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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 S&W Report, which is only available to members. The S&W Report 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 S&W Reports.

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:

Eric Thompson, Executive Director
Ontario Woodlot Association
10 Campus Dr., Unit 4
Kemptville, Ontario
K0G 1J0

(613) 713-1525
Fax: (613) 258-0207
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Member Profile

  • Tony and Ann Bull
    Tony and Ann Bull

    Our property had about 30 ha of established bush and some open fields, as well as a house and barns. The year after we bought the place we had 6 ha planted in red pine thanks to the Woodlands Improvement Agreement. The bush is quite varied; stands of white pine and poplar and many mixed stands. A small area of red pine was planted in the mid 1970’s. There had been no extensive harvest in 50 years.

    Over the years we cut enough wood to heat the house and sell a small amount that we did not need. We cut trees of inferior quality and those that competed too successfully with red pine which need full light.

    Membership in OWA led to learning more about woodlot management. In addition, we achieved Forest Stewardship Certification for the woodlot via the Eastern Ontario Model Forest that holds the FSC certificate.

    In preparing a management plan we became convinced that the established forest was in need of an improvement thinning. The thinning operation started in the winter of 2005; the last load taken out in October 2006. A local horse logger conducted the operation under contract with Laverne Heideman and Sons. They did not have the best quote price-wise, but they had a good reputation for a quality operation. Our interest was in the state of the bush after logging, number one; and a fair price. We felt that we achieved both. And in 2011 we had a first thinning of the red pine plantations that we had planted in 1986.

    In addition to working in the bush we hike and ski on our trails, and enjoy the solitude and privacy that comes with a substantial area of land. Caring for the bush and its inhabitants and outdoor experiences in all seasons and weather, both severe and benign, has greatly enriched our lives.

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