Jamie Simpson, Forestry Program Director for the Ecology Action Centre and author of Restoring the Acadian Forest: A Stewardship Guide for Woodlot Owners in the Maritimes, discusses ecological forestry practiced by Clark Phillips and Susan Tyler at Whaelghinbran Farm, located in Kings County, New Brunswick.
Since early 2009, CFI has been working with the New Brunswick Community Land Trust (NBCLT), a charity which holds conservation easements on ecologically sustainable working lands, in order to develop a succession plan for a unique 650 acre farm and Acadian Forest woodlot named Whaelghinbran Farm. The current owners of Whaelghinbran Farm, Clark Phillips (74) and Susan Tyler (72), have been farming organically and practicing enrichment forestry on their woodlot for over 40 years. By carefully harvesting and marketing timber they have begun a process of restoration, working to achieve the health and diversity found within the Acadian Forest Eco-region prior to European settlement.
In order to continue this legacy, Clark, Susan, CFI and the NBCLT hope to uphold the principles and techniques employed at Whaelghinbran Farm in perpetuity through a trust agreement. CFI will steward the farm and woodlot under the conservation easement with a community of interested organizations and individuals, and will establish a rural training centre on site. This training centre will provide students from the region with the knowledge, skills, and network necessary to become involved in a movement for conservation on and of ecologically-based working lands in the Acadian Forest Eco-region. The multi-stakeholder community-based ecological forestry practiced at Whaelghinbran will also provide a strong example of alternative approaches to woodland management in the region.