News release

Silviculture and Roadwork For Forestry Sector

Forestry contractors and woodlot owners can begin to apply for additional silviculture and roadwork, starting Feb. 14.

This follows last month’s announcement by Premier Stephen McNeil of a $7 million investment to help keep people working in rural Nova Scotia as the forestry sector adjusts to the closure of the Northern Pulp mill.

The Forestry Transition Team, forestry groups and private landowners provided input into how the funding will be used:

  • $3.5 million for the enhanced private woodland silviculture program, delivered by the Association for Sustainable Forestry and split between the western and central regions, The program will be open to private woodland owners with properties between 20 and 20,000 hectares. Eligible applicants include woodlot owners that conduct activities including harvesting, silviculture, maple syrup operations, or Christmas trees operations
  • $2.5 million for Crown land silviculture and roadwork. This includes $1 million for silviculture practices that produce wood, like commercial thinning or partial harvesting, that aligns with recommendations of the Lahey report on forestry practices, and $1.5 million for Crown road maintenance and upgrades.
  • $1 million will be provided through Forest Nova Scotia to deliver the private roads program. Private woodland owners with properties between 20 hectares and 20,000 hectares will be eligible to apply. The funding is additional to the annual $720,000 for private woodland roads across the province.

“We know this is a difficult time for many people across the province. Those who work and support the forestry sector want to keep working to support their families and they are looking for action,” said Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin. “We made a commitment to help and this is one way we can keep skilled workers in Nova Scotia, bring some stability to the sector, and invest in the health of our forests.”

Details on the application processes for private woodland roads will be available on the Forest Nova Scotia website, and for private land silviculture on the Association for Sustainable Forestry website on Feb. 14. This funding is part of the $50 million transition fund announced on Dec. 20.


This funding will provide certainty of roadwork for some of our landowners and contractors. We’ll move forward quickly to ensure everyone who applies finds out as soon as possible what more work they will have this season. Jeff Bishop, Forest Nova Scotia

Quick Facts:

  • government currently spends almost $5 million annually on silviculture and roads on private lands
  • the investment is estimated to support about 250 people working
  • to date, the $50 million transition fund is supporting $7 million for this additional silviculture and road work, $5 million for government to provide a guarantee for a contractor financing program, $1.5 million to help workers from across the sector connect to customized programming in the skilled trades, at no cost, and emergency assistance funding for laid-off workers available through local Access Nova Scotia centres
  • a toll-free line (1-888-315-0110) is available for those affected and have questions
  • a confidential, 24-7 support line (1-866-885-6540) is available for anyone who may need emotional support

Additional Resources:

Government’s Forestry Sector Support website is at:

Details on the application processes for private woodland roads will be available on the Forest Nova Scotia website:

Details on the application processes for private land silviculture will be available on the Association for Sustainable Forestry website: