WHO WE ARE
We are an organization of private woodlot owners who struggled successfully for the right and responsibility to negotiate prices for our wood and manage our forests to the world’s highest environmental sustainability standard.
By campaigning from door-to-door throughout eastern Nova Scotia to gain 86-per-cent support of all private wood producers, the Association overcame all legal challenges to balance the interest of woodlot owners and the mills.
Woodlot owners changed an oligarchial system of feudal prices to the highest prices in the province for the same quality wood by bargaining collectively on prices, wood specifications and transportation of their now $12-15,000,000 annual business.
Although higher pulpwood prices also set a floor under studwood and log prices, adding in total hundreds of millions of dollars to woodlot owners, a greater benefit was raising the value of our woodlots and promoting interest in their improvement.
No other provincial organization, private or public, has had such a positive effect on natural resource management. It was the first to initiate regional mitigation and forest restoration with its 1997 sustainability program, which became a provincial regulation, and followed in 2005 with its Forest Stewardship Council group certification as one of the most unique in the world.
Woodlot owners are participating actively in these programs because it’s the right thing to do. Their access to markets is protected by certification. They are selling at fair prices and improving their woodlots at the same time. They are attracted to programs embraced by landowners and industry with environmental concerns.
Because the programs are voluntary and not government-driven, they can be adapted quickly to changing conditions. Because they are not industry-driven, they are not viewed with suspicion by ENGOs and woodlot owners. The Association has three employees: executive director Wilma Stub in our Port Hawkesbury office and foresters Peter Burchill and Kari Easthouse working from their homes, making 100 FSC plans a year.
None of this could have happened without thousands of mostly mom-and-pop woodlot owners who stuck together to defeat the old bureaucratic and technocratic interference by government and industry. The 86-per-cent support was so great in that first member and non-member plebiscite that the Association was registered to represent both under collective bargaining.