NON-TIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS (NTFP'S) &  LAND STEWARDSHIP ACTIVITIES

Welcome to the NTFP's & Land Stewardship Activities Department

Over the past several years, SNB has expanded our services to provide woodlot owners with a variety of sustainable forest management activities, to manage their woodlots and their forest resources. Non -timber forest products (NTFP’s) and wildlife management activities, has certainly become a popular area of interest for the older and new generation of woodlot owners looking for alternatives to the standard of just growing trees and cutting trees. They are interested in multi-resource and integrated management approaches to enhancing a variety of values, that has changed considerably over the past decade.

Below you will find some of the activities we have engaged in to over the past few years. We are proud to offer the expanded services and will continue down this road in the future with several other new adventures planned. So stay tuned and check for updates regularly.

We are very proud to be partnered with Wildlife Habitat Canada, the Fundy Model Forest and the Town of Rothesay on several of our activities.

Mallard Hen House Installations on Private Lands In Southern New Brunswick

The purpose of this project is to improve the quality and quantity of productive nesting sites for mallard hens on private lands in southern N.B. Due to the increased predation from coyotes, foxes, raccoons and skunks, we have been seeing many of the traditional mallard nesting areas become less and less productive. Late spring, heavy/flash flooding, has also aided to the destruction of many nesting sites as well, with some ducks attempting to nest again but quite often it may be too late in the season. With the addition of these elevated and predator deterred hen houses, we hope to provide some assistance to the nesting mallard hens and in turn improve their populations on private lands.

For more details about the program please follow this link to the Wildlife Habitat Canada website, click [Here]

Since 2012 , we have built and installed installing over 250 hen houses on 110 different private woodlots in southern New Brunswick. The design of the hen houses was the same as the one created and designed by Delta Waterfowl.

A special thanks goes to all of the waterfowl hunter and enthusiasts for purchasing the Wildlife Habitat Canada Conservation Stamps (Canadian Duck Stamps), NB Hunting Trapping and Fishing Licenses and our NB Conservation Plates. Without your support, these conservation and habitat enhancement projects like these would not be possible.

For more details about the projects and the funding programs for these projects, please check them out at the Wildlife Habitat Canada (http://whc.org/) and the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust fund (http://www.nbwtf.ca/) websites.

Project Partners: Wildlife Habitat Canada, New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund, Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited and SNB Wood Co-operative Ltd.

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Restoration of Wood Duck Habitat on Private Lands In Southern

New Brunswick

Over the past several years, there has been a general degradation of prime wood duck nesting habitat on private woodlots in our region. This has occurred from the overall age/productivity of the vegetation in the habitat and from the clearing of areas adjacent to or in, their traditional nesting areas. As a result, the overall population appears to be on the decline, as derived from observations by woodlot owners and local waterfowler data.

This project was designed to begin some restoration work on these private woodlots in attempt to improve the desirability of this habitat to the wood duck in these areas once again. These areas included wetland margins, river bottomlands and ponds/lakes in forested situations.

Since 2012, we have built and installed over 300 wood duck boxes, at 85 locations in southern NB. We have planted over 4000 hard mast producing oak trees (red, bur and white) and released local hard and soft mast producing trees from competing vegetation, in many areas as well.

This project is always great success, with the habitat being greatly improved in these areas, for present and future use, of the local wood duck populations. All of the woodlot owners were very pleased to have this work performed on their property and look forward to monitoring the growth of the trees, maintaining the wood duck boxes and hopefully watching the wood duck population once again thrive in the area.

A special thanks goes to all of the waterfowl hunter and enthusiasts for purchasing the Wildlife Habitat Canada Conservation Stamps (Canadian Duck Stamps), NB Hunting Trapping and Fishing Licenses and our NB Conservation Plates. Without your support, these conservation and habitat enhancement projects like these would not be possible.

For more details about the projects and the funding programs for these projects, please check them out at the Wildlife Habitat Canada (http://whc.org/) and the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund (http://www.nbwtf.ca/) websites.

New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund to the Project Partners

Project Partners: Wildlife Habitat Canada, New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund, Ducks Unlimited and SNB Wood Co-operative Ltd.

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Enhancement of Woodcock Habitat on Private Lands

In Southern New Brunswick

The purpose of this project is to improve the quality of habitat available to woodcock on private woodlots in our area. Many abandoned farmlands and fields in our area have grown in with a dense coverage of old growth alders and other deciduous shrub type species. We plan on rejuvenating some of these old growth alder stands, to once again provide the woodcock with their vast array of preferred habitats for singing, brooding, nesting, feeding and roosting in. We are planning on working on 5 different locations/woodlots to promote this initiative.

Our plan for this project is to cut 50-100 foot wide strips through some old growth alder and other shrubbery (i.e. grey birch, hawthorn, etc.) areas on 5 different abandoned farmland locations. The strips will be cut out with a combination of an excavator with front mounted bush-hog and/or manually with a thinning or brush saw (dependant of scale of area to be treated). Roosting area improvements will be conducted by bush-hogging with a farm tractor to mow strips in advanced grassy conditions or manually with thinning saw in areas with dense shrub conditions. These activities will be completed during the fall and winter of 2010/2011. At present we plan on manipulating these areas every 5 years to continually provide prime habitat for the woodcock to thrive in.

Project Partners: Wildlife Habitat Canada, Fundy Model Forest and SNB Wood Co-operative Ltd.

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Education and Outreach for Deer Habitat Management Planning on Private Lands In Southern New Brunswick

The main objective of the project was to provide each participating landowner with a woodlot level management plan that focused not only sustainable forest management, but also on providing whitetail deer with the wide variety of habitat types they require such as browsing/feeding areas, refuge cover, fawning areas, and wintering areas

Another objective was to increase activities on private lands and to encourage or inspire more landowners to not only manage for whitetail deer on their property but to generally make them more active and creating a much healthier and more productive forest for all. Hunters and recreational enthusiasts everywhere will benefit from the improved forest health, economy (wood sales and work created) and increased deer populations on private lands.

The components of the project were :

1) Preparation of a Deer Habitat Management Plans

2) Game Camera Survey and Data Interpretation &

3) Timber & Deer Management Recommendations

Preparation of Deer Habitat Management Plan - Our traditional woodlot management plan we prepare, provides the owner with a description and prescription of the various stand types found on the woodlot, the access and the boundary lines. Plans can be tailored to meet an owner’s specific objectives which may include: recreational interests, non-timber forest products, monetary goals, wildlife enhancements and aesthetic values. A prioritized action plan is then prepared and designed to assist the owner in achieving their objectives.

The deer habitat management plans will differ from out traditional plan with our habitat specialist's analyzing each area of the woodlot for its suitability for browse/food availability, refuge/cover and bedding areas, fawning cover and deer wintering areas. With the addition of these extra details assessed in the field, it should provide some great baseline data to enable the proper recommendations for future timber/stand improvements initiatives.

Game Camera Survey and Data Interpretation - This portion of the project was be completed in the fall (Sept./Oct.) with game cameras being put out at each woodlot that will have a plan prepared for it. One camera will be put out for every 100 acres of land in the central portion of the acreage. The areas will be pre-baited with apples 1-2 weeks before the survey begins and for a duration of 2 weeks during the survey. This method has proven to be a very effective and cost efficient way of estimating deer densities, herd health, age class structure, buck to doe ratios, etc. by QDMA and the Wildlife Society (see attached literature references). Landowners provided their own cameras (with the exception of a few that needed to be rented) for the survey, baiting the locations (when it was possible) and collecting/replacing the camera cards, when they became full or before the survey wascomplete. Once all the photos were collected they were analyzed with the assistance of woodlot woners, habitat specialists and Certified Deer Stewards. Detailed descriptions of the methodology are available in the scientific literature (Koerth & Kroll, 2000 – Wildlife Society Bulletin) and in layman’s terms in our Quality Whitetails Magazine (Snavely, April, 2005,Harper, 2003, QDMA-Deer Cameras-The Science of Scouting).

Timber & Deer Management Recommendations - Once all the baseline data for the forest inventory and deer inventory was complied and interpreted, recommendations for management of both resources was be given to each woodlot owner in their plan. Reforestation, silviculture, harvesting and agriculture habitat modifications, were recommended to improve the habitat based on the current deer herd population and health, to maximize the carrying capacity for the land.

These increased activities on private lands should encourage and inspire more landowners to not only manage for whitetail deer on their property but to generally make them more active and creating a much healthier and more productive forest for all. Hunters and recreational enthusiasts everywhere will benefit from the improved forest health, economy (wood sales and work created) and increased deer populations on private lands.

Project Partners: Wildlife Trust Fund, Fundy Model Forest and SNB Wood Co-operative Ltd. more

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Nature Park & Trail Development

Over the past couple years SNB has been working on a walking/nature trail for the private woodlots and the Town of Rothesay. We designed cut-out, stumped, installed culverts and gravelled areas along a 4.5 km long trail. The trails are now basically complete and all the people are really enjoying it their nature walks. One of the main projects over the past few years was the design and construction of several 10', 12', 14' and even a 30' foot walking bridge.

These projects has been great for both woodlot owners, the Town of Rothesay and SNB. In Rothesay, local residents and school children have enjoyed using this trail both for exercise and educational benefits. Tree species along the trail have all been labelled for everyone to understand how diverse the area actually is.

In the near future, we plan on adding some further educational value to some of the trails by showing people what small low-impact sustainable forestry treatments can look like on a woodlot. Small 1/10 to 1/5 of an acre selection harvest, pre-commercial thinning and crop-tree release treatments will be exhibited along the trail to show everyone that forestry and forest management is much more than clear-cutting and can be a sustainable method to manage the forests. We also plan on upgrading signage for the trails to incorporate more tree species and shrubs to the area for increased awareness of our native species.

Project Partners: Town Of Rothesay, Fundy Model Forest, Woodlot Owners and SNB Wood Co-operative Ltd.

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Growing Shiitake Mushrooms on Hardwood Logs

This project started off in the winter of 2008 with a couple of our technicians and foresters at SNB, brainstorming for some new ideas of what woodlot owners could do on their woodlots to keep them active, during there tough economic times. We researched and found that growing medicinal mushrooms on hardwood logs may be a viable option, even in our cool climate. Well it has been an incredible find!

We have had a huge success growing them and it has "snowballed" into a great activity for woodlot owners all across New Brunswick to do. We have been teaching woodlot owners, students and anyone else interested the techniques and processes of growing mainly shiitake mushrooms on hardwood logs. Once people found out how easy it was to do, the medicinal value and the great taste of the mushrooms, all were very eager to try this in their backyards or woodlots.

The medicinal properties of the shiitake mushrooms is absolutely amazing. They have been proven to lower blood pressure & cholesterol (up to 14% in one week), have anti-tomour, anti-cancer, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, immune system booster and can fight, HIV, AIDS, CFS & Diabetes. They are also full of protein, iron, fiber and many other valuable vitamins and minerals.

If you get or have access to some low-grade, 4-6" in diameter, 4 foot long oak or tolerant hardwood (beech, ironwood, sugar maple or yellow birch), that is all you need to get the process started and be well on your way to growing a very nutritional, gourmet mushroom right in your back yard.

If you are interested in learning more or growing shiitake mushrooms, please call Jamie Floyd (432-1278 cell) or email [email protected] We will be ordering our shiitake mushroom spawn at the end of February, so if you are interested in trying it out for the 2010 season then be sure to get in touch with us ASAP.

Project Partners: Fundy Model Forest and SNB Wood Co-operative Ltd.

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