Sharing the Medway Community Forest Co-operative Newsletter for Winter 2022
What a winter we’re having – a great time for cross-country skiing through the woods, birding along the Medway River and staying warm by the woodstove. It’s about that time to think about tapping for sap and welcoming warmer days. We have been itching get out for more field work but are busy planning for more active operations, recreational trail building, and research partnerships.
Attention Nova Scotians who consider hemlock a part of your life – whether it’s around your home, cottage, on your woodlot, a part of an ecotourism business – we need to hear from you!
MCFC has recently posted a tender for approximately 50 hectares of pre-commercial thinning work for the 2022 silviculture season. Bidding on the work is open until March 15th. If you are interested in bidding or want to learn more contact Matt at email@example.com.
This spring we are also planning to initiate an informal competition control trial. Competition control is a common silviculture treatment completed in regenerating stands in the first 5-10 years following an even-aged harvest, when the young re-growth is around 2 meters tall. Typically, the treatment would involve cutting hardwood trees to release commercial softwood species such as spruce and balsam fir or planted trees in a plantation. MCFC will be adjusting the parameters to focus on promoting ecologically appropriate species in stands that were previously harvested under an even-aged management approach.
As the snow melts, we will be starting the planning process for MCFC’s 2022-2023 Operation Plan. This work will begin with over 350 hectares of Pre-Treatment Assessments (PTAs). Data gathered during the PTA process will used to apply the new ‘Silvicultural Guide for the Ecological Matrix’ to assign ecologically based harvest prescriptions to each prospective block. As the plan comes together, all blocks will be released for public comment, so stay tuned for more info on upcoming harvests at MCFC.
Recreational Trail Development
The Stave Lake Community Trails project has received the go-ahead to break ground in 2022, with plans to add backcountry camping in phase 2. We’re happy to see this project come to life and hope to welcome public access to 4 kilometres of recreational footpath this year. The trails will take you through beautiful old growth Wabanaki-Acadian forest, over rolling hills surrounding the Upper and Lower Stave lakes to explore the a great diversity of forest types and spot impressive glacial erratic boulders.
Invasive Pest Management – Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA)
We have begun work with the department of Environment and Climate Change to examine and develop options for a treatment program to protect Eastern hemlock from Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA). Without management interventions, there is a high risk of losing hemlock as a component of Nova Scotia’s forests. This comes with great risk of loss to hemlock-dependent biodiversity, various commercial and cultural values, and a host of other impacts.
We’re compiling information from experts south of the border who have been tackling HWA for decades and developing a report recommending treatment program options on Crown, private, and protected areas across the province.
To do this, we need your help. Any Nova Scotian who considers hemlock a part of their lives – whether it’s around your home, cottage, on your woodlot, a part of your ecotourism business – we need to hear from you. We invite you to join us March 3rd online, 7:00 – 8:00pm, to voice concerns and chat through options.
Register by emailing Jennika at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The NS Working Woodlands Trust – NSWWT
Family forests and their stewardship legacies span our province. These working forests are often carefully managed for multiple values, from wildlife habitat to timber harvesting. Our partner organization, the Nova Scotia Working Woodlands Trust (NSWWT) aims to uphold and support these practices for woodlot owners forever. Following the unofficial launch of the NSWWT and our CBC Information Morning interview December 15th, we’ve chatted to many woodlot owners who are keen to promote forest health and resiliency while continuing to have some economic gains from their managed forests.
Launching the NSWWT is well underway, and we’re starting to take names to develop our 10,000-acre aggregated pool of woodlot stewards to tap into the voluntary carbon market. As a woodlot owner, if you wish to preserve your lands in perpetuity as a sustainable working forest, you may be interested in entering an easement agreement with NSWWT. Contact us today if you’re interested in learning more – email@example.com.
We’re hosting a virtual public Q&A session in the coming weeks, so reach out and join us!
We released a job posting for a graduate level research internship to expand our research capacity and enhance partnerships. The MCFC is interested in examining the effects of past intensive forest management on forest structure and bird communities, and to utilize beneficial management practices to promote habitat suitability and restore Wabanaki-Acadian Forest conditions. The Intern will assess upcoming harvest blocks for species at risk (SAR) bird habitat suitability and prioritize blocks to conduct point count surveys this spring.
In partnership with Dr. Cindy Staicer at Dalhousie University we will trial Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) for landbird Species at Risk in working forests in our upcoming harvests. BMPs are tools that can help landowners and forestry operators integrate the maintenance or creation of key habitat features for successful breeding of a Species at Risk into forest management and operations. We’re looking forward to growing our research capacity and trialing these newly developed BMPs.