Formation of The Wood Heat Organization Inc.

Ottawa, October 27, 1999 - The formation of The Wood Heat Organization Inc., a unique nonprofit agency, was announced here today. The organization was formed to provide reliable information about home heating with wood, to promote environmentally appropriate woodburning practices and to represent the public interest in woodburning issues.

“An organization with this mandate is long overdue”, says John Gulland, executive director of the new group, which he and his colleagues call woodheat for short. He points out that there are industry associations and some government agencies that have communicated with the public about wood heating, but there has never been a non-commercial, non-governmental organization with a mandate to help people use wood energy responsibly at home and to represent their interests in policy discussions.

The Wood Heat Organization, a federally incorporated nonprofit, was founded by three veteran wood heat specialists from Ontario. Bill Tully, who runs a hearth products distributorship in Tottenham, Ont., heads the volunteer board of directors. He has been a high profile supporter of woodburning for many years and will concentrate on building the board of directors into an effective advisory group to guide the organization.

Cal Wallis, a retired wood heat retailer, is the treasurer of the new organization and also manages its fundraising, member services and outreach programs. He says that after more than twenty years as a stove store owner, he wanted an outlet for his interest in and knowledge of wood heating. “This is my way of giving something back, of making a modest contribution to a better world,” he says.

John Gulland has been a writer, trainer and consultant in the field for twenty years. He too has personal reasons for helping to found the Wood Heat Organization: “My commercial clients hired me to do interesting jobs, but with woodheat I can work for the public on projects I strongly believe in.”

The group stresses that wood energy is an effective home heating option that offers unsurpassed beauty and comfort and important environmental benefits. Still, they acknowledge that the environmental benefits are conditional on sustainable harvesting practices for the fuel and no visible smoke when it is burned. According to president Bill Tully, “It is now possible to burn wood without smoke and one of our tasks is to teach people how.”

Although the new organization has a number of programs underway and in the planning stages, its main outlet for public information is its internet web site located at The site has plenty of useful information for average wood burners: visitors can get practical advice on firewood preparation, installation safety and non-commercial advice on what makes for a successful wood heat system. It also offers technical and scientific information on the global carbon cycle, forest biodiversity and sustainable tree harvesting.

One of the key functions of the site is to clarify the role of wood as a renewable energy resource. Various articles point out that using wood as a heating fuel is like living off the interest earned by the earth’s assets, and never touching its savings.

The principals of the Wood Heat Organization look forward to working on initiatives that support the public in using wood fuel safely and successfully. - 30 -

For more information please contact:

John Gulland
(613) 757-2290

Cal Wallis
(613) 278-2161

Bill Tully
(905) 936-9020

The Wood Heat Organization Inc.
410 Bank St., Suite 117
Ottawa K2P 1Y8