NSWOOA Update, September 2007

This update can be emailed to members who request it.

Hello, woodlot owners,

Woodlot owners are probably familiar with the Biblical quote "for everything there is a season." Working outdoors and close to nature, we are perhaps more sensitive to the changing seasons. While some larger land owners work all year round in the woods, for many others autumn is time to think about going back to the woods again. Time to check the management plan, the markets and maybe tune up the equipment. Of course woodlot owners don't have only four seasons; we also have two mud seasons, blueberry season, Christmas tree season, hunting season, maple syrup season, road closure season, black fly season, and so on. Nothing's ever simple, is it?

Voluntary Planning
The NSWOOA has received a request for representation on the Voluntary Planning Board that will conduct the public hearings on forest strategies. This important job is time consuming, but very necessary. Are there any members who would consider taking it on? Contact us ASAP.

Meanwhile, I am pleased to pass along the following information received from Rita Frasier, Project Coordinator for Voluntary Planning:

As you may know, the Voluntary Planning Board of the provincial government has been asked by the Department of Natural Resources to undertake a citizen engagement process in 2008 that will provide the foundation for a departmental strategy covering minerals, forests, parks and biodiversity. As a first step, Voluntary Planning is about to begin recruiting volunteers to participate on a Project Committee that will lead the process.

Ads seeking expressions of interest to participate on the Project Committee will appear in newspapers around the province and on Eastlink cable tv between Sept. 8 and Sept. 22. Expressions of interest will be received until October 1, 2007.

Terms of Reference for the Project Committee are available on our website at www.gov.ns.ca/vp.

Woodlot Owner Representative Named
NSWOOA Director Austin Parsons has agreed to represent NSWOOA members on the committee that oversees administration and distribution of the new Section 7C funds. Insuring that members understand how to access these funds is very important. Only by demonstrating that there is a demand for funds that promote uneven-age multi-species forest management will we ensure that funds continue to be made available.

Many thanks to Vice-President Ken MacRury, who represented us on this committee so far. If you want to learn more about these funds, contact us at our email address, nswooa@gmail.ca.

NS DNR Field Days
This month NS DNR will be sponsoring three field days in honor of Woodlot Owner of the Year winners. On the days of these events, there will be signs to help you locate these woodlots.

On Sept. 15, a field day will be held on the property of regional winners Bob Bancroft and Alice Reed of Pomquet Harbour, Antigonish County. Bob is a biologist, retired from DNR and the Dept. of Fisheries, and is well known to Nova Scotians from his appearances as a wildlife expert on the CBC. He writes, "We have a great deal of information about the woodlot that I could share. The land was cleared--even a wooded swamp converted to pasture--and then abandoned. It subsequently regenerated in pioneer species that were too thick. I have been thinning and using the overstory to restore shade-tolerant Acadian forest terrestrial and aquatic habitats now for 32 years. Last year I spent more than $3,000 on trees, wire, and stakes. Fortunately there were relics. We have used that and climate change to guide the restoration. ... As a member of NSWOOA, I invite other members to see what we have been doing." Bob has also scheduled an extra program at 3 pm, following the official DNR-sponsored event, in which he and NSWOOA board member Minga O'Brien, from the Ecology Action Centre's Standing Tall Campaign for Environmentally Responsible Forestry, will lead a tour. For additional information about Bob and Alice's woodlot, see the DNR website. To get there, follow Highway 104 east past Antigonish approximately 2 km east of Exit 35 to Taylor road, and turn left. Travel 5 km to Monks Head road and turn left again. Travel for 2 km, and look for house #15 on the left.

On Sept. 22, there will be a field day on the property of regional winner Brian W. Brown of Oxford, Cumberland County, who retired 13 years ago from a long career as a conservation officer with DNR. According to the DNR website, he maintains 14 woodlots for multiple forest values, including maple syrup production, shiitake mushrooms, Christmas trees, water protection and quality, wildlife habitat, timber production, and recreation. He has planted more than 600,000 seedlings on his woodlands and encourages the use of his woodlands by others for recreational uses. Take Trans-Canada Hwy 104 from Truro, 73 km to Exit 6 (toward Rte 321). At the top of Exit 6, turn left onto Rte 301 (River Phillip Rd). After 11 km on Rte 301, turn right at Windham Hill Rd. After 7 km on Windham Hill Rd, turn left onto woodlot road and proceed to Brian's woodlot gate.

On Sept. 29, there will be a field day on the property of provincial winners Kevin and Susan Veinotte of Bridgewater, Lunenberg County. According to the DNR website, "The family owns a 170 ha (about 420 acres) woodlot that has had a long history through 7 generations. ...Thoughtful stewardship of the land through previous generations has led to a primary uneven aged Acadian Forest. As a result, multiple forest values have been maintained over time including high quality timber, wildlife habitat, water quality, aesthetics, recreational opportunities, spiritual aspects of nature and many more. Kevin has great appreciation and respect for his land. His management philosophy, as written in his forest management plan, '… is to have the condition of his woodlot in good or better shape than it is at present, and to ensure the forests' value, yield, multiple benefits are sustained for his children'. " The woodlot has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council since 2004. The farm and woodlot are located in West Northfield, approximately 7 km north of Bridgewater on the Mossman Rd about 1 km off the #10 hwy. Take Exit 12 off the 103 hwy and turn right at the lights.

NSWOOA members extend a hearty congratulations to these woodlot owners and extend our best wishes for very successful field days.

Darn ... It's Cancelled
We are very sorry to announce that the planned crop tree management seminar that was to have been led by Wade Prest has had to be cancelled. With so many forestry-related activities scheduled this autumn, there was no possible way to slot it in. Heavy work commitments are keeping Wade quite busy, plus he is representing us at the EAC-sponsored Acadian Forest Science Conference in New Brunswick. See "Coming Events" on the left-hand side of this page and the conference website for details on this important coming event.

Wishing Good Health and Quick Recoveries
We have learned that NSWOOA member Bill "Nagaya" MacKay was scheduled for an operation on September 5. Bill promotes the FSC certification of private woodlots and has been a frequent presenter at NSWOOA functions. We wish Bill a speedy recovery.

NSWOOA member and former secretary Pam Langille is fighting lung cancer. She indicates that the doctors have detected it in its early stages and she is in treatment, with every sign of a successful recovery. Pam, get well soon.

Lines of Communication
Members are encouraged to contact the Board of Directors, the Executive, and other members through our email address ( nswooa@gmail.com) or by phone (902-633-2108). Please feel free to use these methods to keep us informed of what is going on in your woodlot and in your community or area. We try to keep you informed through email updates, newsletters and mail outs, our column in Atlantic Forestry Review, the Annual General Meeting and this website.

Paul Brison

Looking for earlier updates?

August, 2007

July, 2007

June, 2007

May, 2007