© Department of Natural Resources
Hiram and Ernest Carver are the 2014 woodland owners of the year for Nova Scotia.
Members of a New Germany family are the province’s woodland owners of the year.
Hiram and Ernest Carver are also the western region winners, as well. John Simons, and Richard Rowter are the central and eastern regions’ winners, respectively.
The Carvers, a father and son team from Lunenburg County, used to be Christmas tree growers. According to a department of natural resources’ media release, the pair now manages142 hectares of woodland, and focus on selection harvesting and regeneration. To protect the beauty and biodiversity of their forest, the Carvers have set aside some of the property for conservation.
"My sincere congratulations to the Carver, Simons and Rowter families on being recognized by their peers as innovative and skilled woodland managers," said Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill. "They demonstrate the important contribution that individual woodland owners make to maintain healthy and diverse forests in Nova Scotia."
Simons harvests pulpwood and firewood on the family's 263-hectare property in Springhill, Cumberland County, with the help of his son Justin. The family is also
expanding its sugar woods, which were once operated by John Simons' father-in-law.
Rowter was one of the first members of the new Cape Breton Private Lands Partnership, an agreement announced by government in May. He manages a 54-hectare property in Boularderie East, Victoria County, which he purchased in 2006.
This is the 25th anniversary of the Woodland Owner of the Year Award, which recognizes outstanding woodland stewards, encourages sustainable woodland management and increases public awareness of the importance of private woodlands.
To be eligible for nomination, one must own 20 to 800 hectares of woodland in Nova Scotia. Nominations are evaluated by a committee of foresters, wildlife specialists, industry representatives, previous winner and environmental or forestry students.
Evaluation criteria include integrated resource management with an emphasis on wood production, commitment to sustainable goals, wildlife habitat protection and recreation, forest knowledge, and their woodland's health.