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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 and productive forests will always be part of Ontario’s landscape. All Ontarians will recognize the importance of maintaining healthy and productive forests on private lands. Woodlot owners will be acknowledged and supported in their role as the caretakers of this valuable resource and natural heritage.

Our Mission

The OWA promotes the sustainable management of Ontario's privately owned forest by providing our members with guidance and advice, and by representing their interests through a united provincial voice. We are working to ensure that Ontario’s privately owned forest will always contribute to the health of our society, our environment and the economy.

Our Guiding Principles

  • Membership is open to anyone who shares the Vision and supports the Mission and goals of the OWA.
  • Our chapters play a key role in fulfilling the OWA’s objectives, and we appreciate the efforts of our many volunteers.
  • We recognize that each privately owned woodlot is part of a larger social, environmental and economic landscape and we seek balance in addressing these values
  • We uphold landowners' rights, under the law, and emphasize landowners' responsibilities.
  • We believe that education and incentives are the principal, but not the exclusive, means of achieving the sustainability of privately owned forests
  • We communicate and often collaborate with those who take an interest in privately owned forests.
  • We conduct ourselves in an ethical manner, ensuring that OWA partnerships, sources of revenue and other in-kind assistance do not compromise the Mission and Principles of our Association.

Our Goals

We will achieve our Vision and Mission by fulfilling the following goals:

  1. Be the principal voice for private forest owners throughout Ontario and work actively to represent their interests before government, the public and the forest industry.
  2. Be a key source of information about sustainable forest management and private land ownership and educate OWA members about all aspects of owning and managing forested land.
  3. Expand awareness of the importance of sustainable forest management beyond our membership.
  4. Monitor and respond to issues that affect privately owned forests
  5. Facilitate and influence changes to government policy (e.g., the tax system) to ensure that it is economically viable to own and manage private woodlots and forests.
  6. Increase OWA membership and the number of Chapters; also encourage and support Chapter activities.
  7. Increase and diversify the OWA’s sources of revenue.

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

  • Lorne Smith
    Lorne Smith

    Lorne Smith

    President

    York/Durham Chapter

     


    I live on the farm where I was raised on McCowan Road, just north of Major Mackenzie Drive and south of the Markham Fair Grounds. The farm has been owned by our family since 1917.


    In 1962, when I married Carol Reesor from Cedar Grove, we built our new home on the farm. Part of the property is a regenerating forest/wetland and all of the trees around the house have been planted by me over the years. Right now I am being plagued with dead ash trees which I am cutting down for firewood to use in the air-tight stove in the basement.


    In addition, the family owns 325 acres of mixed forest just east of Bobcageon where I boil maple syrup each spring. This forest is all under a MFTIP plan.


    I have developed a real commitment to good management of these properties and the membership in OWA has provided me a great deal of information, encouragement and friendship with many like-minded individuals.

    in Member Profiles

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