Posted by Pat Gore, September 29, 2018
A Fall Walk in the Woods with OWA Lanark and Neighbouring Chapters
There were thirty of us, a good mix of women and men, ranging in age from seven (but tall for her age) to eighty-plus, walking the trails on the 200 acre property west of Almonte owned by Fred Huszarik and his wife Catherine. Fred is the President of the Lanark & District Chapter, and Catherine a well-known horsewoman is President of the Ottawa Area Dressage Group (OADG)..
The occasion was the 29 September 2018 Walk in the Woods, hosted by the OWA’s Lanark Chapter, welcoming members of the Lower Ottawa Valley and Renfrew Chapters, and friends.
Fred and guest expert Jim Hendry, Forest Certification Coordinator with the Eastern Ontario Model Forest, led the group, providing abundant insights into the development of the mostly deciduous forest, including snippets of wisdom that were new to many of us. In keeping with the theme of the day, Jim Hendry demonstrated examples of tree marking for non-commercial applications. In this case for releasing maple trees for maple syrup production.
We saw Black Maples whose sap has a significantly higher sugar content than the more common Sugar Maples, learned why Yellow Birch tend to grow on stilts, and saw lots of Ironwood—an indicator that the property had been grazed by cattle in the past. Evidently, cattle don’t like the taste of Ironwood shoots.
We saw Maple-borer damage, and Emerald Ash Borer tracks, and on a happier note, Fred introduced us to the Maitake mushroom, or Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosa) – both in situ under an old White Oak, and dried and ready for the pot. In addition to its culinary uses, the Maitake is reported to have curative and cancer fighting powers. We also some dazzling examples of ‘Chicken of the Woods’ (Laetiporus sulphureus), which is another sought after choice mushroom.
It was a memorable Fall day, with only an occasional sprinkle of rain, topped off by a tasty barbecue hosted by the Lanark Chapter.
Posted by Pat Gore, April 21, 2018
President Fred Huszarik opened the 4th Annual General Meeting of the Chapter at Watson’s Corners Hall, welcoming members and guests.
OWA Executive Director Eric Thompson brought members up to date on what had happened at the OWA AGM held a week ago at Shakespeare, Ontario. The Association is flourishing with a slow but sure increase in membership and a steady reduction in the deficit which had been worrisome a few years ago. Eric emphasized the need to work on retention of existing members and on outreach to the wider community.
Jim Hendry, from the Ontario Model Forest, who has been Forest Stewardship Council Coordinator for the last year and a half, reported on progress in certification in Ontario, and worldwide, and talked about “Trees, Youth, our Future” a two-part documentary aimed at young people with the objective of sensitizing them to the vital role that forests and forestry play in our society. The project was undertaken by the Eastern Ontario Model Forest and Pinegrove Productions, headed by Dr. Franziska von Rosen, longtime Chair of the Lanark Stewardship Council.
After a break the President called the meeting to order for the Business of the AGM.
Dr. Peter Usher presented the Treasurer’s Report (attached), which was accepted.
As the terms of the present directors
Tony Bull (Past-president)
are unexpired none were up for reelection or replacement, however the President made a call for “new blood”, particularly for younger members.
As there was no new business, the President moved closure of the Business meeting, seconded by Pat Gore. All in favor.
The President introduced the theme of the AGM: Succession Planning for your Woodlot, and welcomed Mary Vandenhoff of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust, whose interesting career included a posting as Canadian Ambassador to Finland.
Mary explained that the Land Trust provided a way of protecting a property for 999 years. the snag being that the committment had to be underwritten by an endowment of 20 per cent of the value of the property. Refer to the website at mmlt.ca for details.
Stephen A. Ritchie, an Ottawa Barrister, Solicitor and Notary Public, discussed legal and tax aspects of the transfer of woodlots, which is perhaps more complex than many members realized. Professional advice, from a lawyer and/or accountant specializing in tax issues is probably desirable, just to be on the safe side.
The call to lunch brought the meeting to a close.
Post: by Jim Hendry, May 21, 2017
The updated FSC List of ‘Highly Hazardous’ Pesticides (FSC-STD-30-001a EN) is available at FSC Document Centre: https://ic.fsc.org/en/
Please download the document from the website to have the latest version.
Post: by Pat Gore, May 14, 2017
No matter how often we run a Chainsaw Course, whether for safety or “tricks of the trade” we always get an adequate turnout. While the ten members and friends who turned out for the Lanark and District course on Upper Scotch Line near Perth on Saturday, 13 May, may not seem a big group, it is big enough when chain saws are being used and trees dropped.
John Ferrier, who ran the course with Claire Dodds on the latter’s woodlot, is a veteran of big timber logging in the western forests. He brought some useful perspectives on why it is important to get a cut right first time if you are felling trees by the hundred.
Several of the participants were unfamiliar with chainsaw use but are now on their way to being thoroughly competent, but even the handful of old timers went away with some new ideas.
John introduced those who hadn’t used them before to easy-start Dolmar saws. While Dolmar has been owned by Makita since 1991, it is now being fully integrated into Makita Power Equipment.
Post: by Pat Gore, May 1, 2017
While public health campaigns often target nymphs as carriers of
disease, adult ticks are just as much of a concern with Powassan. The
3 Maine individuals contracted Powassan during the adult tick season,
in fall and early spring, and 7 percent of the adult ticks researchers
collected carried the virus. So summer isn’t the only time of year to
be sure to wear your bug repellent and take other tick precautions.
Powassan was 1st recognized in the town of Powassan, Ontario, in 1958.
The virus can cause fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion and
seizures, and may also lead to meningitis and brain swelling, a
devastating complication that kills 10 percent of those who develop
it, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About half of those who survive the infection suffer permanent
neurological symptoms such as memory problems, facial tics and blurred
vision. There is no vaccine or treatment other than keeping patients
comfortable and hydrated during hospitalization.
Many patients, on the other hand, experience no symptoms at all,
according to the CDC.
What makes Powassan particularly troubling — in addition to the
potentially debilitating symptoms — is the speed of its transmission.
While a tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours to transmit Lyme
disease (according to the official word, but debate rages on that
point), Powassan has been shown to spread from tick to human in under
an hour, according to the study.
Powassan occurs in 2 strains, depending on the tick that carries it.
Sometimes known as “deer tick virus” when it’s spread by that type,
Powassan also is carried by the groundhog or woodchuck tick.
Researchers found some evidence that both strains are circulating in
Maine, which would be a 1st for New England.
Hunting for ticks
If the idea of intentionally attracting ticks is as hard for you to
stomach as it is for me, you might be curious how field workers
collect them. They dragged flags made out of corduroy over leaf litter
The method researchers used to prepare the ticks for sampling is more
appealing though — crushing them with sterile paperclips. They then
batched the ticks into sample groups, or “pools,” for testing. Their
study was funded by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, MMCRI, and Acadia
Avoiding ticks: Tips from the CDC
– Choose light-colored clothing so it’s easier to spot ticks; wear
long sleeves and tuck your pants into your socks.
– Use an EPA-approved insect repellent.
– Check your skin and clothing for ticks and remove them promptly.
Don’t miss warm, moist areas such as the ears, armpits and neck, and
have someone else check your back.
– Wash possible tick bites with soap and water and apply an
– Keep your lawn mowed and tidy to remove tick habitat.
– If you spot an embedded tick, use a tick spoon or tweezers to grasp
its mouth [at skin level] and pull it out with steady pressure. Don’t
use petroleum jelly, hot matches or nail polish remover, which can
increase the risk of infection.
[Byline: Jackie Farwell]
Post: by Tony Bull, April 29, 2017
Provincial OWA AGM — Report from the first night
Now it is a source of local civic pride and people bring visitors from afar to see the building.
Post: by Pat Gore, April 28, 2017
Lanark & District Chapter of the Ontario Woodlot Association
Annual General Meeting
22 April 201Watson’s Corners Community Hall
Theme: Private Woodlot Certification–Growth,Benefits and Challenges
Chapter President Fred Huszarik opened the meeting at 9 am, welcoming 30 guests and members, noting that Chapter membership had doubled in the last two years, and touching on highlights of the last 12 months.
OWA President David Sexsmith brought members up to date on developments at the provincial level.
He was followed by the EOMF Forest Certification Coordinator Jim Hendry, who had some encouraging statistics to report of FSC certification–80,000 hectares covered by agreements in Canada, with Canada leading all other nations in certification by a wide margin.
Tom Richardson brought a touch of realism to the discussion, noting that while the firm he is associated with, Heideman, remains committed to certification, it will not welcome any development which raises its cost of doing business. He cited the cost of separating ranges of product covered by chain of custody, from non-certified wood and noted that FSC auditors always found something to complain about. Heideman found no solid market for FSC certified wood.
David Neil from Lowes/RONA had a somewhat different perspective. He predicted a time when all wood entering the market would have to be certified. This was not so much due to consumer demand as to the impact of “green” activism in corporate boardrooms. FSC certification might not bring a premium for wood, but it was necessary to assure continuing market access.
Gerry Lee presented an update of the proposed Mississippi Mills ‘Natural Heritage System Plan’, encouraging members who have property in MM to have a look at the plan (on the Mississippi Mills website) to see if it impacts them. Gerry will continue to monitor this and update the Board.
EOMF General Manager Astrid Neilsen reported on the meeting she and Eric Thompson had in Toronto on 6 February 2016 with representatives Forests Ontario, Conservation Ontario, Ducks Unlimited, and other organizations concerned with Cap and Trade.
She noted that the situation was far from clear and that some suggested protocols are inconsistent e.g. that a project would not be considered if it would had been undertaken anyway (outside the program), but that current good performance would not be penalized.
EOMF will post more information on the organization’s website as the situation becomes clearer.
Dr.Peter Usher delivered the Treasurer’s Report. Bob Mingie moved acceptance, seconded by Pat Gore.
The following current directors were reelected with terms expiring at the 2018 AGM.:
They were nominated by Jim Gilmore, seconded by Ken Sinclair.
Pat Gore proposed a vote of thanks to retiring directors, Gerry Lee and Bill Colman, seconded by Bob Mingie. Fred presented each of them with a copy of the OWA 25th anniversary history.
Gerry Lee noted that we faced a continuing tick/Lyme Disease problem and that ticks now appeared to be transmitting Powassan virus.
Bob Mingie moved adjournment at 4 pm, seconded by Pat Gore.
Post: by Tony Bull, July 30, 2016
First, I hope you have a very good long weekend this mid-summer weekend. And for those suffering in the dry part of the province, I wish for early respite.
I just wanted to let you know that our previous executive director, Wade Knight was the first person to renew his membership. He did it in person at the Kemptville office a week or two ago, as I found out in conversation with Eric Thompson. So, of course, I could not let that go by so on the same day I renewed too, by phone, using my credit card. And I let Dave Sexsmith know the next day and he promptly renewed, becoming number 3 on the list. Bragging rights for all three!
Of course, you know how important it is that we all renew. We depend on it so much for our ability to continue of offer services such as the S&W report, and to be able to represent your interests to government decision makers. To be your effective voice at the provincial level.
If there were some way to get this message to all the members in your chapter, I feel it would be a good thing for them, too, to know of how much we value all our members, and that Dave and I promptly lined up behind Wade Knight to stay part of the OWA family.
best to everybody
Tony Bull, your (humble) membership support guy.
Post: by Pat Gore, Nov 29, 2015
A Forester and his Forest
Bill Colman laid on beautiful sunshine for the joint Lanark and District and Lower Ottawa Valley Chapters Fall Walk in the Woods on 3 October 2015; and we were doubly blessed because Eric Thompson joined us on the walk for the first time since he took over as OWA Executive Director.
We were fortunate in another special way because our tour of the Lavant Long Lake Block was led by Jan Smigielski, silvicultural forester for the Mazinaw-Lanark Forest Inc. (MLFI) which is responsible for the management of 200,000 hectares of Crown land on the edge of the Canadian Shield (www.mlfi.org).
Jan outlined the activities of the MLFI, which ranged from planning and prescribing for logging operations, tree marking, planting, tending, monitoring logging, as well as training and education of forest workers in cooperation with their employers.
Because of distances involved we drove in convoy along forest trails, stopping at various points, walking into less accessible areas, where Jan, who knew the forest like the back of his hand, explained the intricacies of modern, sustainable forest management, and how it paid off over time.
Benefits of this approach to use of Crown land, included protection of biodiversity, plant and animal, as well as more obvious socio-economic values, such as wood production and employment. And at the end of the day we still have a healthy forest.
Jan outlined the three basic silvicultural systems applied here; selection, shelterwood and clear-cut. He used each stop on our route to demonstrate how these were used appropriately; and specifically, how the forest recovered quickly from well-managed logging.
Jan showed us sites where (primarily) oak and maple had been harvested as recently as last fall/winter. At sites cut two or three seasons ago, slash was already disappearing into the forest floor.
The extent to which slash (at least larger branches) might be marketed for biomass in the future was not yet clear, but at the moment, Nature was doing a pretty good job of taking care of business.
Skidding resulted in some damage, despite use of bumper trees, and ironwood was a major competitor with more valuable species.
In the main, MLFI shareholder/partners, who include 12 independent logging companies, as well as seven sawmills and one pulp mill, were using feller-bunchers and grapple skidders (familiar to those who visited the TigerCat plants during the last OWA AGM in Brantford). Chainsaws were going the way of the crosscut saw and the double-bitted axe, at least in the Mazinaw-Lanark Forest, although chainsaws and cable skidders still did good service in private woodlots.
Jan noted that selection cutting was most common on private land and, if properly implemented, involved removal of about one third of the timber every 20 or 30 years so that the quality of the woodlot could be maintained, by providing an optimal mix of tree sizes that would have enough light and growing space to reach their potential.
A great day in the woods, and an interesting look at a scale of operation between our farm woodlots and major industrial exploitation in the North.
Post: by Pat Gore, Aug 31, 2015
The President and Directors of the new Lanark and District Chapter of the OWA (formerly EOCFO) entertained members, including some newcomers, at a “meet-and-greet” at the Mill of Kintail on Sunday, 30 August.
Weather was perfect and the restored Mill, surroundings, and forest trails, were an ideal setting for a summer BBQ.
Post: by Pat Gore, May 24, 2015
The Lower Ottawa Valley and Lanark and District OWA Chapters held their first walk-about of the year in Limerick Forest on Saturday, 23 May 2015.
Pieter Leenhouts, President of LOVC, led a party of about a dozen members of the two chapters around the forest trails. The area had been reforested circa 1945 to red pine and some splendid trees had resulted. Old maple occupied some higher areas at the western end of the property, where the beavers had been busy.
Tree identification and the buckthorn situation were popular topics. Did we identify a buckthorn-devouring caterpillar, or had someone been trying to control it with herbicide? Either way, the Limerick buckthorn wasn’t doing well.
Weather was great with an occasional cool breeze, and the mayflies kept the bugs under control in most area.