Nature Nova Scotia – President's Report 2007-2008
[Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists]
Annual General Meeting 2008 – Barrington, N.S. – 1 June 2008
Nature Canada AGM
The biggest event for the NNS this year was the hosting of Nature Canada's AGM held in Wolfville, August 1 thru 5, 2007.
The NNS board and member clubs were very busy in mid-2007 preparing for the conference associated with the AGM. According to all reports include one from Nature Canada the conference was a success. The balance from the expenses positive and this was shared equally between NNS and Nature Canada.
Regular Board meetings and AGM
03 Jun 2007 AGM – Truro
This AGM was a one day gathering with a meeting in the morning and field trips in the afternoon. No member club offered to host a weekend conference in 2007 or in 2008.
22 Sep 2007 Wolfville
19 Jan 2008 Bridgewater
26 Apr 2008 Halifax
The biggest environmental threat was the possibility of a large rock quarry at White Point on Digby Neck. After extensive hearings and a huge report the environmental assessment board recommended no approval. The N.S. Minister of the Environment concurred and the quarry will not be allowed to go ahead.
Canadian Nature Forum (formerly the Nature Canada Affiliates)
Regularly, throughout the year, Nature Nova Scotia talks with Nature Canada and other affiliated naturalist organization across Canada as a member of the Canadian Nature Forum. Joan Czapalay has been Nature N.S.'s representative.
– Joan attended Nature Canada CN Forum in February. A Memorandum of Understanding has been written by the Forum members and is yet to be signed by all parties.
A Canadian Nature Network portal (at www.fanweb.ca/cnn/) is progressing- I am working with Ted Chesky, and other Nature Canada members on the portal. It's design is progressing slowly and we are in the second phase of implementing new features on the website. The space on the web and the site administrators are being provided by the Federation of Alberta Naturalists (FAN).
This year the board has decided to write policies for the NNS on the following subjects.
Coastal Policy which is just started.
Tidal Policy which is in its first draft.
Wind Energy Policy which is started.
Board members representative on other boards
Nova Forest Alliance http://www.novaforestalliance.com/ by Doug Linzey
Many — ? — by Joan Czapalay
Standing Tall Coalition
NNS has been on the colalition for Standing Tall which has asked that public imput be used in N.S. Dept. of Natural Resources' new strategy. The first stage is in progress with the public commentary being collected by Voluntary Planning in May-June 2008. NNS board will be writing comments for all four areas of concern – forestry, parks, mining, and biodiversity. This will be done before the deadline for written submissions of July 31.
There is still time to provide oral input and urge members to do so. (see http://vp.gov.ns.ca)
Jun 3 Weymouth
Jun 9 Halifax
Future of Nova Scotia Naturalist Societies
At present NNS has only 5 active member clubs
Annapolis Field Naturalists Society
Blomidon Naturalists Society
Halifax Field Naturalists
Nova Scotia Bird Society
Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society
Unfortunately, one club that has been active, The South Shore Naturalists Club, has had to move to inactive status this year. When the FNSN was formed many years ago, we had 10 strong members. Now days, there is a very real problem for small naturalist clubs to recruit executive and also provide representation to Nature N.S. Our clubs are getting older and we are losing members yet not gaining enough new young members to maintain activities.
This discussion and report group is maintained by Doug Linzey for Nature N.S. for the use of all naturalists. The Chebucto Community Network provides the server, disk space and software.
Big Tree Project
The Big Tree projects continues on a casual basis as a catalog on the NNS website. Few new trees have been added to the list in the last year. At present we have 28 trees listed of 16 different species (there are many Red Oak and White Pines listed) This is a project that, I would hope, would encourage the public to project our trees in the hope that more will grow into majestic plants. We need to get more of our members to send in information on the large trees they encounter in their explorations. See www.naturens.ca (click on Big Tree Project)
Young Naturalists Clubs
Two active young naturalist groups are going in the province.
Karen McKendry is leading the Young Naturalists Club in Halifax and NNS provides website space (see: www.naturens.ca click YNC)
There is also the Green Dragon Camps during the summer in Kings County sponsored by member club, Blomidon Naturalists Society. We are encouraging this effort and plan to help them as we can.
Membership in coalitions
Besides the groups mentioned already, NNS participates in several other coalitions and networks.
Coastal Coalition of Nova Scotia http://ccns.chebucto.org/
Nova Scotia Public Lands Coalition http://www.publicland.ca/
Nova Scotia Environmental Network http://www.nsen.ca/
Thanks to Volunteers
I wish to thank all the NNS board member have put many hours to keep it functioning. The board is small so we are limited in what we can do but we try as best we can. Much of what we do requires the help of members in our clubs and I thank them. Various clubs but especially the Blomidon Naturalists came through to put on the Tide and Time Conference. Special thanks to Joan Czapalay who was chair of the Nature2007 committee. Doug Linzey headed up the program commitee and he deserves a hearty thank you also. There were many people involved in that effort, more than I can name here.
Outlook for the coming year
In the comming year, the board will finalize their policy statements and perhaps write some other ones. By next year the Canadian Nature Network will be more active using its new portal on the internet. I would like to see natural history become a passion for more people in Nova Scotia and have them help build healthy naturalist clubs across the province. As in the past, activism is best done in conjunction with like-minded organizations and NNS will continue to cooperate with them on important issues in the province. Perhaps even, the N.S. Dept of Natural Resources will adopt the biodiversity and encourage the rebuilding of our Acadian forest with a policy of uneven-aged stands forestry.
I am starting the second year of my second term and plan to step down at the end of this term.