Natural Resources 2014 Woodland Owner of the Year


         
  View pictures of the 2014 winners  
  View pictures of the 2014 Field Days
 


2014 Provincial WinnerHiram and Ernest Carver and Family –
Western and Provincial Winners

Drop by the Carver woodland on a nice autumn evening and there is a good chance you will find Hiram and Ruth Carver enjoying the sounds of the forest. Or perhaps you may find Ernest and Margaret Carver relishing a meal at the cabin with their two sons. With so much to enjoy about the property, it is no wonder the Carver family is active in sustainably managing their 142 hectare (350 acre) woodland. This year, Hiram and Ernest Carver and family are celebrated as the provincial and western region Woodland Owners of the Year!

This father-son pair work together to better their property in New Germany, Lunenburg County. In the past they grew Christmas trees, but now focus their efforts on uneven-age management and regeneration efforts. Although they do most work themselves, they use their management plan prescriptions and the advice of forest professionals to ensure they are making the best choices for the continued health of their woodland.

Hiram stresses the importance of talking and networking with other woodland owners when getting involved in woodland management. Since purchasing the land 40 years ago, their connections with other woodland owners – especially Tom Ernst in the early years – have helped them a great deal in getting where they are today. He recommends people who are interested in woodland management to: “Talk to somebody that has done some work. We only learn by what other people do.”

Safety is a top priority for the Carvers. When working on the woodland, they always carry cell phones and use arrows along the woodland road to direct First Responders to their location if needed. As well, they have customized their woodland equipment to reduce strain on themselves when operating equipment and improve visibility on the road. Their thoughtful approach to operating in their woodland is one to be admired.

Avid snowmobilers, the Carvers welcome recreation on their property so others can enjoy the beauty and peace of the woods. They aim to protect the beauty and biodiversity of the forest by setting aside some of the property for conservation. The area they have selected for conservation is representative of native Nova Scotia tree species in that region.

Hiram and Ernest have a wealth of knowledge to share about getting started in woodland management. Meet the Carvers and celebrate their award at the open public field day on October 4, 2014 from 9am to 4pm!

FIELD DAY: October 4, 2014 — 9am - 4pm

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 (from 11:45)
5. Recognition speech by Honourable Zach Churchill, Natural Resources Minister (12:30)
6. Award presentation by Honourable Zach Churchill, Natural Resources Minister (12:40)
7. Certificate presentation by Councillor Cathy Moore (12:50)
8. Speech by the Carver family (12:50 pm)
9. Tree planting ceremony by Honourable Zach Churchill (12:55)
10. Prize draw (1:00 pm)
12. Tour continues until 4 pm

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DIRECTIONS:
From Bridgewater:
Turn onto Highway 10 (from Highway 103) and travel North toward New Germany (Approx. 24 km)
Continue North on Highway 10 through New Germany to Meisener’s Section (Approx. 7 km)
Parking lot next to civic # 6713 Highway 10 Meisener's Section.
Next to Guys Garage.

From Middleton:
Turn onto Highway 10 (By Needs Convenience Store) and travel South toward New Germany (Approx. 55 km)
Parking lot next to civic # 6713 Highway 10 Meisener's Section.
Next to Guys Garage.


2014 Central WinnerJohn and Sharon Simons and Family – Central Winner

John and Sharon Simons and family took the Woodland Owner of the Year honour for central region due to the dedicated management of their 263 hectare (650 acres) property in Springhill, Cumberland County! The land has been passed down through generations of Sharon’s family. Now John – affectionately known as Jack by some – and Sharon have made it their own little piece of woodland paradise.

With the help of his son, Justin, John is active in harvesting pulpwood and firewood while also expanding their sugar woods – once operated by John’s father-in-law and generations before him. Perhaps it is the legacy of the land that inspires John to manage for the future with long-term thinking and sustainability inherent in his harvesting practices. He stresses the importance of thinking beyond one generation when considering forest health; “we’re trying to work it so there is always something left here.”

Practicing what he preaches, John works on the theory that if he cuts one tree, he plants two more to replace it and contribute to natural regeneration. His management plan, developed with the help of the Athol Forestry Cooperative, uses Forest Ecosystem Classification (FEC) principles to assist in making management decisions that are appropriate for the landscape and local environment. This year he will be planting red and black spruce and some jack pine in specific locations based on the FEC system.

The Simons take the time to enjoy their property with winter skating parties at the pond, and summer nights at the bunkhouse. Others in the community are encouraged to explore the property, as long as they are respectful of the land. Working with Athol Forestry, John has hosted educational events such as a mushroom walk and maple candy tasting in the spring.

“People tend to go to great lengths and spend a lot of money just to look at beauty when we have it here in our own backyard” remarks John as he walks the woodland. The ‘Bowl’ is a sight not to be missed; this woodland oasis with rich soils and natural amphitheatre shape is abundant with life and diverse plant species. A short distance away, a stand characteristic of old growth forest captivates the eyes and soul. Near the lake, the resourcefulness of the resident beaver population is quite impressive to behold.

Join John and Sharon in enjoying some local beauty, while also learning about managing woodland for multiple values, at the Simons open public field day on September 27, 2014 from 9am to 4pm!

FIELD DAY: September 27, 2014 — 9am - 4pm.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS:

  • On Hwy 104, drive to Springhill Exit No.5
  • From Exit, drive 400m toward Springhill, and turn left toward Saltsprings Rd and take quick right turn
  • Drive 4.1km to intersection of Hwy 321
  • Turn right, drive 100m and turn quick left into the Simons woodland across the road from their home – 1043 Valley Road (Rte 321), RR1 Springhill

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 (11:30 am)
5. Recognition speech by Terry Farrell, MLA for Cumberland North (12:30 pm)
6. Award presentation by Terry Farrell, MLA for Cumberland North (12:40 pm)
7. Speech by the Simons family (12:50 pm)
8. Prize draw (1:00 pm)
9. Tour continues until 4 pm

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Eastern WinnerRichard and Carol Rowter and Family - Eastern Winner

One might say Richard Rowter’s career has come full circle. As a young boy he worked in the woods to help fund his education, and over the years became a school teacher, woodworker and business owner. These days, he has returned to the woods and continues to work hard to better his 54 hectare (133 acre) woodland property in Boularderie East, Victoria County. He and his wife, Carol, bought the property only 5 years ago, although they have lived in Cape Breton for over two decades.

As Richard points to birch and maple hardwood stands marked for crop tree release this fall, and stops to take in the sounds of birds singing overhead, it is difficult to imagine him anywhere but in the woods. Thanks to his passion for and practice of sustainable forest management, and their commitment to preserving biodiversity for all to enjoy, Richard and Carol Anne Rowter have been named 2014 Woodland Owners of the Year for Eastern Nova Scotia!

“I feel like an ant attacking an elephant”, remarks Richard in reference to work still to be done in the woodland and the struggle with winter blow-downs, woodland pests, and poor soil conditions in historic pasture areas. Despite the struggles, he has been active with selection harvesting, stand thinning, trail development, and wildlife habitat maintenance. He credits his management plan, created in 2011 with the help of Royce Ford (CR Trees), for keeping him motivated and providing direction. As he puts it, “I cannot understate how important a management plan is.”

More recently, Richard joined the Cape Breton Privateland Partnership – a group of organizations that promotes and facilitates services for private woodland owners in Cape Breton. He wished to collaborate with other woodland owners and looks forward to the insight and relationships gained through his involvement with the partnership.

Richard is not the only one to benefit from his hard work; he encourages others in the community to enjoy the surroundings by walking the woodland trails, and even provides walking sticks! The Rowter’s young grandson, Jacob, will receive the greatest reward as they plan to leave the land to him. Richard hopes he and Jacob will get the opportunity to work together harvesting and selling wood to help fund Jacob’s future education.

With every day of work, Richard’s love for the woods grows and grows like the trees he is nurturing. Come walk the woodland trails and get a taste of what managing your woodland is like by visiting the Rowter’s open public field day on September 20th from 9am to 4pm!

FIELD DAY: September 20, 2014 — 9am - 4pm

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 Natural Resources Minister’s delegate (12:30 pm)
6. Award presentation by Natural Resources Minister’s delegate (12:40 pm)
7. Speech by the Rowter family (12:50 pm)
8. Prize draw (1:00 pm)
9. Tour continues until 4 pm

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DIRECTIONS:
The woodlot entrance is on the south side of the Highway 105 approximately 1 km East of Exit 14 (Boularderie East) and 3.3 km West of Exit 15 (New Dominion and Dalem Lake). The entrance is into a field and caution should be taken entering the lot from the highway.