North Nova Lumberjacks Society
By the time you read this, the 3rd Annual Nova Scotia Lumberjack Championships will be in the books! Champions crowned, axes sheathed, dust settled. We will have results of the event posted on our website, so be sure to check it out and follow us on Facebook for real-time updates of the event. You can also look forward to seeing the competition on national television this year, on a number of networks, including Game TV, Wild TV, Global, CTV, and others. We want to thank all the generous organizations that supported this event through financial and in-kind contributions (including AFR). It would be impossible to host this competition without the immense support we receive, and we are grateful.
Next up is the inaugural Canadian National Axe Throwing Championships. This is the first event of its kind in Canada, and the first national championship in lumberjack sports ever to be held in Nova Scotia! Please note, the event venue has changed, and the competition will now be held in Centennial Park on the historic Mersey River waterfront in the town of Liverpool. We are thrilled to have such a scenic landscape as the backdrop for this inaugural event, and hope to see a huge crowd come out to be a part of lumberjack sports history on Aug. 25-26. We have athletes travelling from Ireland, Germany, Sweden, and across Canada to take part in this competition, so come on down to Liverpool and watch the best axe throwers on the planet duke it out to take the prize of Canadian Champion!
Be sure to visit our website, www.novalumberjacks.com, for more details and results of both 2018 competitions.
Stay sharp folks.
President, North Nova Lumberjacks Society
The Association for Sustainable Forestry
With the receipt of an unprecedented number of applications for silviculture on private land, the stage is set for a very busy year at ASF. While the overall number of requests is up, the average job size for silviculture is decreasing, reduced from 5.2 ha in 2017 to 4.4 ha in 2018. In particular, harvest block sizes are smaller, including selection harvesting and commercial thinning. Ed MacLean, our resident GIS specialist and ASF assistant coordinator, is busy refining, correcting, and merging these jobs for the NSDNR database.
June 9 was a sunny day in Cornwallis, made even brighter by the first AGM of the Western Woodlot Services Cooperative (WWSC). The first year of the WWSC was a challenging but productive one, and ASF looks forward to working with this newest co-op in providing silviculture assistance to their members. There appear to be many opportunities for selection management and commercial thinning on private woodlots in the seven western counties, and with Patricia Amero at the helm, ASF is confident these opportunities will be numerous.
On a different note, some of the most difficult conditions in the province for pre-commercial thinning (PCT) exist in Guysborough County, where stem counts of young softwood trees such as Balsam fir and Red spruce can exceed 50,000 trees per hectare. Ground conditions can be rocky and strewn with deadfalls. Nevertheless, many of these sites are being thinned by dedicated contractors and landowners, with some very good results. While uneven-aged management is not an option for most of these forest stands, those working on productive sites on their woodlots should be encouraged by every means possible, including sufficient payment rates for PCT.
Increasing requests for full-planting on smaller sites (under 5 ha) within five years of harvesting has ASF considering the adoption of planting rates for these areas. While it is acknowledged that larger block sizes help keep silviculture rates down, the reality – and unique nature – of Nova Scotia’s small-private woodlot sector is a preponderance of small treatment areas. Quite a few of ASF’s silviculture history maps appear like so many canine breakfasts, but they reveal a rich tapestry of treatments that signal an increase in forest fibre productivity. Add layers of biodiversity features and wildlife habitat to these silviculture sites, and portraits of real woodlot potentials begin to appear.
The first half of 2018 has witnessed outstanding momentum in silviculture in Nova Scotia, and will – with appropriate rates and discerning direction – continue to stimulate woodlot stewardship across the province.
David Sutherland, R.P.F.
Coordinator, Association for Sustainable Forestry
P.O. Box 696
Truro, N.S. B2N 5E5
New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners
Summer is a season of contradictions, at least for me. There is the joy of long days and warm nights, balanced with the annoyance of mosquitoes and blackflies. There is the challenge of fitting everything that I want to do into our short summer season, and at the same time enjoying the moments and the experiences.
The private woodlot sector, likewise, is full of contradictions. There are woodlot owners who are actively managing their woodlots and there are woodlot owners who hardly know what is on their woodlot. We at the NBFWO strive to provide service and be valid to all woodlot owners, no matter what their goals or objectives are.
If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to us. We will assist you or connect you with the person who we think can help you. We are working to become a single point of access for woodlot owners. We cannot and will not be able to help everyone, but we will do our best to find you the information or connection that you are looking for.
We are working to improve our communications, and are increasing our networking. We are networking with scientists and other forestry groups so we can provide more information to woodlot owners. We would like to make our website and Facebook page a valued source of information, so please let us know what sort of information you are most interested in. Sign up on our website and receive our blog by email. Like or follow our Facebook page so you can join or participate in the dialogue. Become an active part of the private woodlot community.
We are currently working on a project that will provide woodlot owners with tools and information on the potential impacts of climate change and what you can do to make your forest as resilient and adaptive as possible.
Our AGM will be held on Oct. 17. We hope that you are able to join us and share your thoughts and ideas. The more you participate, the more our organization will reflect you. Hope to see you there!
Executive Director, NBFWO
Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners
Forests provide for flora, fauna, and folks. Being a committed, engaged woodlot owner who participates in active land management is the best practice one can maintain for a dynamic investment that will give back for many generations to come. Small forest producers are essential for local livelihoods, market development, and for the enhanced future of the natural resources on which these activities are based. Small forest owners control an increasing proportion of the world’s forests. In this province, private land comprises more than 53 percent of the forested land base. Self-organization into forest producer groups is imperative to improve access to educational resources, investments, technology, inputs, and markets. These organizations play an integral role in strengthening the capacity of forest producers to articulate their needs and interests, to negotiate for improved policies, encourage stable domestic markets, and link with pertinent federal and international processes.
FNSWO held its 18th annual general meeting in Truro at the Holiday Inn on May 12. We hosted an array of speakers who illustrated not only what the forest can produce, but that it can be produced sustainably by encouraging silvicultural practices that nurture forest growth patterns. We celebrated with live music and a few feasts throughout the day. The featured theme of this year’s gathering was “understanding interconnectedness.” Something that is important in the best interest of forests and a sustainable forestry industry is understanding the entire picture – taking a holistic view: tree to roof, tree to table, tree to burl bowl, silviculturist to architect to builder. It doesn’t only start and end with trees. There are medicinal plants, edible mushrooms, fruit, sap, moss, reeds, grasses, insects (for the strong stomached), lichen, mammals, birds … and the list goes on and on.
Wood WORKS! Canada’s Patrick Crabbe began the day with an illustration of how bright our future is through their efforts in encouraging wood design and utilization for small- and large-scale buildings. Scott Maston, of Century Forestry, Kari Easthouse of the Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers Association, and Bill Hill of the Cape Breton Privateland Partnership updated us on the successes of land owner group unification and mentorship – how together we can perform sustainable land management for future generations. Through management commitments such as our internationally recognized Forest Stewardship Council certification, our management values (timber/non-timber objectives and carbon sequestration), and highlighting successful, cooperative efforts in land management through regional organizations, we began to understand the interconnectivity of all those that work within, live amongst, and manage our forests.
To further this connectivity and synergy as communities, we were grateful to have the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, Mi’kmawey Forestry Program coordinator Ashley Childs there to celebrate birch bark canoe building, Black ash revitalization efforts, moose habitat and stream restoration, basket making, and silviculture training that has been happening in communities across the province. We look forward to working together more closely into the future.
Our artisan exhibition was finished up by Shamus Griffith, a freelance carpenter and woodcrafter, who utilizes a wood charring technique that originates in Japan (shou sugi ban) as a natural wood preservation treatment for furniture, tool handles, and wood building componentry. This ancient method burns the outside layer of wood to offer a charred membrane that is anti-microbial and water resistant.
Our speaker’s corner closed with a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Elmsdale Lumber, which has been practising sustainable forestry management for the sawmilling sector for a century and counting. Stephen Thompson and Jason Casey celebrated the history of the operation and its private landowner relationships, and illustrated their silviculture practices for long-term objectives that encourage multi-value forestry. We finished the day with more live music, food, and a networking session to share ideas, give thanks, and make plans for our future as a dynamic group.
There remains a complex relationship with humans and trees, everything that lives amongst them, and everything that is available for renewable resource utilization. Forest owners hold the key to ensuring these ecosystems continue to provide for generations to come. There are many gifted, intelligent folks ready to offer their services and guidance to ensure we are all working towards these interconnected goals. Here at the Federation, we remain with open doors to help folks help themselves to accomplish just that. We look forward to growing our future that forests provide (#ForestsProvide). Choose wood, support local – together we can.
Executive Director, FNSWO