July 18, 2011
For immediate release
Donagh residents awarded Woodlot Owner of the Year
Environment, Energy & Forestry
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“The effort and commitment of the Murnaghan family to manage their woodlands for recreation, wildlife habitat, timber and biodiversity made a strong impression on our evaluation panel and also demonstrated the many ways people use and manage private forest lands,” said Minister Brown.
The Murnaghans have owned their 75-acre forested woodlands for nearly 20 years. Over the years, they have used different techniques to develop the potential of their forest lands.
“We have harvested some stands to provide fuelwood and building materials and we thinned other areas to encourage high-value tree species for the future,” said Dan Murnaghan. “But we also love to walk through our forest and enjoy seeing the various species of wildlife that live there.”
The Murnaghans work with the Acadian Forest species that occur naturally on their woodlot, but they have also planted tree species not found on their land. Mr. Murnaghan’s background as a forest technician and a silviculture contractor helped him achieve his goals in a manner that meets the many different environmental and economic aspects of owning and managing a small private woodlot.
Ira Smith of Freeland was the runner up for the award. He was recognized for his efforts to introduce a variety of native and non-native tree species onto his land and for his ongoing work with the Wood West group.
“Ira Smith helped the Wood West group develop a video on soft silviculture options for Acadian Forests which has been used to encourage more people to think about their forest management options,” said the minister. “By practising good forest stewardship and sharing their skill and knowledge with others, these forest owners are demonstrating their dedication to healthy and productive forests.”
The woodlot awards program ran from 1990-1995 and was renewed this year. Past winners include John Richard of Grandview in 1990, Wanson Hemphill of Covehead in 1991, Bruce McCallum of Hazelgrove in1992, Arthur Arsenault of Abram Village in 1993, Paul Smitz of Brookvale in 1994 and John Curley of Fort Augustus in 1995.