Government expected to announce independent review of forestry practices in N.S.

Nova Scotia's Liberal government is expected to announce a promised independent review of forestry practices later Wednesday, in a province where clear cutting remains highly controversial.

The review was first announced in the lead-up to last spring's provincial election and became a key part of the party's environmental platform.

Ray Plourde, of the Halifax-based Ecology Action Centre, says Nova Scotia's forest is getting younger and scrubbier with each clear cut, which he says is how about 90 per cent of wood is harvested.

Plourde sees the review as an opportunity to restore a balance that was abandoned when the government announced last year that it was moving away from a goal of reducing clear cutting on Crown land by 50 per cent.

The government says about 63 per cent of wood harvested on Crown land in 2016 was by clearcut.

Jeff Bishop, executive director of the industry group Forest Nova Scotia, says the province's position on clearcutting is based on science that examines what is grown on the land base and what can be grown there in the future.