The “Backlands”, located only a few kilometers from from peninsular Halifax, NS, are a Thompsonesque urban wilderness of approximately 1350 hectares which include nine lakes, hills with spectacular views and dozens of kilometers of informal hiking and biking trails. Erratic blocks, whalebacks and boulder fields are prominent features of the glacially scoured rocky landscape. It is also one of the most fire-susceptible landscapes in Nova Scotia, with recurrent fires pre-dating European settlement. One result is the presence of highly fire-adapted plant communities including the globally rare ‘Jack Pine/Broom Crowberry Barrens’.
David will describe the plant communities, their fire ecology, and discuss what’s involved in managing fire to conserve these ecosystems while at the same time protecting structures and people at the Urban-Wildland Interface.
For more about the area, visit www.backlandscoalition.ca.
David Patriquin, Professor of Biology at Dalhousie University (retired 2008) is involved in conservation-oriented activities with several local natural history, trail and environmental organizations.
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