The Association for Sustainable Forestry
Many woodland owners are discovering that the comprehensive silviculture completed on private woodlots during the 1980s and ’90s is paying dividends decades later. Initiatives conducted by Dr. Ed Baillie, Russ McNally, and their team have resulted in much of the quality timber that is currently present on private land. In fact, a lot of that wood has already been harvested.
Perhaps the most telling indicator of the success of those initiatives is the amount of area now eligible for commercial thinning and selection management. Plantations and pre-commercial thinning of natural stands during the last two decades of the 20th century have allowed landowners to participate in the stewardship of their woodlands over the years with both even-aged and uneven-aged management of those stands.
Through the initiatives provided by Registered Wood Buyers and the ASF, silviculture treatments continue to be a crucial component of progressive stewardship on private woodlands. It is vitally important to sustain the significant stewardship momentum created by silviculture to provide a stable supply of good quality wood fibre in the future.
David Sutherland, RPF
Coordinator, Association for Sustainable Forestry
P.O. Box 696,
Truro, N.S. B2N 5E5
North Nova Lumberjacks Society
June 3 was the date of our premiere event, the second annual Nova Scotia Pro Lumberjack Championship, held in Truro. Weather played a factor in us breaking last year’s attendance record, but a little rain did not slow down the athletes one bit.
Some of the best athletes in the sport today came to Truro to compete in eight lumberjack events: springboard chop, single buck, axe throw, stock saw, standing block chop, underhand chop, hot saw, and the big finale – the water boil. In the end, it was Nathan Cumberland of Keswick Ridge, N.B., and Caitlin Carroll of Riversdale, N.S., taking top honours and earning a spot on the trophies as this year’s men’s and women’s Nova Scotia champions.
The competition was filmed for the second year in a row by Lumberjacks TV Series, who will air it nationally as three 30-minute episodes of season 18 of the show later this fall on various television networks. (Follow us on Facebook to keep apprised of the air times.) It will also be available for free on YouTube around the same time. (To see the three episodes of Lumberjacks produced from the 2016 NSPLC competition, visit: www.youtube.com/LumberjacksOnline.)
The event simply could not have been successful without the support we received from the various forestry organizations throughout Nova Scotia. Atlantic Forestry Review donated space for a full-page colour ad in the May edition to help us promote the event. Groupe Savoie supplied all the poplar for the chopping events, stock saw, and hot saw. WestFor provided the pine for single buck. Northern Pulp, H.C. Haynes, Roger MacCallum Logging, Forest Nova Scotia, Canadian Woodlands Forum, Elmsdale Lumber, North Nova Forest Owners Co-op, Ledwidge Lumber, NS Dept. of Natural Resources, Nova Scotia Forest Technicians Association, Kent Building Supplies, Echo Power Equipment, the Maritime Lumberjack Association, and Stella Jones all contributed cash donations towards the event. The NNLS thanks you! Without this support, the competition simply would not have been possible.
Our board members are all professional competitors, so the rest of the summer will be spent working by day, training by night, and swinging razor sharp racing axes at a furious pace on weekends. We will continue to promote our sport all over by travelling to national and international competitions, and hope to aid in the sport’s growth in the years to come.
Stay tuned for plans for the 2018 Nova Scotia Pro Lumberjack Championships. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, or learning more about our competition, our sport, or our organization, please visit the North Nova Lumberjacks Society Facebook page or contact:
Phone: 902 499 2727
New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners
The winds of change are evident. Nothing is more certain than the adage that change is inevitable. Also true is the saying that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The private woodlot sector is not immune to change, even though sometimes we seem to resist it. There are other changes that we would welcome with open arms, such as the end of lawsuits against private woodlot owners.
There are many factors currently at play in the forestry industry. Efficiency seems to be the buzzword with industry and government. Efficiency has many definitions. Industry sees it as getting the most primary product at the least possible cost to them.
Private woodlot owners are also interested in being efficient. They are not, however, generally willing to cut the whole woodlot in order to raise their efficiency. They have a connection to their woodlot, and use alternative harvesting techniques to ensure the survival of all species, provide wildlife habitat, and promote biodiversity. They harvest in an efficient manner that allows them to reap the greatest financial benefit while at the same time respecting the natural forest ecology. One never knows when some obscure plant or animal may be found to hold the cure for cancer. The values of woodlot owners have been reported to be the same values that are important to many New Brunswickers.
I feel that these values are worth protecting and that we are at a critical juncture here in New Brunswick. It is in these times that we need people to come together and speak up for these values. It is time to speak to your MLA and point out the value of marketing boards and small private woodlot owners. Get involved in your local marketing board; follow what is happening on the Federation of Woodlot Owners Facebook page and website. Provide words of encouragement to those who are working hard to provide service to you; provide them with new ideas. Envision the future you want, and let others know what that looks like. If you wish to provide financial assistance for the legal battles that marketing boards are facing, talk to the Federation. We are exploring the possibility of establishing a Go Fund Me page.
If we sit quietly by and wait for others to voice our opinions – if we are not willing to take the time to speak to or write to our MLAs – we will have no one to blame but ourselves when our wishes are not materialized. If you sit back and do nothing, you should expect nothing. Be a part of the change that you want to see. Marketing boards were established by woodlot owners standing up and demanding their rights. Marketing boards will continue to be there if woodlot owners stand up for their rights.
While times are changing, it is still true that united we stand and divided we fall. In the words of Ernest Burke, “Whilst men are linked together, they easily and speedily communicate the alarm of any evil design.” Let us remain linked together and fight for what we believe in. Let each and every one of us do what we can.
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” - Edward Everett Hale
Susannah Banks, manager, NBFWO
Phone 506-459-2990 or email email@example.com
Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners
While visiting a pub in West Sussex last year, I noticed that the barman spoke “Strine” – English with an Australian accent. I commented on it in passing, and his response was surprising. “Yes,” he said, “but I’m not here for long. I’m waiting to be approved for immigration to Finland.” I asked him why he was so keen on moving there. “They’ve got things right, mate. Best education system in the world.”
Well, yes. Most assessments agree with his. Indeed, Finland ranks at or near the top of many “Best of” lists, and no doubt justifiably so. Included in that list would be the country’s accomplishments in forestry. Their way with trees is something to be admired.
This was brought home to us by the recent visit to that country (under the auspices of Forestry Lab) by five individuals connected with Nova Scotia’s forest industry. Their reports and lectures on what they have seen there are nothing short of electrifying. In particular, the impressions of John MacDougall, outgoing executive director of the Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners, were well presented in the May 2017 issue of this journal by David Lindsay.
By now most readers of this magazine will know about what the delegation saw and heard in Finland, so that ground need not be covered again here. But some additional comments may be of interest.
Finland sided with Nazi Germany during World War II, notably in the so-called Continuation War (1941-1944) against the Soviet Union. When the war ended, a highly peeved Soviet Union demanded that Finland pay reparations to the tune of CAD $6.8 billion in today’s money (later reduced to CAD $5.1 billion). This was to be rendered in the form of ships and machinery over a period of eight years. When the dust settled, in 1952, Finland had delivered to the communist monolith 340,000 rail carloads of compensatory goods in fulfillment of its obligations.
For a small country with a small population, that was a tall order. The Finns looked around for sources of money to fund their obligation, and decided that their forests could help them out. So they laid out a plan to extract wealth from trees, and . . . well, it worked. The bonus has been that the country continues to enjoy the benefits of one of the best-managed forests in the world.
Following clearcuts on plots ranging from three to eight hectares, the land is scarified and planted. After a later pre-commercial thinning, there are two commercial thinnings before the eventual harvest of mature trees. An extensive rail system is used to transport logs and other materials to processing facilities. The system is a marvel of efficiency and productivity, and it immediately invites comparison to what exists in Nova Scotia.
That comparison is not particularly flattering. For instance, while estimates are open to question, the numbers quoted by returning members of the delegation, when assessed conservatively and with a nod to differences in the two environments, landowners in Nova Scotia could see at least a doubling in their forestry income if we were to have a system similar to Finland’s.
If it is correct that Nova Scotia’s forest industry is underperforming relative to standards set elsewhere, then why is that? Some possibilities come to mind.
Only a small fraction of Nova Scotia’s woodlot owners belong to an organization that fights for their interests. Those who do belong are divided among three main organizations and several smaller ones. A single body to represent all, or nearly all, of them, would permit them to press more effectively for their interests.
Provincial governments, which are responsible for general oversight of the industry, do not look much beyond the next election. That does not serve well the forest industry, which has to work in step with the life-cycle of trees.
Historically, the senior bureaucracy within the Department of Natural Resources has shown neither great vision nor strong leadership in nudging politicians toward a more efficient and productive forest policy.
The presentations of the visitors to Finland have been sobering to most of us who have listened to their enthusiastic reports of what they saw. They have prompted us to work harder and smarter for better outcomes for our woodlots.
Board Member, FNSWO
Phone 1-844-966-3568 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.