Private Land Management Program
A large percentage of the forest lands of Nova Scotia are privately owned. Historically, these lands have provided a significant portion of the raw material used by wood processing facilities within the Province. At the same time, they have also provided a source of income and enjoyment to their owners. The Department of Natural Resources completed a natural resource strategy which identified an opportunity to increase private landowner engagement in forest management. They believed that the lack of engagement has impacted present wood supply from private lands and threatens future supply. Unengaged landowners can also lose the benefits of a well-managed forest land and the enjoyment that it brings to themselves and future generations.
The more recently released Lahey report, An Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia made recommendations for implementing ecological forestry on private lands, including improving the access of private forest landowners to resources to help them effectively manage their forest land. ABL Timber Ltd. has launched the Private Land Management Program (PLMP) to help address this need.
The PLMP aims to engage forest landowners by providing them with the expertise, tools and funding needed to manage their woodlands. The programs main focus is on forest landowners within Pictou County and will require continuing engagement from the landowner over a longer period of time.
The PLMP has been created to develop healthy and productive woodlots that can provide a range of sustainable benefits to the forest landowner. The woodlots in the program must show potential to support some level of sustainable harvesting which will allow the woodlot owner to receive financial returns but will also provide access to the funding of management activities. Harvesting under this program will focus on small-scale site-specific entries over a longer time frame whenever possible, although larger harvests may also be appropriate under certain circumstances. A management approach tailored to the site can support ecosystem-based management and the development of higher grade products.
The PLMP will access funding by participating in existing programs and by leveraging harvestable wood volume with local wood processing facilities. Woodlots within the county could be eligible for assistance with the following activities:
- Forest management plan development
- Boundary line location and marking
- New forest road construction
- Existing forest road upgrade or rebuild
- Other targeted forest road work including gravelling and large watercourse crossing construction
- Crop tree release and pruning
- Selective harvesting and other specialized harvesting techniques
- Standard harvesting
- Marketing of forest products
- Site planting or fill-planting
- Pre-commercial and commercial thinning
- Tax and inheritance planning