NSWOOA Update Newsletter 58

NSWOOA Update Newsletter 58

5 November 2012
(902) 633-2108

In this issue:

  • Hello Woodlot Owners- Who Do You Think You Are?
  • Woodlot Visitation Report
  • What’s the Rate of...?
  • The More Things Change
  • What’s Happening at MTRI
  • How to contact us

Hello Woodlot Owners

Who Do You Think You Are?

By Director Tony Philips

“So what’s in it for me?”

We’ve all thought it, and some of us have said it when asked for a contribution or to take out a membership.  On the flip side, many of us who are on the boards of organizations are concerned that our organization gives value when it seeks to gain or retain members.  We want to be sure that some imaginary scale is in balance – or tipped in favour of the “customer” – so he or she knows he is getting a good deal.

With respect to the NSWOOA, the idea of “services to members” surfaces from time to time, and the board collectively deplores that it doesn’t have more tangibles to offer its “customers” (our members) than an electronic newsletter (that a non-member could access for free), an annual field day (to which non-members are welcome), and an annual general meeting (which costs non-members a modest $10). The current annual membership dues are $30, an amount which one could save and still enjoy the above benefits.  The executive would like to be able to give more “services” – it would like to have a paid employee who could deliver them.  I think this urge and wish harks back to that brief period when the Central Wood Suppliers Division of the NSWOOA was functioning and membership in that division (which was a child of the NSWOOA, not the NSWOOA itself) ballooned to more than 500 people. The service that the division offered was the marketing of private pulpwood, and many people saw there was “something in it for me.” When the division ceased to function, many fell away.

I joined the NSWOOA initially to take advantage of being able to sell pulp through the division, and though that service is suspended, I continue to pay my $30.  Why?  I’d like to try and explain my reasons for my own benefit, and for the benefit of anyone who’d care to read on.

I think it has to do with identity and a desire most of us feel to belong to a group.  The NSWOOA has a set of stated values. It argues and lobbies for improved forests and forestry on the basis of those values, supporting those groups and initiatives that further its values, and criticizing and opposing those organizations that erode those values.  So when you join the NSWOOA, you have paid $30 to help define yourself, to identify who you are and what you believe … not in a very public way, however, because we don’t offer much in the way of paraphernalia like sweatshirts, hats, bumper stickers  to help you publicly display your allegiance (though we do have mugs and key tags).

Along with self-definition, you gain an affiliation with a group of like-minded people. The affiliation can be passive, or as active as you wish by participating in the organization and using its events to network with like-minded people.  In a sense the NSWOOA is a home for part of one’s identity.

The late president John F. Kennedy posed the famous, “Ask not what your country can do for you, rather, ask what you …” Amongst other things, his remark concerns services and idealism.  Clearly he sought to tap into people’s idealism and their desire to stand for something, to stand up and be counted, not just to be bargain hunters and Costco shoppers, whose chief aim is to get the most goods and services for the least price.

The NSWOOA can help a person stand for something.  The new Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest Division offers an opportunity for members to put idealism into action by helping to develop an alternate to industrial forestry.  If Nova Scotia forestry ever becomes economic and equitable again, the Central Wood Suppliers Division can be re-activated to provide a service to members, but that is in the realm of “if.”

In the present circumstance, what we have is enough and all that we can afford …a membership that gives us a place to hang our hat with the hats of others … a way to define ourselves and belong to an affinity group of like-minded people, united for political action and by ideas about forestry.  Thirty bucks.

Woodlot Visitation Program

By Stephen Cole
NSWOOA Forester


Our outreach project for 2012 is almost complete, with 91 woodlots being visited as of 26 October.  We hope to continue the project in 2013, so if you (or other woodlot owners you know) are interested in a woodlot visit, don't hesitate to contact us for more information!

One of the woodlots I visited in Shelburne County held some very interesting lessons and examples of alternatives to clear-cutting in even-aged forests of balsam fir and red maple (where selection harvesting is often not appropriate or applied).  The woodlot owner had thinned out the 4-inch diameter balsam fir 20 years ago, roughly 8 feet apart.  When I arrived there, we discovered the trees had only grown to, on average, 6 inches.  This is largely due to the poor soil and coastal exposure.  However, his efforts had unexpected rewards. In the gaps between trees – where light reached the forest floor – the regeneration was about 70% fir, 20% red spruce, and 10% white pine.  With a little pre-commercial thinning, that could be a stand dominated by red spruce and white pine in some areas, while other areas were still all fir.  We searched for the large seed trees in the canopy, but could not find them on his property or the neighbours.  Regardless, nature found a way.

(Stephen Cole can be contacted at 902-309-1062 or bradcole500@gmail.com.)

What’s the Rate For..?

With the opening of the former New Page mill (now named Port Hawkesbury Paper), wood is moving again and prices are creeping upwards for some products from historic lows.  There are still no buyers of low-grade material or fir logs in southern Nova Scotia, however.

The following is a snapshot of wood prices in Nova Scotia on October 23.  Prices are subject to change at any time.

Elmsdale Lumber
$72/T delivered 0 to 100km
$75/T delivered 101km plus

Harry Freeman & Son
Spruce Logs $62/T roadside
10 ' studs $56/T roadside

Hefler Forest Products
Spruce Logs $72/T delivered

J.D. Irving Sproule Lumber
#2 Pulp  $35/T delivered
10 ' studs $70/T delivered

Ledwidge Lumber
stud prem #1-spruce $150/Cord delivered
stud #2 -spruce/fir (max 50%fir) $130/Cord delivered
stud #3 -spruce/fir $115/Cord delivered

Pulp #1 $35/T roadside
Pulp #2 $28/T roadside

Port Hawkesbury Paper
Pulp #1 $38/T roadside
Pulp #1 $36/T roadside within 250km
Pulp #1 $34/T roadside 250-350km
Green Biomass $35.50/T (76-125km)
Green Biomass $37/T (126+km)
Dry Biomass $40.50/T (76-125km)
Dry Biomass $42/T (126+km)

If you have any questions regarding wood prices, you can call Stephen Cole at 902-309-1062 or bradcole500@gmail.com.

Coming Soon to an Association Near You

By Andy Kekacs
NSWOOA Program Director

This will be the last month for the current version of the NSWOOA newsletter. Beginning on 10 December, and continuing every month on the Monday after the directors’ meeting, a more colorful and informative newsletter will be distributed to your e-mail in-boxes and – very soon – available on the Internet.

The change is part of a long-term plan to improve the services that NSWOOA offers to its members, and to bolster the association’s outreach efforts.

You can help! If you have issues that you want to see covered in the newsletter, suggestions for regular columns, information on coming events that might be of interest to woodlot owners, personal stories or pictures that you want to share, contact Andy Kekacs at 902-817-4763 or andy.nswooa@gmail.com.

One thing to watch for in the December newsletter: An invitation to participate in a confidential survey of NSWOOA members.  We want to know more about why you belong to the association and what benefits you would like to receive.  How can we serve you better?  What would make it easier for you to manage your woodlot?

Other changes coming your way:

  • In case you haven’t noticed, NSWOOA now has a Facebook page. Several members had suggested the move at the association’s last Annual General Meeting. Visit us at https://www.facebook.com/NSWOOA?ref=hl .

  • The website re-design is almost ready to be implemented, though additions and improvements will continue into 2013.

The More Things Change …

The joke goes, “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be ...”  In the process of cleaning out the attic, several copies of the Forest Times newsletter from the early 1980s have come to light.  Here are some items of interest from those pages:

An August 1984 story by the NSWOOA’s Ron Blumer explains that negotiations had begun with Scott Paper and the NSWOOA’s Scott Suppliers Division for a new contract to replace the first agreement. The article notes, “The Association insists that if intensive forest management is to occur in Nova Scotia, there must be adequate markets for wood at all times, as well as enough return on wood to the producer to cover the costs of management.” (August 1984)

A boxed item in that same issue lists the executive members of the NSWOOA, the Board of Directors, Directors-at-Large, Divisional Directors, Affiliated Directors, and Office Staff.
Making the news also in that issue was the brand-new market certification of the NSWOOA’s newest division, Nova Scotia Land Owners and Forest Fibre Producers Association, the NSWOOA’s marketing division for the Port Hawkesbury pulp mill.

The same issue features a photo of the NSWOOA booth at the first Forestry Exhibition in Windsor that year.

The June 1984 Forest Times contains an item, NSWOOA Update, by the same Ron Blumer, with this insight:  “We believe our Association has an important responsibility to help the people of Nova Scotia better understand and appreciate the importance of sound forest management.  Fulfilling this responsibility will provide us with an opportunity to establish a stronger image in the province and to broaden our contact with both woodlot owners and other groups.”

This is from the April 1984 issue, titled Woodlot Owners want Forest Improvements Act Implemented:  “...good forest management cannot be carried out without regulations and guidelines to follow.”  The NSWOOA at its AGM that year passed a motion encouraging the Government to implement the new Forest Improvements Act that had already been passed.  “Earlier ... Provincial Forest Practices Improvements Board Chair Hugh Fairn said that the rules of forest practices in the act are based upon experience in Nova Scotia and Northern Europe, and on scientific fact.  Specifically, this experience relates to not cutting stands of immature trees, protecting natural regeneration, making the best use of the wood that is cut, and providing a greenbelt for the protection of waterways.”

… The More They Stay the Same.

Forest Certification and You

The Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute has sent along an item that might be of interest to NSWOOA members:

·      MTRI is currently working on research into customer attitudes towards certified forest products. This will help MTRI and forestry-related businesses in Nova Scotia better understand where we can do more outreach and education on sustainable forestry initiatives with consumers of the product (which is everyone). Please take a few minutes and fill out the survey at the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/M2PWG38.

Get into the Round: Yurt Building Workshops

Building your own shelter is an empowering and inspiring experience! If you’re interested in hand-crafting your own yurt, learning about natural and ancient building techniques, or just want to experience living in yurts during the winter, then get into the round this January with Little Foot Yurts!

When: January 18-20  and January 25-27, 2013
Where: 1459 White Rock Road, Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Cost: $320 plus tax. Includes workshop fee, yurt camping, gourmet local & organic vegetarian food, and a yurt “zine.”
Accommodation: Sleep, eat, learn and share with others in cozy felted yurts equipped with wood stoves.
Registration: Please register online at http://www.lfy.ca/yurt_building_workshop/index.html

For more information, contact Selene Cole at 902 670-4556 selene@lfy.ca or visit www.lfy.ca

 Lines of Communication

Members are encouraged to contact the Board of Directors, the Executive and other members through our e-mail address (nswooa@gmail.com) or by phone (902-633-2108). Please feel free to keep us informed about what’s going on in your woodlot or in your community. We’ll try to address the issue or make others aware of it through our newsletters and mailings, our column in Atlantic Forestry Review, at the Annual General Meeting, or on our website www.nswooa.ca.