NSWOOA Update 22: March 2009

In this issue
Notice of Annual General Meeting
Tentative agenda for AGM
The fall field day
Advertise your business or sell products at the AGM
Restoring the Acadian Forest will be available at the AGM
What is ecosystem-based forest management?
NSWOOA Past Presidents featured in Atlantic Forestry
How to reach us

Hello Woodlot Owners!

One sermon preachers of every stripe have close at hand is their “Why Go To Church Sermon.” They pull it out and use it whenever they can. If you do go to church you probably have heard it there, and if the padre has visited your home, you may well have heard part of this sermon in the comfort of your own residence. Without going into the religious side of it, the fact is that it is easier and more fulfilling being a member of a group of like-minded individuals who encourage and nurture their common values. Well, it is the same for woodlot owners.

No, really. We don’t join an organization and go its annual general meeting and other events unless there is something in it for us. We can think of the educational elements of the programs, of the group lobbying power, of the intergenerational transfer of woodlots requirements, of meeting old acquaintances, and a lot more, but it comes down to the fact that we feel a sense of community and comradeship from our association with other like-minded woodlot owners. Belonging to this community makes us better woodlot owners. We are better off for it.

Notice of meeting: Annual General Meeting

We want everyone to attend!

Place: United Church Hall, Old Barns. Take Rte. 236 South from Truro 7 Km.
When: Saturday April 18, 9:00-3:30
Who: Members, prospective members, guests
Registration cost: Members $10, Guests $20 (Registration covers the cost of a meal.)
Review of NSWOOA forest management policy, biomass, viewing of Eastern Shore Forest Watch’s “Honour in the Woods”, ecosystem-based management, silviculture funding options

Yes, you can still pay your 2009 dues at the AGM. Please note that if you wish to take advantage of our special $15/year subscription offer to Atlantic Forestry Review, we must have your membership and money no later than the AGM.

Agenda for the 2009 NSWOOA Annual General Meeting

April 18, Old Barns N.S.
Tentative Agenda

8:45-9:00: Registration, membership renewals and new memberships, set up displays, post ads, sell products
9:00-9:15: Call to order, welcome, and President’s address
9:15-10:00: Minutes of 2008 AGM, financial statements/report for 2008
10:00-10:45: Business arising, including letter re Group Savoie, seeking additional funds for Category 7, Voluntary Planning, recognition
10:45-11:00: Recess in business meeting and coffee break
11:00-11:20: New Business, resolutions, other
11:20-11:30: Kim Thompson, "Honor in the Woods"
11:30-11:40: Jamie Simpson, Restoring the Acadian Forest
11:40-12:40: Lunch and viewing of "Honor in the Woods" for those who wish to see it. Exchange materials, sell products, etc.
12:40-1:20: Session on establishing our forest policy
1:20-2:00: Consideration of membership and membership services
2:00- 2:10: Re-open business meeting, nominations of directors, close of business meeting
2:10-3:30: Ecosystem-based management and multi-aged and multi-species management funding from existing silviculture funds
3:30-3:40: Wrap up and adjournment.

Upcoming event

While all the focus is currently on the AGM, please don’t forget the Fall Field Day at the woodlot of Lloyd and Marlene Langille on Saturday, September 19. Rumour has it that horses will be present in the woods. The Langille woodlot is in the Hopewell area.

A membership privilege/perk

All members attending the AGM have the opportunity, free of cost, to set up a small table-top display of products, to circulate business cards, and to distribute pamphlets for their woodlot businesses at the meeting. Use this as an opportunity to promote your business or sell some product. New this year is the opportunity for members to advertise machinery, equipment or product wanted or for sale. Bring an item to advertise on the buy-and-sell bulletin board. Go for it. Sell some maple syrup. Or some woodland crafts. No charge, but let us know of your need for space by calling Charlie Baird at 895 8172.

Books available

Jamie Simpson will be present at the AGM to promote and sell his newly published book Restoring the Acadian Forest: A Guide to Forest Stewardship for Woodlot Owners in the Maritimes. The books are $20 each at the AGM. They are $25 each if you order them through the mail. Books can be ordered by mail from Jamie (bocabec@gmail.com) and you can also make arrangements to pick them up in Halifax or St. Andrews or Fredricton, NB. Contact Jamie for details.

UAM Notes: Ecosystem-Based Forest Management

By Patricia Amero, RPF

What is Ecosystem-Based Forest Management?

Forest managers must do much more than plan. We must be protectors and stewards of the land. To achieve this goal, many of us use an approach to management that is sometimes referred to as ecosystem-based forest management.

Generally speaking, an ecosystem is a community of interacting organisms. Ecosystems generally have similar site conditions (i.e., soil, climate, moisture), and the species in a particular ecosystem are all adapted to these shared environmental conditions. Ecosystems vary from one place to another because of differences in physical characteristics (geology, soils, landforms, topography, and surface materials) and biological characteristics (vegetation, animals, and microbes).

Ecosystems can be found on land (terrestrial) or in the water (aquatic) and can be very large (for example the Earth) or relatively small (a local forest). Ecosystems usually overlap and are interconnected or are dependent on one another through various processes—for instance the water cycle.

The Acadian Forest, where we live, is an ecosystem that contains many different ecosystems. The mix of tree species and other vegetation within each Acadian Forest ecosystem depends on various factors:

  • site and soil conditions (aka moisture and nutrient regimes. For instance, wet to very dry sites and nutrient poor to rich fertile sites);
  • climate or microclimate (a microclimate is an area where the climate is different from the climate in surrounding areas);
  • the way humans have used the land (aka land-use patterns or human disturbances);
  • the frequency with which the ecosystem experiences naturally occurring events such as high winds, fires, lightning, and insect outbreaks (aka natural disturbance regimes); and
  • the forest’s current stage of development—that is, whether it is just beginning to grow back, is mature, is somewhere in between, or is a mixture of stages. This process of development from early stages to later stages, which all ecosystems go through, is referred to as natural or ecological succession.
In Nova Scotia we have two newly available tools that provide a good basis for identifying ecosystems across our landscape:

The Ecological Land Classification (ELC) for Nova Scotia uses information on climate, geology, soils, and so on to create maps of ecological groupings within the province at three levels: ecoregion, ecodistrict, and ecosection.

The Forest Ecosystem Classification (FEC) manuals for the central, western, and eastern regions of Nova Scotia contain vegetation and soil identification keys, descriptions, photographs, and corresponding management interpretations for the various vegetation and soil types found in Nova Scotia. Using the vegetation and soil type keys provided in the manual, ecosystems are then classified into 10 ecotypes. These range from dry-poor conifer (i.e., rock barren) to very rich deciduous (i.e., floodplains). (The manuals for the west and east are interim versions. The NSDNR provincial manual is scheduled for publication in 2011.)

In ecosystem-based forest management, tools such as these are very valuable. They are used to identify and apply management interpretations that reflect opportunities and address hazards and operational limitations associated with a site’s specific ecosystem (ecotype).

Incorporating such information into recommendations and operational planning will limit possible damage from harvesting and help to maintain both overall ecosystem health and site productivity for the long term. For instance, an ecosystem with Soil type 12 as classified in the FEC manual (“Rich moist, fine—medium textured”) is prone to rutting, compaction, and erosion. Thus management recommendations made using an ecosystem-base approach will include measures to minimize this risk. Protecting the soil will, in turn, ensure that the site remains productive for many years to come.

This approach to forest management respects the dynamic, changing character of the forest community and forest landscape. It takes a more holistic view of the forest and is especially appropriate for landowners whose goals and objectives are based on multiple values and use. For more information on ecosystem-based forest management and other forest-management topics, don’t miss the upcoming NSWOOA AGM on April 18.

Editor's note: For more information on uneven-aged management and related topics, see Patricia's blog at http://www.trishameroblog.blogspot.com/

Did You Notice?

The most recent issue of the Atlantic Forestry Review features two NSWOOA members, both Past Presidents of the Association. Wade Prest is quoted in David Lindsay’s "Harvesting Biomass, Under the Influence." Wade is the NSWOOA’s spokesperson on this topic. Tom Miller contributed a letter to the editor that reviewed the Nova Scotia Agricultural College’s Woodsmen’s Competition. It would seem that the event earned all five possible stars.

Not so Gentle a Reminder

If you haven’t yet renewed your membership, do it today. Our postal address is Box 823, Truro, N.S. B2N 5G6. Cost is only$30.

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, 902-673-2278). 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 mailouts, our column in Atlantic Forestry Review, the Annual General Meeting, and this website.