Winter Newsletter 2019

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HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE MCFC

Originally published January, 2019

We hope everyone had a happy and relaxing holiday and we wish you a productive start to 2019. This year has already been a busy one for us, as we build a preliminary 5-year business plan for the Department of Lands & Forestry. We're looking forward to what 2019 will bring, and see it as a year of big developments for the MCFC and forestry in the province overall.

Negotiations with Lands and Forestry

Following the completion of the three-year pilot period, a team of representatives from the MCFC and the Department of Lands and Forestry have begun meeting to work towards developing a long-term licence agreement.

The process to date has included an evaluation of the three-year pilot phase, using the criteria developed by Lands and Forestry and the MCFC prior to the pilot, and work with a third-party facilitator to lay the foundation between both parties prior to commencing negotiations.

Moving forward, we will be working with the department to build on the experience and insights gained through the pilot phase to support building a successful model of community forestry in Nova Scotia. Negotiations will involve a phased approach according to the Provincial government’s continued response to recommendations from the Independent Forestry Review. Speaking for both parties, we're looking forward to developing a framework that will enable and support our multi-value model of forestry.

Operations

Lewis Logging’s equipment caught roadside during some wintery weather in December.

Lewis Logging’s equipment caught roadside during some wintery weather in December.

Over the past month there have been two harvests on the MCFC license area nearby the East Branch Rd. Both treatments were partial harvests, a uniform shelterwood and a non-uniform patch shelterwood. We were working with Westfor Management for wood marketing and a new logging contractor, Lewis Logging (of Lewis Mouldings), did an excellent job executing the prescription. The terrain was challenging in places but they were able to balance our removal targets and retain the highest quality trees while obtaining what they needed for the mill. Our timeline for shelterwood harvests are a bit different than other licensees on Crown land. We likely won't be returning to do our second harvest of this three-stage treatment for 15 years, at a time when regeneration is hardy and well-established.

We’re feeling fortunate to have this harvest done after over a year-long hiatus from our forest harvesting operations. We’re looking forward to having more blocks harvested this winter and spring in collaboration with both Westfor and Freeman’s Lumber.

Recreation

As we progress in negotiations with the Department of Lands and Forestry, we’re turning our minds to investigating business opportunities aside from timber sales. As you might know our neighbours, Kejimkujik National Park and Historic Site, are planning campsite closures in 2020 to modernize their facilities. During this time, we foresee there will be a void in camping accommodations in the area and are looking into the feasibility of constructing a 12-site campground nearby Highway 8. The campground will aim to deliver a backcountry camping experience with front country access. The business will also run entirely on a web-based platform and self-serve basis, from reservations to obtaining firewood.

Since this project is in its early stages, we’d love to hear what our members and the local community think of the idea. What kind of recreation or camping facilities do you want to see in the MCFC license area?

Scouting out future campsite locations on a sunny winter day.

Scouting out future campsite locations on a sunny winter day.

Land Trust Development

The Land Trust project we started nearly a year ago is now close to being registered as a society. The Nova Scotia Working Woodlands Trust (NSWWT) will be the first land trust dedicated to holding easements for owners of working woodlots in Nova Scotia. The mission of the NSWWT will be to uphold the long-term stewardship of family working woodlands in Nova Scotia, through ecological forestry and conservation. Our expectation is it will likely take another year before we can start assembling working woodlots for easements as we obtain charitable status.

Our General Manager, Mary Jane Rodger will be presenting the concept of the NSWWT at the Western Woodlot Conference on March 2nd in Digby.

Mary Jane Rodger