OP-ED: Proud of Nova Scotia’s forestry sector and the work they do

By Cassie (Ledwidge) Turple

3rd Generation Sawmiller

The media has recently taken an interest in promoting the Environmental groups side of the long-standing argument about whether forestry is bad or good.

Twenty years ago my grandfather put ads in the paper promoting the cycle of a forest. How trees grow to be mature and then are harvested before they die to create the many wood products society desires. The forest then regenerates on its own or is helped along through planting and thinning and over the years a beautiful stand of trees grows again. This cycle mimicks forest fire or insect infestation and is why forestry is renewable.

Our business is providing you with the various wood products you need. Again and again and again. Professional forest technicians, foresters, they plan and manage the supply so we can make the products you desire.

This argument about whether what we do is sustainable or not has been talked about for as long as we’ve been doing it. We own thousands of acres of land where we practice forest management and many areas have been harvested by us twice over. Many of these areas are also used by fisherman, hunters, hikers, geocachers, even a road rally race group.

Now please don’t get it twisted and state we cut every last tree because we don’t, and some areas are not harvested at all because we know there is a balance to keep and biodiversity is in everyone’s best interest.

We love our province. We love what we do. We love the forest. We love to watch it grow. We love the products it provides you with. Globally, we are moving towards wood products being a sustainable, biodegradable resource replacing plastic, steel, and concrete – all of which create harmful carbon emissions when manufactured.

Building with wood, online shopping, the gum you chew, the clothes you wear, the furniture in your home; I could go on and on about wood and the opportunities it presents to society for a renewable resource but I’ve said it all before.

My father, my grandfather, they’ve said it all before and still so many won’t listen. The media love it. They have something dramatic to write about. We are a visual industry, where the trees stand tall one day and the next they don’t and you feel sad. But if only you stuck around to watch them grow you’d understand its only a moment in time and part of the process to make the products you desire.

I believe our forests provide to us in so many ways and I’m proud of our province’s forest sector and the good work we do. Sometimes its hard to see the bigger picture, when a stand of trees are harvested and its not pretty after, but they’ll grow back, we make sure of it.

Next time you see it think about what you build your house out of, write your name on, wipe your bum with, get your takeout in, and even the sneakers on your feet…

This picture is of a stand that was harvested in 1981 and then again the end of last year. It wasn’t planted, what grew back naturally was over 70% balsam fir. It was pre-commercially thinned as it grew in too thick. You can see by the size of the trees thinning helped.

Last Spring our Forest Technician realized much of it was getting susceptible to rot and so it was time to harvest again before it died. If your building a house or renovating in the last month or two – the lumber might now be a part of your home.

What didn’t make lumber helps NS Power reach renewable energy targets, landscape your garden, or is the magazine you’re reading.

Cassie (Ledwidge) Turple

3rd Generation Sawmiller