Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners
The environment that woodlot owners find themselves in today has changed significantly since the initial meetings of the FNSWO back in the year 2000. Despite many new challenges faced by woodlot owners and the forestry sector, the goal of our board of directors remains the same today as it did then: “To promote and support the economic and social interests of woodlot owners across the province.”
As woodland owners, we all have a stake in ensuring the economic and social values of forests are maintained for the benefit of all Nova Scotians, now and in the future. Private woodlots make up 60 percent of Nova Scotia’s working forest land base (Crown land 27 percent and industrial freehold 13 percent) and supplied 63 percent of the forest industry’s needs last year. Collectively, woodlot owners have yet to realize our potential in this province, but by working together on our common goals, much more can be accomplished.
Whether you are a new woodlot owner or not, I would encourage you to become a member and attend our 17th annual general meeting on May 14 at the Holiday Inn, Truro. If you are a current member of FNSWO you are already contributing to our organization’s success. I hope you will take a moment to look though our latest newsletter and see what we have been up to lately. Our new website and Facebook page are great ways to keep informed of what is going on with our organization and in the forestry sector in general.
The future success of FNSWO depends on our staff and directors continuing their hard work and woodlot owners staying involved. New voices are important for any organization to evolve, and the more you get involved the stronger the Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners will be. Review the information, programs, and resources we have to offer and let us know how we can improve. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any thoughts or questions.
Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners
New Brunswick Forest Technicians Association
The New Brunswick Forest Technicians Association held their 2016 annual general meeting in Moncton on April 7, 2016, in conjunction with the Canadian Woodlands Forum Spring Meeting. The NBFTA AGM had good attendance, with engaged discussions on many items, from exploring the possibility of joining the association and making payment through an online application, to working to improve relations with the Association of Registered Professional Foresters of New Brunswick.
Several years ago, as many will recall (with many articles in the AFR), the NBFTA and ARPFNB went down the right-to-practice road, initially through drafting joint legislation to an end where one group would have RTP and individuals from the other would have had an exemption but could be subject to competency review if it was felt they were practicing beyond their scope. The legislation did not pass, but the damage that was done between the two associations and even within the two associations is still felt today. I know both associations would like to move on and build bridges once again, but much like our forests, I think it will be slow steady growth, through dedication over time. I have seen the RTP as drafted in Nova Scotia, and I will not weigh in with my opinion on it, but I do wish both associations in that province the best of luck. Regardless of the outcome, I hope it leaves them in a better state than it has left us here in New Brunswick.
In 2016 the NBFTA will be continuing to reach out to current and past members. Recently I met with one of the “founding fathers” to discuss where the association is today and how he feels things could be improved. I intend to have more of these meetings and to work with the executive to implement the results of what we find.
The NBFTA executive once again comprises a great group of individuals, from a diverse range of backgrounds, which puts the association in good hands. Amongst this group are many diverse views and values, which I believe will ensure the best representation for the membership and the greatest likelihood of meeting the objectives of the association. From time to time, I always find it helpful to go back and look at these objectives, to ensure that I am following the spirit and intent of what the association was created to do:
Constitution of the New Brunswick Forest Technicians Association Inc.
Article 2 Objectives
2.1 To enhance the image of and encourage cooperation among Forest Technicians/Technologists in New Brunswick.
2.2 To provide one voice on forestry issues as they relate to Forest Technicians/ Technologists.
2.3 To evaluate the qualifications (academic and experience) of graduate technicians/technologists who apply for membership in the Association and issue accreditation with respect thereto.
2.4 To promote and assist in the continuing education of Forest Technicians/ Technologists and foster high standards.
2.5 To promote the protection and enhancement of the New Brunswick biosphere.
2.6 To cooperate as much as possible with all associations with similar interests.
On April 22 I attended the MCFT Fredericton graduation and presented an award and scholarship to two new forest technologists. I was very happy to do so on behalf of the NBFTA and always enjoy taking the opportunity to meet these new graduates. Upon graduation, we always offer these new graduates a free membership with the association for the first year. When I am able to attend, it is always a reminder of how the NBFTA serves to meet the objectives of the association not only for today, but also for the future interests of technologists and technicians.
I would like to wish everyone a happy and safe summer, remembering to take some time to enjoy the better things in life, and maybe I will see some of you at the MFRS/MCFT reunion later this summer.
P.S. My intent was not to write a letter on behalf of the NBFTA to discuss RTP, but given the distribution of this magazine, I feel it is important to outline the damage that was caused in New Brunswick and openly acknowledge how the NBFTA is working to find its path forward.
Registered Professional Foresters Association of Nova Scotia
The follow-up surveys, submitted by the participants in the Nova Scotia Forest Professionals meeting, were again very positive. The suggestions for technical presentations at the next meeting are of value to the organizing committee and will be pursued as part of the planning for the meeting in March of 2017.
At the business meetings of the NSFTA and the RPFANS, representatives of the Right-to-Practice Committee made presentations on the progress of this initiative. I understand that their report was received favorably by both organizations, and that the committee was directed to continue with the planning and development for the implementation of this initiative.
The RPFANS/CIF elected Peter Francis as the new vice president on the combined council, and Kevin Keys was elected as a new councilor to serve a three-year term. Craig Tupper was elevated from vice president to president, replacing Lizz Cogan who assumed the role of past president. Each member of the past and present councils contributes significantly to the running of the organizations, but they also welcome your contributions and suggestions for “work plans” and member activities.
You will recall that the current RPFANS Registrar, Roger Aggas, has been looking to retire from this position. Robert Young has stepped up to the plate to take on this role, and will be replacing Roger effective July 1, 2016. Thank you, Rob. At this time, I want to thank Roger for his contribution to the RPFANS, and the assistance that he has provided to me in keeping an accurate membership list and contributing to council discussions.
In the last issue of AFR I noted that the Ontario Professional Foresters Association is leading the development of training modules that will enable RPF candidates to fill in, or update, any aspect of the required competencies that may be missing. About one half of the work is pretty well on schedule and should be available in June. The remainder is somewhat behind schedule, and may not be available until the fall. As the modules for this training become available, I will provide you with updates in this column.
Also, in the last issue of AFR I noted that the Canadian Federation of Professional Foresters Associations is seeking input regarding the expansion of the profession to include some aspects of forestry that are not currently addressed in the Certification Standards. A draft of these revised standards (competencies) has been sent to selected individuals in industry, government, and academia for their consideration and input. It is still too early to predict an implementation date for these revisions, but there is a commitment to undertake the necessary changes as soon as possible.
An element of the work plan for 2016 is to have a spring and a fall field meeting. The Member Relations Committee will be organizing these events. The events we held last year were both fun and informative. It will be our intent to have future events continue in this tradition. I will send an email to members with further information as it becomes available.
Executive Director, RPFANS
(Contact number: 902-897-6863