Letters with Bob Bancroft

2013-06-01 PictouCoYoungNaturalistsWoodlotTour-June1,2013 007
June 18th, 2014, email
From: Leah Noble
To: Bob Bancroft

Hi there Bob,

It was so nice to see you a couple of weeks ago at the Bras d’Or Stewardship Society Annual General Meeting. I hope this email finds you and Alice well!

I found your presentation about the state of the forests in Nova Scotia to be very moving.

When we chatted, I mentioned my blog, Dream Big Cape Breton, and I’d love for you to check it out when you have a chance. You can find it here: http://www.dreambigcapebreton.com

It’s all about life as a (relatively–I just turned 30, haha) young person on Cape Breton Island, and has some interviews and stories about other folk, too.

I’d like to have a post with words by you, a little bit from your presentation last month and your view of forestry in Nova Scotia currently. Would you be interested?

Cheers and take care,

Leah

++++

June 18th, 2014, email
From: Bob Bancroft
To: Leah Noble

Hello Leah,

Your blog makes a diary seem simple! Nice to see your positive uses of newer technology. I confess that I have no sites – Facebook or otherwise. Wind up spending too much time on the computer without them.  I love emails because, unlike telephones, you do not interrupt the second party. And I’m locked into multiple telephone and email messages each day to and from folks who want to discuss wildlife issues. That’s a result of years of writing and being on CBC radio.

When I think of you, I feel optimistic about young(er) people staying in our part of the world. Then I’m reminded of a young friend working in Fort McMurray. He just bought a Harley. I fear that he’s is becoming hooked on the “big “paycheque.

When I think of Port Hawkesbury Paper, I see publically-owned future forests being trashed to subsidize company energy costs. I see government giving away Crown land wood for a pittance and ignoring the many other species that use old trees and dead tree habitats (that they eliminate).  Forests are being willfully degraded, with no thought for future generations like yours, for private profit. And the public subsidizes reforestation costs. Plantations have been called “permanent deforestation” (Bernd Heinrich).

I have spent 39 years attempting to restore a healthy forest on 56 acres of former farm land here at Pomquet. It’s a substantial investment of time and money to bring a healthy forest back. Clearcutting takes away future seed sources. I thought that single-minded forestry was a thing of the past. Instead it remains a focus and the ecological degradation of the land continues. We have corporate-run politicians.

What will be left for you younger folk?

With all good wishes,

Bob

++++
July 25th, 2014, email
From: Leah Noble
To: Bob Bancroft

Hi Bob,

Thanks for taking the time to write me back. It’s a difficult thing, staying positive and encouraged in the world we live in today! Especially when you care so much about the natural world. I definitely struggle with it.

I’d love to do a post on my blog, sharing a few photos of your woodlot in Antigonish, as well as the following paragraphs you wrote in the email:

“When I think of Port Hawkesbury Paper, I see publically-owned future forests being trashed to subsidize company energy costs. I see government giving away Crown land wood for a pittance and ignoring the many other species that use old trees and dead tree habitats (that they eliminate).  Forests are being willfully degraded, with no thought for future generations like yours, for private profit. And the public subsidizes reforestation costs. Plantations have been called “permanent deforestation” (Bernd Heinrich). 

I have spent 39 years attempting to restore a healthy forest on 56 acres of former farm land here at Pomquet. It’s a substantial investment of time and money to bring a healthy forest back. Clearcutting takes away future seed sources. I thought that single-minded forestry was a thing of the past. Instead it remains a focus and the ecological degradation of the land continues. We have corporate-run politicians. 

What will be left for you younger folk?”

Would you be interested?
Leah

++++

Aug 21st, 2014, email
From: Bob Bancroft
To: Leah Noble

Leah,

Because of some quirk that seems to happen too often, I received your email but could not reply while I was on the Saint John River with my boat (and laptop) over the past month. I’ve been home for a few days and am catching up on my tower.

Yes, if you wish to put my thoughts on your blog, please do so. And I will send a few woodlot pic’s for you to consider. Some are well-sized because of the writing I do, so I will send one or two at a time and see what happens.

Should be up to Baddeck with family again over Thanksgiving. Will stop into the marina to ask if you are around.

With all good wishes,

Bob

++++

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Aug. 25th, 2014
From: Leah Noble
To: Bob Bancroft

Those are beautiful! Thanks so much!!

++++

Sep. 24th, 2014
From: Leah Noble
To: Bob Bancroft

Hi Bob!

I’m planning to run the piece about you and your woodlot on Wednesday of next week. I’ve been thinking about showing our whole correspondence, both my letters and yours. I think it would be a neat way to present the info we’re dealing with, as well as inspire other young people to reach out to more experienced professionals that they admire. Would you be comfortable with that, with my posting our correspondence?

Leah

++++

Sep. 24th, 2014
From: Bob Bancroft
To: Leah Noble

Hi Leah,
I trust your judgement on this. Go ahead!

With all good wishes,
Bob

++++

Bob Bancroft and his wife Alice Reed have long been local heroes of mine for their devotion to the natural world, and to living creative lives in sync with it. You can read an article Bob wrote in the Chronicle Herald in 2012 here.

For more information on owning woodlots, check out the Federation of Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners’ website or the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association.

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This entry was posted in Day to Day Life, Environment, Outdoors, Sustainability and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Letters with Bob Bancroft

  1. sherrydramsey says:

    So jealous that you know Bob Bancroft! I’ve been a secret “fan” of his for years. 🙂 Lovely post and pictures!

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