first_imgSome of Nova Scotia’s best woodland managers were honoured today, July 8, as 2013 Woodland Owners of the Year. Every year, woodland owners are nominated to recognize innovative steps to build a sustainable forest industry that supports communities through conservation and economic activity. “I want to extend my congratulations to Georgie and Helen Uhlman, Karl and Faye Crawford, and Henry and Elaine Van Berkel on being honoured this year, and to all woodland owners across the province for all they have done to share their love of forests with all Nova Scotians,” said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. From Caledonia, Queens Co., the Uhlmans are the 2013 Provincial, and Western Region, Woodland Owners of the Year. A former heavy equipment operator, Georgie maintains their 52-hectare (128 acre) woodland using only horses. Much of their harvest is for furnace wood, although they sell hemlock, spruce and pine logs to a local sawmill. The Uhlmans estimate that more than 70 per cent of their woodland is used for recreation such as sleigh rides, barbecues and horseback rides. Georgie participates in Natural Resources educational programs and stresses that anyone who spends time in the woods should have proper safety training. The Van Berkels, who live near Ashdale, Antigonish Co., are the Eastern Region Woodland Owners of the Year. Their 130-hectare (320 acre) property yields up to 130 cords of softwood, 10 cords of hardwood and about 650 Christmas trees each year. They also maintain a habitat for eagles, waterfowl, mammals and fish. They have employed more than 260 seasonal workers over the years and provided youth and community groups with valuable knowledge about forestry. The Crawfords, from Scotsburn, Pictou Co., were named the Central Region winners. They bought their 185-hectare (about 460 acres) property in 1979, which includes a 250-year-old home with original wooden beams. Karl began buy selling Christmas trees and got involved in harvesting after getting enquiries about supplying log cabin wood. The Crawfords also have trails many use for recreational activities such as hiking and cross-country skiing. The Department of Natural Resources has presented the Woodland Owner of the Year Award since 1990. Staff evaluate nominations for regional winners and the provincial winner is selected by a committee of foresters, wildlife specialists, industry representatives, previous winners, and environmental or forestry undergraduate students. Nova Scotia residents who own 20 to 800 hectares of woodland in the province are eligible for the awards. Nominations are accepted at Natural Resources offices until April 15 each year. More information is available on the department’s website. FOR BROADCAST USE Georgie and Helen Uhlman from Caledonia, Queens County have been named the 2013 western region and Provincial Woodland Owners of the Year. A former heavy equipment operator, Georgie maintains his 52-hectare woodland using only horses. Henry and Elaine Van Berkel, who live near Ashdale, Antigonish County, are the eastern region Woodland Owners of the Year and Karl and Faye Crawford, of Scotsburn, Pictou County, took central region honours. Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker extends congratulations to the award recipients and thanks all woodland owners for sharing their love of forests with all Nova Scotians. -30-last_img read more