The Association for Sustainable Forestry
The glory of the autumn season is pretty much past us, and the November rains have nearly begun. Time to double-check the winter store of wood and add an extra layer for walking in the woods!
It’s also a perfect time to be scoping out those stands that might qualify for selection harvesting or commercial thinning. Once the ground freezes (and let’s hope it does this year!), there are opportunities to carry out these silviculture treatments that involve the removal of wood. Whether wood extraction is done by forwarder, skidder, horse, or tractor, frozen ground will reduce rutting and soil compaction. Frozen soil reduces machine damage to the root systems of the trees that are left standing, and encourages water transport and drainage of forest sites.
Technical and financial assistance is available through ASF for both these harvesting treatments. Maintaining uneven-aged forest stands is a goal of many private landowners. When it is carried out on suitable sites, selection management can provide landowners with regular and sustainable income from harvested wood. Please visit the ASF website or give us a call for further information.
ASF would like to acknowledge the legacy of Ron Creelman, who was an avid supporter of sustainable forest management. He will be fondly remembered.
Best wishes to everyone for a (frozen) early winter!
David Sutherland, RPF
Coordinator, Association for Sustainable Forestry
P.O. Box 696
Truro, N.S. B2N 5E5
North Nova Lumberjacks Society
Well, it’s been an exciting year for lumberjack sports, and another professional season is in the books. The Maritime pro circuit was strong as ever, and had stand-out performances from many of our athletes at both the regional and national level. Many pro competitions throughout Canada were filmed for television, so keep your eyes peeled for episodes of Lumberjacks and the Stihl Timbersports Series, which will air on various national networks this fall. These include three episodes of the Lumberjacks TV series filmed this past June at our premiere event, the Nova Scotia Pro Lumberjack Championships.
One of the strongest performances of the year was from Dalhousie University AC alumnus Thomas Henderson of River John, N.S., who won the Stihl Timbersports Rookie Canadian Championship this past August in London, Ontario, against a strong field of competitors, all aged under 25 years as per the rules of the rookie division. As the reigning champion, Henderson will join five professional Canadian timbersport athletes as part of Team Canada who will travel to the Stihl Timbersports World Championships in Norway in November. Team Canada will consist of two Maritime athletes (Nathan Cumberland of Keswick Ridge, N.B., and Marcel Dupuis of Memramcook, N.B.) and three athletes from B.C. (Mitch Hewitt, Stirling Hart, and Nick Russel, who is originally from New Brunswick). The team took silver in 2016 for the second time, but is looking for its first gold medal at the competition. They certainly have the squad to pull it off.
With the professional season now behind us, the intercollegiate level kicks off as part of the 2017-18 Canadian Intercollegiate Lumberjacking Association (CILA) circuit. There are four CILA-sanctioned competitions that are held at the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton), Sir Sanford Fleming College (Lindsay, Ont.), McGill University (Montreal, Que.), and Dalhousie University AC (Truro, N.S.).
The Canadian college/university level of the sport is different than the pro level, as schools compete as teams of six rather than as individuals. Team members compete in various lumberjacking disciplines, but each member must compete in one singles event (i.e. axe throwing), one doubles event with a partner (i.e. wood chopping), and all the team events (i.e. log decking, double bucking, etc.).
Oct. 14 was the first CILA competition of the season, held in Fredericton at UNB, which had nearly 200 competitors coming from Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Maine to compete in 14 lumberjacking disciplines. In the end, it was the home team, UNB, outperforming the field and taking both the men’s and women’s overall championships. Check out www.cilawoodsmen.ca to learn more.
In other news, the North Nova Lumberjacks Society will hold its AGM this fall in Truro. It will be an opportunity to discuss our past events, review financials, vote on board members, and ultimately discuss our future plans in an effort to achieve our mandate of “growing and promoting lumberjack sports and its athletes.” AGM date to be posted on our Facebook page once confirmed. All are welcome to attend.
To see episodes of Lumberjacks produced from the 2017 NSPLC competition, visit www.youtube.com/LumberjacksOnline.
If you are interested in learning more about our sport or our organization, please visit the North Nova Lumberjacks Society Facebook page or contact:
Registered Professional Foresters Association of Nova Scotia (RPFANS)
In the spring of this year, our long-standing Executive Director Ian Millar, RPF, stepped down from the position he has held since the inception of the association in 2001. Ian’s contributions to the creation and development of programs for improvements in forest management are well acknowledged, and his commitment to professionalism is second to none. (See “A true professional” on pg. 7 in this issue of AFR). Ian’s not done yet, as he is planning to stay actively involved as a member; recently he accepted a role on the Accreditation Standards Working Group (ASWG) on behalf on the Canadian Forestry Accreditation Board (CFAB) to review and revise the standards used by the CFAB, given that the Certification Standards for the Profession of Forestry were revised earlier this year.
I proudly accepted the opportunity to represent the RPFANS as executive director going forward. My past includes being a very active member of the Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF) – a society dedicated to developing forestry competency and fostering public awareness of forestry issues. I have also served recently on the executive of both the CIF and RPFANS as president and registrar. I also participate as an active member of many other organizations involved in natural resource management, and am currently a lay member of council for the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Nova Scotia. I share, along with the members of RPFANS, the passion for forest stewardship that includes working with landowners, government, industry, and all other stakeholders for developing programs and policy for managing and sustaining our natural resources.
The efforts of the RPFANS, in recent months, have concentrated on the development of “Right to Practice” legislation, with the collaborative support of the Nova Scotia Forest Technicians Association (NSFTA). Working together, both associations realize the importance of managing Nova Scotia’s forests with knowledgeable, ethical, and accountable professionals who put the public’s interest in a healthy, well-managed forest first. In their “Vision for Canadian Forests,” the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers recognized the important role professional associations play in representing the interests of the public and advancing the necessary knowledge to ensure sound management of Canada’s forest resources.
The RPFANS welcomes the Independent Review of Forest Practices to be undertaken by the Government of Nova Scotia over the coming months, led by Professor William Lahey. Like many sciences, those associated with the management of natural resources, especially, are not only complex but dynamic. Balancing the variety of economic dependencies, whether directly related to a viable forest industry or tourism opportunity, while meeting environmental objectives such as habitat sustainability, requires constant review, evaluation, and adjustment as necessary.
Rob Young, RPF
Executive Director, RPFANS
New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners
As we come to the end of 2017, it is a good time to reflect on the year that was.
2017 has seen many challenges for the private woodlot sector in New Brunswick. The softwood lumber trade issue has resulted in a lot of uncertainty in the industry, and as a result we have seen a reduction of more than 30 percent in sales during the spring and summer. Currently sales have picked up, and there is some hope that the year-over-year numbers will be better if harvesting can continue into the late fall and winter.
Legal challenges by for-profit companies are putting a financial strain on our not-for-profit marketing boards and taking up staff time. It is not only our marketing boards that are under attack. It seems that all marketing boards – and the very idea that small producers should be able to work together for a collective good – are under attack. Thankfully, to date, provincial and federal governments have seen the value of – and have supported – the marketing board concept. I would applaud the government for this. I have always believed that it is the role of government to protect the weak and small from the big and powerful. It is the responsibility of government to enact and enforce laws that limit the power of corporations and ensure that citizens are protected from corporate greed and control.
In spite of the challenges, we are hopeful that our voice is being heard. NBFWO is working hard to raise the profile of private woodlots here in New Brunswick, and to find new ways to transform the private woodlot sector.
We continue to prepare for carbon trading, and to look for niche and diverse markets that maximize the value recouped from the forest. We promote good forest management and are actively pursuing partnerships and alliances with others with similar views. We are sharing the positive message about the value of private woodlots to the province – in terms of economic value (more than $116 million per year) and their contribution to the vitality and social fabric of rural New Brunswick.
At our AGM on Oct. 11, we began the lobbying of the political parties. All parties were invited to attend and outline their forestry policies. They heard loud and clear from our members.
Rick Doucett continues as our president, and we thank him for his ongoing support and dedication to the Federation and the private woodlot sector. As we move into the holiday season, NBFWO would like to wish woodlot owners, their families, and all those that support the private woodlot sector all the best of the holiday season. May you spend time with family and friends, and enjoy health and prosperity in 2018!
NBFWO Executive Director
Federation of Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners
Forestry in the time of disconnect: what are we to do? As I look around at folks who carry paper protest signs on sticks, and ask to bring tissues to an event that celebrates the death of a renewable resource, while eating their cardboard packaged granola bars, holding their paper coffee cups, and carrying a large wooden coffin in the largest clearcut in Nova Scotia, I start to wonder where all the logic has gone; how did we get so detached from the things we use every single day?
We live in a country striving to lessen its fossil fuel dependency. We have forests in this province in need of continued renewal to aid their successional development towards healthy, carbon-sequestering, economically productive ecosystems for generations to come. No one who plants a tree does not believe in the future. Along with the 12.39 percent or 355,000 hectares of legally protected land that will be untouched from now until the end of time, we have access to over 3.5 million hectares of forested land to be utilized for many resource bases.
When managed, Nova Scotia’s forests can not only provide habitat for wildlife, space for recreation and culturally significant objectives, and area for people to reconnect to the land, these ecosystems are currently producing $2 billion a year in economic impact that contributes funds to groups such as the Ecology Action Centre and many other social programs, and directly provides 11,500 jobs. By biting the hand that feeds and generating emotional stimuli, these types of protests continue to confuse the public, and don’t communicate facts that help Nova Scotians understand forests, forestry, and the renewable resource management that is a major contributor to the financial stability of this province. There are more forests in this province than there were 100 years ago, despite its having twice the population.
From small woodlot owner to large land manager, there is a place and time for everything. Forestry is a system that depends on itself for all branches of operations. The pulp mills depend on sawmill waste; the sawmills depend on the pulp mills to buy their low-grade products to keep up with the continued renewal of our forested areas. It should be mandatory for people who use forest products – such as toilet paper, sandwich wrappers, paper cups, instruments, furniture, construction materials, and coffins – to learn this life cycle and understand how what they consume plays a role in the bigger picture in this complex, sustainable sector known as forestry. Collaboration is needed across the sector to better understand the roles of forest resources and the opportunities that exist with this carbon-neutral supply. During a time of forestry review in this province, these are the items that must be considered for recommendations into the future. Decisions should be based not on emotion, but on science.
What do we need? Education. During the last couple of months, I have been fortunate enough to be involved in efforts that are attempting to reconnect folks with this renewable resource sector. On Oct. 5, in Halifax, Atlantic WoodWORKS held its Wood Solutions Fair. It was an enormous success, and contributed to the understanding of how wood and wood products are superior building materials in durability, and have a minimal carbon footprint in comparison to other building materials such as steel and concrete. Carbon emissions for wood are four kg of CO2 emitted per cubic metre; concrete equals 23 kg of CO2 per cubic metre; steel equals 42 kg. British Columbia has adopted a “wood first” policy for new constructions. And WoodWORKS Canada has been successful in influencing the building code to allow up to six-storey wood constructions.
This event also educated attendees in the carbon neutrality of wood products as a whole. We have the capability to transition large buildings such as hospitals and schools off their fossil fuel dependency by offering a carbon-neutral energy source. This would satisfy the need for local markets for low-grade material, as well as reaching targets to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.
The 30,000 small woodlot owners in this province, working on a land base of 1,228,802 hectares, supplied 64 percent of industry’s round-wood requirements in 2015. Small landowners must realize their potential and get involved. What have we learned? We need collaboration as a backbone to this province. We need a woodlot owner support network lobbying as one voice to supply 80 percent of wood demand. We need forest-focused policy aimed at sustainably intensified forest management with silviculture and tree planting efforts to grow more wood. We need a better understanding of our forest inventory to even consider market expansions. We also need to resist the urge to make policy decisions based on emotion, and understand that forest management is based on science and is an ongoing business plan structure that considers sustainability of economics, watercourses, habitats, biodiversity, soil conservation, recreation, and cultural considerations.
Forests and the forest sector are complex. The time is now to understand how to play a role in sustaining a resource that contributes to the health of communities and habitat. We need to put the honour back into this historical trade, and realize that not only do we hold the key to economic sustainability, we have the ability to grow ecosystems that play a crucial role in mitigating climate change.
Executive Director, FNSWO
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