The Association for Sustainable Forestry
Sincere condolences are extended to the family, friends, and co-workers of Jonathan Kierstead, director of forestry with NSDNR. It was an honour and a pleasure to work with Jonathan, who brought both humour and unerring insight to many conversations, whether these exchanges centered on forestry or on wider discussions about life. He will be missed.
A timely agreement between NSDNR and ASF has provided an autumn incentive for private landowners who are continuing with silviculture activities on their woodlots. There is a steady demand for technical assistance with commercial thinning and Category 7 work, particularly on sites that have received prior treatment.
NSDNR has made some welcome changes to its treatment database, which allows easier and more rapid access to site history information. Many stands on private woodlots have received four decades of silviculture interventions. Having accurate records of this data is paramount to good stewardship planning. ASF Assistant Coordinator Ed MacLean continues with his excellent work in compiling and updating GIS information related to silviculture activities on private woodlots as it occurs.
Pre-treatment assessment (PTA) of potential selection harvesting and commercial thinning sites remains a linchpin of these two silviculture treatments. PTA assists with determining whether the soils, vegetation, and tree quality of a site are conducive to proceeding with selection harvesting or thinning. This can help prevent future issues such as blowdown and poor stand quality. While woodlot owners make the ultimate decisions for their properties, PTA can greatly assist forest professionals with making stand prescriptions.
ASF will be hosting further PTA courses in early October. These courses – which are aimed at certifying successful candidates in PTA – are always popular. Please let us know if you are interested in attending.
We look forward to seeing many of you on your woodlots this fall!
David Sutherland, RPF, Coordinator, Association for Sustainable Forestry
P.O. Box 696, Truro, N.S. B2N 5E5 Phone 902-895-1179 www.asforestry.com
Maritime Lumberjack Association (MLA) N.S. / N.B. / P.E.I.
The Maritime Lumberjack Association (MLA) is the governing body for professional athletic lumberjack competitions held throughout eastern Canada. The MLA has clearly defined rules for the various lumberjack disciplines hosted at its sanctioned competitions. To be a sanctioned MLA event, a competition must be voted in by members at the spring AGM each year.
The 2017 season included seven competitions as MLA-sanctioned events: Edmundston, N.B., on May 6; Truro, N.S., on June 3; Rogersville, N.B., on July 2; St. Stephen, N.B., on July 22; Crapaud, P.E.I., on July 29; Boiestown, N.B., on Aug. 19; and Bath, N.B., on Sept. 4.
At each MLA competition, professional lumberjack athletes compete in various chopping and sawing disciplines like the underhand chop, springboard chop, hot saw, water boil, and axe throw. The top five athletes of any of these individual lumberjack events are awarded points (five for first place, four for second, three for third, two for fourth, and one for fifth). At the end of each competition the male and female athletes who have accumulated the most points are crowned the champions of the day for their respective divisions. In addition, the male and female athletes who obtain the most total points from all seven MLA-sanctioned competitions become the 2017 Maritime Lumberjack Champions.
The MLA series is extremely strong, with many of our competitors attending and winning at national and international events. Several competitors have represented Canada at World Championship events. We have world record holders in several disciplines, and Maritime records are being broken and re-broken all the time.
Leading this year’s overall points race for the men’s and women’s championship (sponsored by ECHO Power Equipment) after five of seven MLA competitions are Nathan Cumberland of Keswick Ridge, N.B., and Caitlin Carroll of Riversdale, N.S. They are being closely chased by Ben Cumberland of Keswick Ridge, N.B., and Scott Read of Truro, N.S., in the men’s division; and by Kelly Bowness of Montrose, P.E.I., and Janet Walker of Truro, N.S., in the women’s division.
This season, three of our professional competitions have been (or will be) filmed for television with two (Truro and Bath) airing later this fall nationally as part of season 18 of the “Lumberjacks” television series. To see episodes produced from past and upcoming MLA competitions, visit www.youtube.com/LumberjacksOnline.
Be sure to come out and watch one of our elite level professional lumberjack competitions. They are fun for all ages, and like nothing you’ve ever seen live!
To learn more about our sport or our organization, please visit the Maritime Lumberjack Association Facebook page or contact:
Ryan McIntyre, Nova Scotia Director, Maritime Lumberjack Association
Phone: 902-499-2727 Email: email@example.com
New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners
Corporate Control – the Goliath vs. David battle
Corporate control is increasing worldwide. Amalgamation and corporate takeovers have resulted in very few companies controlling whole sectors or product lines. In this way, corporations can control profits and amass power. In many ways corporations have become the new monarchies, exerting power and influence over the masses. It is rather ironic that revolutions have been fought to overthrow kings and governments for doing exactly what corporations are being allowed to do.
As John Dalberg-Acton (an English historian, politician, and writer) said in 1887, “Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.”
Average citizens have great power. The challenge is that the battle against the consolidation of power is ongoing and the benefits of resistance are long-term rather than immediate. It is hard to see the results of the resistance in the short term. However, is less corporate control not worth the struggle?
If you believe in the rights of the small producer or business owner, and the benefits of a diverse economy that supports local jobs and strong rural communities, then you need to actively support them. You need to think long term and make conscious decisions in support of your long-term goals. Even though it may cost more to support a local business in the short term, it has real long-term social benefits. When we support large corporations, we are assisting them in the march toward the company town scenario, on a global scale. The “I owe my soul to the company store” scenario, to quote a song, is still very real. The difference today is that it is no longer a company town; it is a company city, a company province, or a company country. The corporate influence is global and growing.
The old saying that actions speak louder than words is very true. Politicians react to votes, demonstrations, and protests. Corporations react to loss of sales. Saying that you do not approve of the business practices of a company, and then continuing to support them financially, by shopping at their store or buying their products, is a contradiction. Stand up for what you believe and make a difference.
I challenge average citizens to unite with other like-minded people. Stand up to government and corporations. Vote with your dollars and your voice.
Marketing boards are one way to unite and try to wrestle some control back from corporations. Marketing boards need your support. They need your verbal support to government, your local MLA, your friends, and community leaders. They need your emotional and financial support as well. They are fighting on your behalf!
Join us at our AGM at the Fredericton Inn on October 11. Come and show your support of the marketing board structure and the private woodlot owners. Make your voice heard.
Susannah Banks, NBFWO Manager
Federation of Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners
Joining the Nova Scotia Federation of Woodland Owners (FNSWO) as executive director in July has proven to be an invigorating and meandering ride. The forest sector is almost as complex as the forest itself. My forest identity: I am a silviculturist, I shape tomorrow’s forests – a multiplex trade that has melded who I am professionally and socially for 19 years and counting. I have thrived in a small, rural community with a sole-proprietor, silviculture contracting business for almost seven years, working intimately with landowners/managers to employ a variety of silviculture techniques on private, industrial, and Crown land.
I believe in rural community; I witness how forestry plays a large function in those communities. I too am a woodland owner; I want to ensure my woodland can be passed along to the next generation; demonstrate a variety of resource usages; protect special zones; and be managed to grow lumber, bio-char, mushrooms, medicinal plants, and vegetables. With pride, I desire my woodland to function not only as a forest ecosystem but also as a working economic structure. A working forest – two-eyed seeing.
Shifting into the Federation comes at an ideal juncture in my career, and at a time of shifting trends we face as a forestry community. The final report of the 2016 Learning Tour prototype model designed under the Forestry lab (www.theforestrylab.ca/), which looked at small private forestry in Finland, is now available. These working Finnish forests are grown for many land uses simultaneously, by a respected and unified culture of forest-based practitioners. I’m not sure if we want to be Finland. Our markets are incomparable; our forests are more diverse; we have different priorities. But given our similar land ownership structure, what can we learn from Finland? How do we equip ourselves as a group to nurture a forest that can satisfy many interests, while maintaining economic, social, and environmental values?
Over and over I keep hearing that it takes a “plan.” If we are looking to unify groups and change a culture, it won’t happen overnight; we didn’t get here overnight, and forest succession does not happen overnight. But the long-term benefits reign. It will take many difficult conversations, but we can get there, together, supporting each other locally. FNSWO keeps striving to bring all of the players to the table. FNSWO, the Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers Association (NSLFFPA), and Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute (MTRI) have recently unified their auditing program certificate for their FSC woodlands. This is a move in the right direction to create stronger landowner support systems, for consistency of service and to create an information-sharing forum, as suggested in the 2016 report.
Recent public backlash against WestFor has drawn attention in the media. At an information session that MTRI hosted in Kempt, there were questions about market flooding, wood waste, and failure to hire local contractors. Deciphering claims versus facts is not straightforward. WestFor does not manage Crown land; it has a license to operate on Crown lands in western Nova Scotia, and currently supplies eight percent of the province’s wood supply from those lands. If there is valuable wood being left, is it a lack of opportunity and/or a lack of knowledge? Are there opportunities to utilize more wood economically? As for local contractors, have they contacted WestFor to see about opportunities? Do they hold all the required certificates, workers’ compensation, commercial liability insurance, and a forest safety audit required to operate on Crown land? More inquiry is required to seek out these answers. Though this task may not be within the scope of a private landowner group, markets and information sharing are within our collaborative capacity.
Selling products requires market research and innovation. If private landowners band together to search out markets, or help strengthen such organizations as the Primary Forest Products Marketing Board of Nova Scotia, we will further our way to success. We see a need to keep training skilled forest practitioners, and a need to educate people about the connection between forests and the forest products we use in our everyday lives. To further these objectives, a province-wide Mentorship Program is being run in partnership with FNSWO, NSWOOA, MTRI, and NSDNR, to connect the public with experienced forest practitioners with different skill sets.
FNSWO is hosting a Silviculture and Non-timber Resource Field Day, Oct. 15, 2017, in Maplewood, N.S., at Rex and Bonnie Veinot’s Maplewood Maple Syrup & Christmas Tree Farm, 2819 Barss Corner Rd., Maplewood, Lunenburg, Co., B0R 1A0, from 12-4 p.m. The cost is $20. On Oct. 22, a Commercial Thinning Field Day, with Scott Maston, will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in Kemptown, Colchester Co., The cost is $20. To register, call toll-free 1-844-966-3568 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A recent conference call with the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners (CFWO), and the account of the B.C. wildfires by Brian McNaughton, general manager of the Federation of B.C. Woodlot Associations, drove home the fact that we need to build local community. With the rise of global temperatures, wildfires like we see in B.C. are a predicted reality. Brian reported that across the province an area of 845,000 hectares had been affected. What emerged during these desperate times was incredible. Communities collectively searched out skilled people, and inventoried all of their fire suppression equipment, from hoses to heavy machinery. They made a directory of all these people, then purchased all the connective equipment to ensure everything coupled together – to be ready, as a community, to protect one another.
If that can be done in B.C., we too can start working together to withstand anything that threatens our forest community. We need to build up the capacity to persevere during market fluctuations or wild fires. We need to utilize collective knowledge to innovate new markets and regenerate our forests for a variety of end uses. We can only do this collaboratively. I propose a toast to this opportunity, on behalf of all the private woodland owners who are seeking opportunities for learning as well as economic and social enrichment. I look forward to working with you all.
Stacie Carroll, Executive Director, FNSWO
Phone 1-844-966-3568 or email email@example.com.