We are happy to announce the one year anniversary of the MCFC!
One year ago, on January 30, 2015, an agreement was signed between the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and the MCFC. This past year has not been easy as we find a niche for community forestry in Nova Scotia, but the MCFC is proud of our accomplishments to date. Here’s an update on our winter operations so far and projects to look forward to early this year.
In November 2015 the MCFC’s first harvest tender was awarded to Northern Pulp for approximately 11,000 tonnes of wood, and harvesting commenced on January 6, 2016. Harvesting is guided by a very thorough planning process completed by MCFC contractors, which includes pre-treatment assessments (PTA), using the provincial Forest Ecosystem Classification (FEC), a standard for the implementation of ecosystem-based management on Crown Lands. The section of this harvest near Northfield Rd./Salmon Lake was completed in late January and harvesting near Highway 8/Stave Lake will commence in the next week. Those of you travelling to and from Annapolis Royal may have noticed a new turnaround in construction near Lake Munro, which will be an access point to a partial harvest directly off the highway. The MCFC recognizes that Highway 8 is an important tourist corridor for Western Nova Scotia and all harvests in this area will have a minimal impact on views from the highway.
- Harvest blocks from the Northfield Rd./Salmon Lake area. All harvests were either patch removals (top) and small clearcuts less than 3 hectares (bottom).
One condition of the tender agreement signed with Northern Pulp is that all hardwood products harvested will be sold to the MCFC; this condition will support another important first for the MCFC, the development of a new local firewood business.
Still in its initial phase, MCFC’s firewood business has signed a two year supply agreement with the Friends of Keji Cooperating Association
, for wood to be sold to front country campers in Kejimikujik National Park. An additional firewood and hardwood log supply contract is being negotiated with the Conway Workshop Association
in Digby, a non-profit organization that is committed to providing quality residential and employment/vocational training programs to benefit individuals with disabilities. There will also be opportunity for MCFC to process and sell any remaining fuelwood material to local buyers using a yard that has been established in Kempt, adjacent to the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute. Keep posted to our website and facebook page for a complete product and price list.
- The MCFC’s new firewood shed constructed by south shore contractors, Tilia Builders.
The next major task for the MCFC is the completion of an interim management plan that will serve throughout the pilot phase. Currently MCFC operates on the existing NSDNR Medway District Management Plan, but the development of a community-forest specific plan will allow for a broad range of stakeholder interests to be reflected in its contents.
On January 20, 2016, a Stakeholder Committee meeting was held at the North Queen’s Business Hub in Caledonia, Queens County. Thirteen representatives from community groups, recreational organizations, academia, government and others joined MCFC General Manager, Mary Jane Rodger and representatives from the MCFC Board to review accomplishments and challenges to date, and to discuss the path forward, including the development of the management plan.
A draft of the Plan will be available for public review April 15, and the MCFC Annual General Meeting, scheduled for Saturday April 23, 2016, will provide opportunity for public discussion. This meeting is open to any member of the public and it is the Board’s hope to see a high degree of participation and a broad range of stakeholder representation in attendance. More details will follow during the circulation of the draft plan.