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.


Viewing entries tagged with 'ecosystems'

Ecologist warns that decline of boreal felt lichen an indicator of declining forest health

Posted by Christie Verstraten on 24 June 2016

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An ecologist with the NS Department of Environment warns that the steep projected decline of endangered boreal felt lichen over the next 25 years is an indicator of declining forest health in NS.

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Clearcut planned for near Scout Island, St. Margaret's Bay area

Posted by Christie Verstraten on 11 March 2016

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Members of the public and environemental groups have expressed concern over a proposed 350 hectare clearcut on Crown lands in the St. Margaret's Bay area. One area of the planned clearcut will border lands that have been used as a Scout camp for the last 50 years.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Small private woodlot owners are essential to successful forest conservation efforts

Posted by Christie Verstraten on 5 February 2015

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In the U.S, over a third of forested land is owned by individuals or families. It is therefore necessary to support and collaborate with them for successful forest conservation and sustainability efforts. The article highlights 5 benefits of responsible forest management: clean water, continuous wood supply, wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, and carbon capture and storage.

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Early game wardens and land stewardship

Posted by Christie Verstraten on 2 February 2015

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As you wait for better weather to get out and enjoy the woods, why not read about the lives of early game sanctuary wardens and their commitment to land stewardship? 

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How do small birds survive the winter?

Posted by Christie Verstraten on 30 January 2015

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With obstacles like severe weather conditions, predation by larger animals and food shortages, how do small birds survive the winter?

Find out here...

MTRI wraps up a decade of service

Posted by Andrew Kekacs on 28 January 2015

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The tenth anniversary year is over for the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, a Queens County jewel located in Kempt.

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Can mainland moose be saved?

Posted by Andrew Kekacs on 7 December 2014

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Can moose in mainland Nova Scotia be saved from extirpation? 

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