The government and private landowners in Cape Breton launched a pilot project today, May 5, in Port Hawkesbury that will help woodland owners become more innovative.
Government funding during the first year will be about $500,000 and will decrease to $250,000 per year once the partnership is fully established.
“Forestry has changed and we need to identify new markets, new technologies and new products,” said Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill. “Woodland owners are keen to move their industry forward.”
The Cape Breton Privateland Partnership will be a one-stop approach that helps landowners and forest-management contractors develop and share best forest management practices. The partnership will also give them access to a database of woodlands and contractors, and technical support from forestry professionals.
Members will have free access to online tools that provide them with a snapshot of what is on their woodland. This will put woodland owners in a better position to manage their resource. Harvesters and forest-management contractors will use the tools to schedule woodland projects, and landowners will be able to search a database of contractors when they want work done.
“I recently purchased a woodlot in Cape Breton and feel that this new initiative brings a mix of knowledgeable support and accountability to our industry,” said Bill Oprel, of Little Narrows, Victoria Co. “I think a lot of woodlot owners will appreciate the options the partnership opens up for all of us. It gives us confidence that woodlots will be managed in a sustainable way.”
“We have put a lot of effort into making sure we are providing services that will benefit all woodlot owners,” said Cape Breton Privateland Partnership manager Kari Easthouse. “Our woodlots on Cape Breton are a very important part of our economy, our heritage and our natural environment. We want to maintain these values in the future, and we believe the best way to do that is to provide woodlot owners with the help they need.”
Members of the Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers Association, North Inverness Forest Management and the Baddeck Valley Wood Producers can join the Cape Breton Privateland Partnership for $200 and it will cost $25 a year to maintain their membership. Woodland owners who are not members of these organizations can also join the partnership.
For more information, visit www.CBWoodlots.org or call the partnership’s Port Hawkesbury office at 902-623-1132.