NSWOOA Update 14: May 2008

Above: Members of NWOOA and Nagaya Forest Restoration Ltd. learn how to take high-value sawlogs out of the firewood pile on an FSC-certified woodlot belonging to NSWOOA director George Johnson in Cumberland County. Photo courtesy George Johnson.

Hello Woodlot Owners!

Should Have Been

For those of you who are of a certain age, one of the textbooks you might have studied in school is the American novel The Great Gatsby. The narrator of that novel is Nick Carroway, and the subject of his writing is the tragic life of Jay Gatsby. Gatsby, as he was called, was not a woodlot owner, but he should have been. He had the basic necessary qualities. In Chapter 1, Nick explains his reason for writing the novel. Whereas others may have seen Gatsby as a fake, a failure, a loser or at best a dreamer, Nick sees in him the capacity of infinite hope. This hope is almost a faith-like experience, and the narrator's choice of The Great Gatsby as a title refers to the magnificence of this infinite hope.

That of course makes both characters, Nick and Gatsby, prime candidates to be woodlot owners. What quality do we have if not that same capacity for infinite hope? Woodlot owners plant trees, thin stands, prune crop trees, and make investments for the benefit of future generations. They wait for nature to respond. They wait for the public and industry to respond. They have faith in what they do. Somewhere, someday down the track all this work, worry and patience will pay off. What quality is this then, if not that of infinite hope?

Big Event: May 31 Mill Tour

Please let us know your intentions.

NSWOOA members are invited on May 31 to attend a tour of 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 presentations. Dinner will be provided. Please phone or email your response now.

The Elmsdale Lumber Company specializes in high-quality lumber products, and 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 how many to prepare for, we are requesting that interested members contact us by email or by phone (902-633-2108). Memberships will be available on site.

A Minute of Silence

We have received word that John B. Dechman of Upper Musquodoboit has passed away. John served as President of the NSWOOA and as President of the Scott Suppliers Division of the NSWOOA.

John will be remembered by NS woodlot owners and operators as having generously given his time and energy to improve the financial lot of members of our Division and the woodlot owners of Nova Scotia in general.

Throughout our 38 years the work of the NSWOOA has been conducted by selfless investment of time and talent by many people, and John Dechman is one of those who carried his share of the load. We are greatly in his debt for his many contributions.

Our deepest sympathies are extended to his family. We count ourselves among his friends who grieve his loss.

Outreach Project

Patricia Amero and company report excellent success with their educational events to promote and explain uneven-aged forest management and Category Seven Quality Improvement Silviculture techniques. Participants seem pleased with the information package, the presentations and the woodlot sessions. The Uneven-Aged Management Project can be reached by phone (902-673-2278) or email.

Voluntary Planning Presentation: Urgent

The first Voluntary Planning sessions have been held and the news in not good. Reports indicate that attendance at the meetings has been dominated by industry spokespeople, their contractors and organizations. Comments from participants so far assure the Committee that present policies are sustainable and even a bit too restrictive. Public participation and the voice of woodlot owners has not been heard as yet.

Make sure you and your neighbors get out to the meetings. Numbers count, and so do your comments .

Members who attended the Annual General Meeting expressed a desire to view the revised Voluntary Planning Submission. It is now posted on our website.

All members are encouraged to attend one of the VP public meetings in their area. If there is an issue, a vision, a recommendation you will have the opportunity to express it. Weight of numbers counts.

You may also pass in written submissions at the meetings, or email them directly to Voluntary Planning.

See the column to your left for a list of community meetings being sponsored by Voluntary Planning.

Legacy Trees

An excerpt from Restoring the Acadian Forest by Jamie Simpson, p. 51, used with permission.

[When selective harvesting] identify and leave legacy trees. Legacy or 'full cycle' trees are large healthy dominant trees that are allowed to grow old and die. Alive they provide structural diversity and a rain of genetically fit seed; once dead, they provide cavity nest sites while standing and a source of large deadwood when they fall.

Lines of Communication

Members are encouraged to contact the Board of Directors, the Executive and other members through our email address (http://mail.google.com/mail/h/s5hc6vl43p5o/?v=b&cs=wh&to=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: http://www.nswooa.ca/