“WoodsCamp brings logging into the 21st Century”

UPDATE (Feb 13, 2017): NowNS: Online timber brokerage finds ways to make its mark. CH, Feb 13, 2017.
UPDATE (Dec 20, 2016): ACOA backs WoodsCamp’s forestry effort Article in LighthouseNow by Gayle Wilson. Thx to MP for pointing it out.
UPDATE (Dec 6, 2016):”WoodsCamp Technologies Inc. has received a $250,000 repayable contribution from the federal government”. View CH article.
In The Signal, journalist Guillaume LaPointe-Gagner tells the story of how WoodsCamp was founded by video game designer Allistair Jarvis and forester Will Martin, outlines what it does and examines some of the challenges business-wise.

Will Martin

Will Martin

It’s a fascinating story, one that Will Martin also talked about in a recent presentation at the NS Museum of Natural History. His 1/2 hour presentation was followed by an hour of discussion, and could have gone on all night.

Will noted that the public debates around forestry in Nova Scotia tend to focus on Crown land, but that’s only 27% of the forested land. Sixty percent exists in small to medium sized private woodlots. It’s a constituency that must be addressed if we want to deal with urgent conservation issues and maintain forestry as a vital component of rural economies.

One constituency WoodsCamp is hoping to bring into the forest economy is a new generation of younger woodlot owners who commonly have little first-hand knowledge of forestry. Doing nothing with the woodlot is often their least risky option; Will described this as forest that is “locked behind the farm gate”. These woodlot owners also tend to get turned off by unsightly clearcuts.

The WoodsCamp approach is modelled on the “Sharing Economy“, and seeks to simplify landowners’ participation in the forest economy through use of web/cellphone-based networking tools which in turn can provide new options for woodlot owners to manage their woodlots, sell their wood and provide more steady work for forestry workers. It is decidedly NOT a clearcut intensive approach. Will described the prevalence of clearcutting in Nova Scotia as the product of a dysfunctional system, rather than being attributable to people who don’t care about the forest.

For many reasons, I hope that WoodsCamp is a resounding success in Nova Scotia, and elsewhere. If Darwin is right, it should be.

In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.
Charles Darwin

Read the Signal article: Forestry 2.0 WoodsCamp brings logging into the 21st Century, and the WoodsCamp Blog for more about WoodsCamp.

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