Posted in Event Review

A Place in Space

After the Canadian Cartographic Conference (CCA), it was time return to questions of forestry practices in Nova Scotia. With small woodlots in both Cumberland and Annapolis County, we had the opportunity to attend both the North Nova Forest Owners Co-operative (NNFOC) and the Western Woodlot Services Co-operative (WWSC) Annual General Meetings (AGM). NNFOC has been running for forty two years. The WWSC has been in operation for a year. Greg Watson, Manager NNFOC presented at both AGMs. In Wentworth at the NNFOC AGM, Sandy Hyde and Adrian Martynkiw were able to show the increase and distribution in the number of managed woodlots over the last four decades. Today, NNFOC has two hundred and eight six members and manages 69,600 acres, primarily in Cumberland and Colchester counties. Adrian has entered all the woodlots into a GIS database. This allows presentations of different treatments over time, as well as the capacity to co-ordinate operations on a geographic basis.

The WWSC has one hundred members and manages 27,675 acres in the seven county region: Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne, Yarmouth, Digby, Annapolis and Kings. One of the topics which arose at both AGMs was the need for technically trained forest technicians with current GIS skills. To my mind, this offers a challenge to the NSCC, whether at the Annapolis or Lunenburg campus. If the co-operatives have digital maps of the individual management plans for each member, the next stage is to share the digital files so that woodlot owners can provide updates and input into these plans.

At the WWSC meeting in Cornwallis Park, Harold Alexander gave a presentation on his visit to Finland, and also the use of low grade wood for heating public buildings. This included a delegation to PEI.

The forest co-operative model of woodlot owners contrasts sharply with the current provincial policies, especially with regards the cutting on crown land. Of course, we will have to wait to see the contents of the Lahey report, expected later this Summer.

image of child with hat that reads "Never Stop Exploring"
Never Stop Exploring

My blog title ‘A Place in Space’ comes from a book by Gary Snyder. After a week of politics, it helps to reflect on his bioregional philosophy. Or as the Seattle Times quotes on the back cover:

A Place in Space, like a visit to an old forest, offers a refreshingly clear perspective on our relationship to the natural community – and the larger human community as well “.

This can be combined with re-exploring the local landscape. Monday, we cycled from the Station Road in Lawrencetown along the old CN Railway tracks (not the Harvest Moon trail) to Bridgetown. As the photograph shows “Never stop exploring”.


Gary Snyder. 19995. A Place in Space. Ethics, Aesthetics and Watersheds. Counterpoint. Washington, DC.

North Nova Forestry Owners Co-operative

Western Woodlot Services Co-operative

North Nova Forest Owners Co-operative contact Sandy Hyde or Greg Watson.

Western Woodlot Services Co-operative contact Patricia Amero.


Debby Hebb and Heather Stewart shared the ride along the abandoned railway between Lawrencetown and Bridgetown.

Footnote. Check this week’s Brain Pickings at

It includes a Soundcloud interview with Michael McCarthy on his book The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy.


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