NSWOOA Update Newsletter 51

NSWOOA Update Newsletter 51

March 20, 2012
902 633 2108

The Annual General Meeting Issue

In this Issue:
- Hello Woodlot Owners- Planning the Meeting
- AGM Tentative Agenda and Info
- Matt Miller, Presenter
- Dale Prest, Presenter
- Who Is Andy Kekacs and What is He Doing Here?
- Award Winner
- About Our Market
- How to Contact Us.

Hello Woodlot Owners
Planning the Annual General Meeting
Perhaps a NSWOOA member attending his or her first few Board meetings would find the planning of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be informative. There is no way to know what this imaginary observer’s expectations might have been, but certainly there was much to note, as large portions of the last two regular monthly meetings were devoted to the AGM.
Some items are sort of “housekeeping.” These include location, catering, registration and general duties for Board members that day.
There are some items that might be of note. For example, there is quite a lot of concern that the meeting meet the needs of the members. What do they want? What do they expect. Some items are specified by resolutions made from the floor at the last AGM, and these must be addressed either in the President’s Address or in the business arising part of the business meeting. Each meeting provides tons of informal feedback to Board members though, so each Director has an idea of what members want, how they reacted to various items, and the will of the membership.
Sometimes such feedback is direct, such as a desire to have more time to speak to fellow members over coffee or at dinner. Another oft heard piece of advice from last year was to have some kind of forum whereby members can ask questions on issues of concern, give advice on
problems faced, and share experiences and expertise.
Then there are program ideas such as significant speakers who should be invited to address us, or topics for which there is an interest to educate ourselves, and can we find a presenter?
Our pretend observer might be a bit surprised at the care Directors take to establish a sense balance among the main elements of the event: the business meeting, informal contact, celebrations, education and service. This means careful consideration of the agenda and its time line.
In the end, if everything is done well, the members and directors at meeting will have had a positive experience and begin another successful year.

Tentative Agenda for the Annual General Meeting
Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association.
April 14, Old Barns, N.S.

8:00-8:45 Registration, coffee, set up vending tables

8:45-9:15 Opening of the meeting, Welcome, President’s report- Marc Chisholm, President and Chair. Suspension of business meeting and moving to the program.

9:15-10:00 Forestry Policy- Matt Miller

10:00-10:20 Awards

10:20-10:45 Nutrition Break

10:45-11:30 Dale Prest

11:30-12:00 Outreach Project. Jamie Simpson describers the project and introduces the cast.

12:00- 1:15 LUNCH

1:15-2:00 Forestry Forum conducted by Wade Prest

2:00-3:00 –Resumption of business meeting

- Minutes of 2011 AGM
- Financial Report
- Nomination and Election of Directors
- Resolutions from the floor

3:00 –Adjournment

AGM information:

Registration: 8:00 to 8:45. $10 for members and $20 for guests. Setting up displays, booths
Membership renewals accepted.
Where: Church Hall, Old Barns: Take the Robie street exit to Truro (by Giant Tiger),
but turn onto the 236 highway instead of going into town. Proceed for 7 km towards Old Barns, approximately.

Matt Miller on Forest Policy
Matt Miller, Forestry Campaign Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre, will give an update on forest policy developments as they relate to the Natural Resources Strategy. Topics to cover will include an update on harvesting practice reforms (whole-tree harvesting and a progress report on the 50% clearcutting reduction target) and recent talks with Peter Woodbridge, from Woodbridge and Associates, the consulting company working with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), author of "The Woodbridge Report). Mr. Woodbridge has been back to twice in the last year to engage with many different stakeholders - his latest talks have centered around exploring value-added manufacturing options for NS.

Resolutions from the Floor
One of the most significant features of the business meeting agenda is the section titled “Resolutions from the Floor.” In this part of the business meeting direction for the coming year is sought from the membership, so this is how, formally, the membership controls and directs the Board. Resolution are motions moved and seconded, then discussed by the meeting. All regular members present are entitled to vote on the proposed motions. These motions can be direct, such as advising the Board to support a cause or action by another party. They can ask the Board to deal with issues in “an appropriate” manner. They can be significant in other ways also, such as establishing or confirming policy, rearranging priorities, procedures or expectations.
Please give thought to possible resolutions from the floor. The ideas for these resolutions might be in your head already, or arise from conversation with other members at the meeting. Perhaps a speaker will identify a problem or idea that the Association should act upon, and possibly the idea could come from the membership forestry forum just before the business meeting.

Dale Prest, AGM Presenter
Dale works to value the services that ecosystems provide to society as the Ecosystem Service Specialist with Community Forests International, a small volunteer NGO based in Sackville NB,. He has a Bachelor of Science from Dalhousie University and is currently enrolled at St. Francis Xavier University undertaking a Masters in Environmental Science investigating the long-term impact of clearcut harvesting on forest soil carbon storage in the Acadian Forest. He grew up working on family owned woodlots in Mooseland, NS and helps out with the Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest.
He will be speaking at the AGM about what effect clearcut harvesting has upon soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations, impacting site productivity and carbon storage. This ties in with the work being done at Community Forests International to value carbon storage as a way to promote restoration forestry in the Acadian Forest Region. Through the sale of carbon offsets and by working with Picea Forestry Consulting and Nagaya Forest Restoration they have been able to ensure and continue the legacy of restoration forestry on a woodlot owned by Clark Phillips and Sue Tyler of South Branch, NB. Dale will also be speaking about the potential for small woodlot owners to sell carbon offsets as a way to fund restoration forestry efforts in the Acadian Forest Region.

Who Is Andy Kekacs and What is He Doing Here?
Andrew Kekacs has joined NSWOOA as outreach project manager. A long-time woodlot owner in Maine, he is completing a master’s degree in the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University. He received a firsthand look at the challenges of forest ownership in Nova Scotia while accompanying 37 provincial landowners on one- to three-hour walks in their woodlands last fall. The walks form the basis of his thesis, which is titled, “What attitudes and motivations do small-woodland owners in Nova Scotia have regarding timber harvests?”

Supported by substantial funding from the province, Andy will coordinate a sustainable forest management outreach program that will recruit 100 woodlot owners for low-cost site visits. The visits will provide information on forest composition, management options, uneven-aged harvest techniques, and silviculture funding. He will also help to develop several workshop series and training sessions throughout the province for woodlot owners, contractors, foresters and forest technicians. In addition, Andy will work to develop a news website for NSWOOA, create written and web-based handouts and brochures on forest issues, and help to develop the potential of the Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest.

Prior to moving to Halifax in 2010, Andy was the owner of a small business with expertise in two areas: Research and writing on natural resource issues and sustainable rural development; and consulting on communications strategies with forest-related nonprofits. He was also an award-winning journalist, focusing on stories at the intersection of business, the environment and rural life.

Andy’s family emigrated from Slovakia in the 1880s. His last name is pronounced KECK-otch. If you are interested in the outreach activities – or just want to say hello – give him a call at 902-817-4763, which is also the new NSWOOA cell phone number.

Award Winner
Last year’s AGM saw the presentation of the first NSWOOA Friend of the Acadian Forest Award. This year the prestigious award is being presented to Gary Schneider.
Gary is the founder and project manager of the Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project in Orwell, PEI. Since 1991, Macphail Woods has been a leader in forest restoration and received numerous national and local awards for its work in conservation and education. The project has initiated plantings, from a single tree to up to ten acres, on over 20 Island schoolyards, and has also worked with schools in the three other Atlantic provinces. In 2005, the PEI government turned over management of 2,000 acres of provincial forest land to Macphail Woods, and last year one block of these properties became the first FSC-certified public forest in the province. Macphail Woods also works with Island landowners as well as private woodlot owners, providing information and advice, developing management plans and carrying out the actual restoration. Gary also co-chairs the Environmental Coalition of Prince Edward Island and just bought 45 acres of woodland in Newtown Cross that he intends to spend the rest of his life stewarding.

The AGM Market
Again this year the AGM is providing free space to our members- individuals, associations and businesses- who wish to sell goods and services to other members, to circulate business cards, samples and reports. Got some really good photos? Come display them also.
When you arrive at the AGM, seek out Charlie Baird, and he will see that you have a display location.

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