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 'management'
Medway Community Forest Coop creates sustainable firewood business to help supply local communities
The Medway Community Forest Coop has created a sustainable firewood business on former Bowater Mersey woodland.
Ecologist warns that decline of boreal felt lichen an indicator of declining forest health
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.
Clearcut planned for near Scout Island, St. Margaret's Bay area
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.
Timber theft and trespass a common problem for landowners
Many Nova Scotia landowners have been the victim of or heard of timber trespass or theft. Often, the only punishment for theft is for the thief to pay the price of the wood they took.
ASF funding available for uneven-aged management
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
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
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.
Rate of net global deforestation drops by half as wood demand continues to grow
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.
Researchers call on governments, others to ensure a strong role for communities in natural-resource decisions
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.”
NSWOOA board warns of risks from woodlot 'conversion'
'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
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.