Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners
Until a week ago we were all enjoying a very mild winter with very little snow – two major storms later we are now up to our waists in the white stuff. As I write, the thermometer has climbed back up to 8 degrees C, and softening roads are to the point where weight restrictions will be in effect on all provincial gravel roads starting at noon on Feb 24. I expect restrictions on paved roads will soon follow.
Most sawmills have ample log inventories going into road closure. Weak pulpwood markets continue to be a major problem for N.S. woodlot owners and contractors. The 2016 closure of the NSP biomass plant in Port Hawkesbury and Scotia Biomass in Upper Musquodoboit removed about 700,000 tonnes annually from the provincial pulpwood market. Those who have made their living in the forest recognize that a strong pulp market is key to forest improvement and the long-term sustainability of our forest industry. Our recent trip to Finland showed us that a very successful bio economy is one possible way to approach the pulpwood dilemma. Dozens of small to medium size bioenergy plants and boilers spread out over the country close to wooded areas provide both electricity and district heating to local communities. Why not here in Nova Scotia?
It was reported recently that Hefler Forest Products located in Sackville has found a new buyer for their sawmill and 2.5-megawatt bio-energy plant. Hefler’s has been important to woodlot owners as a buyer of spruce, pine, and hemlock saw logs in Halifax and Hants Counties and beyond for many years. We are hoping that eventually the new owners will restart the sawmill and we wish them success as they move forward this year.
Tom Berry, our FSC certification coordinator, has done an excellent job over the last several years of running our small private woodlot certification program. Tom has also played an important role in guiding the formation of the Western Woodlot Services Co-op. With his practicality and no-nonsense approach, Tom has helped many of our members with their woodlot management plans and silviculture goals, and has guided us through our annual third-party audits with flying colours. Tom is planning on cutting back his hours and semi-retiring this spring. On behalf of myself, our board of directors, and our members I would like to acknowledge his hard work and dedicated and loyal service to FNSWO over the past few years. Thanks Tom!
Executive Director, FNSWO
Phone 1-844-966-3568 or email email@example.com.
New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners
As I look forward into 2017, I wonder what the year will hold. The potential sale of carbon credits and increased demand for wood products and biomass as a result of carbon pricing are causes for optimism. In order for private woodlot owners to participate in this opportunity, the government will have to make provisions in the regulations that will enable smaller landowners to participate.
We are hopeful that we will receive government support through our federal proposal, which will allow us to hire staff to move forward and help owners participate in the carbon offset market so they can benefit from the environmental good that is being provided by their woodlots.
It is also shaping up to be a challenging and volatile year. Markets are extremely tight. Pulp is almost worthless. Trump is in the White House and the Softwood Lumber Agreement needs to be renegotiated. Marketing boards are also being challenged in the courts by big industry. Governmental enforcement of the Crown Lands and Forests Act would go a long way in supporting the little guy and small business owners from multi-national corporations. If you support private woodlots and small forestry businesses, please contact your local MLA and let them know.
NBFWO will be holding a strategic planning session to determine our future direction and priorities. Please contact the Federation, at 506-459-2990 or firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have suggestions or comments about the direction you think we should go, what we do well, or what we need to improve on.
Susannah Banks, manager, NBFWO
Phone 506-459-2990 or email email@example.com
New Brunswick Forest Technicians Association
2016 was a challenging, but successful year for the NBFTA. With a new slate of officers, president Riley Côté-DeMerchant went to work right away, and over the course of the year we made a lot of headway. Our certification program is doing well, and a few new CFTs were added to the group in 2016. Much work has been done to our website (www.nbfta.org). Todd MacPherson and Riley do an excellent job in keeping it up to date. For those who haven’t checked it out lately, please do so. It is where you will find the most recent information regarding the association, including executive meeting minutes, contact information, newsletters, upcoming events, and job postings.
The NBFTA newsletter, “The Azimuth,” is alive and well, with two issues a year being distributed to the membership. We are always looking for ideas, pictures, and articles for it, so please forward any suggestions or contributions to the editor (yours truly), or via your regional rep. The membership committee has been revived, and much time and effort has gone into renewing interest in the NBFTA.
In 2017, we, as an executive, hope to keep this hard-earned momentum going in the right direction. Our first communication of the year was held on Jan. 18 and a number of important topics were discussed. Increasing our membership numbers and interest was identified as a key area of focus going forward. We also welcomed a new addition to the executive fold. Andy Soucy was named the new rep for Region 4, and we look forward to Andy bringing new perspective and ideas to the group. Full meeting minutes can be viewed at www.nbfta.org.
Riley was given an invitation by MCFT director Gerry Redmond to speak to students and staff at the MCFT Fredericton campus on behalf of the NBFTA, and on Feb. 7 he did just that. With the assistance of MCFT instructor and NBFTA Region 3 rep Paul Gilmore, and NBFTA treasurer Chris Finnamore, he gave general information presentations to three separate groups. They outlined the history of the association, the current NBFTA executive structure, the objectives of the association, membership criteria, certification, our code of ethics, and a summary of ongoing projects and initiatives. They also discussed awards and scholarships available to students attending MCFT, and encouraged students to apply for them. Many thanks to Gerry for setting this up, as it was a great opportunity for the NBFTA to sit down “at the stump” and speak to the next generation of forest technicians about the benefits and importance of supporting and contributing to professional organizations.
The annual general meeting of the NBFTA will once again be held in conjunction with the CWF spring meeting in Moncton at the Delta Beausejour. The CWF spring meeting will be running April 12 and 13, and it will be an excellent opportunity to get out and network with others in the profession, and take in some interesting seminars and presentations. The AGM will be at 1 p.m. on April 13. Please get out to the meeting if you can, and show support for your association. See you all in April!