Nova Scotia DNR report summarizing public comments on best use of 1.5 million acres of Crown land in province's western region will help develop sustainable plan for land, including forestry management

Audrey Dixon

Audrey Dixon

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia , May 23, 2013 (press release) – A report is now available on what Nova Scotians said are the best ways to use the 1.5-million acres of Crown land in the province's western region to ensure sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits for communities.

The report summarizes comments received at nine open-house consultations in March and April, at stakeholder meetings, and through online submissions.

"The responses we've heard confirm that Nova Scotians are passionate about land use," said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. "Overall, Nova Scotians have told us that they want to be involved in managing their land, that long-term environmental, social and economic sustainability is vital, and that they recognize different land uses need to be balanced."

The report summarizes attendance and overall public response. About 676 people attended the public open houses, 66 people (representing 57 stakeholder groups) attended stakeholder meetings, 166 people submitted ideas online, and 44 separate submissions were received through other channels.

The key themes from the submissions and stakeholder focus groups are drawn together in the summary report. The comments will help develop a sustainable plan for the land, which includes lands purchased from Bowater Mersey Ltd.

The report outlines the most prominent issues for stakeholders, including: tourism and recreation, forestry, vehicular access, sustainability, protection, resource extraction, and continuing consultation and engagement processes.

The final land and resource management plan for the western Crown land plan will include sustainable forestry management, as described in the province's natural resources strategy, The Path We Share. It will also meet new policies and guidelines for better forest management.

The summary report is available at: .

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