Eastern Woodland Conference - Sherbrooke, April 5

The Eastern Woodland Conference has been announced for Saturday, April 5 at the Sherbrooke Lion's Club.  This should be a great event with lots of new information and updates.  Booths will be set up for businesses and woodlot information programs.  Of course you can't pass up the chance to win the chainsaw door prize and enjoy the  ham and potato scallops for lunch!  Keep an eye out for more information as details are ironed out. 

Topics (more to be added as confirmed):

General Silviculture Programs Update - Dave Sutherland (ASF)

New Private Lands Program - Alan Eddy (DNR)

Cape Breton Privateland Partnership - Peter Burchill (NSLFFPA)

Private Landowners Forum - Kari Easthouse (NSLFFPA)

Fire Safety for Woodlot and Home - Kara McCurdy/ Ian Gunn (DNR)

Wildlife (Bats) - Mark Pulsifer (DNR)

CANCELLED - OXTRAC viewing and promo for demonstration the next day (April 6) at Beaver Mountain Park


Hope to see you there!






CANCELLED - OxTrac Demonstration Opportunity

Local DNR staff have expressed interest in facilitating a field demonstration day for the low impact OxTrac machine.  Check out the spec sheet: OxTrac.  We are aware of one of these currently in the Maritimes (Halifax Region).  

We're trying to guage interest among our group members.  Please let us know if you would like to take part (possibly February or March) as the representative is from Quebec and planning is necessary.  

There is talk of possibly adding this as a topic to the regional Woodland Conferences this year (Eastern is scheduled for Guysborough county, details TBA) but this would not likely include an actual demonstration of the equipment.  

Feel free to let non-members know and have them contact us as well.


Site Remediation Progress

June, 2011. Post HarvestIn 2011, a member had a situation where he had done an excellent job of harvesting very advanced old field white spruce himself with the help of a local cutter.  He arranged to have someone come in and forward the wood and ship it.  There was great care put into the planning of the job.  Unfortunately, an inexperienced operator drove the porter through a small sensitive area thinking he could save distance and time from the established forwarding trail.  While it wasn’t a large area, fairly deep ruts were made in a flow area.  Post-harvest, the ruts looked bad.  Rather than attempt some immediate remediation, it was decided to consult a forest soils expert and leave the site until very dry weather before trying anything.



Oct, 2012. One year post harvestIn early October, I visited the site with Kevin Keys (Soil science authority, Forester, DNR) and Eugene Quigley (Forest Ecologist, DNR) to come up with a plan.  To view the site after two years, it was difficult to say any damage had been done.  The sides of the ruts had settled into the bottom, drastically reducing depth while grasses and wet vegetation covered the site and flow did not appear to have been altered to the adjacent road.  The lingering effect, however, was the apparent pooling of natural flow.  Upon further inspection, it was determined that the water table for this particular area actually does sit near the surface naturally and that the rutting created a barrier to flow, no matter how slow that flow may have been.  



Oct, 2013. Eugene Quigley and Kevin Keys, DNR

Remediation recommendations included creating small breaches or holes in the sides of the ruts to allow for natural flow combined with filling the depressed portions of the ruts with a coarse soil mixture to allow for porosity and continued natural flow over time.  

While the actual site is very small and the damage isolated, this case is a microcosm of a broader discussion on effective remediation of soil damage as a result of harvest operations.  Traditionally when ruts or site damage occurs, the standard remediation is to blade in the ruts when conditions improve post-harvest (IF agreed upon pre-harvest).  While this may look better, it rarely restores the structure of the soil to allow for natural flow of water and nutrients across the site.  Thanks to Kevin, Eugene and especially the landowner for this opportunity to learn and raise the bar on effective post-harvest site remediation.

Peter, November 1, 2013


2012 /13 Program Summary

Our certification program summary for the last year is now available here. The program has now grown to 231 members and 26,075 hectares. Through NSLFFPA internal auditing, a total of 53 sites were inspected over the previous year, with 14 member Corrective Action Requests (CARs) issued. These were mostly related to health and safety requirements work alone procedures, first aid kits, etc.). These items were not previously checked for in as much detail as they now are. 

Over 150 harvest and silviculture notifications were provided to NSLFFPA staff, which has been a tremendous help to us in ensuring that certification requirments are met.


Full Speed Ahead

Members expressed concern that all our work could be stalled or worse if the provincial election resulted in a change of government.

The Association asked the leaders of the opposition parties before the election if they were supporting the Association’s work specifically and woodlot owners generally. Forestry was not mentioned in their platforms.

The Association received one reply in an email to our Sustainability Coordinator:



We are supportive of woodlot owners and have literally met with every known stakeholder group in Nova Scotia, including Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers Association. We have no intention of stalling the pilot program in Cape Breton, one that is widely supported by woodlot owners. 



The Liberal Party wrote Sept. 27 it would “consult with your organization after the election, no matter what the outcome is.


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