Event open to all in­ter­ested in our forests

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - THE CITIZEN -

On Satur­day, March 27, there will be a con­fer­ence held in Stewiacke on a broad range of in­ter­est­ing top­ics per­tain­ing to forests and for­est man­age­ment is­sues. The an­nual event, which is open to the pub­lic, is organized by re­gional de­vel­op­ment agen­cies, Nova For­est Al­liance and the Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources. It is one of three con­fer­ences be­ing held across the prov­ince which ro­tate lo­ca­tions among coun­ties each year.

The cen­tral re­gion con­fer­ence this year will be held at the new Wind­ing River Ele­men­tary School in Stewiacke from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Regis­tra­tion will be­gin at 8:30 a.m. The Hon­ourable John MacDon­nell, Min­is­ter of the Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources, will open the con­fer­ence. For­mer Wood­lot Owner of the Year Award win­ner Rus­sell McNally of Truro will talk about the many ben­e­fits, op­por­tu­ni­ties and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of own­ing and manag­ing wood­land.

Over the last few months, there has been con­sid­er­able dis­cus­sion and de­bate re­lated to fu­ture pro­tec­tion of wet­lands in Nova Sco­tia and pos­si­ble re­stric­tions that might limit fu­ture wet­land use. John Brazner of Nova Sco­tia En­vi­ron­ment Depart­ment, as one of the chief ar­chi­tects, will dis­cuss the di­rec­tion of wet­land pro­tec­tion in the prov­ince. He will speak about the new poli­cies that are be­ing de­vel­oped for the prov­ince.

Each year, wood­land own­ers ex­press how valu­able it is to hear about fi­nan­cial plan­ning and tax tips that may per­tain to them. Kelly Kolke of Grant Thorn­ton will pro­vide use­ful and prac­ti­cal in­for­ma­tion on th­ese top­ics. An­other pop­u­lar topic re­lates to com­mon wildlife is­sues such as hu­man in­ter­ac­tion with black bears and coy­otes. Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources re­gional bi­ol­o­gist Doug Archibald will pro­vide an up­date on th­ese and other wildlife.

From the aca­demic world, par­tic­i­pants will learn from Dr. Pa­tri­cia Stoffyn-Egli of Dal­housie Uni­ver­sity about re­search con­ducted on wildlife use of ri­par­ian ar­eas along wa­ter­courses.

Dr. Ralph Martin of the Nova Sco­tia Agri­cul­tural Col­lege will pro­vide food for thought on the ef­fect of cli­mate change on forestry and agri­cul­tural land use.

CBC Ra­dio call-in show guest and wildlife bi­ol­o­gist Bob Ban­croft will talk about wood­lot ecol­ogy and manag­ing for wildlife from a landowner’s per­spec­tive. Peter DeMarsh, chair­man of the Cana­dian Fed­er­a­tion of Wood­land Own­ers, will present the lat­est de­vel­op­ments re­lated to the many eco­log­i­cal goods and ser­vices wood­land own­ers pro­vide to so­ci­ety and whether th­ese val­ues should be rec­og­nized in some man­ner fi­nan­cially via our tax­a­tion sys­tem or an­other means.

An­drew West, a for­est prod­ucts buyer for HC Haynes, will re­view mar­ket trends and oc­cur­rences over the past year. He will then high­light what he sees as emerg­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for both tim­ber and non-tim­ber for­est prod­ucts.

One of the more con­tro­ver­sial top­ics to arise in for­est cir­cles in re­cent years is biomass har­vest­ing. The con­fer­ence agenda in­cludes a panel pre­sen­ta­tion and dis­cus­sion on biomass har­vest­ing and uti­liza­tion. Jim Ver­Boom of Ver­Boom Grinders and Jamie Simp­son of the Ecol­ogy Action Cen­tre will pro­vide their per­spec­tives on the topic and in­vite ques­tions.

To reg­is­ter or learn more about the cen­tral con­fer­ence or the east­ern con­fer­ence, which will be April 10 in Guys­bor­ough, call 888-375-2198 or reg­is­ter on­line at www.wood­lot­in­fos­hop.ca. All those that pre-reg­is­ter will be el­i­gi­ble to win a GPS unit.

Don Cameron works for the Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources.

He lives in Truro.

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