NSWOOA Update 42

NSWOOA Update 42
April 30, 2011
902 633 2108

In This Issue:
­­-Hello Woodlot Owners
-AGM Review
- Transitions
-President’s Address
- A Note of Sorrow
- How to Contact Us

Hello Woodlot Owners:
Cleaning out the old green file cabinet which resides in the hallway last Wednesday proved to be a rewarding experience after all. There, under the hanging files, and all crumpled up, was the January-February issue of Forest Times. For those not so long in the tooth as some of the rest of us, Forest Times was published six times a year by the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forests “as an education and public information project.” It was financed by the Department and the Canadian Government, and states its purpose as “to provide information on forest improvement to private landowners and others interested in the forests of Nova Scotia.”
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
The content is interesting as well. It included articles on FPANS new home, homemade technology used on woodlots, and forestry education for youth. Also there was a book review, a listing of new technical reports available, advice on felling problem trees, and a round-up of news in the group venture associations.
In short, the Forest Times was part of an education and outreach initiative of the Department of Lands and Forests (now the Department of Natural Resources): extension services.
With the new forest strategy about to be released it is perhaps time for DLF/DNR to once again become involved with information sharing, educational projects and some type of extension services. There are going to be difficulties adjusting to the new regime of forestry practices, a need for training of harvesters, and land owners. And don’t forget the public. The recent Voluntary planning hearings made it very clear that the general public want to be kept abreast of what is happening, why , where and how.
Indeed the two recent Section Seven Silviculture Outreach Programs conducted by the NSWOOA/Picea Forestry Consulting are evidence that a new appreciation of extension services is growing. It will be interesting to see if more and diverse and woodlot owner focused programs are part of the new forest strategy package.

Annual General Meeting Report
This year’s version of the Annual General Meeting was a well attended and informative event.
- Keynote speaker Kevin Keys gave an extensive presentation on soil types and how they inform harvesting and silviculture practices. There was a great deal of information here and many questions and observations resulted. Two of the three new guides are now published, and copies were presented to Patricia Amero and Sandy Hyde (Picea Forestry) who have been leaders in employing soil types into management plans, and to Dave Sutherland of ASF for use by his organization.
- Dave Sutherland explained the structure and purpose of the Association For Sustainable Forestry, noting that Section 7 Silviculture is becoming a significant part of the ASF’s business, along with PCT’s. He invited the NSWOOA to become a member of the ASF.
- Will Martin provided a different model of private forest management used in Ontario where full taxation of woodlots provides both carrot and stick for managers to manage sustainably.
- Wade Prest alerted members to be on guard when they hear politicians, media or others blame a perceived lack of roundwood on the market on poor management practices on private woodlots. He reviewed some of the conditions which might give this impression and also the reasons this is not true, urging us to refute this assumption when we encounter it.
- Friend of the Acadian Forest awards were presented by Tom Miller to Bob Bancroft; by Minga O’Brien to Donna Crossland; and by Wade Prest to John MacDonell.
- There were displays and products for sale including maple syrup, trees, honey, unique wood for woodworking projects.

We say thank you and all the best to retiring directors Austin Powers and Barbara Gallagher. Our Association is certainly the beneficiary of your hard work and dedication’
We say thank you and welcome to new director Christie Verstraten.
Christie is a recent graduate student at Dalhousie University currently pursuing a Masters in Resource and Environmental Management.
She has completed several research projects and papers on sustainable forest management in Nova Scotia over the course of her academic career and has focussed much of her research on small private woodlot owners in the province. Growing up on a dairy farm in Cumberland County and in her family’s woodlots, Christie has a genuine respect and appreciation for the land and advocates responsible and sustainable land stewardship. She hopes to eventually pursue a career in private woodlot management and organic farming.

President’s Address to the AGM
I want to start by saying something obvious. A group’s accomplishments are the sum of the work and effort of the individuals who make up the group. In this spirit, I want to thank the 2010 – 2011 NSWOOA Board of Directors on behalf of the association for their past year’s efforts and as you will hear in a few moments, the resulting list of accomplishments. Without this group of individuals who worked together over the course of a year, none of what I’m about to talk about would have happened.
But first, I want to put into words this President’s view of the association’s present vision or mission statement. Said another way, what follows is my understanding of NSWOOA’s niche in the practical and political landscape of present day Nova Scotia forestry.

So, what is our present vision? I think of it can best, and most succinctly be described as advocates of a certain type of Acadian Forest rehabilitation.

What I mean by the statement “a certain type of Acadian Forest rehabilitation” is one that takes an ecosystem approach to developing a multi-age, multi-species forest. A forest based on local moisture and soil regimes (an ecosystem approach) that promotes natural succession and works with its natural species composition of trees, plants and wildlife. In other words, a forest that works with nature.
Given we live in Nova Scotia with its four hundred + year history of European harvest and past practices that include large scale clear cuts, high grading and second, third and possibly fourth generation cuts, I suspect most of us are working with an ecologically simplified forest. As such, we are rehabilitating these forests to improve their biodiversity. We are doing this by promoting the above mentioned species compositions, but also leaving both short term and long term carbon on the ground – deadwood, both tops and trunks and limiting our harvests to appropriate scale cuts. In this spirit, there is a priority given to working with the woodlot’s ecology. The assumption being that ecological health expressed in terms of increased biodiversity will in turn lead to both social and economic benefits.
So, what does this woodlot look like? I don’t think this question matters, but it is one a number of people ask. There is no one picture of the ideal woodlot. The picture is different, depending on what moisture and soil regime one has and the point in the natural succession of the forest one happens to be living thru. The key here is increased biodiversity – many different species of trees and plants and eco-regimes, which will hopefully lead to a variety of wildlife species.
You may have noticed I said rehabilitation and not restoration. In my mind, forest restoration is a non-starter or at worst, a call for inaction. The basic assumption behind restoration is to bring something, in this case the forest, back to some point in time; for arguments sake, say 1590 before the first Europeans explored this area. This is another point of fascination for people – what did the forest look like before Europeans found the place. It isn’t logical. The act of restoration depends on the assumption of perfect information, or at least a set of information proponents and critics can agree upon. This won’t happen.
Even if this information existed, it would be a moving target given what we know about local, natural disturbance patterns.
I believe what we are doing is more about rehabilitation. An idea that is not dependent on a past vision, but one based on a present day technical understanding of the forest and to improve its ecological condition.

As I mentioned above, our vision, or at least my interpretation of it, is to take ecologically simplified forests and thru management, increase their biodiversity. One isn’t worried so much about the forest will look like, but that it is robust, has ecological redundancy put in place and can adapt to changing climate. At the same time, there is the hope that what one leaves is better off than what one started with. This is a forward thinking perspective.

In this spirit, the association over the past year both educated and was an advocate. I will divide our accomplishments into two parts: education and advocacy.

Get the word out to small private woodlot owners as well as our members about uneven age management, and the concept of Acadian Forest rehabilitation
Field Day (George Johnson)
Langille Property outside of Pictou
Focus on uneven age management and forestry techniques

Otter Ponds Demonstration woodlot
A working woodlot practicing Acadian Forest rehabilitation (George Johnson is President of this division)
We have been fortunate to partner with Picea Forestry Consultants Limited to deliver woodlot owner education programs and woodlot certification programs. They have worked most closely with directors Tony Phillips, Paul Brison, Wade Prest.
Picea Partnership Projects
-Category 7 Uneven Age Management Outreach Project with PICEA Forestry Consultants Ltd. (video as part of Dave Sutherland’s presentation)
-FSC Woodlot Certification project again with PICEA Forestry Consultants Ltd
-ASF Category 7 Committee

Educating our members about the board’s activities– a lot happens at the board level but it is a challenge to continually get the message out
-membership outreach
-NSWOOA UPDATE newsletter (Paul Brison)
-web page (future work)
-related but not directly about keeping our membership informed is the membership drive (Marc Chisholm) coordinate records and send out reminders. Our primary source of funding is membership fees (both new members and renewals)
Objectives: Acadian forest rehabilitation: pushing 50% reduction in clearcutting, ban on whole tree harvesting , more $ to uneven age management, curbs on biomass
UARB (utilities and Review Board application by New Page, Port Hawksbury for their biomass project. NSWOOA was a formal intervener. (George Johnson, chair, Wade Prest, Lorne Burrows, Matt Miller), Austin Parsons ex-officio (Wade Prest was appointed the spokesperson for the group.)
The NSWOOA’s position was thatwe weren’t against the project, but expressed reservations about New Page’s technical assumptions about wood supply and the project’s dependence on small private woodlot owners for biomass.
ALL MEMBERS COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES (Lorne Burrows, Matt Miller, Austin Parsons) The NSWOOA representatives were asked questions on a range of topics from the members of the committee. The members were interested in our positions on various topics. The discussion is a public record.
I asked by MLA Alan MacMaster to come up to the nursery to be part of a group discussion about future directions for the facility. He was interested in the idea about a Category 8 Silviculture funding option. The board has had only cursory discussions about what would make up a category 8, but it appears there is a political interest in this topic.
Meetings with Premier Dexter and DNR Minister Parker
Premier Dexter: Ken MacRury, Marc Chisholm, Wade Prest, AP
Minister Parker: Matt Miller, Wade Prest, AP
General discussions, ½ hour with the Premier, an hour with the Minister, Confirmation of the six issues from policy review in the natural resources strategy (forestry section)
Woodlot Owner Conference Presentations (Matt Miller)
Tell others who we are, our vision, what we have done and where we are going
FSC Maritime Regional Standard Review We will be involved in this review process.
Forest Technical Advisory Committee (Ken MacRury) met once (April) and was inconclusive. Concerns about the committee

Down the road:
Proposal to continue un-even age management education of small private woodlot owners project (Jamie Simpson, Matt Miller)
A project about getting the word out.
It was a special year in Nova Scotia Forestry with the publication of the Natural Resources Strategy - Future of Nova Scotia Forestry. Significant work, but policy change happens in baby steps. Yet, it takes personal initiative, sacrifice and guts to buck the trend and go against entrenched ideas.
This work was based on public input, political will and the particular efforts of several - so much so that NSWOOA would like to formally recognize three people’s contribution to the Acadian Forest: Minister John MacDonnell, Ms. Donna Crossland and Mr. Bob Bancroft.

A Note of Sorrow
Directors and members of the NSWOOA extend their sympathies and condolences to Director Charlie Baird and his family on the April 21st passing of his father, Carson (Ted) Baird.

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