North Thompson woodlot operators Craig and Leanna Mann honoured for excellence and innovation

North Thompson woodlot operators Craig and Leanna Mann honoured for excellence and innovation

On Oct. 3, the Province recognized area woodlot licensees, Craig and Leanna Mann, managers of Woodlot 1595, for innovation and excellence in woodlot management, along with two other recipients, at a ceremony held in Sun Peaks Resort. The Manns were also presented with a second award – the provincial Minister’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in Woodlot Management.

The other two recipients were; R. & K. Woodlot Ltd.(Cowichan Valley), managed by Keith Granbois and Ridley Wilson; and the Omineca Ski Club (Burns Lake), managed by Sean Broadworth, RPF.

Woodlots and Woodlot Licencees are small scale forest managers who strive to take a hands-on approach to natural resource management. Timber is harvested in a manner consistent with principles of stewardship and sustainability. British Columbia has over 860 active woodlots. Each woodlot generates jobs in planning, harvesting, road construction and maintenance, reforestation, silviculture and small scale timber processing. Woodlots generate about $200 million of economic activity for the province every year.

Each of the three recipient woodlots were presented at Sun Peaks with the Minister’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in Woodlot Management for the south, coast and north areas, respectively. In addition to the award recognition, the recipients took home $2,500 each for their area awards, with an additional $2,500 going to the Manns for also being named the top performer provincially.

The recipients were presented their awards by Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson while at the Federation of B.C. Woodlot Associations’ 30th and the Woodlot Product Development Council’s 20th annual general meetings at Sun Peaks.

“British Columbia’s woodlots create employment and promote long-term stewardship of our forests. This year’s award recipients have all demonstrated innovation and excellence in woodlot management,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Their high standards encourage all of us to look for innovative and effective ways to manage our forests.”

President of the Federation of B.C. Woodlot Associations, Mark Clark, commented, “I am pleased to join the minister in recognizing this year’s exceptional woodlot licensees. Their commitment to excellence in forest stewardship and strong support of community involvement makes them deserving of special recognition. On behalf of the Federation of B.C. Woodlot Associations, and all its members – congratulations.”

The Ministry published the following regarding the Mann’s woodlot management: “Since obtaining their woodlot in 1997 the Manns have set a high standard for silviculture, ensuring all sites in the woodlot are planted with Class A seed and fertilized.

“The Manns are active in all aspects of woodlot management. Craig writes the planning documents and carries out all of the road and block layout, road construction and site prep, as well as most of the logging and manual brushing. Leanna has her scaling licence and conducts the waste surveys.

“In addition, the couple have an authorized scale site. They sell some firewood and sell deciduous timber for oriented strand board.

“Craig has developed an innovative system that minimizes the number of machines required on the site, through a quick change system for machinery attachments that are used for different activities. His latest investment is in a truck with a self-loader and flat-profiled hayrack trailer that can haul log lengths ranging from 2.4 metres (8 feet) to 15.2 metres (50 feet).”

In a recent interview with the Star/Journal Leanna Mann said the couple started their Cicero Creek woodlot in 1997, noting that originally woodlots were created “to aid the farmers so they had income all year round.”

Mann also said that woodlots average 600 hectares in size and they are no longer given out.

“I just know you can’t really get one anymore unless you are fortunate enough to purchase one from an owner,” said Mann.

She noted, “Every woodlot is different, it depends on how you manage it.”

Managing the woodlot is something that the Manns believe brought them the good fortune of winning these two awards.

“The main key to good management is that we have had a lot of help from friends and people in the forestry field willing to help us to get to where we are and to get the success we have today,” said Mann, “Our success is thanks to the Federation of B.C. Woodlot Associations, the Kamloops Woodlot Association, the Kamloops Forest Service staff, and all the friends that are professionals in the forestry field – they have all helped us over the past years to achieve our goals.”

Asked how the couple felt about being recognized for their Woodlot 1595 Mann said, “It was a surprise! Just to get nominated in our region – and then provincially was a bonus!”

Learn more:

B.C. Woodlot Licence program: https:// timbertenures/ woodlots/ index.htm

Federation of B.C. Woodlot Associations: http://www.woodlot.