HALIFAX/K’JIPUKTUK, UNCEDED TERRITORY OF THE MI’KMAQ PEOPLE – Ecojustice lawyers are defending Extinction Rebellion Nova Scotia Association in their fight to protect endangered Mainland moose habitat from the irreparable harm caused by clearcutting forests in the region.
From October to mid December, members of Extinction Rebellion Nova Scotia Association in collaboration with other groups and citizens peacefully protested by camping out and blocking access to Crown lands in order to draw attention to the Department of Lands and Forestry’s continued failure to uphold the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act and protect Mainland Moose habitat.
On Dec. 11, however, the protesters were served with an injunction obtained by WestFor Management Inc. Ecojustice is representing Extinction Rebellion Nova Scotia Association in defence against this injunction.
In May 2020, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court found the provincial government was not honouring its legal obligations to identify Mainland Moose habitat in the province and issued an order requiring the Minister of Lands and Forestry to revise the recovery plan and identify core habitat for the species.
The Minister has failed to implement the court order and has renewed WestFor Management’s Licence Agreement to conduct forestry activities in Mainland moose habitat on Crown lands.
James Gunvaldsen Klaassen, lawyer for Ecojustice, said:
“Members of Extinction Rebellion Nova Scotia Association have been peacefully protesting to draw attention to the risks that forestry activity will have on endangered Mainland Moose and the habitat on which they depend. They have a legal right to do so.
“Habitat loss is putting the survival of Nova Scotia’s iconic Mainland moose at risk. It’s time for the Government of Nova Scotia to stop prioritizing the interests of the province’s forestry industry, including companies such as WestFor Management, and start fulfilling its legal duty to protect these animals before it’s too late.”
- Mainland Moose are listed as endangered under Nova Scotia’s Endangered Species Act.
- Despite the species’ dire circumstance, the Department of Lands and Forestry has historically failed to protect and recover Mainland Moose, including not implementing a court order requiring the Minister revise the recovery plan to identify core habitat.
- In October of this year, a small group of protesters supported by Extinction Rebellion Nova Scotia Association began camping out on a logging road in Digby County, N.S. The Crown lands being blockaded are subject to a Licence Agreement between the Province and WestFor Management Inc., which allows the company to conduct forestry activities, like harvesting and removing trees. In late November, the protesters began blocking a second logging road in the same area.
- The forests in that location provide important habitat for critically endangered Mainland moose.
- The loss of Mainland moose habitat has led to a steep decline in the species’ population.