NSWOOA Update 36
August 7, 2010
902 633-2108

In this Issue:

The Big Event
Hello Woodlot Owners
Outreach Coordinator’s Report
Otter Ponds News
The NSWOOA at the URAB Hearings
Thinking About Trees
How to Contact Us

Sept. 18 NSWOOA field day in Pictou County

Three presenters have already been confirmed for this year’s Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association’s field day in September in Pictou County.

Lloyd and Marlene Langille of the Hopewell area, near New Glasgow, will host the event at their 130-acre mixed woodlot on Saturday, Sept. 18.

The day will include practical examples of woodland stewardship, conservation, biodiversity and more.

Registration ($20 for members, $25 non-member, $40 family rate) is 8:00-9:00 AM.

The field day will feature local food for lunch and horse and wagon rides to different parts of the woodlot.

Presenters who have confirmed their participation are:

John Brazner, Wetland Specialist for Nova Scotia Environment, will talk about the value of wetlands and listen to comments or concerns and answer questions about wetland policy in Nova Scotia.

Soil specialist Kevin Keys will use a blown-down tree with its roots and soil exposed to illustrate the importance of soil biology, particularly in terms of site productivity and ecosystem health. Kevin will refer to a soil pit to show the general importance of soil biology, chemistry, and physical characteristics in terms of site productivity.

Billy MacDonald of the Friends of the Redtail Society, or another Redtail representative, will discuss the importance of conservation and biodiversity at an old forest site. The speaker will also talk about the non-profit group’s efforts to raise funds to prevent a large parcel of land in Pictou County, some of which is old forest, from being clear-cut.

The board of the NSWOOA invites anyone interested to enjoy a day in the woods.

To get there: Take exit 24 on highway 104. Head south on highway 374 towards Hopewell. Travel approximately 11 kilometers to the Marshdale Road, then turn right on the Marshdale Road which is across from the Post Office and drive 4 kilometers, turn right on White Hill Road, 500 meters to parking area and registration will be on the left.

For further information, please contact NSWOOA board members or send an email to nswooa@gmail.com or please contact NSWOOA directors George Johnson (668-2493) or Austin Parsons (233-3431), Lloyd and Marlene Langille (923-2600), or field day committee members Sandy Hyde (790-2082) or Steve Harder (351-2214).

Hello Woodlot Owners

One doesn’t often think of Summer as being the busy season for woodlot owners, but it has been for the NSWOOA this year! Early summer has seen the completion of the work leading up to the establishment of the Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest (together with three other groups). Also there is the preparation for and finally the delivery of testimony to the Utility and Review Board concerning the establishment of a mega project to generate energy from forest fibre. Then in the background is the on-going issue of the possible adoption of some, quite a few, or many of the recommendations of the Bancroft/Crossland Phase II Report. This last issue has included a great number of letters to the editor, companies and associations circulating letters to stir up opposition to change, and -really- a great deal of passion.

All these activities mentioned are occurring while the usual business of the day has to be taken care of: The Section 7 Silviculture Phase II is on-going, and the committee organizing the September 18 woodlot field day in Hopewell is busy at work as well.

We owe a great debt of thanks to those individuals who have given of their time and expertise on our behalf during this time of year that so many of us like to take it easy.

Outreach Coordinator’s Report
Looking forward to fall workshops. Are you interested in a free site visit?
The Uneven-Aged Management Outreach Project is designed to educate woodland owners and silviculture contractors interested in growing long-lived, shade-tolerant tree species and quality forest products. In 2010, the NSWOOA signed a contract with the Association for Sustainable Forestry (ASF) to offer an expanded version of this educational project, which was first offered in partnership with Picea Forestry Consulting in 2008.
Funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, the Outreach Project focuses on silviculture practices associated with uneven-aged management—selection management, crop tree release, and crop tree pruning–and on funding available for these treatments through the ASF’s Category 7 Quality Improvement Silviculture Program. This time around, the project is also providing woodland owners and contractors with information on forest ecosystem classification, ecosystem-based forest management, crop tree selection, and tree marking.
Looking back to the spring workshops
We began our work at the end of January, 2010, and offered series of woodlot owner workshops that were attended by more than 100 woodlot owners from the end of April into June. The workshops focused on the “how tos” of growing high-value trees, including information on crop tree selection, crop tree release, selection management, crop tree pruning, ecosystem-based forest management, tree marking, and the Category 7 Program.
We were very pleased with the how these workshops went. For one thing, we had good weather for all workshops; it didn’t even rain on the days when we were sure it would. We were even more fortunate in the woodlot owners who turned out for these workshops. They were attentive and keen to learn about uneven-aged management. They asked good questions and provided interesting feedback during both the morning sessions, which were held indoors, and the afternoon sessions, which took place outdoors on a nearby woodlot.
A highlight of the woodlot tours was the tree marking exercise, in which woodlot owners were given flagging tape and asked to choose which trees in an area they would harvest and which they would leave. This led to a great hands-on experience and plenty of interesting discussion!
We want to extend a special thanks to all the NSWOOA members who helped make the spring workshops a success, especially Paul Brison, Wade Prest, and Ken MacRury.
Looking forward to fall workshops
The team is now looking forward to hosting workshops for woodlot owners and silviculture contractors in the fall. Our schedule of fall woodlot owner workshops is as follows:
The workshop in St. Andrews, Antigonish County, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010.
The workshop in Carleton, Yarmouth County, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010.
The workshop in the Wentworth area, Colchester County, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010.
The workshop near Mabou, Inverness County, Cape Breton, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010.
The workshop in Black Rock, Kings County, will be held on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010.
In addition we are taking tentative registrations for a workshop to be held in Pictou County, which we are planning to offer on Saturday, Nov. 13.
These free, full-day workshops follow the same format as the workshops we offered in the spring: An indoor session in the morning will be followed by lunch, followed by a visit to a nearby woodlot. Registration is capped at 25 people per workshop, so if you are interested in attending one of these workshops please register as soon as you can. Call 902-673-2278 or email outreach@asforestry.com
Workshops for silviculture contractors
We will also be offering 3 half-day workshops for silviculture contractors in the fall. One of these has been scheduled for the Bridgewater area, Lunenburg County, on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010. Another has been scheduled for the Wentworth area, Colchester County, on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010. The third contractor workshop will be held in the Eastern Region, but the date and county are not yet determined. It will most likely be held in November.
These workshops are an opportunity for silviculture contractors to learn and share information and ideas. We will discuss the full range of variables involved when implementing Category 7 treatments and uneven-aged management in varying forest conditions. If you are a contractor, we encourage you to register. If you are a woodlot owner who has been working with a silviculture contractor, we encourage you to pass this information on.
Site visits
We are also doing free site visits to woodlots all over the province in order to determine whether these woodlots are eligible for funding under the Category 7 Program. The visits also allow us to help woodlot owners understand what they would have to do in order to qualify for funding, with some discussion of the “how”.
The visits are free and last about three hours. We will be conducting these site visits from late summer through the fall and possibly even through next winter.
If you are interested in receiving a site visit, please get in touch with us and provide some information about your woodlot. We need to know whether your woodlot has previously been visited by the ASF, where it’s located, and how to contact you. It would also be helpful if you could provide some background information on the woodlot, such as its size, whether you have done much harvesting, and what harvesting methods have been used.
Unfortunately, we may not be able to give site visits to all who are interested. Also please note that we may not be able to get in touch right away. If your woodlot meets our criteria and we are going to have a team member in your area, we’ll get in touch to see if we can set up an appointment for a date before March 2011, which is when this project concludes.
For more information
If you are interested in learning more about uneven-aged management, you can download copies of our literature from the ASF website:
“Growing High Value Trees” is our handout on the Category 7 program and the Category 7 silviculture treatments. It can be downloaded in pdf format at http://www.asforestry.com/PDFs/cat7/Growinghighvaluetrees.pdf
“Managing the Natural Forest” is about ecosystem-based forest management. It can be downloaded in pdf format at http://www.asforestry.com/PDFs/cat7/Managingthenaturalforest.pdf
“Choosing Which Trees to Keep and Which to Take” is about crop tree selection and tree marking. It can be downloaded in pdf format at http://www.asforestry.com/PDFs/cat7/Choosingtreestokeepandtake.pdf

We hope to see you at one of our fall programs.
Patricia Amero, RFP
Picea Forestry Consulting, http://www.piceaforestry.ca
Coordinator, the Uneven-Aged Management Outreach Project

The Minister Speaks

We thought our members and others would be interested in DNR Minister John MacDonell’s take on the possibility of changes to forestry practices and policy based upon Phase II Forestry Report. It has appeared in the July 9 HalifaxNewsNet newspaper (The Weekly News) and is used with permission. If technical skills permit, it is provided as an attachment to this newsletter.

Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest Division

The summer has been slipping by since the signing of the Operating Agreement for the Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest on June 22, 2010. Prior to that time, general discussions had taken place with DNR on how to proceed with the management planning process. The OPDF Division Board will now assume full authority over the project. As usual, it's difficult to find common time in the schedules of our 14 Board members to fit in more meetings.

One of the first tasks to be addressed by the Board will be to identify and map geological hazards resulting from past exploration and mining activities. The Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest contains the site of the first discovery of gold in Nova Scotia, in 1858. The discovery, ten miles inland from the coastal settlement of Tangier, led to the Province's first gold rush in the summer of 1860. In the words of Joseph Howe, who was sent to investigate the rumours of riches, upon arriving at the chaotic scene after two days hike through the woods:

"Before we had ascertained the actual results of the labours of this improvised community, there was something extremely exciting in the contemplation of the zeal and energy displayed. When the results were known, there was something half sad and half ludicrous in the scene - the buoyant step and flashing eye of newcomers just rushing out of the dense foliage in hot haste to be rich contrasted strangely with the subdued and doubting expressions of those who had been digging and washing all day without sight of the glittering ore."

The rich cultural history of the Otter Ponds Forest will provide the Division with additional opportunities to attract diverse interest groups to the Project. Hopefully, we will help people rediscover the very real connections that forests and landscapes have always had with communities, connections which all too often are forgotten by modern human societies.

The OPDF Division Board encourages any members with an interest in the Otter Ponds Project to let us know. The Projects accomplishments will be limited only by the energies and efforts we can muster from members towards our goals.

The NSWOOA at the URAB Hearings

The NSWOOA applied for and received “official intervener” status for the Utility and Review Board’s hearings of Nova Scotia Power Inc.'s application to the N.S. Utility & Review Board for a 60 mw bio- mass project for Port Hawkesbury.
The President formed a committee of 5 to act, Wade Prest was accepted by the UARB as " lead presenter and expert witness ".
The thrust of your Associations submission was to encourage the UARB to consider both the economic and ecological aspects.
Following are some excerpts taken from our submission:

" It is important to establish that the NSWOOA recognizes a place for pulp and paper industry in this Province. Many of our members and non - members, not only in the seven eastern counties, but from central and western Nova Scotia as well, are or have been suppliers to the Port Hawkesbury mills over the past fifty years. The mill provides an important market for pulpwood grade material generated in woodlot improvement cutting. The NSWOOA wants to see the pulpwood market, as presently specified, to continue to be available to small woodlot owners. "

" The NSWOOA does not regard bio-mass to be a by-product of traditional harvest operations, any more than pulpwood is a by-product of harvesting operations that sort out sawlogs. Bio-mass as a feed stock for gas, oil, energy, fibre, chemicals, and so on represents a new primary forest product destined for new and independent markets.
These new uses for wood fibre will expand in the coming years , and bring severe supply and economic forces to bear on traditional roundwood supply, especially pulpwood. "

" The purpose of this intervention is to highlight the weaknesses of the proposal put forward. From the final issues list, the NSWOOA has concerns with fuel related issues of bio-mass supply ( and sustainability of same ) and fuel acquisition ( the terms, costs and control of fuel price ) Other issues are the ownership of carbon credits and the consequences of large scale harvesting over the life of the project. "

The hearings were held in Halifax , July 26th to July 29th/10 adjourning to allow more time for the RFP (request for proposal ) process .
Our entire submission and others is available to the public at www.nsuarb.ca

George Johnson, Chair
Bio-mass committee

Thinking of Trees
Sometimes in our readings we are drawn to a particular passage, sentence or phrase that puts a new perspective on an old issue, or says what we think in words we wish we had used. “Ecoforestry-Doing the Right Things,” from Drengson’s and Taylor’s Wild Foresting, revisits the claim that clearcutting mimics natural disturbances.
After noting that foresters had previously thought that new forests, after fire, storms or clear cuts, were established from the nearest seed sources left standing, author Topy Travers says: “We now know that natural disturbances leave behind a wide array of biological legacies which provide strong linkages between old and new forest ecosystems.”

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