County and WWSC NS Partner to Ensure Ecological Management of Woodland Properties

County of Annapolis has engaged with Western Woodlot Services Coop (WWSC) of Nova Scotia for assistance in implementing ecologically based management of municipally-owned woodland properties.

The main premise of this initiative is to improve ecosystem health, diversity, and resilience to County woodlots.

“Municipal Council felt this partnership would showcase ecological practices to woodlot owners and the general public,” said Warden Alex Morrison. “This is a wonderful opportunity to lead by example and become more active in ecologically based forest management with a long-term outlook.”

Councillor Michael Gunn has been a long-time advocate of this initiative. “I am very pleased that Council has opted to affect change in how forestry is handled in Annapolis County,” said Councillor Gunn. “Under the guidance of the WWSC, we will be able to use County-owned land to demonstrate to other woodland property owners an alternative to clearcutting.” 

The starting location will be Graywood (just off Hwy#8) where the municipality owns forestry property. There are two sites totalling 7.61 ha that have been identified, assessed, and laid out to pursue a tending-aimed, commercial thinning of 30% removal.

According to Patricia Amero, WWSC General Manager, the key objectives of this activity are to improve growing conditions, the removal of declining/lower quality tress, and to promote species and structural diversity. The process takes biodiversity considerations into account, which includes not harvesting during migratory bird nesting season and protection of wetlands.

“The processes utilized by WWSC will reduce the impact on the environment and will offer some protection and enhancement to the biodiversity for generations to come. This project will be self-perpetuating since the funds realized will cycle back to help manage other County-owned woodland properties. In this way, we aim to be conscientious stewards of the land,” remarked Councillor Gunn.

“Council is pleased to move forward with this initiative,” noted Warden Morrison. “When the thinning operation gets underway, Council will be given the opportunity to visit the site to discuss and learn about the various stages involved in getting such work underway and completed. This partnership with WWSC allows our municipality to be a front-runner in responsible management of woodlands.”

The agreement between WWSC and Municipality of the County of Annapolis was signed on October 11th. It is anticipated work will begin later this fall.