NSWOOA Update 15: June/July 2008

The photo above and others used with this update were taken during the NSWOOA members' tour of Elmsdale Lumber Company on May 31. 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. All photos courtesy Jack McLellan. Thanks Jack, and thanks to Elmsdale Lumber for hosting this great day.

Hello Woodlot Owners!

Round and Round in a Circle

How did the Voluntary planning session go in your area? This round of hearings is done now. If you were connected to one of several groups following each meeting you received reports on most of the meetings. There seems to have been good attendance with some predictable features at each meeting: industry stating that all is good, its practices based on science and sustainability; members of the public expressing distaste for clearcutting, etc. Everyone complained that there was insufficient time to do a meaningful job, that 30 seconds was more of a poll of opinions and just a bit paternalistic. Most participants were very enthusiastic and assertive of their opinions, ready do go deeper, to make specific suggestions as to regulations, structure and objectives. And many would very much like to be more deeply and meaningfully involved. Woodlot owners made their views known as well, and many had great ideas, and knew of working models of forest management they recommended. As well, local participation focused on local issues. In some sites, for example, the need to ban uranium exploration and mining was at least as popular a position as the no clearcutting stance. For all those who wish to contribute more, to discuss in depth, or to promote their concepts of forestry, the most significant way to have input now seems to be to submit your presentations to the Voluntary Planning website for posting. Submit your material to volplan@gov.ns.ca and read others' submissions at: https://vp.gov.ns.ca/projects/resources/getinvolved/results

What is to come of all of this? Will all these presentations mean any significant improvements? We don't know. What is your opinion? What next?

Uneven-Aged Management Outreach Project

The Uneven-Aged Management Outreach Project has completed 5 workshops designed to educate woodlot owners about the Category 7 Quality Improvement Silviculture Program, which provides funding for crop tree release, crop tree pruning and selection management on qualifying woodlots. Topics covered during the workshops included how to do these treatments, which focus on growing high-value trees, and how to identify suitable sites for such treatments. The workshops were held all over the province and attracted approximately 200 woodlot owners. The workshops also received publicity in newspapers around the province and features on CBC Radio and CJFX in Antigonish. This publicity has helped bring public attention to uneven-aged management and the reasons to grow high value trees.

The Outreach Project has been such a success that the $443,000 originally set aside for Category 7 funding was allocated by the beginning of April, and there are indications that the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources may put additional money into the funding program this year. Next steps for the Project include a workshop designed specifically for contractors, visits to individual woodlots, and the writing of a report to be submitted to the Association for Sustainable Forestry and the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources.

The Uneven-Aged Management Outreach Project is administered by the ASF and is funded by NSDNR. NSWOOA is delivering the project in partnership with Picea Forestry Consulting.

Nontimber Forest Products

NSWOOA received a couple of emails from different sources about nontimber forest products. Here are the key points:
A summer student working at the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources is putting together a directory of producers of NTFPs in the Maritimes and Maine to be called From Our Atlantic Woods. The student's name is Sarah J. d'Appollonia and her email address is dapollsj@gov.ns.ca. The letter she distributed to the NSDNR list of woodlot owners is as follows:

"Dear Nova Scotian Woodlot Owner,

"I would like to inform you about the new non-timber forest products (NTFPs) directory; From Our Atlantic Woods. The Stewardship and Outreach Section of NS-DNR is partnering with various organizations in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and the state of Maine to develop the first NTFPs directory in the Atlantic region. The From Our Atlantic Woods directory seeks to facilitate the development of a vibrant, diverse, and sustainable NTFP industry in Atlantic Canada and Maine through the provision of tools allowing growers, producers, retailers and the general public access to critical information. Once the necessary information is compiled, the directory will be available in retail outlets as a published hard copy and online at http://www.ntfp.infor.ca/. Additional information such as, recipes, modern uses, and sustainable harvesting techniques will also be showcased in the directory.

"Listing your NTFP business in the directory is free of charge. However, you may wish to include a paid ad for additional exposure. The directory will provide listings for NTFP businesses throughout the Atlantic Provinces as well as the State of Maine.

"In order to be eligible to advertise your NTFP business in the directory you must meet several requirements. Requirements for the From Our Atlantic Woods directory are as follows:
  • producer/harvester/retailer/manufacturer/supplier of NTFP in the Atlantic Provinces or State of Maine
  • all listings must have a link to forestry
  • practice sustainable forestry on your woodlot
  • have "sale-ready" NTFPs
"Excluded from the From Our Woods directory are large scale, highly-organized NTFP industries.

"If you, or someone you know is interested in advertising a Nova Scotian NTFP business in the directory, please fill out the attached file: From Our Atlantic Woods. [Webmaster's note: Please email Ms. d'Appollonia for a copy of this form.] This PDF file requires "Adobe Acrobat" in order to open successfully. Once you have opened the file you may fill it out electronically if you have the appropriate Adobe add-ons. If not, you may print the form, fill it out, and kindly return it to the Stewardship and Outreach Section of NS-DNR by email, fax, or mail (listed below).
Stewardship and Outreach Section
Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 698 Halifax, NS B3J 2T9
Fax: (902) 424-7735
(902) 424-8116
"If you have any questions or comments concerning the From Our Atlantic Woods directory, or any woodlot related questions in general, please do not hesitate to contact me."

In addition, INFOR (the forestry information organization attached to the Maritime College of Forest Technology in Fredricton) now has a web page devoted to NTFPS. This is at http://www.infor.ca/?section=5

Finally, Natural Resources Canada has started a website on NTFPS and "innovative bioproducts" (including bioenergy). This can be found at http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/subsite/forest-bioproducts

Mycorrhizal Fungi

(Excerpted from Jamie Simpson's book Restoring the Acadian Forest: A Guide for Woodlot Owners in the Maritimes, P41. The book is due to be published in a month's time. Meanwhile Jamie is taking orders for the book at bocabec@gmail.com. The price will be $20, including shipping.)

Mycorrhizal fungi form large networks of root like structures, or mycelia, throughout the upper layers of forest soil. The mycelia grow into the roots of suitable plants, and thereby become an extension of a plant's own root system. In fact, these fungi are more efficient than the plants at extracting and transporting water and certain nutrients (such as phosphorous). Plants that are colonized by these fungi have better growth rates and are more resistant to environmental stresses, such as drought, cold and root diseases, than plants that do not share a relationship with mycorrhizal fungi.

Mill Tour

The Saturday May 31 tour of the Elmsdale Lumber Company grounds and mill went well. Ten mill workers came in to run the various machines and demonstrate the processes. The mill explained how Elmsdale Lumber trades on quality, and how it produces a mixture of products to a variety of markets as a strategy to survive and flourish in today's markets. Downey Thompson acted as host, and received a gift from the NSWOOA for his efforts. A notable addition to the tour was Austin Parson's architecture class from Dalhousie University. Many thanks to all involved in making the day such a success.

Breaking News

The Woodlot Owners of the Year winners are Russell McNally, the central and provincial winner in Greenfield, Colchester County; NSWOOA member Neal Livingston, Black River, Inverness County, Cape Breton in the East; and Royce Ford of Maitland, Queens County. Congratulations to all.

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.