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‘He knows his woodlot like the back of his hand’

South Williamston man named Western Region Woodlot Owner of the Year

Published on August 7, 2017

David Bent of South Williamston has been named the 2017 Nova Scotia Western Region Woodlot Owner of the Year.

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SOUTH WILLIAMSTON - A lifetime of good stewardship and forestry management has earned David Bent of South Williamston the 2017 Nova Scotia Western Region Woodlot Owner of the Year Award.

Bent and his family were awarded the honour “due to the dedicated management of their 1,000 acres of woodland spread across eight different lots in Annapolis County,” reads the press release from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“David has an excellent knowledge of sustainable woodlot management that comes from years of experience working as a forestry technician, woods contractor, and successfully managing many woodlots in Annapolis County. He knows his woodlot like the back of his hand and is always concerned about what impact he has on his woodlot and the environment. David is proud of his woodlot and the work he has accomplished.”

Bent lives on a 185-acre woodlot bought by his grandparents in 1937, who managed it together with an apple orchard that once existed on the property. Bent grew up working on the woodlot, and eventually took ownership in 1981.

“Since I was a small child, I have been watching the woodlot and how it changes,” says Bent, who has been involved in the care and management of his home woodlot for 60 years.

“In terms of managing woodlots he (Bent) started even before he was a teenager,” said Simon Mutabazi, extension forester for the Department of Natural Resources. “He has done it all in terms of maintain the health of the forest to allow good growth. He has worked with other people to help improve their woodlots. He has a good sense of stewardship.”

To celebrate the achievement, Bent will be hosting the Western Woodlot Owner of the Year Award Field Day Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at his home lot, located at 7396 on Hwy 201.

The field day will include harvesting and equipment demonstrations and displays, as well as discussions and information on forestry management, using eco-system classification, species at risk, invassive species, wildlife, pests and diseases, said Mutabazi

“Various key players in forestry sector industry will be there,” he said, including industry partners and stakeholders, organizations, government departments and services. “There will be lots going on.”

The Nova Scotia Woodland Owner of the Year Award (WOYA) recognizes and rewards landowners for outstanding stewardship of their woodlands. It was developed to encourage woodlot owners to practice sustainable woodland management and to increase public awareness of the importance of private woodlands in Nova Scotia and good woodland management.