The Prince Edward Island Woodlot Owners Association (PEIWOA) came into being as a result of discussions culminated in a founding Meeting on March 10, 2012.

A New Era for PEI Forests

With the establishment of a new woodlot owners association we are on the door step of a new era for PEI’s forests.  The PEI Woodlot Owners Association, which came into being in March, 2012, just might have what it takes to get woodlot owners a little more excited about taking charge of their forest.

Expectations may be high but we should all keep in mind that one organization cannot be everything to everyone.  Every woodlot owner who joins this organization will want something a little (or a lot!) different from other members.  While the Board of Directors will do what they can to find the middle ground and please as many members as possible, members are going to have to be patient and give the new organization time to see what they can achieve.  Trying to do too much too fast or focusing on single issues could turn people away from what everyone wants as a valuable asset for the future of PEI’s forests.  At the March meeting a lot of information about the interests of woodlot owners was gathered.  Some want to know more about “How to manage” their woodlot for many uses, while others are interested in forest education and planning. Others mentioned the need for “networking” and communication and more are interested in an organization that acts as a collective voice of the woodlot owners across PEI.   Almost all of these subjects can be divided down into smaller and smaller interests, and some members are passionate about what the organization should do or be for woodlot owners.  But again, the Board of Directors must be cautious and not get bogged down in one issue which will make others feel left out in the cold and disappointed.

Patience is something all members and prospective members will need to have, “Rome was not built in a day.” a new organization cannot be expected to deal with all of the issues in a day, a month or even a year.  Progress may be slow at times, try not to forget this is a volunteer board.

Starting this newsletter may be one of the most valuable things to help educate and unite woodlot owners.  Many woodlot owners are interested in learning more about what they can do to improve and manage their woodlot.  This newsletter can become the vehicle for sharing information, with the content being influenced by the membership as well. The Association will move forward on many items and we can all have input and evaluate the success of them.  Some things won’t work as well as hoped but they still have to be tried.  We can learn from the occasional misstep and grow stronger.

Yes, this is the dawn of a new era for woodlot management in PEI.  Markets have changed dramatically in the past decade and we are now at the very best time to set a new course.   One which can have us look more closely at developing  markets from within PEI and try to be less dependent on off Island commodity markets.  A forest that is more focused on value and less on volume.  We must have a vision for where we want to go before we can set a path for getting there.   The new PEI Woodlot Owners Association might just be what we all need to make real progress.   We are personally happy to be part of this new organization and hope you will be too.