CBC News — Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin says action related to the Lahey report on forestry could come as soon as this fall, but any changes requiring legislation won’t be introduced until at least the spring.

Acording to a report by CBC News, Rankin has yet to provide an in-depth response to the recommendations the president of University of King’s College delivered last month, and that didn’t change during an interview Wednesday.

The minister said his department is still going through the report and considering the recommendations, which include a drastic reduction in the amount of clear cutting on Crown land. Rankin said he accepts “the premise that we could do more for ecological-based forestry.”

“We’re not really prepared to say which recommendations we will fully accept but in general we do accept the spirit of the report.”

What is clear, said Rankin, is the need to have a sustainable, healthy forest. He said that needs to be the lens through which everything is considered. Finding a way to balance the desires and needs of the industry with those of small woodlot owners and environmentalists will be one of the key challenges facing the minister.

“At this point we can’t really say what impact, if any, it will have on industry, but certainly the practices in how we manage our forests could change,” said Rankin.

The executive director of Forest Nova Scotia, which represents industry members ranging from some of the biggest mills in the province right down to small woodlot owners, said he and his agency continue to evaluate what the proposed changes could mean in practical terms. Rankin said a more thorough response to the report would come later this year.