NSWOOA Update: December

Photo by Flora Johnson

Christmas Wish
May you have a joyous and peaceful Christmas, and may you be richly blessed in the New Year.

From the Board of Directors of the NSWOOA

Hello Woodlot Owners,

The NSWOOA sometimes receives requests from university students who are looking for information to be used on school projects. Topics range from what restoration of the Acadian Forest means to low-impact forestry, and even to our views or policies on silviculture, market conditions, etc. So it was that we were not surprised when early in the spring of 2007 a young lady called the NSWOOA with a question about nontimber forest products. The student, from Newfoundland, was taking Environmental Studies at Dalhousie. She was surveying the Atlantic Provinces for a paper she was writing on nontimber forest products.

"What nontimber forest products do your members produce?" she wanted to know.

"Well, we don't have that information. We do not have a database of what each member produces and how much or how often. Maybe we should have but … We do know some products that various members produce, but we have no systematic or thorough records."

The young lady was disappointed, perhaps because the project was going to be harder than she had anticipated. She did seem pleased to know one member was making garden fixtures from willows, another was selling photos of woodland plants and landscapes, and still others were doing wreaths, mushrooms, and, yes, maple syrup. It would be interesting though to have a copy of her completed project.

Let us know of any interesting nontimber forest products you are involved with. Contact us by email or phone. Now read what NSWOOA Director Dave Parker has to say about this topic.

Nontimber Forest Products

By Dave Parker, Director NSWOOA

Many forest landowners have a growing interest in ways to diversify income from their lands without resorting to the now traditional clearcut even-aged model of forestry. The decades that are required to convert damaged stands to their Acadian Forest roots may mean a long period between paydays. Here are a few possibilities for producing income that do not require significant timber harvesting.

The options available to generate income can be divided into two categories: goods and services. Goods are the more traditional items and generally have established markets and pricing. They also will likely have more competition in the marketplace. These include fir brush for Christmas wreaths , swags, etc., and of course maple products if your holdings have suitable stands. Rustic furniture made from excess young growth is in growing demand and really is only limited by one's imagination and talents. Stout walking sticks for hikers and gardeners as well as the traditional rustic canes also have some market. An unusual forest "product" that has enjoyed some past success is the sale of chanterelle mushrooms which grow abundantly in some forest types in wet seasons like 2007. For those more agriculturally inclined, there are several types of fungi that cannot be grown domestically. They must be grown on decaying hardwood stumps or logs. I suspect this would be both an interesting and challenging way to market low-grade poplar logs being remove from regenerating sites. Finally, if you live near an urban center, there is some market for tree and shrub seedlings. These may be transplanted to containers as wildlings or they may be grown from seed. The increasing awareness of climate change and all things natural bodes well for the future of this market.

The sale of services by landowners is certainly less well established and yet may now offer more potential than the sale of goods. As our society becomes more urbanized and ever busier the peace and solitude that many of us treasure in our woodlands are becoming a marketable service. Possibilities here include the leasing of camp lots to other users or the construction and monthly rental of facilities. Facilities can range from the most rustic camps to elaborate chalets. Potential clients include snowmobilers, hikers, birdwatchers, hunters, cross country skiers, and people who just want to get away from it all. One can tailor their business to the nature of the property as well as the type of clientele they wish to do business with.

Several landowners in my area are awaiting the development of wind energy turbines on their lands. These turbines involve an access road and a relatively small footprint for the tower while leaving the remaining area free to grow forest. This idea, however, is not compatible with the one discussed in the previous paragraph!

Finally, although our woodlands provide the essential services of purifying our air and filtering our water, we cannot yet sell this service. In the near future, however, landowners who commit their forests to long term sustainable Acadian Forests may get paid for sequestering carbon. This will be a vital component in the battle against global warming. I suspect that small landowners will need to band together to provide a larger unit to interest large corporations who need to purchase carbon credits. Yet another good reason to belong to NSWOOA.

Breaking News

By Flora Johnson, NSWOOA member services coordinator
The Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association has great news for woodlot owners and contractors. We will soon be promoting uneven-aged management throughout the province, thanks to a contract we were awarded by the Association for Sustainable Forestry. This outreach campaign, which begins in January and continues through the summer, will include informational materials and educational programs that will be offered free all over the province. Some woodlot owners and contractors will even have the opportunity to receive free site visits and consultations from NSWOOA members.

This outreach project is taking place under a contract NSWOOA was awarded by the ASF in a competitive process, with funding for the project coming from the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources. Many of the services will be delivered by Picea Forestry Consulting and Woodlot Management of Bridgewater, NS, which consists of NSWOOA members Patricia Amero, a Registered Professional Forester, and Sandy Hyde, Forest Technician. Other NSWOOA members will also be assisting as needed.

During this campaign, we hope to collect information from woodlot owners and contractors for use in preparing a report for ASF and NSDNR outlining challenges that may be preventing woodlot owners and contractors from engaging in uneven-aged management. This report will also recommend improvements in the Category 7 funding program, which provides support for silviculture techniques that are consistent with uneven-aged management ( i.e., selection management, crop tree release, and crop tree pruning). We'll be talking to woodlot owners and contractors both one on one and in discussion groups during our educational programs, and we will also be asking woodlot owners and contractors to help us by completing a short survey. Those who complete the survey will be entered in a prize draw, with several prizes to be awarded this coming fall.

You can find out more about this campaign by calling the project telephone number (902-673-2278) after January 1, writing to the project email address (outreach@asforestry.com), or visiting the project website. Please help us by contacting us and completing our survey!
Information about other NSWOOA programs is available at this website, from our email address (nswooa@gmail.com), or by calling ( 902) 633-2108.

Christmas Quiz

Every interest group has its own jargon, and woodlot owners are no different. Indeed, it's hard for a civilian to understand two woodlot owners in conversation because of all the terms, acronyms, and abbreviations. To test your knowledge of N.S. woodlot-owner jargon, identify thesefollowing terms (answers below):

  1. ASF

  2. EAC

  3. FPANS

  4. GPS

  5. FSC

  6. rS

  7. AFR

  8. Neenah

  9. CFS

  10. FPFANS

  11. PCT

  12. NFA

  13. CPAWS

  14. NSSA

  15. VP

  16. CWSD

  17. CFIA

  18. Nagaya

  19. AAC

  20. NSDNR
Christmas Quiz Answers

  1. ASF: Association for Sustainable Forestry (the agency that administers forest sustainability funds for registered buyers who do not have their own programs)

  2. EAC: Ecology Action Center

  3. FPANS: Forest Products Association of Nova Scotia

  4. GPS: Global Positioning System (used in plotting woodlot treatments)

  5. FSC: Forest Stewardship Council (the agency that certifies forest-management practices)

  6. rS: Red Spruce, our provincial tree

  7. AFR: Atlantic Forestry Review

  8. Neenah: the pulp mill at Abercrombie

  9. CFS: Canadian Forest Service, a Federal agency

  10. RPFANS: Registered Professional Foresters Association of Nova Scotia (credentials)

  11. PCT: precommercial thinning

  12. NFA: Nova Forest Alliance (Nova Scotia's Model Forest)

  13. CPAWS: Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

  14. NSSA: Nova Scotia Salmon Association (woodlot owners are not the only ones concerned with the forest's health)

  15. VP: Voluntary Planning (the organization which will conduct the forest strategy review in Nova Scotia)

  16. CWSD: Central Wood Supply Division (the now dormant division of the NSWOOA that marketed pulp in Central Nova Scotia)

  17. CFIA: Canadian Food Inspection Agency ( the federal agency behind the brown longhorn bark beetle exclusion zone)

  18. Nagaya: Bill McKay's company that through Smartwood provides FSC certification to woodlot owners.

  19. AAC: Annual Allowable Cut

  20. NSDNR: Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources


16-20: Excellent. Consider a Directorship in the NSWOOA.
12-15: You're up on your lingo.
8-11: A brush up would be a good idea.
0-8: Better shut off the chain saw and study the literature.

Check This Out

Director Gerald Romsa suggests that we all should read a November 30 Globe and Mail article available online. Titled "It Ain't Easy," the six-page article by Konrad Yakabuski deals with the worldwide market in forest products and compares our own products and producers with the competition. Stora Enso in Canada is related to Stora in Finland. A warning is appropriate: If you already have high blood pressure or are suffering stress, you may want to avoid this article.

Some points made can be quite disturbing; for example, the author writes, "Content for decades to send low-value-added lumber and paper products to a hungry U.S. market, and encouraged by government policy to maximize jobs in far-flung mill towns, our companies long ignored the need to innovate and modernize. We are now left with the most unproductive forest products sector in the developed world, unprepared to contend with either new competition from developing countries or a weak U.S. dollar."

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, in your community, or in your area. We try to keep you informed through these updates, newsletters and mail outs, our Contact item in Atlantic Forestry Review, the Annual General Meeting, and this website.

Paul Brison
NSWOOA Secretary