STEWIACKE - Organizations that serve Nova Scotia's woodlot owners have created a united front in an effort to explore ways to improve conditions for family forest owners.
"This is the first and only collaboration of all private woodlot owner organizations working together for a common goal of sustainable forests in Nova Scotia," Kingsley Brown, president of the Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers Association, said in a news release.
The organizations want the province to review the Nova Scotia Registry of Buyers for Primary Forest Products and the Forest Sustainability Regulations, which were established more than a decade ago within the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The program was meant to collect reliable data on the purchase of primary forest products (raw logs) in the province, to estimate future demand for timber and ensure the sustainability of forest harvest by directing investment into silviculture programs.
The groups hope to improve landowner control over and administration of silviculture programs, clarify landowners' contributions to the program, ensure access to the full range of silviculture treatments and investigate a more regional delivery mechanism for implementing silviculture programs, the release said.
Forum membership includes the Association for Sustainable Forestry, Athol Forestry Cooperative Ltd., Baddeck Valley Wood Producers Co-op Ltd., Conform Limited, Ecology Action Centre, Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners, La Foret Acadienne, Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, North Inverness Forest Management, North Nova Forest Owners Co-op, Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers Association, Nova Scotia Silviculture Contractors Association, the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association and Picea Forestry Consulting and FSC Group Acadian Forest Keepers.
"We fully support the significant work taking place in the forum and welcome the diversity of views and opinions so that collectively we achieve a better result than what any of us could on our own," William Martin, chairman of the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association, wrote in a letter to the forum.
The Forest Sustainability Regulations specify that registered wood buyers who acquire more than 5,000 cubic metres of round wood from private woodlands in any one calendar year must meet a specified level of reinvestment in the future productivity of small private woodlots. The groups have identified several issues related to the administration of private land silviculture programs and have requested the opportunity to participate in a review of the system in co-operation with DNR and the forest industry.