Two more Nova Scotia forestry projects funded

Gary Andrea

Two more projects, valued at more than $12 million, have been approved by the trustees of the Forestry Innovation Transition Trust in Nova Scotia.

“These two projects are exactly the type of initiatives the trust was established to fund. The large-scale pilot by the Family Forest Network, with strong support and buy-in from private woodland owners, will demonstrate how the approach towards sustainable forestry practices can be done with both economic and environmental benefits,” said Rosalind Penfound, Forestry Innovation Transition Trust chair. “The research by the Forestry Economic Task Force will identify opportunities for the sector, providing a roadmap to sustain and grow Nova Scotia’s forestry industry.”

The Family Forest Network is receiving more than $9.8 million for a multi-year project that will assist private woodlot owners in adopting and maintaining sustainable resource management practices through outreach, demonstration, and research. The project will include a large-scale pilot of ecologically sensitive forest treatments in a wide range of woodlands across the province, emphasizing restoring degraded stands to their natural diversity and productivity.

“This initiative brings together a wide range of interests and businesses within the forestry sector,” said Allan Eddy, the Forestry Economic Task Force chair. “The trust’s investment will help to support the necessary economic and social research to create a plan for the sector to sustainably transition through market disruptions and identify new business and product opportunities.”

The network of 11 organizations reaches an estimated 12,590 small woodland owners. It was the first and largest group of forestry service providers to publicly endorse and practice the recommendations of the Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia, commonly referred to as the Lahey report.

“This wide-ranging collaboration marks a new beginning for forest stewardship in Nova Scotia,” said Andy Kekacs, Executive Director of the Family Forest Network. “Our project is firmly rooted in Mi’kmaw understanding about the interdependence of all living things, a perspective supported by a large body of research that demonstrates the value of forest practices that are based on natural processes and restore ecosystem diversity and resilience. This project will show the benefits of Lahey’s advice on small, private woodlands. In partnership with willing landowners, our harvesting pilot will provide a full accounting of both the short-term economics of ecological forestry and the long-term impact on forest value, carbon storage, biodiversity, and other non-timber values.

The Forestry Economic Task Force will receive more than $2.6 million to develop a roadmap to sustain and grow Nova Scotia’s forestry sector. The task force will oversee an industry-led, collaborative approach to identify critical economic challenges, market trends, and opportunities for the industry.

The trust is a $50 million fund focused on accelerating new opportunities within the Nova Scotia forestry sector to enhance environmental, social, and economic values and adopt new ecological forestry practices. To date, the trust has approved nine projects for a total of $22.8 million.

Companies may use the fund, organizations, or post-secondary institutions working and researching in the forestry and biological resources sectors. Forestry workers may also seek funding to support training or retraining and can apply at any time. A three-member trustee board reviews the submissions and makes spending decisions.

The trust also announced that the next round of applications will be accepted until November 15.

An application guide and forms are online at https://novascotia.ca/forestry-trust/

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