About Us

Who We Are


The Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association was founded in 1998 by a group of concerned citizens who support a vision of sustainable forest practices. Members of ESFWA understand that humans are but one of hundreds of species in any region, each of which is important in its own right as an integral part of the ecological web.
Members include established Eastern Shore families and new residents, woodlot owners, foresters, business owners and professionals, teenagers and octogenarians, all deeply concerned about the health and future of our forests and wild lands.
Simply stated, we address local environmental issues as they emerge, with reasoned argument and passion for the Earth.

What We Do


  • Encourage legislation which mandates the highest standards for forest practices on public and private land
  • Sponsor public education events to underline the vital links between healthy forests, clean air, clean water and healthy rural communities
  • Advocate for more protected wild lands in Nova Scotia
  • Participate as active members in the Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest, located in Mooseland -- an experiment in innovative, ecologically-sustainable forestry


  • Creation of Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest -- beginning 2010
  • Designation of Ship Harbour Long Lake Wilderness Area in 2009 - championed for over a decade by ESFWA
  • Honour in the Woods -- an ESFWA-produced film on local, low-impact alternatives to industrial forestry
  • Development of the Forestry Directory:  Resources for Woodland Owners -- 2008
  • Public education surrounding environmental impacts of mining
  • Ecology Action Centre's Sunshine Award (2009) given to a group who has made a particularly effective effort on an environmental issue in Nova Scotia
  • Nova Scotia Environmental Network's Langille Honour in the Woods Award  (2009) given to a group who has worked hard to preserve and protect Nova Scotia's rich biodiversity

We Need Your Help

Rescued deer released in SHLL Wilderness area

Becoming a member is your opportunity to support and sustain our work.  The more paid-up members in Forest Watch, the more influence we have with our elected officials.  It's as simple as that.
We keep our membership fees very low because we value inclusiveness.  ESFWA has always been blessed with generous donations, both monetary and in-kind, from our dedicated volunteers. They have contributed thousands of pages of printing and photocopying, driven hundreds of kilometers to attend meetings (paying for their own gas), and provided much-needed refreshments at crucial times without seeking reimbursement. 
Forest Watch is a very frugal organization - which is a good thing because fund-raising is not our strong suit!   When given the choice of devoting our energies to doing our environmental work or to raising money for it, the dedication to the environment wins hands-down.  But the more we are, the more we can do.  Join us now!


Volunteers are Forest Watch's lifeblood. On this page, we celebrate the lives of people who worked long and hard for Forest Watch. Though they are no longer with us, we remember them with love and affection.

Henry Cragin Burrows
Henry_Burrows.jpgMusician, Episcopal priest and teacher, with omnivorous curiosity about the world, Hank's life was interrupted while he was busy with project ideas to enhance his Clam Harbour home and garden, where he had lived in joy with Barbara for over 25 years.  Although legally blind for nearly a decade he remained passionately involved in music, a generous teacher and an eternally ardent student, especially of organ and choral music.  He worked tirelessly to restore his tiny corner of the Acadian forest,  to foster respect for our fragile planet, to rebuild his beloved Haiti, and to promote intelligent, visionary and humane leadership in all spheres.
Hank built his soul with joy, love, beauty and music.  He left an enduring musical legacy on the Eastern Shore, the gift of Musical Friends, our community chorus founded in 1985.   He also left his musical mark in Haiti, where he founded a children's choir which soon attracted an international reputation.   For over half a century Les Petits Chanteurs has made music and helped to educate the choristers, lifting countless families out of poverty.  He would urge his choruses, and everybody else,  to sing until they vibrated with joy.
Hank took delight in the blessings of this world, good food and wine, great art and architecture, beautiful landscapes and wonderful gardens.  In his own garden he cherished the "volunteers" just as much as the plants he chose with such care.  He marveled at the texture of stone, wood and fabric, delighted in the miracles of daisies, irises and chickadees, clouds, ocean waves, sunsets and meteor showers.  He knew  how to lift his eyes from pedestrian reality and really see the awesome beauty of this world.
Hank learned about peak oil from one of his remarkable high school teachers - in 1939! - and it was a lesson that  informed his life.  He saw first-hand the catastrophe of deforestation in Haiti.   In New York in 1969 he started a newspaper recycling program.  As a member of Forest Watch he  wrote many thunderous, prophetic letters to the editor, never missing an opportunity to speak out strongly to protect our precious earth.  He knew that it is good to plant trees that we will never sit under. 
Hank revelled in a  passion for creative ritual.  He celebrated large and small occasions with exuberant delight.  He taught the ancient tradition of feasting and fasting, with his personal emphasis on feasting.  Every occasion had its music and its feast.  He introduced his family of heart to the liturgical octave, a concept which extends the celebration of a major feast (such as a birthday) for at least eight days; longer if an extended octave is required to fit in all the festivities.  He  enjoyed playfulness and eccentricities, announcing when he reached the age of 85, that he was now to be called "Ancient of Days."  Although his physical eyesight failed, his soul's vision never did.
Hank was on a lifelong quest for spiritual wholeness.  He  rejoiced in experiencing this world as fluid vibrations rather than solid matter.   He was curious about death and prepared to greet it as the next adventure.   When he left this plane of reality on November 28, 2010 he bequeathed to us his enduring hope in the potential of human beings to become truly enlightened, so that we would love one another, and protect  our  glorious Earth.          See full obituary ...

Joyce LaChanceJoyceLaChance.JPG
Chief Seattle once said, "Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together -- all things connect. "
Joyce LaChance understood this connectedness. All her life she collected unusual objects and eclectic pieces of inspirational writing which she linked to her life and shared in ingenious ways with those around her. She drew inspiration from connections, especially those in nature.
Joyce attended the founding meeting of the Eastern Shore Forest Watch back in 1998, driven by her enormous love and passion for the natural world. This passion kept her central to the operation of Forest Watch until her passing in 2005. She cared deeply for her community, and for the land where she raised her amazing family.
Joyce saw the big picture and worked in myriad ways at affecting change. She always had petition in her pocket, and when Joyce asked in her own special way for a signature, many people signed. She constantly engaged people in discussion, one on one, to explore the issues dear to her. Her ability to reach out and make personal connections, whether door to door, sitting at a table, or attending endless meetings, has contributed hugely to the increased awareness and appreciation for our forests that is taking place on the Shore today.
Finding ways to protect Ship Harbour Long Lake from clear cutting and development was central to her activist work. That that land is now a protected wilderness area has much to do with foundational work Joyce contributed. Joyce was also a long-time active member of the Trails Association, giving steady and committed care to the Musquodoboit Trail. She had a vision of an international environmental learning centre based on the Eastern Shore... she would be thrilled at what is happening at The Old School and The Deanery Project.
Joyce had a name that begins with "joy." Joy in life is part of her legacy to us, along with the strength, creativity, and passion that filled her heart.

Our Location

Website updated 16 September 2016
EasternShore Forest Watch Association:  info@forestwatch.ca
General Delivery, Head of Jeddore, Nova Scotia, B0J 1P0, Canada