An overview of the benefits of OWA membership.
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.