Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Sean Tipert, 1992

A Comparison of Forestry Practices in Nova Scotia


The forest management practices occurring in Nova Scotia's forests impact not only the economic condition of the province, but also the ecological health of this resource. This study examines the ecology of Nova Scotia's forests, history of forest practices in Nova Scotia and the positive and negative impacts of current practices with a view to making recommendations for improvement. Data were collected from three sites in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia; the first was clearcut and left to regenerate naturally, the second was clearcut and planted and the third was selectively cut. As well, data from other studies were used to illustrate the impacts of the forest practices mentioned on the forest environment. The data analysis revealed that clearcutting followed by natural regeneration often resulted in a forest species composition of little commercial value, and commonly the clearcut sites were understocked. The clearcut followed by a forest plantation required expensive inputs, degraded the soil nutrient capital and reduced the biological and genetic diversity of the forest ecosystem. Selection cutting proved to be the best technique for maintaining a diverse forest of valuable commercial species, although the cost of harvesting was higher than clearcutting.