Natural Resources 2012 Woodlot Owner of the Year


         
  View pictures of the 2012 winners

View photo gallery of the 2012 Field Days
 


2012 Central Winners

Pat and Janet O’Toole – Central and Provincial Winners

You quickly realize that Pat and Janet get a great deal of enjoyment from living and working on their woodlot and farm in Carroll’s Corner. After a tour of their beautiful property it is easy to see why. Since 1984, when the couple purchased the original property, they have been busy restoring overgrown fields and a cutover portion of the 65 acre (26 hectare) site. In 2004 the couple purchased an adjacent 178 acre (72 hectare) woodlot. A management plan for the entire property was completed in 2011 by the Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners. The woodlot is also certified under Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

One of the main focuses on the property has been low impact selection harvesting which has been applied to a large proportion of the woodlot. This has resulted in these areas being well on their way to becoming uneven-aged tolerant stands. The selection harvesting has all been done by the O’Toole family using chain saws and tractors which have helped maintain great aesthetic appeal. Logs are sold to nearby sawmills and firewood is sold directly from the property.

The only time heavy machinery has was used on the property since they purchased it was to clean up 12 acres that was affected by Hurricane Juan. This area has since regenerated naturally in a variety of species and is a testament to nature’s ability to renew itself after a major disturbance. Pat is anxiously awaiting the regeneration to reach the proper height for pre-commercial thinning so he can “play” with his new spacing saw.

Another important aspect of the woodlot is the maple syrup operation. The sugary has approximately 1200 taps which are gravity fed to a camp on the woodlot where an evaporator turns it into delicious syrup. Some is bottled by the O’Toole’s themselves with the remainder being shipped in bulk to Acadian Maple Products for sale.

Numerous access trails on the woodlot are great for Janet’s horses and hiking. The woodlot is also home to many types of wildlife from goshawks to wood turtles. The O’Tooles have been kind enough to let groups like 4H and Scouts use and learn from their woodlot. 

Both the woodlot and the owners possess many of the virtues that embody what the woodlot owner of the year is all about. Congratulations Pat and Janet on being the Provincial Woodlot Owner of the Year!

The field day will be on September 29 and will feature many aspects of sustainable forest management. Do you want to enjoy a walk in the woods? Learn about Category 7 selection management, maple syrup production and sugar bush management and many more interesting topics. It is sure to be a great day and is something you will not want to miss!

FIELD DAY: Sept. 29, 2012.

DIRECTIONS: From Hwy 102 take Exit 11, and turn east towards the Town of Stewiacke. Take the first right onto Hwy 2, then left onto Hwy 224. From Hwy 224 take a right onto Hwy 277, turn left onto Antrim Rd., and make a slight left onto MacWilliams Rd. civic # 224. Watch for signs.

Google map showing location of this event

POSTER FOR EVENT: Download the PDF poster for this event

AGENDA

  1. Arrival (8:30 -9:00 am)
  2. Guest book signing and registration (up on arrival)
  3. Field tours (from 9:00 am)
  4. Lunch (12:00 pm)
  5. Recognition speech by Minister Charlie Parker (12:30 pm)
  6. Award presentation by Minister Charlie Parker (12:40 pm)
  7. Speech by the O'Toole family (12:50 pm)
  8. Tree Planning ceremony by Minister Charlie Parker and The O'Toole family (1:00 pm)
  9. Prize draw (1:10 pm)
  10. Tour continues until 4 pm

Eastern 2012 WinnerMike and Mary Penny – Eastern Winner

In late summer near Lochaber lake you will most likely find Mike Penny busily shearing his way through his Christmas trees. Mike has been managing his 205 acre (85 hectare) woodlot since 1988 when he purchased it from his father-in-law. Since then Mike has established over 40 acres of Christmas trees which he and his friend Fred Delorey shear themselves.  The Christmas tree lot is naturally regenerating and Mike has stopped using pesticides on it. Through the ups and downs of the Christmas tree market Mike has stuck with it and has enjoyed the financial benefits of his careful management. This has meant a green Christmas for many families along the eastern seaboard.

Although Christmas tree production is the primary focus of the woodlot, Mike has managed the rest of his woodlot sustainably. One feature of the woodlot is a 100 acre red pine plantation which was established when Mike took over the woodlot and has been both pre-commercially and commercially thinned. Mike has also conducted periodic small scale intensive harvests that have subsequently been planted. The range of forest conditions on the woodlot provide great habitat for deer, grouse and even beavers which have colonized a pond on his property.

Mike works closely with Scott & Stewart Forestry Consultants Ltd. in St. Andrews for all his harvesting and follow up treatments and is creating a new management plan with them.

Mike is an active member of the forest community sitting on the board of directors for the Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners and he is also a member of the Northeastern Christmas Tree Association and Forest Products Association. Mike’s hard work and dedication to forestry in Nova Scotia makes him a deserving recipient of the Eastern region Woodlot Owner of the Year Award.

A field day will be held on September 22 to showcase Mike’s achievements. The field day will focus on managed woodlots vs. unmanaged woodlots, Christmas tree management and various silvicultural techniques.

FIELD DAY: Sept. 22, 2012

DIRECTIONS: From Hwy 104, take Exit 32 and travel 21 kilometres along Highway 7. Turn right to West Lochaber and through the gate on the other side of the intersection. Watch for signs.

Google map showing location of this event

POSTER FOR EVENT: Download the PDF poster for this event

AGENDA

  1. Arrival (8:30 -9:00 am)
  2. Guest book signing and registration (up on arrival)
  3. Field tours (from 9:00 am)
  4. Lunch (12:00 pm)
  5. Recognition speech by MLA Maurice Smith (12:30 pm)
  6. Award presentation by MLA Maurice Smith (12:40 pm)
  7. Speech by the Penny family (12:50 pm)
  8. Prize draw (1:00 pm)
  9. Tour continues until 4 pm

 


2012 Western WinnerJim and Ann Crooker-Western Winner

As a youngster, Jim can vividly remember the countless hours of playing and exploring the far corners of what now makes up his 850 acre (344 hectare) property near Caledonia in Queens County. That sense of satisfaction has not faded over the years as his wife explains “I have never met anybody who enjoys working in the woodlot as much as Jim”.

Jim’s woodlot is a showcase of what a firm commitment to sustainable and responsible woodlot management really is. Much of his mixed wood FSC certified property is managed under category 7 selection management which provides Jim with a small income while still maintaining a natural landscape. Local truck drivers are always happy to get a load of logs from Jim’s property since it’s “like driving through a park”. Jim uses a 4wd tractor and log loader to do most of the work in the woodlot but will occasionally use a horse for some of the harvests. Jim always makes sure he has a buyer lined up before he does any harvesting on his woodlot. Over the years he has sold a variety of products to many purchasers around the area.

Aside from primary forestry activities the woodlot is also used by cross country skiers, hikers, hunters (with permission) and the Mersey Tobiatic Research Institute (MTRI) for demonstration tours. He has also allowed some local chanterelle mushroom harvesters to use his property. Members of the animal kingdom also make great use of the woodlot which has two rivers crossing through it (Medway, Wildcat) along with a substantial amount of lake frontage.

Jim’s commitment to forestry extends well beyond his boundary lines. As a member of the board of directors for the Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners he is a strong voice for woodlot owners in his area and the province as a whole. His woodlot was also used for research purposes during a pale winged gray outbreak that was affecting hemlock trees in the area. The trial to control it proved successful and will directly benefit forest managers across the region should this pest ever flare up again.

While walking through the woodlot with Jim you get a real sense of pride in the fact that he is the sixth generation of Crookers to manage this property. This has no doubt led him to manage the woodlot so that many future generations will enjoy and benefit from it just as he has.

The field day for the Crooker woodlot will be held on September 15th and will feature Category 7 displays, various forest management techniques and recreational aspects and options for woodlots.

FIELD DAY: Sept. 15, 2012

DIRECTIONS: From Hwy 101, take Exit 22. Travel south on Hwy 8 to South Brookfield. Turn left onto Hwy 208. From Hwy 103, take Exit 13. Turn right onto Hwy 325 and left onto Hwy 208. Civic number 6685. Watch for signs

Google map showing location of this event

POSTER FOR EVENT: Download the PDF poster for this event

AGENDA

  1. Arrival (8:30 -9:00 am)
  2. Guest book signing and registration (up on arrival)
  3. Field tours (from 9:00 am)
  4. Lunch (12:00 pm)
    Venue for lunch and award ceremonies: Westfield Hall
    From the parking area in Jim's field, turn right on to the 208 heading for Bridgewater. After 1.25 km, turn left onto the unpaved Old Westfield Road (signposted). Travel this road for 6.5km. Go straight at the first junction (church on right) and travel for another 1/2km. When the road bends sharply to the right, indicate left and travel straight ahead (there is a sign for the Westfield Hall at the junction). Westfield Hall is approximately 400m along this road on the right hand side.
  5. NB: Transport to Westfield Hall and back to the woodlot will be provided
  6. Recognition speech (12:30 pm)
  7. Award presentation (12:40 pm)
  8. Speech by the Crooker family (12:50 pm)
  9. Prize draw and back to the woodlot (1:00 pm)
  10. Tour continues until 4 pm