Woodlot Management Program Announced

Department of Natural Resources

August 16, 2007 2:38 PM

Private woodlot owners in Nova Scotia are being encouraged to take a second look at their options for woodland management.

The Department of Natural Resources is investing $570,000 over the next two years in a program aimed at increasing the number of small, private woodlot operators who use uneven-aged forest management methods on appropriate sites.

"In uneven-aged areas, woodland owners remove only select trees, giving others the time and space they need to mature," Natural Resources Minister David Morse said today, Aug. 16. "It is a more time-consuming process, but it can also lead to a more diverse stand. This program helps balance the approaches needed for a healthy and sustainable forest industry."

Under an agreement with the Association for Sustainable Forestry, the department will invest $500,000 over two years for new silviculture treatment sites on eligible woodlots of less than 2,000 hectares. The sites must meet specific technical standards.

The Association for Sustainable Forestry -- which consists of wood product buyers, woodlot owner organizations, representatives of the Ecology Action Centre and other organizations -- will administer the program.

It will also receive $70,000 to help finance an outreach component of the program in the first year. The association will work with private woodlot owners and contractors to encourage uneven-aged management practices and promote associated silviculture treatments on appropriate sites.

"We welcome this initiative by Mr. Morse and the Department of Natural Resources," said Minga O'Brien, of the Ecology Action Centre, "and look forward to seeing woodlot owners receive the support they deserve for uneven-aged management. This is a good first step."

"Sustainable forestry practices are paramount to the economic well-being of Nova Scotia," said Steve Talbot, executive director of The Forest Products Association of Nova Scotia, an organization that has been a member of the Association for Sustainable Forestry since its inception. "We encourage and promote forest diversity, including uneven-aged management, particularly within the private sector of the province."

The association will also prepare a report for the department that outlines the challenges or barriers that may be discouraging owners and operators from using such treatments, and that recommends changes to technical standards for uneven-aged management.

The agreement includes provisions that require the association to provide progress information every three months so the program's effects can be accurately measured.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Private woodlot owners in Nova Scotia are being encouraged

to consider using silviculture methods that promote uneven-aged

forest management.

     Natural Resources Minister David Morse says the process may

be more time consuming but that it leads to a healthy diversity

in the forest industry.

     The Department of Natural Resources will provide

570-thousand dollars to the Association for Sustainable Forestry

for new silviculture treatments on small, privately owned

woodlots and for promotion of uneven-aged forestry practices.

     The association represents wood product buyers, woodlot

owner organizations, representatives of environmental groups and

other organizations from across the province.

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Media Contact: Diane LeBlanc
              Natural Resources
              902-424-2354
              E-mail: leblandj@gov.ns.ca