NSWOOA Update 29

December 15, 2009

902 633-2108

Christmas Greetings
The Board of Directors of the NSWOOA extends to you wishes for a blessed and peaceful holiday season. May you spend the holidays with friends and loved ones, and may everyone keep safe and well.

Hello Woodlot Owners!

Biomass … from the other side of the street
By Tony Phillips, Director, NSWOOA

CBC radio’s “Mainstreet” aired host Bob Murphy’s interview with Jim Verboom on November 19. The interview had been taped two days previously at the Renewable Energy Stakeholders’ Meeting. Bob Murphy had first interviewed a woman who opposed the Caribou clearcut and then Jim, a bystander to the first interview, apparently volunteered to speak “pro” biomass to give balance. My wife heard the interview and said that Jim spoke well. I didn’t hear the interview which, unfortunately, was not archived by the CBC. When asked to write a piece for the Update, I decided to interview Jim to see what I had missed.
Jim told me he had spent about 18 years of his forestry career doing silviculture, for one short stint as a horse-logger. Six years of that time was spent selection cutting in the Pockwock watershed. He opined that he didn’t get into biomass to “undo” his previous efforts. He said that harvesting for biomass does not have to be a clear cut, that patch cuts would work, too, and that biomass material would often be what was formerly #2 pulp. He acknowledged that large forest openings favoured the regeneration of lower value species –fir, red maple, white spruce.
The present returns to biomass production are poor. The landed price of $30 -$40 /tonne for chipped product must defray harvesting, trucking and stumpage costs. For Jim, so far, biomass has been a by-product of projects such as blueberry land clearing, highway and wind farm developments, site preparation for the Truro hospital – what Jim calls “opportunistic supplies”. Going forward, he feels that old farms with dead and dying white spruce, of which he says there are 400,000 hectares in the province, could yield up to 100 tonnes/hectare of stemwood for biomass. He sees biomass harvesting of such sites as a way to deal with blowdowns, diseased trees and fire hazards and thinks biomass harvesting might be the socially acceptable way to deal with such problems. He also thought that in some forest fire sites biomass harvest and re-plant might be the way to go.
Reflecting on current and projected uses, Jim said that what was needed were more NSAC heating plants and Stokdijks’s Greenhouses- small.local users of biomass. He thought that heating was a best use, and pointed to Brooklyn Power’s 26 megawatt facility as a larger model. It uses 350,000 tonnes of fuel a year and produces electrical power and uses waste heat for paper drying. He said it draws wood from a 1 ½ hour trucking radius. A proposed co-generation site at Port Hawkesbury could produce 60 megawatts and would have a correspondingly longer and larger reach for fuel supplies. Currently coal produced electricity is cheaper than biomass and will probably remain so until a price is attached to greenhouse gas emissions. NSP is currently studying the feasibility and acceptability of replacing up to 10% of the coal used at Lingan and Trenton with biomas. If the numbers crunched out better, Jim feels there would be more “Verboom Grinders” out there competing for material.
The cost-price differential is a more significant measure of a product’s economic worth than just price, Jim believes. He thinks that with log stumpage of $10.00/tonne and lumber prices so low that saw mills are losing money, right now biomass beats lumber. What’s more, he says, biomass keeps money in the province in contrast to most energy sources which involve money leaving the province.
Overall, Jim feels that opinions are so polarized on the biomass issue that it is hard to have a rational discussion of the topic. He believes that “industrial forestry”, including biomass harvesting, is not about to go away and that such forestry can make a space to both protect and permit stewardship forestry. Pragmatism? Or a pact with the devil?

Build a Yurt on Your Woodlot?
Yurt Building Workshops January 2010 - Get into the Round!
Involved in any exciting projects this winter? Thinking of a unique gift for someone that is interested in natural building? Join Little Foot Yurts; makers of traditional style yurts and learn how to build your own yurt – a low impact, affordable, shelter originating from Central Asia.

When: January 15th-17th OR January 22th-24th
Where: 1459 White Rock Rd, Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Cost: $290 plus tax, Includes workshop fee, yurt camping, gourmet local & organic vegetarian food, and a yurt zine.
Accommodation: Sleep, eat, learn and share with others in cozy felted yurts equipped with wood stoves.
Registration: Please register online at http://www.lfy.ca/yurt_building_workshop/registration.html Full agenda is posted on our website.
Deposit: A non-refundable deposit of $150 is required to reserve your spot. Deposit deadline is December 15th.Plus a few days extra for folks who are learning of the event by this newsletter

For more information please contact Selene Cole at 902 670-4556 selene@lfy.ca or visit www.lfy.ca
This two and a half day workshop will provide a thorough introduction to yurts, and the basics of yurt construction including: coppice as a timber crop, Acadian forest species, making a greenwood working station, using a drawknife, froe and other hand tools, planning and designing your walls, roof, and wheel, and erecting a yurt. Leave with the practical skills and resources to start building your own yurt. Open to all skill levels. Families welcome. (Children 6 and under are free, children between 7-13 are half price, and 14 and up are normal price)
Selene, Alex & Yara Cole
Little Foot Yurts
1459 White Rock Rd, RR#1
Wolfville, NS, B4P 2R1
902 670-4556
info@lfy.ca, www.lfy.ca

Some Yurt History
Yurts are the traditional nomadic home from Central Asia. The yurt is
a collapsible framework of wooden poles covered with felt and or

The design of these ancient shelters have been kept unchanged for over
one thousand years, making them one of the oldest indigenous forms of
shelter still in use today. They are now used all over the world as
people are interested in alternatives to conventional building and
want to live more intimately with nature.

The yurt creates a space that is both comfortable and well equipped to
withstand high winds, snow loads, and minus degree temperature.
Individual yurt owners find many uses for yurts, such as a workshop
venue, gazebo, cottage, family camping, a permanent dwelling, or for a
temporary home whilst building a permanent home.

Holiday Retreat?

Members of the NSWOOA Board of Directors spent part of their holiday season working for you. George Johnson hosted the December 11 and 12 event as directors participated in a strategic planning and visioning program, facilitated by Paula Knowles.

Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association Application for Membership 2010
( ) Renewal
( ) New
Name: _______________________________________________________________
Business Name: ________________________________________________________
Mailing address:________________________________________________________
Postal Code: _____________________________Email address ______________________________
Home telephone number:_________________
Work telephone number: _________________
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We will not share your personal information with anyone outside of this organization without permission.
Are you a woodlot owner? Yes ____ No _____ County: ______________________
Please circle the categories that apply to you:
• Owner/Operator
• Contractor
• Group Venture
• Sawmiller
• Other
We offer our members an informative monthly update, sent by email. Please indicate whether we may send you this update: ____ yes _____ no
_____ I have enclosed $30 for my 2010 membership dues in NSWOOA. I understand that these funds go toward the lobbying, communications, and educational functions of the Association.
Until April 18, 2011, one-year subscriptions to the Atlantic Forestry Review, the Maritimes’ premier forestry-sector magazine, are available to NSWOOA members at a special price of $15. Subscriptions at this special rate are available only through April 18, 2010, the date of the Annual General Meeting, and will begin with the May 2010 issue. If you would like to subscribe, please check the box below and include an additional $15.
_____ I have enclosed $15 for my subscription to the Atlantic Forestry Review.
We try to ensure that each of our members has a copy of our statutes and bylaws. Copies will be available at the Annual General meeting. We could also send them to you via email in PDF format. Please indicate whether you would like us to send you a copy.
_____ Please send me a copy of the NSWOOA statutes and bylaws: via email / via post
Signature: _____________________________________ Date: ___________________________
Mail to: NSWOOA, Box 823, Truro, NS B2N 5G6
Questions about your membership? Call Marc Chisholm at 902-476-0565 or email him at nswooa@gmail.com

Points to Ponder

Tony Kryzanowski’s recent article in the October/November issue of Logging and Sawmilling Journal appears under the title question “Is the Canadian forest industry ready for the recovery?” He indicates that the Canadian forest industry has gone about as low as it can, but circumstances are changing and there is a growing list of new opportunities. However, “I’m left wondering if industry is primed to make the changes and capital investments needed to prepare itself for the upcoming recovery.” This may surprise us. Why would the industry not be ready to take advantages of the new opportunities?
Kryzanowski observes that industry leaders may have been too busy trying to survive the crises to be well informed about opportunities, and indeed may have cut necessary marketing staff, and travel budgets. He opines that perhaps some of the industry leaders may not have learned the lesson of diversification from the recession.
All is not negative, however, as he sees great variety of new products presenting new markets.

A Passing of Note
The passing of Jeremy Frith on December 8 came as a major shock to the Board and members of the NSWOOA who knew and respected him. Jeremy was a member of the NSWOOA, and participated in several of our woodlot field days as a presenter. Past president Wade Prest puts it this way: “Jeremy taught us all a great deal about adding value to our standing forests, especially through pruning. He also made major contributions to the drafting of the Maritime Standards of the Forest Stewardship Council. Many ofr us have lost a friend and a role model.

The following is contributed by Jamie Simpson:

Jeremy Frith: Born June 3, 1945, in Bermuda, and died December 8th, 2009 unexpectedly at his home on Moutain Meadow Farm, St. Anne's, Cape Breton.

Jeremy described himself as a farmer, self taught forester, logger, saw miller, woodworker, ecologist, community economic development activist, public speaker, direct marketer of organic farm produce and proponent of a responsible approach to economic/ecological integrated land management for rural communities. On his Mountain Meadow Farm in the Highlands of Cape Breton, he grew certified organic vegetables sold at the Cape Breton Farmers Market in Sydney and to local hotels and restaurants. He worked tirelessly to restore his 400-acre woodlot to historic Acadia forest cover types, and in 2005 was named the Department of Natural Resources' Woodlot Owner of the Year for the eastern region. Jeremy was also a poet and musician, and published a book of poetry in 1996.

He has held numerous volunteer leadership positions at the local and provincial level. At the time of his death, Jeremy was the President of the Farmer's Market of N.S. Co-operative, and is past president and board member of the St. Ann's Bay Development Association. On August 24th, Jeremy and his wife, Sue Browne, were honoured with the first annual Spirit of Nova Scotia Award in the Local Food Producers category for 2008.

Jeremy was buried on his farm by his friends and family on December 12th, amidst a raging snow storm, voices rising in song as they filled the grave -- a sight I'm sure Jeremy would have given his complete approval.

He is survived by his wife, Sue; his two sons, Josiah and Alec; a stepdaughter, Laura Russell; and siblings, John, Michael and Wendy and their families.

Jeremy's wife, Sue Browne, requested donations in Jeremy's memory be made to the Forestry Program of the Ecology Action Centre.

Another Passing
We are also saddened to hear of the passing of long time member Lewis Edward Chisholm. We thank him for his support for our organization and its goals, and offer our sympathies to his family and friends.

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). 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