Association for Sustainable Forestry
While ASF’s current sustainability agreement with NSDNR is nearly ended, another is on the horizon and it’s hoped that the new agreement will soon be in place. With snow season upon us, most of the Pre-Commercial Thinning (PCT) and Early Competition Control (manual weeding) claims are in for this year.
It’s heartening to see an upswing in the amount of commercial thinning and selection management that is being completed on private woodlots on the mainland, despite the challenges of marketing lower quality fibre. Maturing plantations and PCTs that were performed nearly three decades ago are yielding some good quality studwood and pulpwood during commercial thinning operations. Operators have learned how to efficiently work on these sites with processors and forwarders – with good results.
In northern Nova Scotia, Black spruce plantations that were established more than 30 years ago – some of which have had PCT – are struggling to maintain healthy crown-to-stem ratios. Many of these plantations are growing on sites with good land capability ratings (>7 m3/ha/yr) and have good height (12-15 m) but relatively small diameters (<15 cm dbh), despite previous thinning. Commercially thinning these stands at this time is prohibitive because of low recovery of merchantable wood. Without a thinning, the trees will continue to lose crown height and slow their diameter growth. We are studying these sites to determine if any kind of thinning will result in increased diameter growth.
It’s hard to believe that maple season will soon be upon us, and some maple producers are accessing ASF funding to thin their sugar maple stands. Maple products are an often-overlooked forest resource, and maintaining an understory that does not interfere with sap lines requires constant effort by producers.
We hope to see many of you in the woods this winter, either working away at silviculture treatments or just enjoying recreation on your woodlots. Best wishes to you all!
David Sutherland, RPF
Coordinator, Association for Sustainable Forestry
P.O. Box 696
Truro, N.S. B2N 5E5
North Nova Lumberjacks Society
November was a busy month for the North Nova Lumberjacks Society (NNLS). Our fall AGM and business meeting took place Nov. 15, and two new board members were elected: Burlin Nickerson and Darren Hudson. Both bring considerable experience as lumberjack competitors who have travelled the world for the sport. Welcome to the team, gentlemen! Returning to the board are Caitlin Carroll, Janet Walker, Geoff Larkin, and Ryan McIntyre.
Discussed at the AGM were next year’s NNLS events, which will include the third annual Nova Scotia Lumberjack Championships and a new event, the Canadian National Axe Throwing Championships. The N.S. Lumberjack Championship has been held in Truro for the past two years, but will move to a new community on the South Shore to promote the sport in another part of the province. That event will take place June 16, with the final location to be announced in January.
The Canadian National Axe Throwing Championships will take place August 25-26 in Truro – an exciting competition that will bring some of the best axe throwers in the world to Nova Scotia. Mark your calendars for these two great events! More info to come regarding both in the new year.
The year-end awards for the Maritime Lumberjack Association (MLA) for the 2017 season were also held in November. Caitlin Carroll and Nathan Cumberland took the league’s top honours as the best overall female and male athlete respectively, based on points they accumulated throughout the 2017 season at MLA-sanctioned events. Kelly Cousins took home the Most Improved Athlete award after a stellar season, capped off by winning the 2017 Canadian Women’s National Timbersports Champion in August. The Best Competition Award was taken home by Bath, N.B., which put on an amazing event that will air nationally as part of the Lumberjacks TV series. Trevor Schofield was voted the Most Sportsmanlike Athlete, and it couldn’t have gone to a nicer guy. Congrats to all from the NNLS!
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on various TV networks for the N.S. Lumberjack Championships and other lumberjack and Timbersports competitions this winter. Stay sharp, folks.
President, North Nova Lumberjacks Society
New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners
The New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners is questioning the need for another independent taxpayer-funded review of the New Brunswick forestry market.
The 2008 and 2015 Auditor General Reports on N.B. Forestry were developed independently from government and industry and were funded by the taxpayers of New Brunswick. The fact that no government, since the reports were written, saw fit to act on those reports or address them in any meaningful way, doesn’t mean we need a new review.
Both auditors general and their departments’ reports articulated the issue in very clear terms. In order to maintain the exemption for softwood lumber, we had to ensure that private wood maintained its proportion of the market share, and this market access could not be impeded in any way by the existence of Crown wood in the same marketplace.
Only when those conditions exist can a truly creditable fair market survey be carried out and the results of that survey be used to set Crown royalties. Prior to 2006, demand for wood from all sources usually exceeded supply, and therefore a fair market could exist. After 2006, overall demand for wood decreased and wood supply now exceeds the demand.
Since this imbalance occurred, successive governments have failed to act to restore the balance of supply and demand to a level that would ensure an open, fair, and undistorted market for private wood purchases. In 2014 the previous administration exacerbated the issue further by increasing the Crown softwood supply into an already saturated marketplace.
If the government today wants to truly protect and promote the forestry sector, it’s time to fix these issues, not spend any more time and resources pretending we don’t know what the problem is.
NBFWO Executive Director