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Winter 2015/2016
In This Issue
Sylvan Vale Nursery: From Seed to
8 Million Seedlings 1-2
How to Manage Douglas-fir
Bark Be...
Continued from cover
Pg 2
One of the highlights of PFLA’s 2015 Forest
Field Tour was a visit to Howie Griessel’s
woodlot n...
Pg 3
PFLA is excited to extend a warm welcome
to our newest members. This month, we
shine our new member spotlight on the
...
The value of logs is determined through
a process called grading. Grading assigns
value according to the species, size and...
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PFLA Private Forest Matters Newsletter — Winter 2015-2016

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Newsletter published by the Private Forest Landowners Association (PFLA) to update members about PFLA news and happenings. Includes: Highlights from tour of Sylvan Vale Nursery; How to Manage Douglas-fir Bark Beetle and Root Rot; New Member Spotlight; Scaling, Grading and Timber Marking Tips; Update on Important PFLA Policy Files

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PFLA Private Forest Matters Newsletter — Winter 2015-2016

  1. 1. Winter 2015/2016 In This Issue Sylvan Vale Nursery: From Seed to 8 Million Seedlings 1-2 How to Manage Douglas-fir Bark Beetle and Root Rot 2 New Member Spotlight 3 Scaling, Grading and Timber Marking Tips 3-4 PFLA Policy Update 4 Contact Information PO Box 468 Sooke, BC V9Z 1H4 Tel: 250 642 0617 Fax: 250 381 7409 www.pfla.bc.ca Rod Bealing -Executive Director rod.bealing@pfla.bc.ca Ina Shah-Office Manager info@pfla.bc.ca Lisa Weeks-Communications Manager lisa@pfla.bc.ca Managed by owner Iola Elder and her twin sister Siriol Paquet, Sylvan Vale Nursery Ltd. is a multi-generational family affair. Purchased in 1976 by their parents, Selwyn and Phyllis Jones, the property was transitioned into a nursery in 1980. Sylvan Vale Nursery is located in Black Creek on Vancouver Island. They have a custom growing program that produces both container and bare-root stock from seed or cuttings. PFLA was lucky enough to get a guided tour of Sylvan Vale Nursery as part of our annual field day back in June 2015. The tour included a visit to the seed house where Iola and Siriol explained the process for ordering and planting seeds. Seed is sometimes hard to purchase. It can be a challenge to find the best seed for your property, and then to find someone who has it for sale at a reasonable price. So it’s a good idea to start thinking about ordering seeds ahead of time. This year Sylvan Vale Nursery will produce about 8 million seedlings. There’s no minimum order. They are a contract grower and will grow whatever you like, but price is based on volume so the smaller the amount you need the greater the cost per unit. George Shikaze, of Vancouver Bio-Machine Systems Ltd., was instrumental in helping mechanize sowing and lifting in the early days of nursery equipment. Siriol explains,“We’re still using George’s machine. This seed line is a workhorse. It produces, on a bad day, about 1200 blocks. That’s with lots of different seed lots. If it’s a seed lot that’s 200,000 and it’s a 412A we can sow about 4500 blocks per day.” The nursery has a short window of time to sow everything for the coming planting season—usually about a month. The first step in the process is to mix the soil recipe. Next, the soil gets conveyed into the block loader where the cavities are filled with soil. An electronic arm jiggles the soil and then it travels along to a machine feeder with a vacuum pump that drops a set desired amount of seeds per cavity. From there, the block runs along the conveyor belt and a layer of grit is placed on top of the seeds. The blocks then travel outside where they’re watered and transported to the greenhouse. Sylvan Vale Nursery has two different styles of greenhouse—gutter-to-gutter and freestanding. The greenhouses are purposely separated by wide spaces to help facilitate snow removal. In the freestanding greenhouses, pre- programmed Argus sensors control all SylvanVale Nursery: From Seed to 8 Million Seedlings Continued on page 2 Private Forest Matters PFLA field tour stop, June 2015, Sylvan Vale Nursery in Black Creek on Vancouver Island.
  2. 2. Continued from cover Pg 2 One of the highlights of PFLA’s 2015 Forest Field Tour was a visit to Howie Griessel’s woodlot near Union Bay for an interesting discussion of forest health issues. Woodlot 85 was advertised and awarded in 1991. The Crown portion of the woodlot license is 400 hectares. The site we visited on the tour was a top up awarded in 1999. When Howie took control of the area, they did a forest health survey and found not only a significant root rot problem on the lower sites, but also a significant Douglas- fir bark beetle infestation. They set up a harvest schedule (a fifteen year program) to harvest quite a large swath of the woodlot in a series of parallel entries to address the worst hit areas of root rot and Douglas-fir bark beetles first, and then progress in a harvest pattern and post-harvest treatment designed to reduce (and hopefully eliminate) further beetle problems, as well as manage the root rot issue. Howie explains,“Part of the planning was definitely driven by the Douglas-fir bark beetle. People from Natural Resources Canada Pacific Forestry Centre Burnside Lab came up and confirmed it was Douglas-fir bark beetle. They said it looked like sleeper cells that had been around for a while and hadn’t expanded.” The population was kind of bumbling along, but who knows what might trigger a population explosion? Howie didn’t want to take the risk so they decided to try and get rid of the bark beetle and developed a plan to aggressively harvest over 100 hectares. The stand was 79 years old with different sized trees, no more than 15 years variation, and the bark beetle was mostly in the dominant trees. Because of saturated soil and blow down problems associated with wind in the area thinning wasn’t an option. The Douglas-fir bark beetles were focused on the root rot centres. Not dead trees, but trees stressed by root rot. Howie explains,“The beetles seemed to know it and they’d get in there. We wanted to wait until the adults had bored in, laid their eggs and then fall the tree, and get it out of there before the larvae pupated and left the tree.” It was a fairly aggressive pattern. They logged a little over 100 hectares in 10 years. They cut the trees in April and got them out as fast as they could. The plan included a 3-phase cut they fashioned after an approach used in Germany in areas where serious windfall events are a problem. According to Howie,“The goal is to create a step-stand profile, so we logged a strip (90 meters wide) in phase one, then phase two and then phase three. The theory is that the stepped saw tooth pattern starts to create turbulence with the wind and stops the wind from going as far into the stand.” Re-planting the Stand In the area we visited, they planted 1100 stems per hectare, but also got a fair amount of volunteers from seeds. Planting the area followed harvesting fairly tightly. In general, they plant a mix on the woodlot. Howie explains,“It’s anywhere from 15 to 20 percent cedar in our planting bags: 615 cedars to give it a chance to get going, and 515 Douglas-fir.” Managing for Root Rot When Howie felled the area they had the logger mark an X on the root rot stumps to define the root rot area. Then the excavator operator took the stumps out, as well as anything within 4 or 5 meters of the infected stump area. After that, they were able to plant Douglas-fir in the stumped areas again. They also planted red cedar around the edges in case they didn’t get all the root rot because red cedar is resistant to root rot. How to Manage Douglas-fir Bark Beetle and Root Rot water, light and temperature levels. Each greenhouse holds about 1530 blocks (give or take). The two big greenhouses hold 7350 blocks each so the gutter- to-gutter connects are equivalent to 5 freestanding greenhouses. Once the seedlings finish growing in the greenhouses, they head to the lift line where they’re removed from the blocks and packaged into boxes for storage or distribution into the field. In the winter they lift by greenhouse. That means, they bring in an entire seed lot, lift it until it’s finished and then it goes to storage. The summer harvest, Siriol describes,“is a bit more chaotic because we’re lifting to order.” Sylvan Vale Nursery employs 10 to 15 full- time workers and during the busy times another 45 or so seasonal workers. Like the seed line, the lift line equipment is designed by George Shikaze of Vancouver Bio-Machine Systems. Seedlings are lifted by a set calliper and height. The seedlings travel along the conveyor belt and one person grades, stacks and bundles the trees as they go by. The trees are then carefully wrapped, top to bottom to protect the roots from light exposure, and packed upright into wax- coated boxes. Each box holds between 180 and 270 trees depending on the size. And that’s how things happen at Sylvan Vale Nursery—from seed to seedling 8 million times over. A big PFLA thanks to Sylvan Vale Nursery for their hospitality.
  3. 3. Pg 3 PFLA is excited to extend a warm welcome to our newest members. This month, we shine our new member spotlight on the North Cowichan Community Forest. The North Cowichan Community Forest is located on Vancouver Island, north of Duncan and south of Ladysmith, and includes about 5000 hectares of forested area. The mission of the North Cowichan Community Forest is:“To maintain and enhance North Cowichan’s valuable municipal forest resources for all users through sustainable forestry, ecological stewardship and sound fiscal management.” Established in 1946, the North Cowichan Community Forest remained un-managed until the 1960s when the land was divided into ten woodlots that were then harvested by local operators who used diameter limit cutting to harvest all the trees greater than a specific diameter. The land continued to be managed this way until 1981 when the municipality established a forestry department overseen by a committee of three elected officials, six appointed volunteer foresters and three municipal staff. Over the last thirty four years, the land base has been managed intensively. Logging practices are now patch cut with green tree retention and all harvested areas are replanted. The new crops of third growth trees are juvenile spaced and pruned to ensure future higher value. The working forest is managed for multiple uses, including: harvesting of forest crops, recreational uses, forest education, domestic water supplies, visual landscape, economic development and revenue source. The North Cowichan Community Forest has a secure land base, access to local labour, transportation and sawmills. The forestry program is flexible, managed on a long-term, sustainable basis and is self- funded with no costs to the taxpayers of North Cowichan. Revenue from the forestry program also funded the purchase of 35 acres of new lands in 1995 and 26 acres in 1999 near Chemainus Lake. A warm PFLA welcome to all our new members! Welcome to the latest article in our harvesting planning series where we borrow from the Non-forester’s Guide to Small-scale Forestry in British Columbia to provide some useful information for your final phase of harvesting. What is Scaling? Scaling is the term used to describe the measurement of the volume and grade of all timber and forest products harvested. In British Columbia, all timber cut from private and Crown lands must be scaled and marked. Scaling requirements for small woodlands can vary depending on regional or individual circumstances, as well as the volumes and types of products involved. The district manager of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is the scaling authority. The best way to determine the requirements for your property is to contact the district manager or scaling staff of your local forest district. How Is Scaling Done? Scaling is carried out by independent scaling firms or licensed individuals authorized by the district manager. New Member Spotlight: North Cowichan Community Forest Scaling, Grading and Timber Marking Tips The Forest Act and regulations set the standards and procedures for scaling, and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations carries out monthly checks of all scalers and establishes the conditions under which scaling is done. Piece scaling uses the BC Cubic Metric Scale to measure the firm-wood content of a log. The calculation is done by measuring the length of the log and its top and butt diameters. The gross volume is measured and calculated using a detailed formula. Licensed scalers use a scaling stick, which is marked with volumes enabling the scaler to calculate log volumes as cylinders, based on measurements of the length and radius of the log. Weight scaling is another form of log scaling in British Columbia. Weight scaling is a quick and convenient way to measure wood quantity, but what you gain in efficiency you loose in accuracy. In other words, weight scaling is slightly less accurate than volume scaling. As a rough guideline, a standard highway logging truck (maximum 2.6 metre bunk) holds approximately 30 cubic metres of wood. How Are Logs Graded? Scaling provides you with a measure of the volume of wood logged from a stand, but you’ll also want to know the value of the wood removed.
  4. 4. The value of logs is determined through a process called grading. Grading assigns value according to the species, size and condition of logs. On the coast, all logs are graded when scaled, and are bought or sold by grade category for each species. Interior mills also grade logs by species and size. There are different grade rules for coast and interior scaling. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the Council of Forest Industries prepare monthly, quarterly and annual summaries of log sales by grade. Many factors affect the grade of a log: growth rate, the form or shape of the log, the presence and size of knots, rot or insect damage, and the size of the log. Because grade is associated with the presence, or absence, of criteria and the actual size of the log (length and top diameter), it’s possible to modify the grade of any given log by bucking it into separate log segments. Whether you plan to buck the logs yourself or sell the stand to a contractor it’s important to know about log grades to make sure you get the best value from your logs. What’s A Timber Mark? Timber marks, like cattle brands, are registered symbols that indicate where a log comes from, who holds the mark, whether or not the timber may be exported in log form, and whether the wood will be charged stumpage or royalty fees. Registered timber marks are required for all timber cut from Crown and private land, and are issued upon application and payment to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. After an application is approved, the operator will receive a timber mark certificate with an assigned timber mark. You then contact a local foundry to make a hammer with the mark on it and then the timber mark is hammered into each end of a log. Because protecting water quality is fundamental to the Managed Forest Program, the MFC is also looking closely at water protection. The MFC is in the process of evaluating the effectiveness of water protection under the current regulatory regime and best management practices model. Log Export Restrictions and Market Access Log export restrictions are another key policy area PFLA continues to be diligently involved with. PFLA is actively monitoring international developments and, as always, the goal is to obtain international pricing for private land logs. Galiano Island Residency Issue PFLA has participated in a number of productive meetings throughout the year and continues to work closely with the province to find a solution to the Galiano Island residential issue. The objective is to permit one residential dwelling per title on Galiano Island, which is consistent with the policy intent as reflected everywhere else in the province. Provincial Inventory Program The province is currently undertaking an inventory program for public land. PFLA is working closely with MFLNRO staff to achieve an appropriate level of distinction for private land. PFLA has concerns about access to information on private land and is working hard to ensure private forest owners in British Columbia are treated with the same level of respect as forest owners in competing jurisdictions Wildfire Response Agreements (WRAs) Wildfire Response Agreements (WRAs) are set to expire at the end of March 2016. The province is revising the formula they use to calculate the rates for private landowners to have provincial resources conduct initial attack and response on their land. Government is engaged with landowners and a rate adjustment based on actual cost is anticipated. Pg 4 Continued from page 3 PFLA remains actively engaged on a number of important policy files relevant to forest owners across the province. Here’s a brief update, in no particular order, to keep you informed. BC Assessment and Property Taxation Property taxation is a re-emerging issue. There appears to be an upward pressure on assessed property values, which in turn could translate into upward pressure on property tax bills for 2016. PFLA is monitoring the situation closely and will advocate on behalf of forest owners as needed. Eligibility and succession planning within the Managed Forest Program is another area we continue to work on with the Managed Forest Council and BC Assessment to obtain better policy transparency and clarity. Tina Ireland, Director Property Owners, with BC Assessment expects business as usual for the rest of the year as they work toward finalizing any changes in 2016. The Species at Risk Act and the Migratory Birds Convention Act Both the Species at Risk Act and the Migratory Birds Convention Act remain important policy file areas. PFLA continues to work closely with the Canadian Association of Forest Owners (CAFO), the farming community, and other land managers across B.C. and Canada to make sure landowners are recognized for the existing measures taken to protect endangered species on private land. The goals continue to be: 1) Receive credit and recognition for the habitat land managers provide on private property. 2) Receive compensation when the ability to grow and harvest timber is restricted. Water Protection on Managed Forest Land Water quality is one of the key public environmental values protected within the Managed Forest Program. PFLA is engaged with the Managed Forest Council (MFC) and Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO) staff on a number of active local water initiatives. The goal is to educate the public, local government and communities about the protections, practices, relationships and programs already in place to protect water quality on private forest land. This is also an opportunity for PFLA to listen and understand what local concerns are and look for common ground. PFLA Policy Update

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