NSWOOA Update Newsletter 43
May 30, 2011
nswooa@gmail.com902 633 2108

In This Issue:
- ­­Hello Woodlot Owners
- The New NSWOOA Board
- Many Thanks
- Educational Opportunity From Windhorse Farm
- Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest Report
- Another Educational Opportunity
- How to Contact Us.

Hello Woodlot Owners: The Blame Game

The Blame Game
Blame might be described as assigning responsibility to somebody for a negative outcome, a bad situation, and so on.
Who is being blamed now? Apparently we, woodlot owners, are being blamed for a perceived lack of roundwood being supplied to the various roundwood users. Supposedly this is because private woodlot owners are not properly managing their holdings. Perhaps you have heard industry say this, or politicians, or, eventually, the media? The Woodridge Report certainly implies it, and says that many woodlot are idle because owners are too old, or too new and too urban.
Of course there is the possibility that there is no real shortage, but instead there is an unrealistic expectation about how much fibre private woodlot owners could/should provide. That is possible too.
At the AGM in April the topic of woodlot owners being blamed for shortages was discussed, leading to a request from the floor that the Directors look into this perceived shortfall of round wood from small woodlot owners, and to do what they determined appropriate to correct the mistaken opinion. And we all were asked to debunk the myth whenever we heard it.
As a result of this discussion, a quick unscientific check of a handful of woodlot owners at the AGM concluded that none of them had held product from the markets because irresponsible or malicious motives.
Woodridge suggests that one reason for lack of production from small woodlots has dropped from its maximum is that woodlot owners are older now and cannot do the work themselves. Or that they have passed on and the property is now in the hands of urban dwelling heirs who have no interest in production. In reality there are many reasons, for both woodlot owners who actively manage and those who do not, to explain their current production. Woodridge never even mentions these. They include prices being too low to cover costs, woodlots depleted from past harvesting practices, contractors who only harvest by clearcutting, lack of contractors who have machinery suitable for working on small woodlots, pulp mills moving to chipping operations, the elimination of woodlot owner groups from the bargaining process, and the realization that woodlots provide other services and values than production of fibre. And don’t forget that woodlot owners and the general public have far more expertise and science than ever before.
In the May issue the Atlantic Forestry Review, commenting on John MacDonell, receiving the Friend of the Acadian Forest Award, quotes the former Minister of Natural Resources: “....my experience told me we could not keep doing what we were doing. It was a race to the bottom. I never bought the argument that if we changed anything we were going to put people out of work. I think we were going to put people out of work the way we were going.” Perhaps Woodridge was asked to answer the wrong question. It’s not how can we keep the status quo, but how can we have something better?

The New Line Up
The retirement of President Austin Parsons from the Board of Directors has meant a new alignment of officers. The Association’s by-laws require the directors to elect a new slate of officers the first meeting following the AGM. The President then has the responsibility of selecting his executives.

NSWOOA President Marc Chisholm
Vice President Matt Miller
Treasurer Tony Phillips
Recording Secretary Paul Brison
Corresponding Secretary Ken MacRury
CWSD Lorne Burrows
Executive Members Marc Chisholm
Matt Miller
George Johnson
Wade Prest
Lorne Burrows
Directors Charlie Baird
Jack McLellan
George Johnson
Jamie Simpson
Christie Verstraten
It is noted that George Johnson is President of the Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest

Many Thanks
A special Directors meeting was held on May 19 to discuss the Woodridge Report and to begin formulating a position or response to it. In preparation for the meeting a request was sent out to all members asking for your reactions and evaluations.

We had a tremendous response. There were views and opinions, and analysis from a great number of you, and we really appreciate the input. It provided a sense of what the membership thinks about the report, and will supports us as we work towards a position or action.

An Educational Opportunity: Windhorse Forestry
JULY 15 - 17

Windhorse Farm, in the LaHave River watershed, is right in the heart of the Acadian Forest, one of six endangered forests of North America. Although the entire region has been severely abused over the past few hundred years, and especially since the advent of industrial clear cutting, there remain a few remnants of mature, fully functioning Acadian Forest. Windhorse Farm is one such place. Settled in 1840 by the Conrad Wentzell family, the woodlot has been harvested each year for the last 170 years yet has the same volume of standing timber today as it had when the first axe bit wood in 1840. It is, in fact, the longest standing demonstration of forest sustainability in Canada.

Join us at Windhorse farm from July 15 – 17 to explore the forest and to learn the practices and methods that make forestry at Windhorse the successful model it is today.

In this course we will look at how to deepen our own personal connection with the forest and how this relationship is foundational to practicing forestry in this way. The course will also examine the different perspectives that can be applied to finding a path to sustainable forestry and how the various forestry tools can be applied depending on which view you take.

For a full course description please visit www.windhorsefarm.org or call 902-543-6955

Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest
It is shaping up to be a busy spring and summer on the Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest, according to President George Johnson. First, Otter Ponds has received a grant from DNR to do a management plan which will lead to FSC certification through Forest Keepers. Secondly, preliminary work is underway to construct 3/4 quarters of a mile of road including a bridge across the Otter Pond Brook this summer . Also, discussions are taking place on how to make a small amount of FSC certified wood available to local users.
A number of new NSWOOA members have indicated that they have joined as associate members in order to be a part of the Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest. In the case of these members, $25 of the $30 membership fee is turned over to the OPDF.

Another Educational Opportunity.
Here's a notice of a 5-day course on ecological forestry, taking place in Sackville NB in July. Includes both practical, hands-on woodlot management experiences (and chainsaw operation if you want), and classroom time on forest ecology and forestry theory. Students last year loved it (or so they said!)Ecological Forestry Short Course – Using forest management techniques that mimic ecological processes to promote healthy and biodiverse woodlots in the Maritimes
Lead Instructor: Jamie Simpson, M.Sc.F, RPF. Author of Restoring the Acadian Forest: A Stewardship Guide for Woodlot Owners in the Maritimes.
Duration: July 18th - 22nd
Location: Sackville, N.B.
Community Forests International (CFI) endorses a middle-of-the-path approach to forestry in the maritimes, one that balances forest conservation with forestry enterprise. Understanding that our communities have long depended on wood products harvested from the local Acadian Forest, CFI promotes Ecological Forestry as a way of earning a living while maintaining the long-term health, diversity and integrity of this unique forest type.
While learning and growing as an organization, Community Forests International has been in contact with some remarkable stewards of the Acadian Forest. Spending time with those who have long practiced an ecological approach to forestry has prompted the development of a short course to extend the important wisdom, skills, and forestlands philosophies of these stewards to others in the region.
From July 18th - 22nd, 2011, Community Forests International will be offering its second annual 'Ecological Forestry Short Course' in Sackville, New Brunswick. If you’ve spent the summer planting trees, and are interested in learning about a more natural process of forest restoration, or if you own a woodlot and want to sharpen your skills, this course offers a wide array of topics including: native plant and tree identification, chainsaw safety and maintenance, principles of ecological and restoration forestry, small-scale sawmill operation, wildcrafting, and value-added wood product enterprise.
To register or receive additional information please email info@forestsinternational.org or call (506) 536 - 3738. Cost is $450 per participant (lunch and refreshments included). $50 off for early registration (before July 1st) and bursaries available by application.
Jamie Simpson, M.Sc.F., Professional Forester, registered in New Brunswick

Lines of CommunicationMembers 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