Fall Newsletter 2018

FALLnewsletter17.jpg

Originally published September 2018

With the fall now upon us, the MCFC is looking ahead to October and the beginning of the next chapter for our organization. As usual, this summer was quite busy, we hosted numerous events including a wild foods workshop, forest research tour, old growth forest tour and of course, our forest market and fair. Thanks to all our members who came out to support the MCFC at these events, without you we wouldn’t be able to continue to share our story and the benefits of community forestry with the larger public.

wild foods II.jpg

Following our very well received wild foods workshop held in conjunction with East Coast Wild Foods and Mersey River Chalets this June, we’ve decided to host a similar event on October 13th. Our guide, Sarah d’Apollonia from East Coast Wild Foods will be taking a small group into the MCFC to find some of this seasons’ delectable mushrooms from our hemlock forests. Following the foray, the group will return to the chalets to dine on a delectable foraged meal created wild foods chef, Nelson Penner, beside the fire at Mersey River Chalets. This event is not to be missed, and will likely sell-out, register today by contacting us.

We will also be at the Western Woodlot Owner of the Year Award event this Saturday, September 29 at Out to Pasture Farm owned by the Veinotte family in West Northfield, Lunenburg Co., to show our support for the private woodlot owner community and our partners at the Western Woodlot Service Coop (WWSC). The harvests on the Veinotte’s woodlot are exemplary of the sustainable, ecologically-based forest practices we promote at the MCFC, and the event is a great way to introduce woodlot owners and the public to the careful harvesting that can be done by large machinery.

The Release of the Forestry Review

This August marked the release of the Independent Review of Forest Practices, something that many of us within the forestry industry have been awaiting in order to proceed with various projects, and in our case, to begin negotiations with Lands and Forestry for a long-term Crown Land license agreement. The MCFC board and staff were very pleased with the recommendations within the review and agreed Dr William Lahey did a commendable job of suggesting realistic yet innovative approaches to improving forest practices in Nova Scotia.

There were several key recommendations within the report involving the MCFC which were in support of continuing to test the community forest model, or are aligned with our mission and objectives including:

  • An overarching recommendation to adopt ecological forestry as the prevailing forestry paradigm

  • Encouragement and support for research and innovation by NS’s forest sector. This includes true support for experimentation by the MCFC and support or innovation opportunities for woodlot owners

  • Providing the MCFC with a license with a term and area that allows the organization to be viable and self-sustaining

We understand the Minister and Premier will be under immense pressure to examine each recommendation and pick which ones are easiest to implement, but as Prof. Lahey stated, in order for this review to make significant changes in the health of NS forests, all recommendations should be implemented in their entirety. The MCFC Board of Directors submitted a letter of support to the Premier following the release of the review stating our support, which has been acknowledged by the Minister of Lands and Forestry, Iain Rankin.

Negotiations and Committees

Very soon following the release of the Forestry Review, Lands and Forestry representatives contacted the MCFC to commence a collaboration and bridge-building exercise between the two organizations. We have now commenced these meetings and are looking forward to laying the foundation for negotiations through a series of meeting with key Lands and Forestry staff and MCFC board members through October. There is a lot of work ahead of us to determine the best way forward for community forestry in Nova Scotia, but we’re confident that we’ve gathered the data to determine what it takes for multi-value forest management to be successful in a myriad of ways.

Now that we’re more certain of our future, the MCFC is seeking to reinvigorate our committee structure. Our committees are open to both MCFC board members as well as regular shareholders - if you’re not yet a member join us today! This fall we will be holding committee meetings for the public outreach, forestry operations, ecotourism and the MCFC land trust. If any of these topics are of interest to you or you’d like to know more about the commitment level, or the typical content of the meetings please contact our GM, Mary Jane Rodger.

IMG_2024.JPG

Firewood

Don't get left in the cold this winter! We have a select volume of beautiful, dry firewood still available ideal for burning in smaller woodstoves. If you're in need of wood locally, or in the Annapolis Royal, Liverpool or Bridgewater areas, contact us today and get your wood delivered in the next couple of weeks.

Mary Jane Rodger