Logging firm says concern for birds must be balanced against industry needs

Annapolis Valley, N.S.
Annapolis Valley, N.S. Wikimedia Commons

A Nova Scotia forestry firm says calls to halt its logging during the nesting season of dwindling species of migratory birds must be balanced with the industry’s practice of harvesting throughout the year.

Naturalists who have been combing through 76 hectares of Crown-owned woods located between two pristine Annapolis Valley lakes say they have spotted more than a dozen neotropical songbirds and filmed video of one endangered species.

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Scott Leslie, the author of Woodland Birds of North America, says he has identified species such as the black-throated blue warbler and he has filmed chimney swifts, which are listed as an endangered species in the province.

Environment Canada has been asked to enforce provisions of the Migratory Bird Convention Act that prohibit the disturbance of the birds’ nests, and the provincial Department of Lands and Forestry has been informed of the sighting of the chimney swifts.

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However, the general manager of WestFor Management Inc. said in an interview today that while there has been no cutting so far this week, the company has the right to renew its harvesting at any time based on weather and market conditions.

Marcus Zwicker says contract harvesters attempt to spot and avoid the habitat of migratory birds and species at risk, and follow provincial rules on giving wide berths to nests in some instances.