NSWOOA Update 33
April 27, 2010
902 633-2108

In this Issue:
Were You There? A Review of the AGM
A Departure
A New Director
Update on the Uneven-Aged Forest Management Outreach Project.
The Otter Ponds Demonstration Woodlot
Summary of Jamie Simpson’s Presentation on Biomass
How to reach us.

Were You There?
Well, it’s over. Done for another year. But it was by all feedback we have so far received, it was a very good meeting and well worth attending. Attendance reached the 70 mark, and the meeting room was full indeed. We all had a chance to catch up on the news with other woodlot owners and to share our experiences. The minister of Natural Resources proved to be well informed and open to suggestions. He fielded a number of questions and even made some suggestions for changes in forest practices.
We noted the attendance of DNR’s Peter MacQuarrie for most of the meeting as well.
President Austin Parsons’ address covered the major projects for last year, the actions taken on issues raised at the last AGM, and the progress made by Picea Forestry delivering the second phase of the Outreach Project on Uneven Aged Management . Sandy Hyde of Picea was in attendance and reminded woodlot owners to sign up for any of the workshops available this spring, and for site visitations. He also noted that the planned Fall Field day on the Langille woodlot in Hopewell is going forward.
Mark Winfield of Raymond Yuill Chartered Accountants, Bridgewater, spoke on Inter-Generational Transfer. He spoke particularly about the qualifications now faced by woodlot owners before their management plans are considered valid for the transfer.

A Departure
Austin Parsons informed the meeting that Steve Harder is stepping down as director after only one year, due to business commitments. Steve has been a very effective director, specializing in publicity and communications. He did ask to complete two jobs he has been involved in: The fall field day and a communications project. We wish him well with his new enterprise.

A New Director
The NSWOOA welcomes Matt Miller as its newest Director . Matt, from Green Hill Pictou County, and recently graduated as a forester/technician. He is working as a contractor in Pictou County. In his own words: “ I'd like the members know I'm excited to be a part of the board. My goal as a board member is to help bring about positive change to the practice of forest management in Nova Scotia. “
We are looking forward to the new ideas and energy Matt will bring to the Board.

Update on the Uneven-Aged Management Outreach Project
The first Uneven-Aged Management workshop, held last Saturday in Lunenburg County, was a big hit with everyone who attended. The audience was extremely attentive, we received many good questions and comments, and there many interesting discussions about various aspects of applying uneven aged management. Basically everyone left with great big smiles on their faces!
We are thoroughly looking forward to doing 5 more of these workshops in the spring and another 6 in the fall. If you haven’t already registered for one of these FREE workshops, we encourage you to do so. Because participation is limited, it is important to pre-register as soon as possible. Call us at 902-673-2278 or email us at outreach@asforestry.com to pre-register.
We still have some openings in the spring workshops
Though our first workshop is over and the June 19 workshop in Cape Breton is already full,* we do have some openings left in our other spring workshops:
Saturday, May 8, 2010: Cheverie, Hants County
Saturday, May 15, 2010: Maitland, Annapolis County.
Saturday, May 29, 2010: Mooseland area, Halifax East County.
Saturday, June 12, 2010: near Springhill, Cumberland County.
In addition, we have started to plan our fall workshops and are taking tentative registrations for workshops in Carleton, Yarmouth County; Wentworth area, Colchester County; Inverness, Inverness County; Antigonish County; Pictou County; and Kings County. We are holding off choosing precise dates for these workshops until NSDNR announces the dates of the Woodlot Owner of the Year events (so as to try to avoid conflicts), but will keep you updated as soon as details are available.
What happens during a workshop
Each woodlot owner workshop consists of an indoor session in the morning following by a visit to a woodlot in the afternoon. In the morning we cover a variety of topics that will help woodlot owners to grow trees that have the potential to grow into high-value wood products. In the afternoon, we emphasize hands-on experience, including a chance for everyone in the group to select and mark crop trees. Everyone who attended the first workshop really seemed to enjoy this exercise.
We are also planning workshops for silviculture contractors
In addition to the full-day woodlot owner sessions we’re offering, we will also be offering 3 half-day fall workshops for silviculture contractors in the fall. If you are a silviculture contractor and might be interested in attending, please let us know.
If you or anyone you know might be interested in attending any of these workshops, please get in touch with us.
Patricia Amero and Flora Johnson
For the Uneven-Aged Management Outreach Project
* Although the workshop near Baddeck in Cape Breton is full, we do have a waiting list for this workshop. If you would like to attend, please call us or email us and we’ll put you on the list. We will get in touch with you right away if a space becomes available.

The NSWOOA - Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest Division
On July 9, 2009, representatives of four groups , led by the NSWOOA’s Wade Prest, met in Halifax with senior DNR people, including the Minister, the Hon. John MacDonell. Along with the NSWOOA were the Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association, the Mooseland and Area Community Association, and the Ecology Action Centre. The four groups presented a proposal to set up a demonstration woodlot on a 700-acre Crown land site in the Mooseland area, along the Tangier River. The site included two drumlins covered in older hardwoods, and some well-established softwood stands. There were also stands of poles, some thickets, and new regen. None of the property had been harvested in 60 years, and much had not been harvested for 100 years. It is a rich and varied site, full of animal life and micro-environments.

The four groups envisioned “a working demonstration forest that adheres to the principle that gradual restoration of ecosystem structure and function of the natural Acadian Forest is a path to sustainable forest use in the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia" (Mission Statement). Multi–aged management, selection cutting, low impact forestry, and FSC certification were stated goals. They foresaw hosting school trips, woodlot owner workshops, scientific studies, being a model of this style of forestry, and much more. Stumpage would be paid to the Crown for fibre harvested and product sold through the Northern Pulp system would count towards the Crown commitment to NPNS.

The delegation received a positive reception, and negotiations began on a memorandum of Understanding and an operating agreement. As the lands in question were partially leased to Northern Pulp Nova Scotia, representatives of the company became involved at subsequent meetings. The size of the project increased to about 1300 acres, including some recently clearcut lands. A Memorandum of Understanding is now signed, and the Operational Agreement is ready to be signed off once the new entity that will run the project is in place and is functioning.
As we heard at the AGM, the NSWOOA By-laws contain a section which allows it to set up operational units called divisions. Representatives of the four groups decided that they would each nominate three directors for a new NSWOOA - Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest Division. These directors and any members at large of the Division would have to be NSWOOA members, affiliate members or associate members , but the new organization is fully in control of the project. (Incidentally, Northern Pulp and DNR will have two non-voting directorships on the 14 person Board). The AGM on April 10 made the necessary changes in the by-laws and each of the three groups is now considering its nominees for directorships of the new organization.
Current discussion involves finding people with needed talents (like bookkeeping, scientific connections, an interest in education, event planning, being able to run a project, enthusiasm for the project and availability). Developing a management plan and woods operations plan for each year would be the job of a forestry operations committee of people with the necessary skills and experience. Any actual wood harvesting or road building would be carried out by a contractor.
So, there we are, looking for volunteers to serve on the board of the new Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest project, and to be regular members, to serve on committees, and even to do some work on the ground. Got any good ideas? Give us a shout.

Summary of Jamie's Forest Biomass Energy Presentation, April 10, 2010, NSWOOA AGM:

Harvesting forests to burn for electricity is questionable given the potential impacts on forest biodiversity, productivity and carbon storage.

What is Forest Biomass?
Biomass is anything that is living or was once living. Generally, forest biomass in Nova Scotia is described as living or dead wood that is not usable as pulpwood or timber. This could include under-sized trees, unmerchantable species of trees, dead trees and crooked trees. It could also include stumps, limbs and tops of trees, but these are not being including in the definition of forest biomass that qualifies as "renewable energy" under the Government's renewable electricity strategy.

Wood can be used to generate energy in numerous ways. Presently, it's used as firewood in homes, as pellets in home and institutional heating, as hog-fuel in heat and power generation, as well as in electricity generation alone, and in mixing with coal in co-firing to produce electricity. Heating homes with firewood in efficient stoves is the most efficient use of wood for energy, while co-firing is the least efficient.

Forest Biomass Energy in NS
The Wheeler Report (a proposal for renewable energy in NS) recommended 70 MegaWatts of biomass energy capacity by 2015, which would require some 700,000 green tonnes of wood, and another 70 MW by 2020. 70 MW would require a minimum of 100 square kilometres of forest land to be harvested per year.

On April 23, the province released a Renewable Electricity Plan for NS, which allows for up to 1 million green tonnes of new harvesting for 'renewable' biomass energy (stems only, no whole-tree harvesting). This could result in roughly a 20% increase in forest harvesting, and some 110 square km of new clearcutting per year.

Consequences of Forest Biomass Harvesting:
When whole-tree harvesting is used, long-term studies of forest productivity show a decline of 8-12%. Modeling shows a decline of 59% after second whole-tree harvest.

Forest biodiversity is highly dependent on deadwood. In Sweden, deadwood levels have dropped from 13 m3/ha to 0.1 m3/ha. This is correlated with a decline in forest biodiversity: Sweden has some 800 deadwood-dependent species on its Red List of threatened and endangered species.

Nova Scotia's forest soils are highly susceptible to nutrient loss. See the report "Mapping Forest Sensitivity to Atmospheric Acid Deposition" at http://www.ecosystems-research.com/fmi/2007-Forest-Mapping-Report.pdf. See particularly the map on page 4.

Forest Carbon:
For late-successional forest stands, recent research shows that light harvesting practices results in 57% more carbon sequestered than clearcutting. No harvesting at all results in 39% - 118% more carbon stored in the forest than harvested forests. (Nunery and Keeton, 2010, Journal of Forest Ecology and Management)

How much biomass is there?
In his submission to the Wheeler Report (a strategy to meet NS's renewable energy targets), Jim Verboom says there is 800,000 green tonnes per year of excess stemwood growth available for harvest. However, Mr. Verboom used the entire forested area of the province in his calculations, 4.2 million hectares. The actually area available for forest harvesting is much lower, approximately 2.6 million hectares. If the 2.6 million figure is used, there is no extra growth available (on a province-wide basis) for biomass harvesting, if we harvest traditional products at the 10-year average of 6 million m2 / yr.

NSPI and NewPage
NS Power Inc and NewPage Port Hawkesbury are proposing a $206 million, 60MW biomass energy project. The project will go before the Utility and Review Board, starting July 26th.

Jamie Simpson, M.Sc.F., Professional Forester, registered in New Brunswick
Forestry Program Coordinator
Ecology Action Centre
2705 Fern Ln.
Halifax, NS B3K 4L3
902 429 1335

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