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The Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association is committed to being your best source for information and advice about the sustainable management of the Acadian Forest. We do not offer silviculture or harvesting services; our interest is only in the protection and enhancement of the native forest ecosystems of Nova Scotia.

Forest management is a complex activity. Current forest conditions, markets, soils, an owner’s personal goals, tax planning and many other factors influence which management activities should be considered in any stand of trees. Thankfully, there are many opportunities to learn more about forest management and to connect with landowners and forest professional who can offer good advice.

Information about programs and events offered by NSWOOA, the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, and other organizations that support woodland owners, can be found here.

 From Field & Forest: Building Business from Non-Timber Forest Products- Oct. 20th-21st, 2016

From Field & Forest is a 2-day conference in Moncton, NB that gives natural resource managers and rural entrepreneurs the connections and insights to build sustainable businesses from non-timber forest products. You will make connections and learn how to get your products into the hands of regional and international customers.

Presentations include:
- What Constitutes a Successful NTFP Business? Case Studies for Wild Onion, Rhodiola, Fruits and More
- Growing and Harvesting Fiddleheads
- Personal Health Care Products: Playing in a Billion Dollar Industry
- Wholesale Marketing from a Broker’s Perspective
- Producing Value-Added NTFPs for Local and Export Markets: Learnings from Christmas Trees
- Is My Product Safe and How Can I Prove It?
- First Nations Perspectives on NTFP Use

Registration fees for this conference:
Early Bird Pass (until Aug 15): $119 + taxes & fees
General Pass: $149 + taxes & fees
*fees include presentations, snacks, 2 lunches, and 1 dinner

To register, contact Fred Nott (506-451-6987, frederick.nott@unb.ca) or visit FromFieldandForest.com.

Click here for a poster of the event.

Women in Forestry- September 24th, 2016

Women in Forestry is the second in a series of hands-on, one-day workshops for women with an interest in woodland knowledge hosted by the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute. It will take place September 24th, 2016 in Bear River, NS.

This session will include:
      - Herbal medicinals and mushrooms
      - Wildlife in woodlands
      - Non-timber forest products
      - How you can connect with your woodland

Whether you're a female woodlot owner, an aspiring forester, or simply looking to learn more about forests and their interactions, this workshop may be for you!

The cost for this workshop is $20.00. Please bring your own brown bag lunch.

Space is limited and registration is required! If interested please contact: tarissa.holmes@merseytobeatic.ca or call 902-682-2371.

Click here to view the event poster.

Old Forest Conservation Science Conference- October 19th-21st, 2016

Come join the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute on October 19th-21st, 2016 for their Old Forest Conservation Science Conference at the Debert Hospitality Centre, Nova Scotia.

Email register@merseytobeatic.ca before Sept 28th to get the early-bird discount. More information is at www.merseytobeatic.ca.

The detailed schedule for the conference will soon be available (abstracts will be accepted until Sept. 28th) but in the meantime, here is the rough outline:

      Wednesday night - registration, opening ceremony, keynote speaker

      Thursday - field trips, banquet, poster session, social

      Friday - plenary session, concurrent sessions, closing ceremony

The fees (which cover meals but not lodging) are as follows: $100 for early-bird registration, $80 for students, and $125 for registration after September 28th. If you cannot attend the entire conference please let us know and there may be a possibility to pay a partial registration fee or to apply for a bursary.

Keynote and invited speakers will be announced soon. If you are registered you will get this information by email otherwise stay tuned to MTRI's website (www.merseytobeatic.ca) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/merseytobeatic). 

Click here to view the conference poster.

How Much is Our Forest Worth?- September 22nd, 2016

You are invited to attend a workshop in valuing natural capital led by GPI Atlantic Founder, Ron Colman. The workshop will be held on Thursday, September 22nd, 1:30-4:30pm at the GPI Atlantic space in St. Margarets Bay (upstairs at Paul’s Hall, 12286 Peggy’s Cove Rd).

Space is limited, so please contact Gwen Colman to register: gwen@gpiatlantic.org or 902 489-7007

The workshop will be the beginning of an ongoing working group to respond to Nova Scotia forestry policy changes and to work on meaningful case studies for local change.

Dr. Ron Colman is founder of GPI Atlantic, a non-profit research group in Nova Scotia that, over 15 years, constructed comprehensive measures of wellbeing and full-cost accounts called the Genuine Progress Index and has worked in Bhutan for more than a decade on its holistic measures of progress that integrate social, economic and environmental objectives. The workshop will be using GPI Atlantic’s work on valuing natural capital, particularly the NS Forest Accounts and Forestry Headline Indicators (www.gpiatlantic.org/publications/naturalcapital.htm).

Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest Fall Field Day- September 17th, 2016

Come out to the Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest for our annual public Field Day on September 17th, 2016! The field day will run from 10:00am to 3:00pm and will include walking tours, presentations on various topics, and displays. Planned topics include responsible forest management, wildlife and species at risk, bridge and water crossing construction, forest roads and trails, forest carbon cycling, wetlands, and much more!

Admission is free and there will be a BBQ lunch.

A shuttle service will run every half hour starting at 10:00am from the Mooseland Community Centre (4032 Mooseland Rd.) to the site.

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged and those who pre-register will be entered in a draw for a door prize. For more information and to register, visit www.nswoods.ca/otter-ponds-demonstration-forest-fall-field-day.html or email Christie at earthscapeff@gmail.com.

Click here to view a poster for the event.

Forest Roads, Water Crossings and Trails: A Field Day for Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners- September 10th, 2016

Building and maintaining forest roads, bridges and trails are some of the most important – and challenging – activities for Nova Scotia woodland owners. If the work is well planned and executed, the investment can improve the economic and recreational value of a woodlot for decades.

Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest and Kate Campbell, a woodlot owner in East Jeddore, will host a half-day program on forest roads, water crossings and trails on Saturday, Sept. 10th, 2016. Otter Ponds is uniquely well suited for the event. Over the past five years, the demonstration forest has built an extensive road system, a timber crib bridge, and an innovative crossing for a seasonal wetland. Otter Ponds is also working right now to extend a hiking trail system throughout the 1,500-acre Crown parcel, which it operates under a lease from the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources.

You can see and learn more about all of these improvements at the field day, which is part of the Woodland Owner Mentorship Program. The mentorship program is a partnership of the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association, Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, and Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners.

The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources provides funding for the mentorship program, which enables small woodlot owners to see real-world examples of topics covered in DNR’s Woodlot Management Home Study Program. Learn more about the Home Study program at woodlot.novascotia.ca/content/woodlot-management-home-study-program.

If there is enough interest, the half-day program at Otter Ponds will be offered twice. The morning session will start at 8:30 a.m., while an identical program will be offered in the afternoon beginning at 1 p.m. All participants are invited to lunch at the Otter Ponds visitor shelter from 12 noon to 1 p.m. A complete schedule for the field day can be found at www.nswoods.ca/forest-roads-water-crossings-and-trails.html. To see a map, go to https://goo.gl/maps/z5P9DUZR5J92.

The cost for the event is $25 per person. Lunch will be provided. Space is limited, so you must reserve a spot by visiting www.nswoods.ca/forest-roads-water-crossings-and-trails.html and registering under the Workshops and Events tab, or by calling the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association at 1-855-NS-WOODS.

After registering, you will receive a packet with more information. Participants should wear clothing appropriate for a long walk in the forest in mid-September. The Mooseland community center is located about two hours from Halifax or Truro.

The field day is meant for small woodlot owners. It’s recommended that participants look at the appropriate modules in the DNR’s Home Study program, which are available for free download. The topics covered will include Module 11: Roads & Trails, and parts of Module 9: Woodlot Recreation, which can be downloaded at novascotia.ca/natr/Education/woodlot/modules/download.asp

For more information, contact Andy Kekacs, executive director of the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association, at 1-855-679-6637 or andy.nswooa@gmail.com.

Tours of Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest

Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest highlights the philosophy, science, and practice of uneven-aged management in the Acadian Forest. It produces timber for market using the best forest practices presently known, while protecting wildlife habitat and the Tangier River watershed, respecting the ecosystem services provided by the parcel, and enhancing the social and cultural value of the forest. Management practices are certified to the Forest Stewardship Council’s Maritime Standard.

Woodlot owners, elementary and high school groups, university students and researchers, and other groups are invited to visit Otter Ponds to see an outstanding example of working forestland. Contact Andy Kekacs, project manager, at 902-817-4763 or andy.nswooa@gmail.com

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