Second Level Assessment- Current Impacts
Agriculture is the dominant non-forest land use within the Pollett River watershed There are four working dairy farms in the watershed, and numerous hobby farms (Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance 2009), such that the watershed as a whole can be described as (aside from its 90% forest cover) 3% row crops and grains, 1.1% pastureland, and 1% blueberry fields. The uppermost reaches of the watershed are restricted to scattered blueberry fields. Just a little further downstream is the town of Elgin, still fairly high up within the watershed. None-the-less, well over half of the cultivated land (primarily crops and grains) found in the Pollett River valley lays in a broad band several kilometers immediately to the east or west of the Elgin town site (Figure 4).
As one continues downstream below Elgin, agriculture largely disappears for about 14 km until one nears the community of Pollett River, where the 905 is met by Parkindale Rd in the south and Sanatorium Rd further downstream to the north. Here, immediately along the river is some pasture land, and to a lesser extent crops and grains. Along Parkindale Rd, in the eastern portion of the watershed is a the Parkindale Seed Orchard operated by J.D. Irving Limited (JDI) produces up to 50 million seeds a year for use in its industrial tree nurseries, which then supply seedlings to its tree planting programs on land it manages across Atlantic Canada.
Below the point where Sanatorium Rd crosses onto the east side of the river, production begins to transition into primarily crops and grains. There are numerous scattered small fields along a narrow corridor between the Pollett River and Sanatorium Rd, mostly within about a kilometer of the river. This pattern continues even as the road network becomes more complex down near the confluence of the river with the Petitcodiac near Salisbury, increasing in density the closer one gets to the Pollett River’s mouth.