Are you interested in breaking news, the latest scientific research, and insightful commentary on issues of importance to the owners of woodlands in Nova Scotia, and to the health and protection of the Acadian Forest?

You’ll find it below, and also on NSWOOA’s Facebook page. The stories will be updated daily, so check back often.

For even more information, check the archive of our monthly electronic newsletter, Legacy.


 

ASF funding available for uneven-aged management

Posted by Christie Verstraten on 29 September 2015

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Starting in October, the Association for Sustainable Forestry will have a total of $300,000 available in funds for private woodlot owners in Nova Scotia doing Category 6 (commercial thinning) and Category 7 (crop tree release, crop tree pruning, and uneven-aged selection management) silviculture work.

You can access these funds whether you do your own work or hire a contractor. If you’re working with a contractor or are part of a forest landowner cooperative, they can take care of applying for funding for you. You can contact ASF for a list of recommended contractors working in your area.

If you would like to do your own work, funding can be accessed directly from the ASF by following these steps:

1. Check the ASF silviculture criteria and procedures manuals to make sure that the pre-treatment conditions of the stands you wish funding for qualify for Categories 6 or 7.

2. Submit a Silviculture Funding Request Form to ASF.

3. Based on the amount of funding ASF allocates to you, submit a Silviculture Funding Application Form, as well as the following:

      a. An application fee of $100

      b. A pre-treatment assessment (PTA) of the stands you wish to work in, completed by an       individual that is PTA certified or FEC (Forest Ecosystem Classification) certified. The ASF can       do this work for you for a fee, or recommend a certified professional.

4. Once ASF approves your application, do the treatment you applied for. When you’re done, submit a Silviculture Funding Claim Form, as well as the following:

      a. A post-treatment assessment to confirm that post-treatment stand conditions still fall       within the requirements for that treatment.

      b. A GPS shapefile of the completed area. If you need any help with creating a shapefile, the       ASF has GIS and GPS experts on hand to help guide you through the process.

When your claim form is approved, the ASF will send you a cheque based on the area completed and type of treatment. The rate per hectare is pre-set for each treatments. For more information about this process, please see the February 2015 issue of Legacy, which can be found here: http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs181/1111469432002/archive/1120144850162.html

Links:

Silviculture Criteria and Procedures Manuals, Pre- and Post-Treatment Assessments: http://www.asforestry.com/silviculture.htm

Silviculture Funding Request Form: http://www.asforestry.com/PDFs/fundingForms/NewFundingRequest.pdf

Silviculture Funding Application Form: http://www.asforestry.com/PDFs/fundingForms/ASF_Sm_Pvt_App_Form_2014-15.pdf

Silviculture Funding Claim Form: http://www.asforestry.com/PDFs/fundingForms/sclaim.pdf

Climate change impacts weakening temperate forest regions around the world

Posted by Christie Verstraten on 24 September 2015

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Severe droughts, disease, more extensive wildfires, and other climate change-related impacts are threatening and transforming the Earth's temperate forests. Some areas could convert to grasslands or shrublands over the next few decades, if not properly managed.

Read more ... http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150829123817.htm

Rate of net global deforestation drops by half as wood demand continues to grow

Posted by Christie Verstraten on 14 September 2015

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Since 1990, the rate of net global deforestation has declined by half. During the same time, wood use has continued to grow as global populations expand, showing that sustainable forest management is a valid and successful option for forest owners.

Read more ... http://foodtank.com/news/2015/09/much-more-than-trees-forests-are-key-to-sustainable-development

Interim duty on Port Hawkesbury Paper products

Posted by Christie Verstraten on 17 August 2015

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The U.S. Department of Commerce has imposed an interim duty on paper imports from the Port Hawkesbury Paper mill. Department officials are currently investigating whether U.S. mills are being unfairly disadvantaged by the heavily subsidized Point Tupper mill, and will decide by October whether or not to keep or lift the duty.

Read more ... http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1303902-brighton-u.s.-ruling-on-mill-duty-has-history

Researchers call on governments, others to ensure a strong role for communities in natural-resource decisions

Posted by Andrew Kekacs on 15 June 2015

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Failure to involve communities in natural resource decisions can produce disastrous results.

“The well-being of communities is linked to the health of ecosystems, and vice versa” says Tony Charles, who is director of the Community Conservation Research Network. “A healthy environment is crucial for local communities, as well as for national economies. At the same time, keeping our environment healthy takes conservation efforts, and communities can play a major role. But if community initiatives are not supported, if community knowledge is not recognized, then both the economy and the environment suffer.”

Read more ... http://nswooa.ca/assets/Uploads/files/CCRN-media-release-June-9-2015.pdf

Pictou mill may re-open by the end of June

Posted by Christie Verstraten on 5 June 2015

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Production at Northern Pulp's Pictou mill could resume by as early as the end of June.

Read more... http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/northern-pulp-mill-could-resume-production-by-end-of-june-1.3096513

Latest news on Northern Pulp's Pictou County mill

Posted by Christie Verstraten on 22 May 2015

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Northern Pulp claims the province's environmental conditions are 'impossible to meet'.

Read more here... http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1287994-northern-pulp-blasts-n.s.-rules

Northern Pulp shuts down to install equipment

Posted by Andrew Kekacs on 5 May 2015

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Northern Pulp will temporarily close its Pictou County paper mill on May 30 in order to install equipment to meet air pollution reductions demanded by the Nova Scotia government.

Read more ... http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/northern-pulp-to-shut-down-to-install-air-pollution-equipment-1.3060859

NSWOOA board warns of risks from woodlot 'conversion'

Posted by Andrew Kekacs on 31 March 2015

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'Conversion' of woodlots to non-forestry use may have serious consequences.

Directors of the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association are concerned about reports that some logging contractors have been encouraging landowners to sign 'development agreements' to convert their woodlots to non-forestry use before a biomass harvest.

The practice is being used as a cover for contractors who want to ignore wildlife and watercourse regulations. The harvester gains a small amount of wood that should have been left standing in wildlife clumps or alongside streams, ponds or salt water.

For family forest owners, however, there are financial, environmental, and legal risks.

Wildlife and watercourse protections are critical, so removing the last few trees on a woodlot has serious implications for wildlife habitat and water quality.

At the same time, there are possible financial impacts from a change in use. By agreeing to convert a woodlot to a non-forestry use, the owner faces: 

   * Loss of future funding for silviculture, and the possible clawback of silviculture funding that was awarded in the previous 10 years.

   * Substantially higher property taxes when the lot no longer qualifies for the forest resource tax rate of 25 cents per acre.

   * Loss of eligibility for special income tax treatment that is available to owners of family forests. This allows capital gains that would otherwise be paid on the transfer of forestland from one generation to another to be deferred indefinitely, as long as a managed woodlot remains within the family.

If wildlife habitat and watercourse protection regulations are ignored, but landowners don't take steps to develop their property or use it for farming, they could even face legal recourse from the Department of Natural Resources. Enforcement officials have up to two years to file charges.

"We have been concerned to hear rumours of woodlots being harvested for biomass that are claimed to be 'converted' to other uses, so that wildlife clumps and watercourse regulations can be ignored," said Will Martin, president of NSWOOA. "This is worrying from an environmental health perspective, and also could have serious economic implications for the landowners."

NSWOOA directors advise landowners to consider the impact of their choices carefully. If you have questions about forestland conversion, call Andy Kekacs of the association staff at 1-855-NS-WOODS.

Women in Nepal become forest conservationists

Posted by Christie Verstraten on 25 February 2015

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Women in Nepal have become stewards of a community forest in the Terai Arc, which they rely on for necessities like food, water and shelter, as well as income and firewood. This article tells their story through a series of pictures.

See more here... http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/gallery/2015/feb/25/nepals-women-of-the-terai-arc-become-forest-conservationists-in-pictures?CMP=twt_gu

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