Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners
Well folks, (fly) fishing season is finally upon us! One of my fondest memories growing up was my annual spring trip with my father through the forest and glen to our favourite trout fishing lakes and streams. My dad turned 85 years young the other day and has greatly influenced my love of Nova Scotia’s woods and waters. I carry on this rite of spring to this day with my son, Jacob.
Speaking of great influence, there are very few individuals that have positively impacted private land forestry and woodlot owners in Nova Scotia more than Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners (FNSWO) founding member John Roblee. In April, Roblee was formally acknowledged by the Registered Professional Foresters Association (RPFA) and was inducted into the Nova Scotia Forestry Hall of Fame (NSFHOF). The NSFHOF was established in 2004 as a means of recognizing and honouring significant achievements of individuals who have made a major contribution to the development and advancement of forestry in Nova Scotia.
During Roblee’s induction ceremony, Dave Sutherland recounted how Roblee has been integral to the promotion and success of small private woodlot owners in Nova Scotia:
“Not only is he a landowner himself, but he has worked tirelessly in the past – nearly always as a volunteer – to further the rights and management capacities of owners of forest land. Long a believer in cooperation rather than regulation, John has been instrumental in organizing the right people to get the job done. He frequently sat on boards of directors because he felt it was ‘the right thing to do,’ and was usually in the thick of the fray when conversations became heated or discussions threatened to get out of hand. John is very much a believer in the soft approach – but does not hesitate to doff the gloves when the time is right.”
Here are just a few of Roblee’s many accomplishments: he was a founding member of North Nova Forest Owners Co-op, the Forest Group Venture Association of Nova Scotia, the FNSWO, and the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners. Roblee was also instrumental in the establishment of the Association for Sustainable Forestry (ASF) and was always dedicated to getting a better deal for woodlot owners in government policies and in the marketplace. He continues to be an active voice for forest owners as vice chair of the FNSWO. As if all this volunteer duty was not enough, Roblee has been the president of Foster Parents Association of Cumberland County, vice president of Foster Care Nova Scotia, and represents the province as a director with the Canadian Foster Family Association. Roblee and his wife Jane are lifetime members of Foster Care Nova Scotia.
In accepting the award, Roblee summed up the feelings of fellow woodlot owners and forestry professionals best when he said the following:
“We as caretakers of the forest are here but a short time and then we will pass it on to the next generation, hopefully looking better than when we inherited it…. Previous members of the Hall of Fame had that same vision and responsibility; it’s up to us to continue for our children and the future forest of N.S..…To improve our forests in N.S., in my opinion, we need to find common ground and work together.”
Congratulations, John on your well-deserved award! Let’s hope that all forest landowners and stakeholders are listening. The Federation’s original mandate was to come together with other woodlot owner groups and form an umbrella organization to provide a single united voice for Nova Scotia woodlot owners. I believe it’s high time personal differences are set aside. Let’s roll up our sleeves, and make this happen. Woodlot owners deserve better!
The FNSWO 2017 AGM will be held on Saturday, May 13 at The Holiday Inn, Truro. We have a great and interesting lineup of speakers this year. Please go to our website under programs and events, or our Facebook page, for further details and agenda. We really hope you can join us!
Executive Director, FNSWO
Phone 1-844-966-3568 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Association for Sustainable Forestry
The sight of wildflowers in the forest is a sure sign of better weather ahead, as long as the woods don’t get too dry, too soon. Spring beauties, violets, and Trout lilies are plants that can be found on tolerant hardwood sites, and which bring welcome clusters of colour to the drab carpet of old leaves.
The Association for Sustainable Forestry (ASF) is welcoming some interim silviculture funding from NSDNR that will allow a seamless continuity of work for many small-private and non-industrial large-private woodlot owners. This funding was quickly allocated to a number of applicants who had their funding requests to us by the end of April. While this interim funding is not our main budget for the year, it is a crucial bridge that provides an opportunity to get work done on the ground before things green up and the warm weather begins.
Requests for pre-commercial thinning (PCT) remain very strong, and there is increased interest in crop tree release and commercial thinning over the last couple of years. This diversity of silviculture incentives complements NSDNR’s provincial wood supply model, which forecasts future wood supply based on a variety of silviculture inputs. Recent changes to the criteria for crop tree release and pruning will result in a more focused approach to these popular treatments.
In addition to working with individual woodland owners, we’re pleased to be working with groups who provide a range of services to their members.
For more information on the full suite of silviculture incentives available through ASF, please visit our website or give us a call.
David Sutherland, RPF
Coordinator, Association for Sustainable Forestry
P.O. Box 696,
Truro, N.S. B2N 5E5
New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners
Why forest product marketing boards exist. Forest product marketing boards were established with the aim of allowing all private woodlot owners, regardless of size, to sell wood from their woodlots and to receive a standard price for the product.
Prior to the formation of the marketing boards there were very few buyers. These buyers could set the price and determine who could sell wood. Woodlot owners were not happy with the situation and saw the advantage of joining together to give them the ability to negotiate better prices, ensure that everyone received the same price, and had access to the market. Woodlot owners requested the formation of marketing boards. Marketing boards provided more legislated authority and a structure that allowed the group to carry out negotiations with the various forest industries. Marketing boards are able to sign contracts for the sale of primary forest products. The boards were formed between 1971 and 1981 and are all not-for-profit entities run by a board of directors. The directors are all woodlot owners and are elected by their fellow woodlot owners.
Marketing boards allow smaller operations/owners to work collectively to access the market, speak with one voice, and get a consistent price for their product. Marketing boards prevent large companies from being able to pick and choose winners and losers. Marketing boards treat all woodlot owners the same regardless of size or location. Without marketing boards, industry would have even greater control of the total wood supply; Crown, freehold, and private. There would be no collective voice to stand up for alternative forestry models, alternative uses for forest products, or the policies that private woodlot owners need to ensure they continue to be a significant contributor to New Brunswick’s rural communities.
Many family woodlots are managed for multiple uses. They are managed to provide recreational opportunities and to produce forest products other than wood. Woodlot owners manage for wildlife and biodiversity. They look to optimize the value the woodlot can provide. These are the woodlots that are located close to where New Brunswickers live. These are the woodlots that you see every day and they provide many benefits to the surrounding communities. They help to provide clean drinking water, clean air, and help to reduce the impact of large rainfall events. They take carbon dioxide from the air and give back the oxygen that we breathe.
Without marketing boards to support small producers, the large corporate entities thrive. It is important that we support marketing boards as they are what allow the small working woodlot and farm to continue. If you want anything other than an industrial model of forestry or agriculture then you need to support the marketing board system and tell your MLA that. This is a critical time for the future of rural New Brunswick.
NBFWO, Executive Director
North Nova Lumberjacks Society
The North Nova Lumberjacks Society (NNLS) is a small non-profit organization based in Truro, whose mandate is to promote and grow lumberjack sports (Timbersports) and its athletes. We achieve this mission in several ways, but the two most prominent are by actively mentoring and coaching young athletes learning the sport both in 4-H (TNR 4-H Woodmen Team) as well as at the intercollegiate level (Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus Woodsmen Team), and by hosting a high level professional lumberjack competition – the Nova Scotia Pro Lumberjack Championship.
Last year was the first year for both our organization and for the competition. Many hours went into the planning of our first big competition, but the hard work paid off. Our event was part of the Maritime Lumberjack Association’s pro circuit for 2016, and when votes were cast at the end of last season by the competitors who travel throughout the pro circuit, our competition was voted “Best Competition of 2016.”
The inaugural competition drew a crowd of approximately 400 people who saw some fantastic Timbersports action that included several Maritime records being broken, and even a new world record set in Men’s Single Buck by Marcel Dupuis of Memramcook, New Brunswick. Marcel was able to saw a single cut off a 16” White pine log with a six-foot crosscut saw in 9.13 seconds!
Our group was fortunate enough to have the television program “Lumberjacks” film last year’s event and air it on TSN last fall, which was an excellent way to promote the sport, but also our region, our province, and all the many organizations that sponsored the event, most of which were forestry businesses. To see the three episodes of Lumberjacks produced from last year’s competition, visit www.youtube.com/LumberjacksOnline. The event simply could not have been successful without the support we received from the various forestry organizations in Nova Scotia. The NNLS thanks you for your support!
In our second year, we are hard at work to ensure we put on another fantastic event. We will be building a large stage and bringing in bleachers so spectators don’t miss any of the action. We will bring in some of the best competitors in the country to showcase their talents, including four members of the six-person team that represented Canada and won silver at last year’s World Championships. We will again be offering free admittance to the competition. We plan to partner once again with Truro/North River 4-H Woodsmen Team so they can run a barbecue and 50/50 fundraiser. We also have partnered with Dooly’s to host an after party to which all are invited (19 and over).
Be sure to mark the afternoon of Saturday, June 3, in your calendar, and bring the whole family to watch some exciting wood chopping and sawing at the second annual Nova Scotia Pro Lumberjack Championship, held at the Cat Shack, 70 Juniper St., Truro, N.S.
For more information, visit the NNLS Facebook page or contact us at the number or email below.
Phone: 902 499 2727