An invitation from the Backlands Coalition:
– Link to the Draft Regional Plan: Phase 4 Draft Plan Release – June 20, 2023 Committee of the Whole | Halifax.ca
– The Province is inviting citizens to have a say as they develop the NS Collaborative Protected Areas Strategy outlining how we will achieve land and water conservation goals by 2030. Take a few minutes and complete the survey here by October 6th to have your say.
View also these PDF docs which highlight issues most relevant to the Backlands:
– Critical Issues in the Regional Plan
– Highlights of draft Regional Plan
– Ways to give HRM feedback
It’s a great opportunity to put in a plug for formally protecting all Crown land in the Backlands! See this page for map details
A recent News Release:
Province Seeks Input on Protected Areas Strategy
Nova Scotians are invited to help shape the approach for protecting 20 per cent of the province’s land and water by 2030.
An online public consultation started today, August 23, at: http://ns20by2030.ca/ . The input will be used to develop the Nova Scotia Collaborative Protected Areas Strategy, which will outline how the Province will achieve its 2030 land and water conservation goal and identify next steps. Continue reading
UPDATE AUG 25: EVENT POSTPONED (weather – rain would make the field component very difficult)
On Nature Nova Scotia website:
For some background info. about the Chebucto Mainland Moose population, see the NS Forest Notes page on the Chebucto Moose.
Also view Moose sighting on Williams Lake (Post, Dec 11, 2016). This seems to have been the last reported sighting of moose in the Backlands.
By working to bring back/reinvigorate the Mainland Moose population on the Chebucto Peninsula, we would also be improving conditions for a much wider array of species. We might think of it as the terrestrial equivalent of the Sackville Rivers Association efforts to bring back/reinvigorate the salmon population in the Sackville River Watershed.
In a recent Nature Nova Scotia/Ecology Action Centre hosted webinar on “Wetlands, Adaptation and Extreme Weather Events”, Danica Van Proosdij talked about her work on making room for coastal wetlands (saltmarshes) to adapt to climate change, and David Patriquin talked about the significance of wetlands in the Backlands.
David’s presentation and slides on “Watersheds, Watercourses and Wetlands of the Halifax Backlands” are available on this website under Current Issues/Wetland Webinar. Continue reading
|UPDATE Aug 18, 2023: The NS Invasive Species Council has recently released their new Grow Me Instead guidebook in which Japanese Barberry and Common Barberry are cited as potential invasives in NS & NB; they suggest alternative native species to grow in their stead in our gardens.
Lawsons Brook on Google Earth
Click on images for larger versions
Lawsons Brook is the stream that drains Williams Lake. It begins at the dam on Williams Lake and falls about 15 meters in elevation over the approx. 365 m from the dam to the point it enters a Culvert taking it below Purcells Cove Road; then it continues over another 80 m through Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron grounds before finally discharging into “The Arm”.
View looking upstream in a section of Lawsons Brook free of invasive plants, Aug 2, 2023
Lawsons Brook is lined by magnificent hardwood-dominated, old forest. Yellow Birch is the most prominent species, followed by Red Oak, Red Maple, White Pine, Black Spruce and the occasional Eastern Hemlock; and distinct sub-canopies formed by Striped Maple and Witch Hazel.
The ground is very uneven, bouldery, with lots of woody debris; near the dam, there are several channels through low-lying floodplain/wetland (and a plethora of poison ivy). Continue reading
Representatives of the Coalition’s member groups have been meeting monthly to discuss ways and means to accomplish our mission: to ensure no loss of wildlife habitat in the Backlands and to preserve them for natural, historical, cultural, conservation, educational, recreational and common use.
Our recent focus has been to collect, compile, and present information to the HRM planning staff, our Councillor, and various Regional Council committees to inform them about the value of preserving the Backlands and its fragile and unique ecology for environmental and recreational purposes, since further development will destroy this small piece of nature that will only become more important as a retreat as HRM gets denser.
This activity has been happening as part of the review process for updating the HRM Regional Plan, which will enter its final and 5th phase after Oct 27. Until then, the draft plan created in phase 4 is available for feedback from the public – which means all of us – so if you want to help achieve our mission, please provide comments as directed below. Continue reading
UPDATE Aug 16, 2023:
Forest ecologist, Donna Crossland, explains the significance of the discovery of Hemlock Wooly Adelgid – or HWA – in Bedford, NS (Audio)
CBC Maritime Noon
Subject: HWA Working Group – HWA Detection in Nova Scotia
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2023
From: Neville, Ron (CFIA/ACIA)
We wanted to pass along the following HWA update from Sherry Lynn Kelly, the CFIA Director of Operations for Nova Scotia.
In early August, the CFIA received a report of a suspected Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) infestation on a home owner’s property in Bedford, Nova Scotia. The resulting laboratory analysis of samples taken by CFIA during follow-up has confirmed the presences HWA. The is the first confirmed detection of HWA in the Halifax Regional Municipality. The affected property has been placed under regulatory control and additional surveys in the surrounding area will take place in the coming weeks to better characterize the population. Continue reading
Signage at entrance to Shaw Wilderness Park
A camp fire was sighted in the Shaw Wilderness Park by residents of Williams Lake the evening of July 31.
Fire Fighters could not reach the camp site and could not verify if the fire had been extinguished properly.
Residents shouted across the still lake to the campers to put out the Fire.
The fire eventually burned out during the night and the campers’ green canoe was gone from the camp site area in the morning.
Protect fire-prone forests, natural wild lands’ habitats, unique Backlands, our homes, properties and lives. Respect the “No Fires” Bylaw for all parks. Continue reading
Sandy Lake at Peverill’s Brook, by Jeremy Vaughan. Click on image for larger version.
A wonderful collective of artists has been creating works based on their experiences at Sandy Lake Regional Park.
Their gorgeous paintings and drawings will form part of a 2-week long art show at Second Gallery (Upstairs at 6301 Quinpool Road, Halifax), called “Sanctuary – Save Sandy Lake.”
The show opening is on Thursday, July 13, from 6 pm to 8 pm and ALL are invited (so is everyone you know). It runs for 2 weeks.
Read more about the artists’ inspiration and how it relates to the campaign to save critical lands – including important wildlife corridors connecting the mainland and lands of the Chebucto Peninsula – and protect Sandy Lake in the press release about the show.
By David Patriquin
Two stages in which R. multiflora is quite readily seen and identified in Halifax area – left when it is in flower, early July; right in winter when clusters red berries stand out (if not already consumed by birds)
Click on images for larger versions
It’s peak flowering time for Rosa multiflora, an invasive species that can be challenging to remove once it gets well established. The plants are readily spotted when they are flowering, so its a good time to be on the lookout for them, especially when they are just getting established and are most readily controlled.
To my knowledge, and from the records on an iNaturalist Project for multiflora rose (likely under-reported), it hasn’t yet gained a significant foothold in the undeveloped lands of the Backlands proper. However, it has been noted in a few spots** and it is socked into many areas along trails and roadsides in nearby areas, e.g. along much of Purcell’s Cove Road and in the area of Connaught Battery. Continue reading