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Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association 



"A people without children would face a hopeless future; a country without trees is almost as hopeless." 

Will Martin elected president of NSWOOA
Directors of NSWOOA met 23 April 2014 to organize the board and plan its activities for the coming year.

Will Martin was elected chair of NSWOOA. A short video about Will and his work in
sustainable forestry at Windhorse Farm can be seen here.

Matt Miller will again serve as vice-chair of NSWOOA. George Johnson, whose term as director ended at the 2014 AGM, was asked by Will to stay on for one year as treasurer. Andy Kekacs, program director, was chosen as secretary. Lorne Burrows was re-elected as president of Central
Wood Suppliers Division.

Will also presented a near-final version of his NSWOOA strategic assessment and implementation
plan. Will said the plan was intended to be a reference document and "not to replace due process." All future actions by the board to implement the plan would still be subject to the board's normal process for review, discussion and acceptance, he said.

Will said the plan set out a road map for NSWOOA activities over the next three years, often in partnership with other entities that serve small private landowners. He also set out an ambitious target of 1,500 members by the end of the period.

Will asked directors to suggest areas of the plan that need improvement, and he fielded a number of questions about the document. In the area of "developing management capacity," Will said he saw NSWOOA working with contractors, foresters, group ventures and other organizations to help landowners "access the best practices that are available" in the area of forest management.

While some of those organizations are already good candidates for affiliate memberships in
NSWOOA, Will said it would be wise to let other new relationships "unfold over time" as
the association continues to work with groups on behalf of small woodlot owners.

Alastair Jarvis moved, with Norm Paupin seconding, that the strategic plan be endorsed by the
board. The motion was approved unanimously.
Do you have questions about good forestry?

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:




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Spring 2014
Field day at Otter Ponds
draws dozens of supporters

About 90 people from all over Nova Scotia attended an "Open Forest" on 24 May 2014 at Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest in Mooseland.

Participants had a chance to see the newly completed visitors' shelter and learn more about the forest management and ecological objectives at Otter Ponds. Many volunteers were on hand from the four partners in the demonstration forest: NSWOOA, The Mooseland and Area Community Association, Eastern Shore Forest Watch and Ecology Action Centre.

An unexpectedly heavy hatch of black flies had organizers worried, but cool temperatures and a steady breeze made for a very pleasant spring day in the woods.

Three photos of the event taken by Dan Hutt are shown in this article. Visit the OPDF Facebook page here to see more. 

NSWOOA members gather for
2014 Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association was
held 12 April 2014 in Old Barns.

The meeting was called to order at 9 a.m. by President Marc Chisholm; 63 members and guests
were registered.

Marc reviewed significant activities of the past year and noted that this was the end of his three-
year term as president. There have been many changes during his term, including working more
closely with other groups, a staff, and many new members.

Former Director Wade Prest led a discussion on the impact of Crown land timber allocations. He gave a brief history of Crown land timber allocations to industry in the Maritimes, then focused on the recent announcement of additional allocations of Crown timber in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. He talked about the impact on forests in New Brunswick, where a significant amount of the timber will come from formerly protected deer yards and increased harvests in riparian zone. He also detailed the impact on private wood producers.

After Wade's talk, Director Jamie Simpson described his new book, "Journeys through Eastern Old Growth Forests." He read an excerpt from it and showed slides of old-growth forests. He said it is wrong to think of old-growth forests as stagnant. They are rich in life and ever-changing.

Director Matt Miller also gave a presentation on the Small Private Woodland Owners Forum (also known as the NFA Process) and its recommended changes to silviculture funding. Matt described the project, which has brought together 14 groups that provide services to small landowners. The group is discussing improvements to silviculture funding and to small landowners' access to services and markets.

Matt said the group has focused on the Registered Buyers program. He discussed the problems with the present system, including access to programs, a clash of values between some wood buyers and woodlot owners, and inconsistent funding. The group has asked DNR to bring representatives from landowner groups, silvicultural contractors, and industry together to improve landowner control over the program and increase access to the full range of silvicultural

Director Lorne Burrows gave members an update on the beginning of talks among some participants in the NFA Process over the development of a new service area in the central region. He spoke about the first such project, a service area on Cape Breton that is being heavily promoted and subsidized by the Department of Natural Resources.

That led to a talk by Director Will Martin on the role and long-term strategies for NSWOOA in a time of sweeping change. Will spoke about the association's long-term goals and directions, and (with help from Director Alastair Jarvis), led members through an exercise to more clearly define NSWOOA's guiding principles and core values.

Will and Andy Kekacs, NSWOOA's program director, also talked about the costs and benefits of seeking charitable status. It was pointed out that for stability and sustainability, it is desirable to have more than one significant source of funding. Charitable status would allow NSWOOA to access funds from organizations, foundations and individuals who support environmental and educational efforts. The cost is modest, but there is no guarantee that fundraising would be any easier or more successful.

During the business portion of the meeting, Marc called for the minutes of the 2013 AGM, which were read by Secretary Paul Brison. No corrections or omissions were raised. He moved, seconded
by Wade, that the minutes be accepted. Carried.

Director George Johnson, with assistance from Amy Chapman, our bookkeeper, reviewed our financial statements. For 2013, we had revenue of $146,157. Expenses amounted to $128,308. It was moved by George and seconded by Bob Bancroft that we accept this report. Carried.

Director Kate Campbell, who is also president of the Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest division, reported on the past year's activities, including school tours, workshops, harvests, and new infrastructure. Plans for this year include harvests, boundary maintenance and water-crossing workshops, and a field day on 24 May. George has completed his term on the Board and has been replaced by Bill Bernasconi.

Plaques were presented to departing directors, and their contributions to the Board were noted as they were thanked. They included: Charlie Baird (in absentia); Paul Brison, presented by Wade Prest; Jack McLellan, presented by Matt Miller; George Johnson, presented by Wade Prest; and Marc Chisholm, presented by Matt Miller and Andy Kekacs.

Election of new directors followed. Marc Chisholm and Matt Miller nominated Ryan Dickie, who accepted. George Johnson and Marc Chisholm nominated Norman Paupin, who accepted. Matt Miller and Marc Chisholm nominated Britt Roscoe, who accepted. Nominations ceased and all nominees were elected.

Barbara Gallagher offered a resolution from the floor that expressed NSWOOA's concerns about potential problems for forest landowners and the environment related to hydraulic fracturing. The resolution asked the provincial Hydraulic Fracturing Review Panel to thoroughly assess the potential impact of shale gas hydraulic fracturing on forest land and rural communities, and requested that the panel recommend that hydraulic fracturing not take place in Nova Scotia unless it can definitively determine that fracking will not harm our resources, our environment, and the health of our rural communities in any way. The motion was seconded by Tom Miller.

Discussion followed, after which an amendment was moved by Wade Prest and seconded by John Kennedy that the last part of the motion, "unless it can definitively determine that fracking will not harm our resources, our environment, and the health of our rural communities in any way" be stricken from the resolution, with NSWOOA therefore recommending that hydraulic fracturing not take place in Nova Scotia. The amended motion passed with two dissenting.

Finally, it was moved by Will Martin and seconded by Tom Miller that the Board continue to investigate the benefits and liabilities associated with achieving charitable status. Carried.

The meeting adjournment at about 3:20 p.m. on a motion by Jack McLellan.

(Editor's note: Many thanks to long-time Director and Secretary Paul Brison, whose final minutes were the basis for this report. Best wishes to all of our departing directors, who have devoted much time and effort to the association over the years.) 
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.