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What is the Ontario Woodlot Association?

The Ontario Woodlot Association (OWA) is a not-for-profit grassroots organization governed by an elected, volunteer board of directors. Our members own and manage woodlots throughout the province and include individuals and organizations that support our goals. We believe that private landowners have a key role to play to ensure that sustainably managed forests remain a part of Ontario’s future.

Our Vision

Healthy, productive woodlots.

Our Mission

The OWA promotes the sustainable management of Ontario’s forests by providing guidance, advice and best practices to woodlot owners that allows them to evolve as stewards of these most valuable lands. The OWA acts as the united provincial voice on issues that influence the long term health of Ontario’s woodlots so they will always contribute to our economy, environment and society. The OWA’s network of local Chapters provides an opportunity for members and the public to learn, see and appreciate the value of this fundamental natural resource and the woodlot owner as its steward.

Our Guiding Principles - The Ontario Woodlot Association:

  • welcomes as members all who share our passion for healthy, productive woodlots and forests.
  • upholds landowners’ rights, under the law, and emphasizes landowners’ responsibilities.
  • recognizes our Chapters and members as the strength of our organization; the face of the OWA on the ground.
  • views the woodlot owner as a steward of Ontario’s most important natural resource.
  • believes each woodlot is part of a larger social, environmental and economic landscape.
  • supports any initiative that seeks to achieve sustainable management of our woodlots and forests.
  • expresses our concern about any initiative that might reduce forest cover in Ontario.
  • seeks out co-operative relationships with those who share our interest in forests.

Our Goals

We will achieve our Vision and Mission by:

  1. Being the principal voice for woodlot owners throughout Ontario and working actively to represent their interests before government, the public and the forest industry.
  2. Being a key source of information about sustainable forest management and educating OWA members about all aspects of owning and managing their woodlots.
  3. Expanding awareness of the importance of sustainable forest management beyond our membership.
  4. Monitoring and responding to issues that affect forests in Ontario.
  5. Monitoring and responding to policies that impact landowners’ ability to economically own and manage their woodlots.
  6. Increasing OWA membership and also encouraging and supporting Chapter activities.
  7. Increasing and diversifying the OWA’s sources of revenue.

Woodlot: The Ontario Woodlot Association defines “woodlot” to mean any private or community-owned treed property including all woodlands, wetlands, and forest-forming habitats. The term “forest” is used to describe the larger treed landscape.

Need More Information?

Membership does have benefits. To view some of the benefits of being a member of the Ontario Woodlot Association click here.

The OWA also produces a high-quality quarterly newsletter, The Ontario Woodlander (formerly called the S&W Report), which is only available to members. TOW provides woodlot owners with practical “how-to” information on woodlot management, news of people, events, and issues affecting the management and ownership of private forests. Go to our Publications and Links page to find digital versions of our quarterly publications.

Membership rates are $50 per year, and an on-line membership information package is available.

One Last Word

Ontario woodlots range in size from a few acres to tens of thousands, and are home to a full range of tree species: pine, cedar spruce, maple, walnut and oak to mention a few. The reasons for owning a woodlot are as diverse as the species in them. Some manage their woodlots for income, some to preserve wildlife habitat and others for a combination of reasons. The common thread that links us together is our desire to manage our woodlots to the best of our abilities and to ensure their viability for generations to come.

By developing a strong network of regional chapters, the OWA has been able to ensure that the concerns of our members from all areas of the province are heard and acted upon. The road ahead is promising. Future change will come from community based associations and the OWA will be there to assist our members. Collectively, we can make constructive changes to ensure the healthy future of our private forest resource.

For more information contact:

Executive Director
Ontario Woodlot Association
10-4 Campus Dr.
Kemptville, Ontario
K0G 1J0

(613) 713-1525
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Member Profile

  • Dave Sexsmith
    Dave Sexsmith

    Dave first joined the OWA at the invitation of a friend and he has been an active member since. He has served on his chapter’s board and hosted field days for the organization.

    Through his involvement with the OWA, Dave has met many people who share his fascination with trees and enjoy exchanging experiences and ideas. Knowledge gained has allowed Dave to better appreciate the ability of the forest to provide products for our use and still be the biodiversity centre of our province.

    Through tree planting and natural regeneration, Dave, and his wife Lois, have seen their old farm fields convert into a treed landscape, providing wildlife corridors and habitat.

    A lifelong woodworker, Dave produces a wide range of woodland products, from firewood and lumber to carved burl bowls while, at the same time, observing how his property is evolving back to mature forest.

    Of his experience with the OWA Dave says “I came out to get answers to my forestry questions; I’ve stayed because of the quality of people I’ve met.”

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