June 17, 2012
In this Issue:
Hello Woodlot Owners- Woodlot Tour July 21For quite a few years now Francis Verstraten and his family have hosted the Antique Tractor Show on their ex-dairy farm in Lorneville, on the beautiful Northumberland Strait. It is a true rural fair. Besides exhibits of antique tractors, engines and farm equipment there are demonstrations of traditional skills (like squaring timbers), 4-H competitions, arts and craft vendors, and canteen services And much, much more. Everything is wrapped up in quite the festive atmosphere.
For quite a few years, also, Francis and his family have worked the family woodlots, and going back to those first years in the woods, Francis developed his own vision of what the goals of forest management should be, and what harvest practices and interventions were appropriate. The result , he points out, is an approach to forestry that is very close to what today we call Section 7 silviculture, and very unlike the high grading and the industrial style forestry that he has seen around him.
The farm woodlot connected to the Antique Tractor Fair grounds site is a restorative project well under way. Over the years they have used a farm tractor and winch, chain saws, later a grapple loader trailer, and most recently a small harvesting processor. Visitors will see a set of well maintained trails and care and attention to details throughout the forest.
Francis markets fire wood, specialty products from his woodlots (like mantles for cottage fire places and stools and benches) as well as lumber and roundwood.
The NSWOOA is pleased to have been asked by the Verstraten Family and the North Shore Antique Tractor and Engine Club to be a part of this year’s activities on July 21, deom 10:00 to 4:00 by providing guided tours of the woodlot. We have planned an informative and educational tour, suitable for experienced woodlot owners, those new to woodlot ownership, family groups and the general public. We’ll see you there.
Site Visits- The Outreach Programby Steven Cole, Outreach Forester for the NSWOOA
I have completed 11 site visits and have just as many booked in the coming weeks. I am getting a wide variety of people with an equally wide variety of ideas for their woodlots. Everything from carbon sequestration to Acadian forest restoration. I've talked about increasing woodpecker habitat, planting hemlock and hardwood seedlings, restoring plantations to an uneven aged condition, and performing selection harvests.
Some owners are interested in applying for silviculture assistance, while others see it a their responsibility to perform silviculture and absorb the cost themselves as part of their stewardship ethic. A couple of times I have seen small (20 acres) of Acadian forest that has not been disturbed for at least 150 years. It is encouraging to see what the goal of a lot of woodlots will come to look like given time.
I have met with landowners who have recently acquired property and are looking to start fresh. I have also had the pleasure of seeing landowners who have spent up to 30 years of dedicated management. The condition of their woodlots reflects their efforts. The goals are varied yes but there is a common theme, they all look beyond their lifetime and want someone to continue their work on the woodlot.
The program is continuing to pick up speed and the calls keep coming in. That's all for now.
All Summer Long
Unlike the House of Commons, your directors, the Executive, President and our staff are not taking the summer off. This summer there is more activity than ever. Board meetings continue over the summer, there is a woodlot tour scheduled, the Oversight Committee is busy with meetings concerning the Outreach Project, and there is a full board strategy session in the works.
Otter Ponds ReportOPDF has provided its Directors with an opportunity to update their knowledge on forestry theory and practices with a workshop, a professional development day of sorts.
The NSWOOA’s forester Stephen Cole will be assisting OPDF as part of his employment .
Bridge and roadwork will be under-taken this summer, and a major silviculture project is underway. Efforts are now being made to improve the safety of the site by backfilling several old mine shafts from the gold prospecting days of Mooseland. OPDF is attempting to access funds set aside for site reclamation of mining sites.
Good news as well from DNR: They have committed a staff person to set up permanent sample plots which will allow scientific tracking of changes to the for5est, both good and bad, due to site treatments, climate change, diseases and so on.
Efforts continue to design and construct some basic structures to enable the site to host guided tours, school outings and other functions.
NSWOOA reaching out to landowners throughout provinceBy Andy Kekacs, Outreach Director for NSWOOA
The 2012 outreach efforts of the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association are really heating up.
In early June, we distributed press releases about our site visit program to about 36 daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and websites that reach woodland owners in Nova Scotia. The visits will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. If you, your family members, friends or neighbors are interested in a real bargain, take a minute right now and contact the new NSWOOA forester, Stephen Cole, at 902-309-1062 or email@example.com. For more about the site visit program, see the article by Stephen in this month’s newsletter.
In addition, NSWOOA has signed a contract with Webbuilders Group in New Glasgow for a complete redesign of our website. The new site will have a dozen or more pages. It will be chock full of information about sustainable forestry, NSWOOA programs and events, forest-related news and membership information. It will also include member profiles, research papers and case studies featuring successful (and, maybe, unsuccessful) efforts at uneven-age management.
The website will be several months in the making, because virtually all of the items have to be created from scratch. If you have forest-related pictures that you would like to offer for use on the website, please contact me at 817-4763 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, you will notice some changes to our web presence. If you visit www.nswooa.ca, you’ll notice a temporary page that explains how we are growing and offers basic information on our site visit program. It also has a link to http://nswooa.blogspot.ca/.
At the blogspot site, you can find all of our newsletters, announcements and other information from prior years. Eventually, we will roll that info into the new site. For now, however, that’s where you can stay connected to news from and about NSWOOA.
We’re very interested in your thoughts about ways to expand our organization and serve our members better. Feel free to contact me with your suggestions at the phone number or e-mail address above.
NSWOOA Woodlot Tour/Field DayEarly Notice
When: July 21, 2012 from 10:00 to 4:00
Where: P and F Verstraten farms, 5736 Highway 336, Lorneville, N.S. 20 miles east of Amherst, 5 miles north of Northport, on the Northumberland Strait.
What: The NSWOOA has been invited to host a woodlot tour for its members and the general public as part of the Annual Tractor and Engine Show, sponsored by the North Shore Antique Tractor and Engine Club. (See attached poster).
Description: The Verstraten family has been involved in multi age multi species forest management for many years and their recent project is the restoration of the farm woodlot which has been subjected to poor harvest practices in the past. A trail system has been developed, and much time and effort spent in partial harvests, underplanting, thinning, and “other Category 7 type silviculture.”
Current harvesting machinery will be on display, and guides will explain the treatments, interesting features and give background information. See what the forest looked like initially, what it will look like in five years, what silviculture treatment it will then receive, and what it will look like down the road.
Transportation from the Tractor Show proper is by farm tractor and wagon*, making the tour easily accessible for all, including families.
-Dinner is available from a canteen on the grounds.
- You can renew your NSWOOA membership or apply for membership.
- You can put your name on a list for a site visit to your woodlot by an NSWOOA forester.
-NSWOOA members will be available for a chat.
Volunteers needed. If any NSWOOA members are willing to volunteer to drive a tractor and wagon for the woodlot tours please contact us at 633-2108 (leave message) or at email@example.com, or the Verstratens (See attached poster).