Forestry Management

Forestry Management in Nova Scotia

The Canadian forest sector has been a strong and vital element of national and regional well being. Through the management, harvesting, processing and marketing of timber resources, Canada has developed a reputation of being one of the largest timber resources in the forest industry. However, to maintain this reputation and economic well being there are several issues to address in order to protect and sustain this renewable resource. This paper will focus on the management of the forestry sector, particularly Nova Scotia. It will discuss the initiatives and techniques used of both private wood-lot owners and large industries in developing and implementing a forest management strategy.
Nova Scotia is comprised of many forested ecosystems; hardwoods, others with softwoods and some with a mixture of both species. In order to maintain and develop these various ecosystems it is important to know how forest management impacts not only the forest itself but also other ecosystems within. For example, a clear-cut harvest can be compared to the same impact of a forest fire. However, forest fires do not remove everything which clear-cutting does. Recently clear-cutting techniques have changed to benefit Nova Scotia ecosystems by leaving clumps of trees, snags, and strips of forest to provide travel ways for wildlife. Forestry is also investigating other related issues of ecosystem management. To create and maintain the diversity of trees with a region (i.e. Hardwood and softwood), landowners leave several stands of both young and old growth within natural forest stands to enhance the biodiversity and health of the forest site. Normally clearcutting results in the re-planting of tree seedlings, however some species (spruce, pine) overpower the growth of the hardwood trees. This minimizes the level of specie diversity among a timber stand. By allowing these older sections of stands to remain aids to the natural growth and development of hardwood species. Also, the wood debris, a remnant of old forest growth is essential to the survival of many forest species and also acts as a recycler of nutrients back into the soil. During forest harvesting it is not always necessary to remove all the wood from the lot. Rotten or older growth can be left to contribute to the nourishment of natural forests.
There are several connections between forest and ecosystem management. By planning and researching forest growth and forest stand tending this industry can form the basis for various political guidelines and policies to ensure that timber resources are available for future generations
It should also be taken into consideration the hundreds of benefits our forests provide to Nova Scotians. These include thousands of jobs, lumber, paper products, clean air, water filtration and many recreational opportunities. In order to ensure that these benefits will exist for future use, studies of the growth rates of tended and untended trees are carried out. For example, trees can be thinned out (removing unwanted or less desirable trees) allowing the best trees to grow at a faster rate. In other cases, there are areas where trees are not naturally growing; new forests can be easily established by planting seedlings and protecting them from insects, various diseases and weeds. These activities are referred to as silviculture.
Silviculture is the art and science of growing forest crops so that they sustain desired benefits. The treatments used to cultivate stands to achieve their full potential id stand tending. The objective of stand tending is to evaluate and develop methods and management tools that will improve the cost, quality, and environmental capability of the forest sector. Currently in Nova Scotia both small wood-lot owners and commercial landowners have conducted research on silvicultural operations. This includes developing alternative regulation management strategies; commercial thinning in previously treated stands and developing techniques to maximize the value of the underutilized species. White pine is an example of an underutilized species in Nova Scotia. It is valuable for specialized production such as furniture and flooring. Techniques are being developed and new forestry sites established which will serve as a demonstration to show the public and industry the benefits of managing these valuable species.
There are essential elements of Nova Scotia\'s approach to forest management. It is important to recognize that although Nova Scotia is the second smallest province in Canada, eighty per cent of the province\'s land