We're trying something new this year -- predictions about Nova Scotia's forest in 2022. When December rolls around we'll see how the predictions stack up -- sage or dummy, time will tell!
Prediction 1 -- Hemlocks will be saved where private citizens take the initiative.
Five years after the first discovery of HWA in Nova Scotia's hemlocks, the trend is clear -- the bug is established, it's moving from west to east across the province and we're starting to see massive die back.
And it is poised to move into two areas with larger populations of people and hemlocks -- Kings and Lunenburg Counties with Halifax not far behind.
On the positive side, there have been two significant efforts to protect our hemlocks -- first at #SportingLake and also at #Keji. And the #kentvilleravine project scheduled for this spring is an example of what private citizens can do. We'll need more.
Prediction 2 -- Conservation in Nova Scotia will get a significant boost this year
All the pieces are lining up for conservation -- the Federal Government has set ambitious goals for the country, Nova Scotia has introduced Bill 57 (the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act), non-government organizations like the NS Nature Trust and the Nature Conservancy of Canada are expanding and there's a new option for private landowners called the Working Woodland Trust.
Prediction 3 -- Outdoor recreation will have a banner year
As we learn to live with Covid, a significant portion of our Nova Scotian population will be attracted to less populated, forested areas for their recreation.
Prediction 4 -- Disaster Planners will move to protect hemlocks to mitigate the effects of climate change
Ok, this one is wishful thinking but here is my thinking...
We all saw the disastrous flooding in British Columbia last year. Something that wasn't mentioned much was the amount of clear cutting upstream of the flooded areas. Without trees, the rain quickly moved from the skies to the rivers contributing to the flooding which overwhelmed infrastructure.
It's inevitable that we will see more intense rain events in Nova Scotia. And so many of our waterways have hemlocks along their banks providing valuable rainwater control. Their loss due to the hemlock killing bug HWA will result in millions of dollars of damages to our roads, bridges, drainage and other infrastructure along our many waterways.
$50 to protect a tree seems like a bargain.
These predictions were first posted on our Instagram and Facebook pages with some awesome images from across the province.