In Mi’kma’ki, fighting to save the hemlock ‘grandmothers’ from a deadly pest

By Chrystal Greene
The Narwhal
June 3, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Chris Googoo

NOVA SCOTIA — Ninety per cent of the hemlock trees in Nova Scotia could disappear. A Mi’kmaq-led effort is ensuring at least one forest will survive. When Chris Googoo first visited Wapane’kati, the old-growth eastern hemlock forest at Asitu’lɨsk, it was like stepping back in time. …“It’s awe-inspiring,” Googoo, chief operating officer for Ulnooweg, said. The towering trees were a stark contrast to those elsewhere in Nova Scotia, where less than one per cent of the province is covered in old-growth forests. “Along the Trans Canada Highway, with these little trees that have been harvested by the lumber industry over the years, there is no old growth that we see, even near our own communities.” …Previously Asitu’lɨsk was known as Windhorse Farm, which was privately owned by the Drescher family. …In 2021, the Drescher family sold the property at a deep discount to the Mi’kmaq, where it remains under the care of Ulnooweg.

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