endeavour where there is a shortage of objective evidence (and sometimes even when there is solid scientific theory), opinions and people become polarized into two rival camps. Once entrenched the occupants will not be dislodged; they would rather die than change their minds." Protagonists think that their ideas are bright and light,  while opposing views are as black as tar sands, or even the proverbial pit.

People do die because human thought and memory is murable over time and "Stubborn and ardent clinging to one's opinion is the best proof of stupidity."
- Michel de Montaigne. Notwithstanding, Rod and Anne Mackay took a stand where they should have saved their breath. In doing so they totally alienated her dad, Harold B. Torey. Instead of upbraiding him we should have  approached the powerful men who were creating problems for Pictou County. However, those were more consevatine and politer times and that did not happen. As Collector of Customers and Excise he accumulated about $700,000 in his lifetime, but was never a power broker. He must be characterized as an old-time gentle man, amiable to the point of lacking any strong convictions of his own making.

As secretary of the Chamber of Commerce way back in the last century he did follow instructions to invite a kraft paper maker that concessions would be mde for them to build a plant in the area.  R&A remostrated that they had one near St. Stephen and it stunk, big time althoug it was 16 miles away! To which, he responded "When it comes that will be the sweet smell of sucess." At the time I thought he was parroting Napoleon Bonaparte, who dod say something about "the sweet smell of victory." Since it was comprised parly of decaying bodies that culd not have been better than the gases given ff by a paper mill. Turns out this was the title of a movie starting Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis (in his first critically acclaimed role). In came to the local thaetre in 1958, the year we had been married.

At the time it followed the adventures of a dynamic but odious duo, a Brodway columnist and his alter ego, Falco (Tony) a press agent.  It was based on the doings of the real Walter Winchell. J.J. Hunsecker (Lancaster)  hired Falco whois deeply in debt, to ruin the pending marriage between his sister and a jazz musician.  What follows is a series of dirty tricks that ends wit the two  baddies who metaphorically go down in flames.  Instead of success all involves suffered deep anger and various kinds of failure. Never saw Harold attemd a motion picture showing so assume he picked up the plhrase from a third party. One wag has noted that "Two and two sometimes ends as three."The Pythagoreans taught that the number three was the first true number since it is geometriclly represented as a stable triangle.

The Celts took a different bite of the apple, and thought differebtly.  Three crows feature in European legends and  mythology as portents or harbingers of doom or death, because of their dark plumage, unnerving calls, and tendency to eat carrion. Three crows are implicated in "the parliament of crows" where they preside over a gathering of their kind and sit in judgment over the fate of some otherr crow. The verdict sometimes results in a crow being set upon by his or her fellows. "This behavior and their tendency to show up at battlefields and the scenes of murders may be explain the collective term for crows as being a 'murder of crows'."

While it is now often thought that seeing three crows presages the birth of a girl, that ditty originally promised "three for a funeral." In times past, boys were preferred being able to add their physiques to the household work force.

The original did not specify the sex of a child but now a boy is promised. The number four is another stble figure although standing on one leg. The Pythagoreans said that this number, the Tetrad, was "a perfect number," symboling  god on high and justice on earth. The Celts prefer the triad since many of their deities and shape changers and have three aspects. In Japan, China and Korea, the word for this number is synonymous with death.

The Pythagoreans thought of five as “hieros gamos”, the marriage between heaven and earth, five being the number ascribed to human beings who have four limbs controlled by a fourth member, the head. It combines the female number two with the male number three. Five is the number of marriage, which for a few is heaven on earth.

Everyone loves to depict crows including Disney(clip from Dumbo). In Irish myth and legend there were five ancient  invasions and five provinces. Thfifth letter of the Ogham alpahabet  was "E" represnting the Tree of Life, symboliing the joy and happiuness obtainable in the Otherworld.  The Celtic knot and cross have five elements. Things get dicey after this...

Have you ever seen a purple cow or sung "I never saw an elephant fly?"

Painting by Alexander Colville. It is sometimes said that numbers which are multiples of three remember the triads of Celtic mythology and they are an undependable lot, quick to anger and predict in their relationships with human kind. Mhorrigan will be remembered as the collector of souls of the dead and living who she transported to the Otherworld. Sometimes this role is given to Manann Mac Ler. Whatever the case, the realms of the dead and living were somtimes said located in the western sea, but some said that the parallel worlds were actuallu quite close and accessible through burial mounds and caverns. In Celtic myth, there are several versions of the the place Christians said could be heaven or hellish, but the worst they expected there was a land which might prove boring.  The Irish Ifrinn "inferno" was unknown to them before missionaries spread theword that there was a place of torment and punishment. Of course this rhme came centures after that unfortunate event. Reincarnation the old pagans thought was a kind of "hell on earth" from which an end game might prove preferable.

The creator-god Aithair. "Allfather" did have a counterpart in the Nathair "Not the Allfather." The name is from Old Irish nathir, from Proto-Celtic natīr confluent with the English
adder and the Latin natrīx  a “water snake”. Snakes were
frequently committed to the druidic bonfires and the Gaels referred to the Anglo-Saxons as “the Coiled-Serpent People.” In the metrical Dindshenchas there was a destructive snake which “would have wasted all the cattle of the indolent hosts of Ireland by its doings.” but it was laid to ground by Diancecht, the god of medicine. In the last (19th) century Dr. Carmichael noted “a curious custom, the pounding of a serpent in effigy.” On the day of the Bride (February 2) he watched a householder at Uignis, on Skye, take off a stocking, fill it with peat and pound it “to death” with the hearth tongs.

The Pythagoreans called the number 7 “the Septad” and cited it as the number of perfection, security, safety and rest.
But then, it is common superstition that saying the word “seven” is bad luck at craps tables. Players refer to the number seven as “it” or as “the devil”. Also, breaking a mirror..., and there are "seven deadly sins." All this is a diversion from more serious considerations.

ThisTeutonic coat-of-arms suggests that even related crows can have differences when there are acorns to possess.

In the background, Northern Pulp which stands close by New Glasgow at Abercrombie Point. As seen from the Pictou Causeway. 
"It is currently owned by Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation, a subsidiary of Paper Excellence Canada. Paper Excellence is a shell company created by Asia Pulp and Paper, a subsidiary of Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas." This is a very large conglomerate founded by Chinese Indonesian tycoon, Eka Tjipta Widjaja. Hope he is not superstitious. Scroll back up to number four. Sinarmas businesses is involved in pulp & paper, real estate, financial services, agribusiness, telecommunications, and mining. Anne's uncle, Donald Mackay had a gentleman's farm at Abercrombie Point, and sold this property to the kraft mill folk back in the 1960s.

The late Anne Torey was probably not killed by the air pollution her dad said he could more than tolerate. She was short of breath and missed a lot of school in the coal-burning days, and later told me that she thought her cancer had taken hold while she was in he twenties. Even Stephen KIng cannot equal "real world" scenarios of disease and death.The photographer of this night seen said that he noriced a tendancy of the mill to exhaust gases after dark. View is probably a telephoto from somewhere in Pictou town.

The Town of Pictou (top left) is unfortunately closer to the mill (lower left) than New Glagow (off map, lower right).
It suffers the double whammu of being downwind from theprevailing south western flow of air in the warm season, when heat modifies that "sweet smell" in an unappealing manner. Who has not heard of Boat Harbour (red balloon)? If you haven't, chances are you are not a Bluenoser. More about all of this later but first let's look at the raw mateial needed to create pulp.

It's called pulpwood and at first glance there seems to be in superfluous abundance.  Pulpwood refers to timber used maily for making wood pulp for paper production. "The fiber length of the cellulose fiber is the most important parameter of the pulpwood and determines what it may be used for. The first separation is into softwood and hardwood, that have long and short fibers respectively. In paper production fiber from softwood give tensile strength and fibers from hardwood give opacity." One does not see-through  bathroom or any other kind of tissue. In the best managed woodlots, the hardwoods are harvested first and swan into lumber, but the suppliers  to Northern Pulp are not always conscientious.

That acronym stands, not for an animal rights group, but rather for the "Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society"  founded in 1963 to help protect Canada's wilderness from desceration. That gives it a huge mandate which goes well beyond hugging trees. This seems an over reactive cut at the pupwood industry, but it is a reality known as clear-cutting. In elementary school nature classes back in the 1940s, text books used to rail against this harvesting method, insisting that selective cutting was a better, sustainable forestry practice.

Before entering deep waters one has to note that the Bonney River Mackays of New Brunswick were likely distant relatives of the East River Mackays (Anne's mother's praternal ancestors) although no connection is established. The five point personality chart is guesswork, but he is known to have been proud, ornery and long-lived. He was engaged in the lumber trade and miling of lumber and became wealthy, leaving 1,000 acres of real estate to my great-great grandfather Alexander, who also lived out a long but not quite as prosperous life (99 years).

Clipping from the last page of Colonel Hugh's will showing that age had affected his writing skills. The extended family had differences leading to murder of relatives in three instances. Other than that, they were on speaking terms and mutually supportive throughout the Victorian period.  They also seem to have benign when it came to close friends, however the men were, as usual for that time, paternalistic and materialistic. The lumber barons were decidely not shrinking violets or tree huggers. Some of that attitude towrd women and business dealings dragged on into the 20th century in the case of my grandfather and his cronies. They were courteous and kind to me.

The male Toreys and Mackays of New Glasgow and environs were similary centred. Don and Jim Mackay were Ruth's two uncles. Donald at first lived in the completely rural area called Abercrombie Point, but after selling the "farm" (where Anne often visited her cousins) he moved into town. He did own property on the other side of Middle River and may have built the cottage later inherited by his son, Robert (Tank) Mackay. Like Harold Jim also owned a "caottage" at Kings Head. It had been an inn and had two tennis courts on the property.

James Mackay partnered with Harold G. Mingo in developing Eastern Woodworlers (1938) which began as a very modest enterprise in 1929.  It built prefabricated housing for solders during and after World War II and became the largest of several of these businesses in the New Glasgow area. They received a government contract to build 400 homes for wartime shipyard workers in Pictou in 1942. By the time I met them they were involved in the development of Scotland Key off the coast of Florida in the Bahamas and soon after their families were vacationing there as often as in Nova Scotia.

They came by roasd-building equipment in order to create service roads for prefabs, and Donald took charge of field work in that business, which grew into Tidewater Construction. As they used to note, "Not bad for a business which started in an abandoned hen-house."

This clip is also from Cameron's book.  Those "barges" went  with Mahone Bay built tug boats to Europe for the D-Day invasion.  Brookside Industries of Halifax, had charge of the local drydocks and had the contract to build the ships and other components of the staging used in that invasion. It was managed by Clifford Lewis Torey, the brother of James Burton Torey, the father of Harold Burton Torey. It was ever thus?

Similar cosy relationships existed within Clan Mackay in Charlotte Couty, N.B. which was also, at one time prominent.

One definitely cannot fault any generation of these clans for industry, perservence and their rise from modest circumstances. Jon remained at home in the early colonial farm home in Guysborough. Others bwent elsewhere, one became a well-known educator, another a politician and LIeutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. The other two went into business in the New Glasgow area.

In the "Golden Age of Wooden Ships and Iron Men" clear cutting was commonplace, in fact an area immediately adjacent to Mahone Bay is named Clearland, and it has taken decades to make modest gains in natural reforestation.  In the nineteenth and the early twentieth century it has to be noted that mechanical harvesting was not highly developed and most varieties of hard and soft wood were used in the building of homes and business men. Eastern Woodworkers did employ a large number of locals and so did Tidewater Construction. What each compnay produced was a value added product. This can also be said of the factories which failed in this same interval. Of course, "eco-terrorism" is differently defined today?

First came the axe and saw, then chain-saws and now mechanical harvesters. Actually a number of sophisticated mechanical devices work in concert. There is a robotic feller, which is responsible for cutting the tree down close to its base and then removing limbs. It can be used along with a built in buncher, which gathers groups of cut trees. A forwarder is a vehicle which carries bunches of logs to roaside to be picked upt by trucks like this one observed near Trenton.

Darrin Carter has been logging for 32 years. and estimates he produces 95% of the pulpwood used at Abercrombie. At first his business was labour intensive with trees being cut down and limbed using chain saws. Scott Paper, the first owner of the mill approached him to mechanize in 1988. He was completely equipped when he started Garrin Carter Logging operating out of Amherst in 1988. His current fleet is largely Tigercat, as seen above. He gives work to 18 employees running two shifts. says, "Although all of the pulpwood from Darrin’s logging operations goes to Northern Pulp, his company harvests a variety of species. The hardwood is sold to Groupe Savoie’s Westville, N.S. sawmill, while the stud logs go to J.D. Irving’s Sproule Lumber sawmill and the rest of the logs go to Elmsdale Lumber." As much as 10% of his  annual harvest comes off land he owns.

Photo by Rod. "In the 1950s, Nova Scotia decided the best hope for economic prosperity in rural areas lay in expansion of the pulp and paper industry. Governments used our rich forest resource to attract and support two new mills to central and eastern Nova Scotia. That objective was pursued very aggressively, and three multinationals eventually came to dominate the whole forest industry, directly managing huge portions of the provincial wood supply, and gradually gaining control of wood fibre flows and prices for all sectors of the industry — sawmills, exporters, value-added firms, and private woodlots." - Wade Prest for the Chronicle Herald. That mean that lumber for construction purposes was not seen as a prime resource. Critics have suggested that not all good wood is saved from chippers which turns them into a simpler product rather than value-added lumber.

Of course, the basic two-by-four is no longer that large, but it was exactly 2x4" when I was a kid. At the cottage were larger than most, but elsewhere they were never impressive in terms of size having been subject to fire and human incursions over many decades. I actually planted this tree about 50 years ago. Others have been standing longer than this and are larger.  Notice that drad softwood? Prevented from travelling far by economic forces, R&R started making cheap road trips to nearby locations as a break in a dull routine.

On this gravelled road to Pictou, as a change of scene, they followed the Chance Harbour road northward and then turned westward on a bumpy trail. where mixed forest crowded the edges. Not awe-inspiring but peaceful.

Suddenly last summer trees vanished from the roadside, but we the roadsides were high so we assumed this was fame or pasture land.

Roadside clearance to provide better visibiity is commonplace.

But for some reason this did look commonplace.

Photos are sequential.

It was beginning to look a lot like... clear-cutting.

This Tigercat made it obvious, that this was a work in progress. The cut was all the way to roadside.

We exits at the Trenton Road, took the byways to Abercrombie and noticed that the lands surrounding Norrthern Pulp were forested to roadside.  Where powepoles cut a swathe through trees to rech the lant we saw a score of men using gas powered whipper snippers to clear away small trees and underbrush. Not heavy machinery in evidence although that would have been te quick way to get te job done.

In an area seen from the highway to Pictou we noticed that they had planted spruce trees, which will eventually shield that somewhat ugly factory from public view.

Since we had no internet connection we missed reading about this proposed clearcut through tradition sources. Mike Parker's Facebook page Woods & Water Nova Scotia only became available when we were reconnected after August 24.  When we stumbled on his submission we learned that that clear-cut was already several days old when we first saw it, July 7.

Rod's ferociously fearsome shot of that clear-cut former forest.Mike Parker says, "I am an author of wilderness history and heritage and an outdoors advocate and enthusiast who is dedicated to fostering the sustainable use – not the unfettered abuse - of Nova Scotia’s forests and forest ecosystems." In New Brunswick the Irvings are more conservative in their cutting practices, leaving a buffer zone ar the margains of highways so that only geologists and naturalists and other wayward souls see the bareen landscaped a few feet from roadsides.

"The goal of this (Facebook) page is to effect positive change, to be educational and thought provoking, reflective and introspective by celebrating the traditions, natural beauty, and intrinsic values of our woods and waters while decrying the calculated, self-gratifying attitudes, doctrines and practices that wantonly destroy and pollute the land, poison the water and foul the air in the name of progress and pursuit of the omnipotent dollar." That's a true run-on sentence!  Mike is not  alone in his sentiments, which run counter to those of big logging and big-pulp.

Here is a rough map of the area in question. Both sides of the road were involved but the greater mayhem we noted was west of the Chance Harbour Road.You can see why Northern Pulp woud be interested in mining this resource since it is so close to the mill.

Whether this is public or private land under assault was unclear to us. Both sides in this argument are good at representing themselves as innocent shmoos, but that breed was killed of in Al Capps day. They are wortha google for those unfamiliar with the species. Same goes for the Blue Meanie.  In the case of the forestry businesses, the tree-nailers are seen as the true eco-terrorist, and are considered Meanies whose motto is "Self-Interest Is Good." In this case, loggers and mill workers are seen as the offended parties, fearful of being consumed like the loveable Shmoos.

These Facebook comments were also current back then. This scroll down page represents many individuals crying over the state of the wilderness. Their aim is less general than that of Mike Parker, "The goal of this group is to create awareness, share information and stories about living around the bleached kraft pulp mill, located at Abercrombie Point, Pictou County, and it's waste treatment facility Boat Harbour. We are NOT trying to shut down the mill but simply trying to bring it up to a standard we can all live with. There are too many studies and stories to not address our health concerns. The time has come to begin healing ourselves and our environment." At this writing this high-powered group has 4,503 "Members," most in Nova Scotia.

"What is history but a fable agreed upon?" - Napoleon Bonaparte. He thought that humans, over time, came to a fictional agreements with respect to the Truth. "Fiction" is a polite way of disguising a "lie." Another wise guy has said that, "History is the evolution of the unintended." History is usually thought of as rooted in the deep past, but "Memory" and Thought" also reflect past events. Environmentalists have a longer memories and a broader view of the recent past than do businessmen, whose activities centre on supposing what they think the future holds.

These two black birds can never see eye to eye since their vision is peripheral.  They do not have the same visions of reality and probaly can never completely see or understand the conflicting points of view.

It is unlikely that the complete truth will ever emerge in the due course of history. Sandy Cove is in Annapolis County, a long way from this Pictou County operation. Even if they were supplying Northern Pulp, remember that the total input from independent private woodlot owners only amounts to 5%. The American writer
Margaret J. Wheatley suggests that,"Probably the most visible example of unintended consequences, is what happens every time humans try to change the natural ecology of a place... Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.

"She thinks that consensus can develop. but admits that, "In our daily life, we encounter people who are angry, deceitful, intent only on satisfying their own needs. There is so much anger, distrust, greed, and pettiness that we are losing our capacity to work well together." In fact, "working well" is terribly difficult where the CEO of a company is the stand-in for an offshore landlord.

The Sinar Mas conglomerate has front line folk at Abercrombie, whose defense of Northern Pulp starts with its cad value for Nova scotians. Notice that more money goes to Darrin's harvesting, trucking and sales operations, which hires 18 people, than to wages and benefits who number" over 300. Their maintenence spending is relatively low, and we will get to that as a problem a bit later.

In this technological world, it is hard to escape survelliance with camera carrying drones being so inexpensive. One of them flew a the remote forested area to bring back this image of what North Pukp clear-cutting looks like from the air. Hardwoods and other "junk trees" may be harvested depending on their age, size and market worth, but often this operation is essentiallyconducted to clear the land for a spruce tree farm. Clumps of that species are spared in the initial cut.
While there is a need to preserve fertile soiltat is not always possible.

If it rains a lot during the cut, soil is artifically weathered and may erode or be carried away. It ultimately ends up in rivers and the ocean. Scenes like this are not good news for the company. Since stumps interfere with planting they have to be eradicated where possible. In plantation forests in parts of Europe, the tree stumps left after felling are sometimes pulled out of the ground to supply wood fuel for biomass power stations. Stump harvesting is unsuitable on many soils where the removal leads to long term reduction in nutrition or an unacceptable loss of soil carbon.
Where practical some of this wood is reduced to chips to be sold as biomass fuel to the Point Tupper electrical generating plant owned by Nova Scotia Power. All kinds of arguments have arise around this use of wood. For a few years they were running 24/7 but terminated that practice claiming a lack of waste chips. Even after they turned to deliberatly cutting nearby forests to create chips, they found the process inefficient and more costly than burning coal. That's another tale which has implications for Liverpool, in nearby Queens County.

In the Nova Scotian situation they appear to be ground into chips. Northern Pulp says it utilizes both hardwood and softwood chips in manufacturing Kraft pulp, and says its chips are created on site. However one suspects the mix favours softwoods since they admit that "The region’s softwood chips are unique and the key to the quality process." Here is how they represents themselves, and the arguments all centre on money, money, money.

Everyone in Nova Scotia knows about eco-tourism, but what about eco-terrorism, acts of violence committed in support of ecological or environmental causes, against persons or their property? The idea of eco-terrorism rises springs from the environmentmovement of the 1960s. Nova Scotia's Helalthy Forest Coaltion is undoubtedly though of by some as birdshit deposited by a few disgruntled, poverty-stricken crows. To date Northern Pulp has experienced not true eco-terrorism such as spiking trees and burning plantations, although a Christmas tree plantation was entirely lost to fire near Kejimikujik National Park in 2016. That's another sad story, which is hopefully beside the point.

Northern Pulp is not a vital force in Lunenburg County, "The Balsam Christmas Tree Capital of Canada," which produces a decidely value-added product, albeit in single species plantations.It spends most of its money in rural areas of the north east, but that may be a fact they shoud not emphasize. Whie Lunenburg has more rural than urban citizens, Pictou County is becoming more urbanized as time passes. It tipped in favour of towns in 2001 when the urban population surpassed the rural at 50.1%  Roughly 60% of the population of Nova Scotia live in rural areas, but that figure is skewed satistically by the urban population of Halifax. Nevertheless when it comes to jobs and median income, urban centres are on top.

And urbanites are not tied to the forest industry or enamoured of pulp mills, although transient visitors may not notice their presence.  That's doubtful in Old Town Pictou, which used to be a tourist destination. The Healthy Forest Coaltion which started up in May 2016 did not arise in massively "afflicted" areas, but in Halifax.

Paul Pross served as the first coordinator summarized forestry history this way: "Nova Scotia’s forests have experienced three great periods of growth, development and decline. The Mi’kmaq lived here for centuries as a climax forest developed. Europeans began settlement at the beginning of the seventeenth century, and by the end of the nineteenth had burned or otherwise reduced the climax forest to a point where, in 1912, Bernard Fernow made one of the first calls for reform and restoration.  Over the following century the forestry profession, in government and the pulp and paper industry, responded to that call by transforming our Acadian forest into one that resembled the boreal forest predominant in most of Canada."

With reference to pulp and paper: "Today, the industry (principally newsprint) that spawned it has declined, and we must decide what to do with – and for - the forest that remains. The Healthy Forest Coalition has urged a return to biodiversity and, to the extent possible, restoration of the Acadian forest. In order to achieve that we must understand our common cause. We must continue to speak up, and refuse to be discouraged. We must adapt as we push forward the processes of negotiation. " - Paul Pross.
 This report, back in April took people by surprise since they were supposedly cash poor.

That strike went on for over a year before their union struck out! Among papers swept under their wind was The New, nominally based in New Glasgow, The plant is located at the far side of the causeway.

Above Brirish Columbia strikers. June 13, 2012: Abercrombie workers vote 52% to accept major concessions “This mill is struggling the same as the rest of the mills in the paper industry,” said Don MacKenzie, the Atlantic Canada national representative representing
the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union. “It’s a tough time to be in the pulp and paper industry.” MacKenzie said the union is down to some 10,000 members in Atlantic Canada, half what it had in 2000. According to industry analyst Paul Quinn, “The mill is old and tired and it’s small, so it can’t achieve economies of scale. The market price for the kraft pulp from that palnt dropped to $870 per metric tonne in February from a high of $1,035 in June, 2011. In 1915, the union united with the company to tell the McNeil Liberal government they wanted "accommodations" with respect to new pollution rules.

Rod's paste up featuring the Clairtone Girl back in the 1960s. Some of that goverment start-up money was losy as the majority of these companies went into bankruptcy.  Michelin and the pulp mill persisted, but in the end the former company failed to update the local plant and moved operations to Bridgewater.  Frank Sobey, who established a supermarket chain in New Glasgow was a prime mover behind Industrial Estates Limited and a pictue from his art collection is seen in the background. It features dying leaves, which is appropriate on several levels. Does anyone recall the U.S. government's use of Agent Orange at Camp Gagetown in New Brunswick Canada?

I have seen the immediate effects of aerial spraying at home and while working for the Department of Fisheries. The chemicals used then are now banned.  Glysophosphate is banned in some countries but not in Canada. This chemical sold by Monsanto and advertised as safe for umans and pets has been utilized in forestry for a number of years. This year, three previously issued multi-year approvals and four new ones for pesticide spraying were issued. The new permits applied to 1,654 hectares. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup.
Lots of folk like this chemical and its widely used in agriculture as well as forestry. Nova Scotia Power uses it in preference to sending in crews with bushwackers.  It's a herbicide and the direct toxcity to animal life is low.  However, plants are autotrophic which simply means they maunfacture their own nutrients usually by photosynthesis. Animals, including humans are heterotrophic which mens they don't manufacture their own nutrients and have to consume plants and animals as food.

Rod's photo from the Little Harbour Road.  It is argued that taking in glysosulpate indirectly is not good for you, but has been going on for more than forty years, and only the Shadow knows if people have been adveresly affected. In the case of forestry it is used to control unwanted species which might compete with plantation trees.

In the United States,
Roundup has been detected at “extreme levels” in the nation’s food supply and there is science on both sides of this issue. The U.S. has determined the acceptable daily intake of glyphosate to be 1.75 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight per day while the European Union has set it at 0.3. In March 2015, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic in humans." In the following year, a United Nations panel of experts took an opposing stance. Back in 1998, Monsanto was forced to pull ads that said Roundup was "safer than table salt" and "practically nontoxic" to mammals, birds and fish.

"The spruce budworm can be one of the most injurious insects found in the forests of Nova Scotia. Forest Health monitors the population of the budworm with surveys during the adult and second instar larval stages, and with an aerial defoliation survey." Based in Shubenacadie, Foret Health is a section within the Forest Protection Division, Nova Scotia Department of Natur al Resources.
"With a spruce budworm infestation underway in neighbouring provinces, Nova Scotia will evaluate aerial spray options next week as it prepares for the pests arrival. “We think we’ve got two to five years,” says the province’s Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines." In Nova Scotia, moth counts have been increasing yearly since 2011 whuch may presage another serious outbreak.

This year "New Brunswick has just finished spraying more than 80,000 hectares of forest against the spruce budworm, the dreaded insect that infests the province every 30 years or so... A controversial spray program during the infestations of the 1970s and 80s was aimed at New Brunswick forests at large and ended up spraying chemicals on more than half of them. But now, with GPS technology and surveys of forests done beforehand, the spraying is more targeted" - CBC News. When this pest arrives in Nova Scotia Nova Scotia's fir trees will probably be srayed with some form of insecticide.

A lot of soft wood trees at Chance Harbour are dying from the tops down. The larval form mines old needles early in the season and the hits unopened buds and male flowers. Later they feed on expanding buds and new foliage.

Here are some samples from the forested area behind the cottage at Chance Harbour. These pests can expect to be joined by other invasive species which until now had been restricted to the southern United States. "The red spruce is one of Nova Scotia's most valuable tree species. It has been the mainstay of the forest industry since the 19th century and it is the leading softwood variety for reforestation in the province and its wood is used by all of Nova Scotia's pulp and paper companies." Cathy Scissons writing in the Parry Sound North Star in 2015 noted that the spruce budworm "prefers to feed on red spruce, which is a relatively uncommon tree species in Ontario."

Sadly, there are hosts of more detrimental invasive insects which will just love our single species stands of spruce and fir trees. Southern pine beetles are among the most destructive insects invading North America's pine forests today, and they're spreading farther north as global temperatures rise, putting entire ecosystems at risk and creating fuel for wildfires as they kill the trees they infest. A new study shows the insects' range could reach Nova Scotia by 2020.  These are bark beetles which tunnel the living tissue which lies just beneat this layer. They are know to destroy hemlocks and spruce as well as pine trees.

You could call this good news? Even better news came late when Atlantic Canadian softwood lumber was declared exempt.

The softwood treeline is slared to move northward short of a miracle.

Unless you believe the right-wing view of things.

Julie Payette is a former Canadian astronaut who now represents the British Queen in Canada. This is not as much of an honour as it was before November 5, 2017.

A great deal of fun was once made of the greedy, pretentious, unprincipalled, ugly American. Newly leaked papers reveal that Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has invested some of her private money in offshore tax havens. "According to documents obtained by the International Consortium of Journalists, the queen’s investment managers placed roughly 10 million pounds ($13 million) in offshore portfolios in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda."  Prince Philip explained that they did not realize these investments were questionable. In additon, we now kown that $5-million of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's LIberal party funding for the 2015 election just might have come for a similar source. Super Jeez. R&R are not quite middle class but pay taxes. Who does one believe these days.

Curious to know if there was clear-cutting east of the Little Harbout Road we went back for the following pics. The answer was yes.

This time the weather suited our mood.

The best horror novels demand suspension of disbelief. Where will all the boats dock when they close Boat Harbour? That is a question for our next episode.
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