Do you want to find out more about your woodlot and sustainable forestry? You can learn from the experts at the upcoming Managing Your Woodlot course. As part of the Local Wood Initiative, Hastings Stewardship Council and BAFIA (Bancroft Area Forest Industry Association), with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, are running a three-session course on managing your woodlot. The course, led by David Smallwood and Steve Pitt, has two evening sessions and one outdoor class. The outdoor class will allow you to put into practice the techniques and decision-making processes covered in class.
Participants will learn much of what they need to know to manage their woodlots in a sustainable manner. Whatever their personal objectives, woodlot owners have a responsibility to keep their woodlots healthy and productive for their children and grandchildren. Woodlot owners can do much to safeguard and enhance their woodlots.
The natural forest cover of Eastern Ontario consists mostly of hardwoods, with some conifer species. Trees play a vital role sequestering carbon, by taking up carbon dioxide in photosynthesis and releasing oxygen. They provide wood, purify the air and provide a habitat for a huge variety of insects, birds, mammals and reptiles. Woodlots and forestry provide jobs and are an important part of Ontario’s economy.
“The important environmental functions of woodlots can be maintained, and in many cases, improved with active management that may result in financial return,” said David Smallwood.
The course is intensive and will give an understanding of many of the issues that need to be considered when managing a woodlot sustainably. The first session covers the history of forestry in Eastern Ontario, from the melting of the glaciers, the impact of the First Nations on the land, to the pioneers and land clearance. It covers different forest stand types, from upland hardwoods, to treed woods, to coniferous plantations.
The value of coming up with a forest management plan is that one knows what one has, can set goals and then set out how to reach them. These goals may include collecting fuel wood, promoting wildlife, managing for recreation or harvesting lumber.
Woodlands are a vital part of the landscape, and it is important to understand how your property fits in. Making an inventory is the first step. Identifying crop trees is important to ensure a good seed source.
If you want to harvest wood for lumber or firewood, there are many things to consider, not only which trees to take and which to retain. Before selling standing timber, it is important to do some research. Consider getting bids from different reputable contractors and be sure to have a contract in place. Check with BAFIA, as the members follow a code of good sustainable forestry practice. The Ontario Worker Safety Act needs to be considered, as does insurance coverage. There is a lot of planning to do.
Dave Smallwood and Steve Pitt will cover all this in the Managing Your Woodlot Sustainably course and will also let you know where to find more resources.
You can register at hastingsstewardship.ca or by calling Matt Caruana (613) 391-9034. The cost is $50 for an individual or $75 for a couple.
Wednesday, October 21, 6 - 9 p.m. Huntingdon Veterans Community Hall, Ivanhoe
Wednesday, October 28, 6 - 9 p.m. Huntingdon Veterans Community Hall, Ivanhoe
Saturday, October 31, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Location to be announced.