Forests, Fish and Wildlife
Private Land Forests
Island forests are among the most productive in Canada. The majority (88%) of Prince Edward Island's forest is owned and controlled by some 16,000 private woodlot owners; therefore, the Department offers a number of programs and initiatives designed to help private land owners manage their forest lands for a wide range of values.
Forest Management Advice and Services
The Forest Enhancement Program (FEP) is a forest management plan based program developed to provide land owners with the information and services they require to meet their forest management goals and objectives. This program is cost-shared between the province and the land owner.
Offered through the the Divion's forest district offices, land owners can also access technical advice and information designed to help them understand and implement their forest management and harvest options. Incentives are also available to carry out certain silvicultural treatments. Some FEP components are delivered through private sector consultants and contractors while other parts are delivered directly by Private Land Program staff.
Land owners can do their own work or hire a contractor/consultant to do it for them. However, in order for a treatment to qualify under the Forest Enhancement Program it must be recommended in an approved Forest Management Plan registered with the department and must meet at least the minimum forest management standards required under the program.
FEP Standards for Private Lands
Work conducted under the Forest Enhancement Program is subject to the standards of the Ecosystem-based Forest Management Manual. You can obtain a copy of the Ecosystem-based Forest Management Manual as a summary version or the full technical version (4.2M) .
Recently, the Water Management program of the Department of Environment, Labour and Justice implemented new regulations for forested buffer zones on public and private lands. Land owners, forest contractors and consultants can get more information on the new requirements at Buffer Zone Fact Sheet.
Marketing Forest Products
Traditionally, the Island's forest harvesting and processing industry has relied mainly on word of mouth to connect buyers and sellers of wood products. In today's wired world, there are more advanced methods that can efficiently match buyers and sellers through on-line applications. The Virtual Woodyard is devoted to linking land owners with potential markets and forest management and harvesting services. This includes the marketing for all P.E.I. wood products, from standing timber to finished products.
Woodlot Owner Recognition
In 2011, the Department of Agriculture and Forestr, reintroduced the Woodlot Owner of the Year Award as means to recognize the forest stewardship efforts of Island forest owners. This annual event is part of a Maritimes-wide effort to promote more and better forest management in the Acadian Forest.
Woodlot Owner Education Resources
The Woodland Notes Series is a set of easy to use information bulletins designed to provide land owners with the basic information they require to deal with contractors, understand their silviculture and harvest options, and explore non-timber forest products opportunities. Development of this series is ongoing with new volumes posted as they are published.
The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources offers a unique, on-line Woodlot Management Homestudy Program that is open to anyone with an interest in forests. Each easy-to-understand module focuses on a different subject. Students decide which modules to study and then proceed at their own pace. The program is free-of-charge but you must register on-line to participate.
Each year, the Department, often in cooperation with other forest-related groups and organizations, offers workshops, field tours and other events for Island forest owners and the public. The Forest Workshops & Events web site contains updates on upcoming events.
Land Owners Surveys are used to guide program and service development. Copies of the most recent surveys can be found on the Forest Library and Research Information site.
The PEI Model Forest Network provides services and develops events and workshops for Island land owners and the public. Their partner organization in Nova Scotia, the Nova Alliance Model Forest provides a unique on-line service called the Woodlot Info Shop (WISh) and much of this information is also suited to Island woodlots.
The Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project also offers information and ideas for private land owners including the Native Trees and Shrubs, Wildlife Enhancement on PEI, and many more topics of interest to land owners and the public.