Minutes of January Meeting

A new feature we are adding to the website for our viewers is a copy of our most recent meeting minutes. Understand that these are not the official minutes until approved at the next meeting. However, there a seldom changes made.

TREPA Minutes

Jan. 9, 2019

The meeting of the Board of Directors of TREPA Jan. 9, 2018, at 7:05 P.M. at Beacon Church location.

Present-BarrieMacGregor,  John Sollows, Jennifer Cunningham, Mike Raynard, John Morris, Jean Cleveland, Debbie Sullivan, Bryan Mood, John Kearney, Dan Earle, Eko Rahajo, Debbie Sullivan and Ginny Smith.

Regrets: John Linder, and Dianne Klomp.

Approve Agenda-Approved –two additions Barrie (2), and Bryan(Prime transmission).

Approve Minutes- Moved by John M. and 2nd by Mike R.  Approved .

Treasurer’s Report- Previously received.


  1. Water quality- John S is working on completing the water quality report.  John S. will send letter off to Andrew Sinclair for financial assistance.  Victoria Brooks declined to sign the financial request. John can sign for the committee.

2.   Report gone off to Adopt a Stream for 2018.

3.  Op Eds- Article in both papers about the hemlock wooly adelgid workshop Barrie hosted.

4.  Canada Summer Job-It was suggested that we get a job description out to university/college programs that might have interested students.  We would like to have someone with technical knowledge.   Early recruitment of interested individuals might bring about the results we want. John will share job description with Jennifer.

5.  Shoreline Buffer Issues-We are hoping to find a method of circulation for our flyers.  Argyle Municipality will not circulate the flyers in tax bills because those are done in Halifax.  The new initiative by the Eco Action Team should help if the grant is received.

Debbie had a few ideas: distribute at the  Forest Glen Canoe Rally, and the Spring Life Style Show.  Barrie will see if we can identify lakeside owners from the municipalities.  Nature Trust also has a list of property owners.  The contact is Jessica Bradford (Conservation Manager).

6.   Boomerang Bags project has been launched and is situated in Killan bld. The project will run the first Saturday of each month from 2-5, and 3-5 on the 4th Thursday, as well as two or three Mondays for Pathfinders. 

7.   Cooperation with other organizations-Kesputwitk (KCC)-is important.  There are several targets (9) in total and are posted.  There is an NGO in each of the nine projects. A few of those projects include Riparian Zones, HWA with Matt Smith, and others.  The others will be listed on a web page.  Lesley Farrow is the coordinator for the KCC.   John K. thinks there will be some good opportunities for TREPA if we remain affiliated with NGOs and Community based organizations.   Jan. 13, there will be a governance committee meeting.  (Bryan is on the governance committee).

The Kesputwitk concept of two- eyed seeing would suggest that people in governance and the people who live in the area must work together.

8.   New membership to TREPA- Adding on new members and having a greater presence.   Two items were agreed upon:  Facebook page for information on E-transfer for membership (will ask Dianne Klomp to work on this).  Dan will put the minutes on the Web page and list members on Google drive.


1.   Funding Proposal for Eco Action Funding re water quality, must be submitted immediately (contact John by Friday).  SNBRA and MTRI and TREPA would be working together.

2.  DFO Coastal Restoration –Funding process-Looking for community support (Shana) as far as our capacity will allow.  Mike Raynard has had contact with Charlene LeBlanc who has studied eel grass growth/loss in the area.  It was pointed out that local expertise should be consulted.  Ginny will contact Charlene and Shana will be contacted by John S. to indicate that we are interested in participating.

3.    HWA-Barrie and Sandra hosted a presentation and there were 20 to 30 participants.  MTRI representatives made an excellent presentation.  The activity was covered by the Vanguard and the Chronicle Herald.

4.    Bills-We have a bill from the post office for our postal box. John is owed $510.00.  John’s check has been received and deposited.  Ginny will take check to post office and pay postal bill.

5.   There is a new Prime transmission location, approximately 20 feet from the lake.  There could be considerable leaching of chemicals and transmission oil from the plant into the nearby lake.  TREPA should be pointing out that the buildings should not be built within 40 feet of the edge of any body of water.   There was no PAC meeting to address the issue as far as we know.  It seems that it should be an issue that should come before council. Barrie suggested that we should do some research on how this could take place so close to the lake in the first place.  It seems that both the Dept. of Environment, and Fisheries should be contacted .The Municipal Inspector should be asked for an explanation.    A letter will be sent to the Municipality of Yarmouth regarding the issue.  A contingency plan should be in place.  John will write a letter expressing our concern about several issues and he will contact the Dept. of Environment.  We want to know what special measures will take place to protect the surrounding environment, including the lake.

6.    New Treasurer-Jennifer moved, JohnK. 2nd. Passed- that Dianne Klomp will be named our new treasurer.

           Next Meeting- Feb. 6, 2019, Beacon Street.  

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“Burned” movie to be shown at Yarmouth library

TREPA (Tusket River Environmental Protection Association) is presenting the new film “Burned – Are Trees the New Coal” at the Yarmouth County Library, program room, at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 30. The award-winning documentary focuses on the eastern seaboard of the United States but the story could be anywhere – including Nova Scotia where the recent advent of big biomass has consumed millions of tonnes of our forests and driven forestry practices to new lows. This program is free.


And here’s the link for more information.


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Farming in Labrador – A report

Jim Purdy was very involved in TREPA for many years. Formerly of Pleasant Lake, now of Happy Valley Goose Bay. The link is to a radio interview about the challenges and successes of farming in Labrador. It is recorded in his greenhouse with his rooster that you will hear crowing from time to time.




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Special TREPA General Meeting – January 9th

TREPA’s next board meeting scheduled for January 9th, 2019 will be preceded by a brief general meeting. The purpose and only agenda item for the general meeting is for the nomination of two new directors. The general meeting is scheduled for 7 PM at Beacon Church Library Room.
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Electricity from Forest Biomass: An Industry gone Amok.

— John Sollows

On the night of November 14, TREPA screened the movie “Burned,” about the fallacies behind the American forest biomass-fuelled electricity industry. The screening was accompanied by a shorter movie on Nova Scotia’s situation, and commentary by Raymond Plourde of the Ecology Action Centre.
Nova Scotia forestry policy needs to prioritize sustainability more. We understand the need to inflict minimal socioeconomic pain, but decision-makers need to balance this against the price that future generations will pay for overenthusiastic harvesting.
The use of forest biomass for large-scale electricity has become part of the problem. Use of mill-generated “waste” wood to heat mill facilities makes sense. Cutting forests to provide electricity across the province is a different story.
Biomass-fuelled electricity is considered “renewable” by many, because after a tree is cut down, another tree normally grows in its place. So the greenhouse gases that get released by the burning of a tree are expected to get absorbed by other trees growing in place of the burned one.
There’s one problem: All those trees get turned into greenhouse gases a lot faster than the replacement trees can absorb the gases. Put it this way: How long does it take to cut down and process an acre of trees? Now, how long does it take for that acre to grow trees back to the size that was harvested?
We are burning trees faster than they can be replaced. Calling this energy “renewable” is an enormous stretch of the imagination. Calling it sustainable is false.
I now understand the claims that biomass-generated electricity generates more greenhouse gases than coal. Electricity is a form of energy, and the amount of energy produced depends on the amount of heat produced by the fuel. Quite a few of us still can affirm that a ton of coal produces a lot more heat than a ton of wood, even hardwood. So a unit of electricity needs a greater weight of wood to be burned, than of coal. Add to that that the wood burned is often wet and that a lot of electric energy gets lost travelling long distances over power lines. It ends up being a pretty inefficient system
Waste wood produced on a mill site is a legitimate fuel. “Waste wood” sitting in a forest is not; neither is it “waste.” Trees that aren’t fit for the mills still absorb greenhouse gases, prevent erosion and runoff, provide habitat and food for many other forms of life, and on death, become soil, which again holds a lot of nutrients, carbon and water for a very long time. They are not wasted, either before or after death. The problem is that the economic value of the services they provide us are not conveniently measurable. They still matter, big-time, and we ignore them at our peril.
For instance, where does your water come from? There’s a good chance you can thank a forest for its dependability, its quantity and its purity, because forests are among our most important and efficient stabilizers and purifiers of water. Climate change scientists forecast hotter, drier summers and warmer, wetter winters. We’re going to need all the help we can get to store the water that we’ll get the wet half of the year. In the absence of extensive forests, we’ll be in trouble.
We’ll be in additional trouble on the water quality front. Hotter, drier summers tend to make for warmer, clearer water. That makes lakes vulnerable to blue-green algal blooms, especially when there is not enough surrounding vegetation to absorb the nutrients these blooms need. We are discovering that too often, the wee cells in these blooms produce extremely nasty toxins, which can lead to serious public health issues. We’re going to hear a lot more related stories in coming years, unfortunately.
Ecologists are scientists, not special interest lobbyists. The most important aspect of their work is to give the rest of us early warnings of where our current behaviour is leading. We’d better listen. It may not be possible to reverse current forestry practices overnight, but the process needs to start, yesterday. Dialling back the use of forest biomass to generate electricity would be a good beginning.

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