AGM Summary Report
A new Board of Directors, new members, and a wealth of ideas from those present, highlighted a successful 1st Annual AGM for the Western Woodlot Services Co-op held at the Annapolis Basin Conference Centre at Cornwallis Park on June 9, 2018. There was much interest and enthusiasm during the event. The turn out of 65, including 40 new members, was outstanding. The Western Woodlot Services Cooperative Ltd (WWSC) is a not for profit organization owned and operated by woodlot owners offering management services that reflect individual values in a trusting environment and exists to serve the needs of woodlot owners in the seven counties of western Nova Scotia.
The new Board will be lead by interim Chair, Jane Barker, Forest Stewardship Coordinator for Mersey Tobeatic Reserve Institute, representing Queen’s County. She will be joined by Vice Chair, Jim Crooker, (Queen’s County); Treasurer, Arcade Comeau, (Digby County); and Secretary, Erika Rolston, (Yarmouth County). Other Directors elected are: Don Saulnier, (Digby County); Kevin Veinotte, (Lunenburg County); Murray Crouse, (Lunenburg County); Mike Gushue, (Annapolis County) and Reg Clem, (Kings County). The Board of Directors is committed to representing its membership to all levels of government and private industry to ensure that the interests of it membership is well served.
Patricia Amero, General Manager of WWSC, provided an update and overview of progress and activities of the first year. She began by outlining the range of services the Co-op will provide and explained how the Co-op will work for woodlot owners within the seven western counties. She provided an update on membership which had just reached 100 by the time of the AGM, and an additional 8 members joined during the day. Membership of the Co-op represents over 27,000 acres with members distributed over all seven counties; the most being in Digby, Lunenburg and Annapolis.
Patricia also highlighted the 50.4 hectares of silviculture work done so far through WWSC; as well as the 2,380 tonnes of harvested wood of various products that has been sold to markets through the Co-op. During the end of her presentation, she gave an overview of policies and rates mainly attributed to membership, silviculture, wood product marketing, harvesting and stumpage. Her closing remarks were referred to:
- Developing appropriate rates so all involved are paid fairly to achieve a sustainable business model
- Working together collectively to consolidate and streamline wood supply to markets
- Finding opportunities to create markets for low grade wood are crucial to improve economics of forest improvement work on members woodlots to help realize the full potential of our private forest resource
(Patricia’s full General Manager report is attached).
Highlights of the AGM were a presentation by Greg Watson, General Manager, North Nova Forest Owners Co-op. Greg shared 42 years of the Co-op’s experience including market challenges, harvesting methods, and benefits and opportunities of woodlot ownership. The opportunity to learn from those with many years of experience is a valuable asset for WWSC.
Harold Alexander, North Range Forest Products, described a recent visit to PEI with the Minister of Finance, MLA’s and others to learn from investments in conversion to wood chips from oil. The facilities shown by Mr. Alexander were clean, efficient and technology advanced. Energy, including all capital costs, is provided by a private operator on a lease for services basis to institutional users. Similar installations are being proposed for Nova Scotia using an abundance of low grade wood that has very few current markets.
As well as hearing from guest speakers, there was ample and profound feedback from members present which will serve to direct board deliberations in the future. Examples of this feedback included: education on woodlot value, servicing and harvesting; marketing intelligence - especially for low value materials; values for different wood species; new uses for different wood species; carbon credits for standing wood; adapting forest selection to climate change; succession planning; and attracting new entrants to the forest economy. All the feedback was collected, will be reviewed and used to give direction to the Board of Directors.
It was a great day and first AGM, an historic moment for WWSC! We received a lot of favorable feedback.
Find our GM, Patricia Amero's Annual Report below: