With approximately 30,000 landowners in the province, and many new purchasing or inheriting land each year, there is an ongoing need to show people what good forest management practices look like on the ground. There is lots of great work being done by private woodlot owners, much of which goes unseen by most people.
The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources has developed an excellent set of forest management modules through their Woodlot Management Home Study Course, available online and in print, and the Network of Stewardship Woodlots (NOSW) is the next logical step to helping people learn more about these topics in a more hands-on way. Landowners learn best from each other, especially in a forested setting.
The goal of the NOSW is to promote sustainable woodlot management practices by helping woodland owners network with their peers to share their experiences and stories. This provides opportunities for woodland owners to learn from each other, and ideally will lead to improved management practices across the province.
The NOSW was created by the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and is maintained by the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association.
Who are the Stewards?
The Network of Stewardship Woodlots is a natural progression of the Woodlot Owner of the Year (WOYA) program, which recognizes and rewards outstanding woodlot owners with less than 800 ha (2000 acres) for their stewardship efforts. For many of these landowners, sharing with others is a meaningful contribution. Many of the participants of the NOSW are past WOYA winners. Other participants include community-managed parcels of crown land like the Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest, which operates as a division of the NSWOOA.
Participation in the NOSW is voluntary, and woodlot owners can chose to withdraw at anytime. Letter agreements will be required for each participating woodlot owner. Based on this agreement, woodlot information will be made available on the NOSW webpage for a period of 5 years (unless the participant chooses to withdraw before this period ends), after which a renewal agreement may be signed.
How Does the Network Work?
The project is primarily web-based, with information like tree species, treatments, equipment, and management goals is collected for each participating woodlot, allowing people to find woodlots that possess the attributes they are interested in. Woodlot owner contact information is provided for each woodlot, and interested members of the public can contact woodlot owners directly for inquiries and to arrange woodlot visits.
If you have any questions about the NOSW or wish to become a Steward, please contact Andy Kekacs at email@example.com or call toll-free at 1-855-NS-WOODS (1-855-679-6637).
Forest Stewards (click name to view woodlot details)