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Wild Animal Law of Canada

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Forests Act (NS)

(current to 15 October 2016)


Note Re Application of the Forests Act ('FA')

The Forests Act's application to wildlife is limited to a consideration of wildlife conservation in making forestry policy. For these purposes, 'wildlife' is defined as "any species of vertebrate which is wild by nature and hence not normally dependent on man to directly provide its food, shelter or water".

This law bears on the wildlife issues of:
  • HABITAT
The full current text of the Forests Act and it's Regulations may be viewed at the Nova Scotia statute website.
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Like most provincial forestry statutes across Canada, the primary function of Nova Scotia's Forests Act is to regulate it's forestry industry for commercial logging. That said, and at least on it's face, wildlife conservation is an integral consideration in the development of forestry policy, as is indicated by the following provisions:
  • one of the purposes of the FA is "maintaining or enhancing wildlife and wildlife habitats, water quality, recreational opportunities and associated resources of the forest" [FA 2(c)];

  • one of the considerations feeding into the Minister's 'forest management planning process' is "full consideration of wildlife conservation requirements, potential ecological impacts" [FA 8(1)(b)];

  • it is a duty of the Minister to "ensure that wildlife, wildlife habitats and the long term diversity and stability of the forest ecosystems, water supply watersheds and other significant resources are managed" [FA 10].
Additionally, the Wildlife Habitat and Watercourses Protection Regulations does set some minor limits on the industry with the goal of mitigating the impact of clear-cutting respecting soil erosion and regeneration.
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