NSWOOA Update 26

August 12, 2009
902 633-2108
In this issue:
NSWOOA Field Day
Marc Chisholm takes over as member services coordinator
An idea for biomass
What one man would say to the Minister
How to reach us

Hello Woodlot Owners!
NSWOOA September 19 Field Day News
It looks like it will be a six-stop tour at this year’s Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association’s field day on Saturday, Sept. 19, in Pictou County.
Lloyd and Marlene Langille of the Hopewell area, near New Glasgow, will host the event at their 130-acre mixed woodlot.
The day will include practical examples of woodland stewardship, conservation, biodiversity and log sawing.
The event will feature local food for lunch and horse and wagon rides to different parts of the woodlot.
The working agenda for the day includes the following sites and likely presenters:
1. At an oldfield White spruce site, which is a common stand type on Nova Scotia woodlots, forestry consultants Patricia Amero or Sandy Hyde will show how these sites revert back to a natural forest.
2. Harvest selection: An area of trees will be marked by forestry consultants Tom Miller or Matthew Miller to help illustrate which trees should be cut and which should be left to grow, and how this can vary depending on the landowner’s values and objectives.
3. A blown-down tree with its roots and soil exposed will be used by soil specialist Kevin Keyes to illustrate the importance of soil biology, particularly in terms of site productivity and ecosystem health.
4. John Brazner, wetland and water specialist for Nova Scotia Environment, will talk about the value of wetlands and listen to comments or concerns and answer questions about a draft provincial wetland policy.
5. At an old forest site, wildlife biologist Bob Bancroft and Billy MacDonald of the Friends of the Redtail Society will discuss the importance of conservation and biodiversity. Bob is involved in a dispute with provincial government officials over their failure to enforce existing land and water regulations. Billy will speak about the nonprofit group’s efforts to raise funds to prevent a large parcel of land, some of which is old forest, from being clearcut.
6. A working portable sawmill will be run by Rodney Spencer, who has set up his Woodmizer sawmill in barnyards, fields, building lots and woodlot landing areas, ready to turn logs into lumber for his customers. He’ll show people how lumber is sawn and explain what’s involved in the process.
All in all, should be an excellent field day. The board of the NSWOOA invites anyone interested to make plans to attend and enjoy a day in the woods.
Precise directions to the woodlot will be sent out to readers via emails in early September.
For further information, please contact NSWOOA board members or send an email to nswooa@gmail.com.

A Thank You Card
On behalf of the Board and members of the NSWOOA, the NSWOOA Update wishes to thank Flora Johnson for her many efforts on our behalf. Over the past several years Flora has industriously prepared and sent our newsletters, written promotional materials, managed our database and our website, edited the Update, and been the contact person on many issues, to many a few of her duties. Flora leaves her position with some high standards to aim for and some very big shoes to learn to fill. Talk about multi-tasking!
At the April Annual General meeting, Flora was presented with a plaque in appreciation of her work on our behalf, well-earned recognition for a tremendous contribution.

New Member Services Coordinator
NSWOOA Board Member Marc Chisholm has taken over as NSWOOA Member Services Coordinator. We thank Marc for taking on this important job. If you have questions about your membership, call Marc at 902-476-0565.

Big Ideas
Chronicle Herald readers will recall an article on hybrid trees in the Sunday Herald early in July. The article read like an advertisement for the new tree, which is described as growing 10-20 feet per year in Zone 6 or higher. If you click on empresssplendorcanada.com, the website will tell you that it will grow from the stump up to seven times, and show you some pictures. There certainly is an argument that we should not be introducing even sterile exotic trees into the Acadian Forest, but there is just the germ of an idea here too. Why not ask some of those big companies that want to burn biomass to look at some fast-growing trees species, and set up a program where they can grow their own biomass on some of the thousands of acres of abandoned farmland in Nova Scotia? There can’t be too much wrong with requiring biomass users to grow their product before they harvest it.

One Man’s Say
(In response to our invitation for readers to tell us what they would tell the new Minister of Natural Resources, Dennis Kean has submitted this item. Here he impresses the reader with the length of time it takes to develop a functioning forest.)
I believe when thinking about the forests of Nova Scotia it is necessary to begin at the beginning. The beginning of the forest of Nova Scotia is the end of the last Ice Age, the retreat of the glaciers. Under all that ice there was no vegetation; I doubt if there was a single dormant seed. This ice covered the land to a great depth right to the water's edge. When the ice started to recede the ground was bare and subject to tremendous erosion. Any seed that happened to come to land would have been washed into the ocean. Coupled with this there would have been a constantly rising water level drowning any new vegetation.
Before any vegetation could be established we first had to have seeds. Where did they come from? Where did they first come ashore? It is possible that all our vegetation started somewhere south of Virginia and floated here, landing in Yarmouth and working its way north from there.
Therefore how old is our forest? How long did it take to grow the first real tree? There must have been a long period of transition from the bare ground to the stable land, protecting vegetation of the true forest, a forest of thick mosses and clean waters. These mosses play such a wonderful role in the forest it is impossible to imagine a forest without them, yet they are fragile, they disappear very quickly.
How close this clearcutting seems to me to the land after the glaciers. How hard a struggle, it seems to me, for the forest to return to its natural state after the destruction of these mosses.
How long must it be before a squirrel can bury an acorn to produce an oak tree? How long before the waters are properly filtered by those mosses so the brooks run clear? How long?

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, 902-476-0565). 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 the website: http://www.nswooa.ca
l: outreach@asforestry.com