News release

Two More Forestry Projects Funded; Next Round of Applications Opens

NOTE: This release is on behalf of the Forestry Innovation Transition Trust

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

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, with a special emphasis on restoring degraded stands to their natural diversity and productivity.

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.

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 key 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 the adoption of new ecological forestry practices. To date, the trust has approved nine projects for a total of $22.8 million.

The fund may be used by companies, 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 from October 15 until November 15.

An application guide and forms are online at


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. 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. Rosalind Penfound, Chair, Forestry Innovation Transition Trust

This wide-ranging collaboration marks a new beginning for forest stewardship in Nova Scotia. 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. Andy Kekacs, Executive Director, Family Forest Network

This initiative brings together a wide range of interests and businesses within the forestry sector. 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. Allan Eddy, Chair, Forestry Economic Task Force

Quick Facts:

  • the Family Forest Network will work with small-woodland owners and contractors on a collaborative approach to sustainable resource management; the trust received several applications to assist private woodlot owners and sponsored a facilitated session for sector organizations to support the development of a coordinated approach
  • the Family Forest Network’s steering committee includes representatives of Western Woodlot Services Co-op, Church Point; Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, Kempt; Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers Association, Port Hawkesbury; Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, Millbrook; Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), Dartmouth; Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association, Truro; Community Forests International, Sackville, N.B.; Athol Forestry Cooperative, Amherst; Medway Community Forest Cooperative, Caledonia; North Nova Forest Owners Co-op, Wentworth; and Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners, Brookfield
  • members of the Forestry Economic Task Force, a not-for-profit organization, include Forest Nova Scotia, the Wood Product Manufacturers Association of Nova Scotia, NSCC (Truro), Maritime Lumber Bureau, Nova Scotia Innovation Hub, Canadian Woodlands Forum, Cumberland Forestry Advisory Committee and 14 independently owned forestry businesses
  • the trust will remain open until March 31, 2025, or until funds have been spent; the trustees are Ms. Penfound, Douglas Hall and David Saxton
  • projects may include the development of high-value products and/or new and enhanced business models, processes or services, inclusive economic growth opportunities and new ecological services

Additional Resources:

More information about the Nova Scotia Forestry Innovation Transition Trust is available at: