NSWOOA Update 13

NSWOOA members gathered for our Annual General Meeting in Great Village on April 12. Above, President Lorne Burrows welcomes the group. For additional photos, see below.

Hello Woodlot Owners!

Ssssshhhhhh! Quiet. Just listen.

There's something to be said for increasing your ability to learn by closing your mouth and being still, as all good teachers have pointed out to unruly classes throughout the ages. In that context, more or less, Nagaya Forestry requires each management plan in its group to declare a quiet time when the woodlot owner is still and listens. Many of these plans, it turns out, list the spring as the chosen time of year for this learning experience. Seems reasonable, doesn't it? Spring is a time of rebirth, a time of awe and inspiration. Those who find a spiritual element in the forests are more likely to find it under these conditions.

It is the practice of some to take a few quiet moments throughout any day in the woods. Sometimes there is something to listen to: the animals. insects, or even the wind. Occasionally there is complete silence. And occasionally, speaking from experience, even the voices inside one's own head are still. These are precious moments. Sometimes they lead to a moment of insight, or a gradual understanding. Occasionally too they lead to a moment of contented drowsiness. Either way, you, the woodlot owner, are the richer for the experience.

Early Notice: Mill Tour

Here's early warning, in time for you to circle your calendar in red so you will not miss a very interesting event. NSWOOA members are invited on May 31 to tour the Elmsdale Lumber Mill. The morning will involve a tour of the yard and the mill, and information sessions by mill personnel. The afternoon will involve a tour of a company operated woodlot. Lunch will be provided. Details to follow.

The Elmsdale Lumber Company specializes in high quality lumber produces, and it aims to produce the highest quality lumber in the province. This fits nicely with the concept that the NSWOOA has been promoting lately, that of producing high-quality logs through selection management, crop tree pruning and crop tree release.

In order to know haw many to prepare for, we are requesting that interested members contact us by email (nswooa@gmail.com) or by phone (902-633-2108).

Were You There?

It was quite an annual general meeting this year! There was much enthusiasm in the room and many, many ideas shared.

Above, Registered Professional Forester Patricia Amero of Picea Forestry Consulting reports to the group on the success of the Outreach Project that the NSWOOA is conducting under a contract with the Association for Sustainable Forestry. Funding for this project is provided by the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resource. Below, the Outreach Project has taken this display, hand-made by newly elected NSWOOA board member Sandy Hyde, to Woodlot Owner Conferences and other woodlot-owner meetings all over the province.

Patricia Amero of Picea Forestry Consulting presented a report on the Uneven-Aged Management Outreach Project that Picea is doing together with the NSWOOA. She summarized the features of the program, and outlined accomplishments to date. The project seems to be going very well and is on schedule. There are already about 250 woodlot owners in the database and more taking the survey every day. Read about the educational sessions below. Space is limited and pre-registration is required, so get in touch with the Outreach Project soon if you want to attend.

Above, NSWOOA Director Austin Parsons takes notes during his presentation on the Board's proposed submission to Voluntary Planning.

Director Austin Parsons presented the Board's proposed Voluntary Planning submission. It was in four parts. The first discussed forest diversity and healthy ecosystems as the basis of a diversified forest product industry. Diversity means sustainability and flexibility, whereas one product means rigidity and lack of sustainability. The second part dealt with the need for simplification and standardization in the industry. It would be much easier if all mills described their specifications in the same terms, and used the same criteria and paperwork for their Registered Buyer funds. The third section dealt with viewing woodlot owners as entrepreneurs who manage legitimate businesses. How can the business owners gain control of the resource? The final section was the recommendations and actions needed to bring about desired change.
Comments were vigorous and extremely helpful to the Board for their final revision. The presentation drew many compliments from those attending.

Lunch was followed by a lively panel discussion of "Hot Topics" such as Acadian Forest Restoration, biomass production, and global climate change. Below, NSWOOA President Lorne Burrows and Past President Tom Miller were among those who spoke during this discussion.

Lorne Burrows

Tom Miller

Cause to Celebrate

Three new directors were chosen for the NSWOOA board at the AGM: Tony Phillips, Sandy Hyde, and Kermit DeGooyer. Congratulations and welcome aboard.

Category 7 Outreach Project

Our Uneven-Aged Management Outreach Project will be conducting workshops and field trips throughout the province in May and June.

Focused on selection management, crop tree release, and crop tree pruning (silviculture methods that help woodlot owners to grow high-value trees), these free workshops are scheduled as follows:
• May 3, Digby County, Richfield area
• May 10, Colchester County, Earltown area
• May 24, Queens County, North Brookfield area
• June 7, Victoria County, Middle River area
• June 14, Antigonish County, St. Joseph area

Space for the Uneven-Aged Management Project workshops is limited, and pre-registration is required. To register, please call 902-673-2278 or email outreach@asforestry.com

Old Fields

An excerpt from Jamie Simpson's new book Restoring the Acadian Forest, p. 93. Used with permission.
Years of agricultural use typically have changed the soil composition and structure of [old fields]…. Some sites have a soil condition known as hardpan, caused by decades of ploughing to the same depth and which limits proper drainage and rooting. Course woody debris and, in some cases, nutrients and organic soil matter are even lower than in recent clearcuts. Plants common in abandoned fields—known as pioneer species—are able to withstand poor conditions, so they play an important role in rejuvenating such sites. With time, fields that are not mowed will eventually fill with pioneer species. The early successional plants protect the soil from erosion, add nutrients, and build organic matter. They also add shade and increase moisture levels, creating suitable microclimates for later-successional species and providing food and nesting sites for wildlife. Many of the pioneer trees grow fast and haverelatively short lives, so they provide a relatively quick source of standing and fallen deadwood. White spruce is a common component in this succession, along with species such as tamarack, white birch, poplar, cherry, alder and willow.
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 or, for member services, 902-673-3009). Please feel free to use these methods to keep us informed of what is going on in your woodlot or in your community or area. We try to keep you informed through these updates, newsletters and mail outs, our column in Atlantic Forestry Review, the Annual General Meeting, and this website.