For this year’s top woodland owner, working in the woods has been a family affair for three generations. Spence Managed Forest, Ellershouse, Hants Co., has been named the provincial 2019 Woodland Owner of the Year. Ian Spence credits his father and grandfather’s vision for how the company operates today. “By balancing industry with ecology, they laid the groundwork for land to be enjoyed and sustainably managed for generations to come,” said Mr. Spence. “We are following their example by looking forward with everything that we do.” The Spence family owns 810-hectares of a diverse variety of tree species and ages. It is a favourite location for many outdoor enthusiasts. Recreational activities have been enjoyed in the area alongside the forestry operations for decades. “The Spences are a great example of how we can successfully balance the use of our natural resources,” said Iain Rankin, Minister of Lands and Forestry. “It is my pleasure to help recognize their good work and the good work of others in our forestry industry as we all move to a more ecologically based approach.” There will be a public field day on the Spence property Saturday, Sept. 28. Cindy and Sherm Embree from Sable River in Shelburne County are the winners for the western region. Their focus on sustainability puts an emphasis on balancing wildlife, forestry, and education. This includes taking steps to help sustain the boreal felt lichen by protecting part of their property where it grows. Terry Cameron from near Cape George in Antigonish County is the winner for the eastern region. He also emphasizes sustainability in his practices and welcomes hikers and bikers to enjoy the trails that run across his property. The department has presented the Woodland Owner of the Year award since 1990. Nova Scotia residents who own 20 to 2,000 hectares (50 to 5,000 acres) of woodland are eligible for woodland owner awards. Nominations are accepted until April 15 each year. More information is available on the department’s website at http://www.novascotia.ca/natr/woodlot/woya .