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Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association 



"Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing. You are just talking."
-- Wangari Maathai
Come on down!

Work party planned at
Otter Ponds
Willing muscles and a yearning for fresh air are needed for the next work party at Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest in Mooseland!

The work party will be held Saturday, Oct. 11, with a rain date of Sunday, Oct. 12. We'll meet at 9 a.m. at the Mooseland Community Centre on Mooseland Road and carpool to the forest. There is a map here.

OPDF President Kate Campbell promises it will be a rewarding day. We'll be spreading gravel and crushed stone under the visitors' shelter, planting ground cover on the new amphitheatre, creating an arboretum, clearing a spot for the toilet, installing safety barriers near the bridge over Otter Ponds Stream, and completing some other small jobs.

You'll need a packed lunch, work gloves, water, etc. If you have a shovel, rake, wheel barrow or sledge hammer, please consider bringing them.

This is an especially beautiful time of year at Otter Ponds, a demonstration forest that is operated as a division of NSWOOA. The 500-hectare forest is managed by a unique partnership that includes four non-governmental organizations, a forestry company and the province.

OPDF is a place for all Nova Scotians to learn about forest ecology and the sustainable management of the native Acadian Forest. It is a living laboratory that shows how timber production can be compatible with the protection of the full range of other forest values and services.

Otter Ponds demonstrates the philosophy, science, and practice of uneven-aged management. It produces timber for market using the best forest practices presently known, while protecting wildlife habitat and the Tangier River watershed, respecting the ecosystem services provided by the parcel, and enhancing the social and cultural value of the forest. Management practices are certified to the Forest Stewardship Council's Maritime Standard.

If you haven't visited OPDF yet, there will be time during the work party to walk the roads and trails and see what the partners are accomplishing on this small piece of Crown land.
Give a Legacy to your friends
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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:




September 2014
Association builds new tool for
forest owners in Nova Scotia
By Andy Kekacs
Executive Director

NSWOOA has created an innovative new tool for family forest owners: An online assessment to help them identify and prioritize their goals for woodland ownership. 

The self-assessment will be a cornerstone of the association's information and outreach efforts in 2014-15 and beyond. It includes information about almost everything that NSWOOA does to help small woodland owners become better stewards of the forest. 

The tool also gives owners an easy way to tell NSWOOA what information, services and other resources they need to achieve their goals. That will help us to adapt our programs to the changing needs of family forest owners.
The self-assessment was developed by the association's staff. Depending on how a landowner responds, the short series of questions takes 5-15 minutes to complete.

Your help is essential as we begin to spread the word about this important new tool. Please lend a hand!

First, we encourage you to try the assessment yourself at It's easy, useful and fun! (We'd love to hear about any problems or suggestions for improvement.)

Then, share the link with your family, neighbours and friends. It's a very good way to help them learn more about ways to improve the economic, ecological and social value of their woodlands.

Truly sustainable management of Nova Scotia's native Acadian Forest requires some thought. Current forest conditions, markets, soils, tax planning and many other factors influence which activities should be considered in any stand of trees.

Even before those considerations, however, owners need to understand and be able to clearly state their personal goals for forest ownership. That's what this tool is designed to do. 

The development of this self-assessment is a significant step toward accomplishing the association's goal of being the foremost provider of information on sustainable management of the Acadian Forest. Although not every forestry question has a fast or easy answer, NSWOOA staff will follow up by telephone or email with every landowner who requests our help.

A sample of what you'll find
in the new self-assessment ...  
Timber Income 

Since the retreat of the glaciers about 12,000 years ago, trees have been the foundation of life on this unique isthmus thrust into the North Atlantic. Income from selling wood has sustained residents of rural Nova Scotia for more than 400 years. 

Many landowners, however, are concerned that current forest practices are unsustainable. They are interested in growing and harvesting wood, but also want to be good stewards of their forestland. 

Fortunately, there are many landowners in Nova Scotia who are earning income while maintaining healthy, diverse, natural woodlands. To ensure a continuous yield of timber and other forest values, they use forest practices that mimic the natural conditions under which the Acadian Forest evolved. 

Sometimes, landowners are faced with a need to use more-intensive harvesting methods to address specific forest conditions or to generate income for an immediate need. Even in these circumstances, however, careful planning and good practices can help to minimize the long-term impact on forest health, diversity, and value.
Mentorship program begins

Tom Miller to host field day on
Acadian Forest restoration
The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources is supporting a new Woodlot Management Mentorship Program, which will create opportunities for small-forest landowners to learn from each other, and give experienced woodland owners a chance to share their knowledge.

The program is being coordinated by a partnership between the Nova Scotia Woodland Owners and Operators Association, the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, and the Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners.

A major goal of the program is to enhance the information provided in the NSDNR Woodlot Management Home Study series through hands-on experience at a series of field days. It's hoped that these field days will bring the topics in the Home Study series to life in a woodland setting, allowing participants to ask fellow woodlot owners about their successes and failures, and see the fruits of their labours first hand.

The first of these field days will be held in Green Hill, Nova Scotia, about 50 km east of Truro. Hosted by Tom Miller, the provincial Woodlot Owner of the Year in 2005, the event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18.

Tom has been working in forestry for 40 years. He was a district supervisor for silviculture at Scott Maritimes; a silviculture contractor; and a Christmas tree grower. He is current chairperson of the Friends of Redtail Society and a past president of the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association.

The Millers own 500 acres of forestland in two woodlots. Their goal is to restore features of the natural Acadian Forest that were impacted by past practices. The woodlots are a noteworthy example of a balanced approach to management. Tom's work highlights many of the restoration challenges facing woodlot owners today, including abandoned farm fields, regenerating clear cuts, poorly sited softwood plantations and high-graded stands.

During the field day, participants will visit several forest stands on Tom's woodlot in Green Hill and discuss topics from the "Introduction to Silviculture" and "Stand Establishment" modules of the Home Study program. Tom will talk about factors that influence stand composition and regeneration, and discuss silviculture and harvesting techniques that can be used to restore diversity while improving quality and value.

The field day is free to woodlot owners. Lunch will be provided. Space is limited, however, so pre-registration is required. To reserve a place, or to learn more about the Mentorship Program, please contact Andy Kekacs toll-free at 1-855-NS-WOODS or via email at

Directions: The field day will be held at 929 Green Hill Road in Green Hill. Take Exit 20 off Highway 104. Turn north toward Ross Fraser's car lot. At the stop sign by the car lot, proceed straight up the Patterson Hill Road. Turn left at the next stop sign, which is at the top of the hill. You're now on the Green Hill Road. Follow it for about 2.5 kms. The Millers have a black mailbox on the left. Follow signs to the parking lot and Gathering Place.

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.