Fw: Photos from Bill Casavechia's woodlot
Chris Palmer <>
Mon, 21 Jun 2004 09:50:08 -0300
"s. M mandaville"

I am forwarding a letter and several photos I sent for Bill Casavechia to members of HRM Council and a Daily New Reporter.

Bill has a woodlot on Morris Lake that lost many trees in Hurricane Juan and is now tinder dry. Logging by the CFIA to remove a few beetle infested trees has made the situation worse. He is very concerned about the fire hazard this presents to the nearby subdivisions.

It has occurred to him that there is a further environmental hazard, if a fire did occur there would be serious soil erosion into Morris Lake as most of his land is on a hillside. Perhaps even if there is no fire there would still be a hazard with all the dead trees covering the land, their roots losing grip on the soil, and too much shade for new trees to sprout.

Bill thought that you or your organization might be interested in this situation.

If you would like to speak to Bill you should contact him at 462-7951.

Chris Palmer

----- Original Message -----
From: Chris Palmer
To: ; Richard Cuthbertson ; Bruce Hetherington ; Dave Hendsbee ; Jace Downey
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 9:22 AM
Subject: Photos from Bill Casavechia's woodlot

I enclose several photos from Bill Casavechia's woodlot. These show the fire hazard that concerns Bill that was reported in the Daily News article of Richard Cuthbertson on June 18.

Higher resolution (2mb jpg's) and other photos are available. I took the photos on June 10 2004

Bill points to one of the fires regularly set by children. These will increase with summer vacations.


This is the sort of tunnel left behind as the CFIA destroys ten or twenty trees to extract one beetle infested tree. Note cut spruce trees left behind.

cfia logging.jpg

Another trash pile left behind by CFIA. Note all the cut ends and spruce trees piled up to dry in the sun to become tinder. All trees here were cut by CFIA. I do not understand why the CFIA has cut the trees in a manner that appears to increase the fire hazard.

The photo is only small part of the mess, I found it very difficult to photograph the scale of the devastation here. It is impassible forward of this picture for about half a mile.


Bill has to duck his head to go up his woodlot road.

CFIA cut the road so close the Bill has to cut a new path every time. If there was a fire, how would a fire truck get down this path and anywhere near a fire? By the time the fire crew chainsawed all the trees the truck would be consumed by the fire. Any fire here is likely accessible only by helicopter at very high cost.

I believe this picture shows the enormity of the task facing Bill. The ash trees were cut by CFIA without regard for the considerable value of ash trees. The trees had been only uprooted, so they would have survived quite a while; but the CFIA cut them without regard for merchantable length and left much logging waste on the ground to dry out.

At the time I was there (June 10) the woodlot was tinder dry. I can only assume it is worse now and will continue to dry out. There is a significant and obvious fire hazard that has been made worse by the logging practices of the CFIA.

Another point Bill has made to me, but I have not heard from anyone else, is the environmental impact of a fire. Even if fire crews manage to extinguish a fire before it reaches Portland Estates, Portland Hills, Morris Lake Estates, and Colby Village, after the fire there will be no trees to hold in soil and there will be massive soil erosion into Lake Morris.

And finally, the problem will not go away; as uprooted trees begin to die, more and more trees will dry out and become tinder.

I hope the above is some help in your council deliberations. If you require more photos or higher resolution photos, please let me know. If you wish to talk to Bill, please contact him at 462-7951.

Chris Palmer