NSWOOA Update Newsletter 47

November 17, 2011
nswooa@gmail.com902 633 2108

In this Issue:
-Hello Woodlot Owners
-Question Period
-Workshop News
- Crisis in the Forest Industry
- Otter Ponds Update
- New Membership Category
- Renewal of Memberships
- How to Contact Us.
Hello Woodlot Owners:
It is probably true that there are potential difficulties for every woodlot owner working for some other woodlot owner. Last year there had been a request by a local woodlot owner to cut some firewood for him, but the work had not be done. A second request was harder to avoid, so now the work had to be done. The assignment was to cut eight cords of hardwood firewood from a ten acre woodlot. The reality was that the lot had been high-graded, one suspects several times, in the past. The first clue that something was wrong was when the owner explained that it was “a slow grow-growing lot.” The second clue was that the directions were for medium and large, but no huge diameter firewood.
A walk around the lot confirmed the matter. Among the pole sized fir and grey birch were a few trees of value or potential value such as several healthy, growing red oak . There were two impressive white pines, and some immature but promising white ash. A few black and red spruce were found here and there. But most of the hardwood from which the harvest was to come was immature red maple. In particular, second growth red maple with multiple stems on each stump.
Ah, yes, you see the potential difficulties here. An elderly man up the road stopped by to pay for a piece of timber. He was quite familiar with that woodlot, and ended up giving advice. “I always cut the biggest trees off the stump and let the small ones grow,” he offered.
“Yes, but if a tree only grows one fourth of an inch per year in diameter, isn’t it better to have a 6” or 8” tree grow that much all around its circumference than a 3” or 4” stem?” There was also the idea that the poorest shaped and less wind firm stems usually were the smaller ones.
“Well,” he countered, I always did it that way and there’s still wood on my lot.”
So there you have it. A dilemma. A compromise was reached, and a few of the larger stems left previously have been added to the harvest pile, but also there is a great deal of smaller wood produced from what in some places was more of a thinning and spacing exercise. What would you have done?

A Question to Answer
An email arrived on October 13 from member Graham Smith:
I have a good-sized red oak tree blown down on my woodlot on the North Mountain. The straight part of the trunk is about 15 feet, and the diameter is about 18 inches.
Does a log like this have market value beyond firewood?
Further contact revealed that the tree is easily accessible, and would be available for free to the harvester who had some higher level use for the log than burning it.
It’s a fair question, because there are many woodlot owners who have come upon one, two or a number of high value trees but not enough for a truck load. Sometimes the trees are left standing in the woods, sometimes they are made into firewood. Some woodlot owners who are able to do so, harvest the logs, bring in a portable sawmill and either use the product or sell it to local craftsmen.
What is your answer to Mr. Smith? And what is your solution to the problem of small volumes of specialized product?

November 26 & December 3: Learn how to manage the natural forest—from “start (what) to finish (how)”!
You are invited to join Picea Forestry Consulting and North Nova Forest Owners Co-Op Ltd. for an “on-the ground” learning experience focused on selection harvesting in the Acadian Forest. From 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm on Saturday November 26 and Saturday December 3, we will take a small group of woodlot owners and silviculture contractors to visit woodlots in the Wentworth area.
The walks will help build an understanding of the natural Acadian Forest—its structure, composition, and functions. They will also show how basic understanding of the ecology of the Acadian Forest helps forest managers improve forest health, growth, and diversity and how to implement appropriate methods in an ecologically responsible manner.
The woodlot walks are free and are being presented with funding from the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources. They are designed to be complementary, and we encourage you to attend both. However, you are also welcome to register for just one:
The first woodlot walk, November 26, will introduce woodlot owners and contractors to woodlot ecology and ecosystem-based forest management (EBFM). We will use the provincial forest ecosystem classification (FEC) guides and demonstrate how they are used with EBFM. This walk will also aim to answer questions such as: How do I know what species are suitable to grow on certain sites? How do I recognize growth potential? How do forests succeed from early to late stages of development? How do I recognize past human-caused and natural disturbances?
The second woodlot walk, December 3, will focus on pre-operational planning as a way for the woodlot owner or contractor to know what factors to consider when developing proper prescriptions and determining how to cost-effectively implement appropriate methods of partial harvest. This walk will aim to answer questions such as: How do I put the FEC manuals to practical use? What can I do to improve long-term site productivity? What are regenerating and tending activities? How can natural disturbance patterns and processes of natural mortality be mimicked through partial harvesting? How can I take advantage of available silviculture subsidies to help meet management objectives? This session will include an opportunity for attendees to “learn by doing” by marking trees for harvest or retention; this will include exercises aimed at both regenerating and tending.
To register, or for additional information on these programs, please call 902-673-2278 or email piceaeducation@gmail.com. We will be limiting participation in order to ensure plenty of time for interaction among the participants. So if you would like to come, please register right away. Spaces will be given out on first-come, first-served basis.

Crises in the Forest
One is a crisis; two or more and you have crises -and that is what we have. There have been a series of crises, and events are happening so rapidly that even daily media are having trouble keeping on top of all the events.
The cliché “perfect storm” comes to mind. Nova Scotia’s forest industry has been structured in such a fashion that there has been heavy dependence on three foreign owned pulp mills, and for years programs have been directed towards keeping them going with good quality low priced fibre. Suddenly there is a drop in world demand for paper, as technologies change. In the mean time there are new mills opening in countries where a tree of harvestable size can be grown in three to five years.
No one seems sure what changes will result, but it is becoming clear that providing large volumes of fibre at or below costs will not keep contractors going, will not entice private woodlot owners to harvest, and is not sustainable forestry.
We invite readers to share their visions and advice for how to deal with these crises, and how to change our forest industry for the better.

Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest Report
The AGM of the Otter Pond Demonstration Forest was held on a snowy Nov 5th morning in Mooseland, with over thirty interested and dedicated folks in attendance.

The chair, George Johnson and Wade Prest, the membership chair, both talked in their reports about the need for more participation from all four of the parent groups. The Otter Ponds Project is bigger than anyone imagined, overwhelming but also very exciting.

A slate of directors, with only a few changes, was nominated and approved by the membership. This was followed by a helpful discussion which had four main themes;
Communication- how do we tell the story of OPDF.
Education- how to get people on site and learning about sustainable forestry.
Paid Manager- the need for a consistent go-to person to organize the forestry work.
Inventory- what do we have on the ground now so we have something to compare to in the future.

We ended the day with a walk in the woods. The membership was impressed with the road building and the progress of the bridge construction. We were able to get a sense of how much work there is still to be done. We crossed the creek and spent some time chatting in a beautiful stand of Red Spruce. A great reminder to us all of why this project is so important; an assured future for the Acadian Forest.

By Kate Campbell, Director

New Membership Category
The Board of the Association Has decided to create a second category of associate membership, a student membership costing $10 per year. Any student interested in forestry, the woods, environment, being a woodlot owner, etc., qualifies for this type of membership. Like all other members, students would receive noticed of meetings, be invited to all membership meetings, receive our electronic newsletter, be a member of the Otter Ponds Demonstration forest and so on. ( Remember that associate members do not have voting rights at NSWOOA meetings, but do at OPDF meetings ). The purposes behind the creation of this membership are: 1) to allow students with interests in the forests to participate in this organization, and, 2) to create a way woodlot owner parents and grandparents can bring their children into the fold of woodlot owners. How about giving a membership to someone in your family?

Membership Renewals

This is November. Then comes December, and with the end of December comes the expiry of our paid up memberships in the NSWOOA. They run from January 1 to December 31 each year. Here’s your opportunity to get ahead of the crowd by paying up now.

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