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New tool for family forest owners!

Set your goals for forest ownership, and identify the resources you need to achieve them, by using NSWOOA's new self-assessment tool for small-woodland owners. It's simple, useful, and fun. To begin, click here.

Our view of sustainable forestry

The Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association believes that forest practices should mimic natural processes in the native Acadian Forest. Management that favors the growth of high-quality trees of our longest lived, most valuable species offers the best opportunity to realize timber value while restoring forest conditions to a more natural and desirable state.

The unique and geographically limited Acadian Forest – which covers most of mainland Nova Scotia and parts of Cape Breton – evolved over 12,000 years under a specific set of climatic, biological, and geological conditions. Adaptation and natural selection produced a forest type that is very productive and extremely resilient.

Resource exploitation in the past 400 years, however, has dramatically changed our forested landscapes. Management regimes have moved to shorter rotations and ever-higher levels of fibre utilization. Forest stability and health have declined. Expensive silvicultural interventions are being used to offset declines in natural productivity rates. Ecosystem alteration and simplification compound the issue through ever-greater disruption of the webs of life which give the forest its vitality. 

Therefore, we believe that uneven-aged management should be mandated on the Crown lands of the province (because they should serve as models), and should be vigorously promoted on small private woodlots (because they are usually the most accessible and have the highest potential for productivity). Industrial landholdings subject to economic constraints should be managed, if not truly as uneven-aged, on long rotations with allowance for adequate retention of biomass in the ecosystem (including coarse woody debris, abundant legacy trees, wide riparian strips and wildlife corridors, and appropriate clumps).

The prescription given above is intended to be very general. Within the concept of maintaining ecological integrity, a wide range of activities are possible, and indeed necessary, given the vast array of forest conditions found throughout the province.

NSWOOA supports the right of landowners to make decisions regarding the management and use of their land. However, we also emphasize the responsibilities that accompany private ownership of land resources. The association believes that compromising ecological integrity for short-term financial gains will inevitably have a negative impact on forest use by our children and grandchildren.

The first step: Set your goals

Truly sustainable management of the 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, owners need to understand and be able to clearly state their personal goals for forest ownership.

The Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association has unveiled an important new tool for family forest owners: An online self-assessment that helps you to identify and prioritize your personal goals for woodland ownership. It also allows you to request the information, professional services, and other resources you need to begin achieving your goals.

This self-assessment tool will be the cornerstone of NSWOOA’s information and outreach efforts in 2014-15 and beyond. Depending on your responses, the short series of questions will take 5-15 minutes to complete. You can start by clicking here or visiting 

NSWOOA is committed to being your best source for information about sustainable forestry. If you have questions about your woodlands, call us toll-free at 1-855-NS-WOODS (1-855-679-6637) or visit the Acadian Forest Management section of this website. 

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