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Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association 



"My father had a healthy disregard for social conventions ... he'd clap for trees that he thought were doing a good job of exploding into red during the fall."    

Jennifer Dubois


2014 Regional Conferences
The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources has announced the schedule for the 2014 regional woodland owners' conferences.

The Western Region conference will be held March 1 at the Oakhill Fire Hall in Bridgewater.

Owners will gather March 22 for the Central Region conference at the Sackville Lions Club, Old Beaver Bank Road.

The series wraps up April 5 with the Eastern Region conference at the St. Mary's Lions Club, Sherbrooke.

Agendas are not yet available. To register or for more information, contact Denise McCleave at 902-584-2229.
Stand with us!
Many non-profit organizations ask for your financial support. A membership in NSWOOA benefits your own woodlands, and all of Nova Scotia's forests, for generations to come.

NSWOOA is a tireless advocate for sustainable forest management that protects all the values of our woodlands -- economic, ecological, and social.

We hope you will continue to stand with us. Memberships in NSWOOA run from Jan.1-Dec. 31 each year. You can find a 2014 membership form here.
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January 2014
NSWOOA, partners propose new
Woodland Mentor Program

By Andy Kekacs

Program Director, NSWOOA


NSWOOA has taken the lead in proposing a new Woodland Management Mentor Program that would develop a province-wide network of successful and knowledgeable woodland owners who are willing to share their expertise with others. The program would work in tandem with the existing Woodlot Management Home Study Program offered by the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources. Participating landowners would be able to learn more about forest management issues through the Home Study program, and then see real-world examples of good stewardship and hear from woodland mentors about how they achieved success.

Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute and the Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners are partnering with NSWOOA to develop the program.


In recent years, the Department of Natural Resources has spent a lot of money to encourage active management and long-term stewardship on small, private woodlands. Even so, many - perhaps most - of the estimated 30,000 people who own forestland in Nova Scotia lack the knowledge they need to feel comfortable with managing woodlands. It is too expensive for the province to provide direct, one-to-one support to all landowners. Therefore, the lion's share of outreach and information must be delivered remotely through print material and the Internet.

DNR's Home Study Program is one way to inexpensively deliver information to woodlot owners. Available online or through the mail, the program provides basic information about a wide range of topics. In many cases, however, the Home Study Program alone isn't enough. That's where the Mentor Program begins.


Recruited from the many experienced landowners who are affiliated with the three organizations, mentors will open their woodlots to participants in the Home Study Program (and perhaps other landowners). Training of the mentors and design of the programs offered at their woodlots will be tied directly to modules in the Home Study Program that are most suited to their individual interests and accomplishments. Mentors will not need to be experts in all aspects of forest management. Instead, they will be acknowledged leaders in topics related to one or two specific Home Study areas. Their woodlots will be the sites for half-day presentations that offer living examples of the information contained in the associated module.

Audience, Goals and Methods

The Mentor Program is focused on helping owners of small woodlots who are not currently managing their land, but who have an interest in increasing their skills and knowledge while moving toward active management. The program will promote the use of sustainable practices that protect and enhance the full range of values provided by woodlands. Landowners will benefit by seeing good forestry firsthand and being able to speak with the owner responsible.

The three organizations propose to roll out a pilot of the program in each of the three regions: MTRI in the west, NSWOOA in the central, and FNSWO in the east. The first-year goal would not be to have a mentor for every Home Study module in every region, but instead to enlist a total of nine mentors throughout the province - preferably associated with different Home Study modules. After recruitment and training of the mentors, and when sufficient interest was generated through the Home Study Program and other publicity, two field days will be presented in each region.

Participants and mentors will be asked to complete short surveys after each event to solicit suggestions for improvement. The modest roll-out will allow the organizations to develop, test and the program. Additional training of mentors will occur in the winter of 2014-15, with the final phase - a full rollout of the province-wide program - in summer 2015.


Pending DNR approval of the proposal, the partners hope to begin promoting the Mentor Program at the 2014 DNR Regional Woodland Conferences this spring. Unfortunately, the landowners who most need to hear about this initiative are the least likely to attend a woodlot owner meeting or find the Home Study Program on the NSDNR website. We also propose to use news stories, regional public meetings, and digital media - perhaps bolstered by a small ad campaign.

Next steps

DNR will be reviewing the proposal over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, you can call Andy Kekacs, NSWOOA's program director, toll-free at 1-855-NS-WOODS if you are interested in becoming a mentor or enrolling in the new program as a participant. More information on the DNR Woodlot Management Home Study Program can be found here. 

Call us for free at 1-855-NS-WOODS 

NSWOOA is committed to being your best source for information about sustainable forestry. We do not offer silviculture or harvesting services; our interest is only in the protection and enhancement of the native forest ecosystems of Nova Scotia.


Truly sustainable management requires that all the values of our woodlands -- ecological, social, and economic -- be preserved for future generations. That's a complex undertaking.


Current forest conditions, markets, soils, an owner's personal goals, tax planning and many other factors influence which activities should be considered in any stand of trees.


If you have questions about sustainable management of the Acadian Forest, we want to hear from you! Give us a call at:




NSWOOA| PO Box 823, Truro, NS B2N 5G6 |
Truly sustainable forest management means that all values of our woodlands
-- ecological, social, cultural and economic -- are preserved for future generations.

Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.