Jane Barker and Will Martin made a presentation to council for the Region of Queens Municipality on Aug. 13 about the Medway Community Forest Co-operative.
This was the second time the group has presented to council but their proposal has changed. As the group is in the final stage of their proposal some of the terms of the proposals have changed.
The original parcel of land they had discussed managing was 60,000 hectares in size but because of feedback on their proposal, they have downsized that parcel to 15,000 hectares.
The group wants to have a diverse group of forestry users and put the power back in the community’s hands and allow them to have say on how the parcel is run.
“By managing for a diverse and flexible timber supply it really does create new value added business opportunities,” says Martin.
The group cited the benefits to a “multiple use management system.”
“Because it’s a diverse forest there are access benefits, recreation benefits,” says Barker.
Barker says sustainability is key in usage of the parcel of land.
The proposal is led by Martin who is the director of forest and forestry products at Windhorse Woods, Barker who works with the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, an ecosystems researcher, a species at risk researcher, forest technicians, and former Bowater employees. Many supporters are also on board.
The group wanted to reiterate that the goal is to have an economically viable community forest and not just a park. Timberland would be available for commercial use.
Several groups made proposals to council for support of community forest initiatives earlier in 2013 but the Medway Community Forest Co-operative believes they are the only group continuing forward.
The group’s latest proposal is due by Aug. 22. Council of the Region of Queens voted to send a letter of support to the Province of Nova Scotia for the Medway Community Forest Co-operative proposal.