Nova Scotia Forestry Economic Task Force wants feedback on opportunites, obstacles…7Oct2022

The Online Survey is open until Oct 25, 2022. I did the survey & felt it is well designed and worthwhile doing – if they actually follow up on it. I encourage the Forestry Economic Task Force to publish a report on the results.

We are hearing next to nothing about the final stages in implementation of the Lahey Recommendations with now less than 3 months to the complete actions promised in the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act (bolding inserted):

10 (c) to implement by 2023 an ecological forestry approach for Crown lands, consistent with the recommendations in “An Independent Review of Forest Practices in Nova Scotia” prepared by William Lahey in 2018, through the triad model of forest management that prioritizes the sustainability of ecosystems and biodiversity in the Province; and

10 (d) to identify by 2023 the percentage allocation of Crown land dedicated to each pillar of the triad model of forest management referred to in clause (c).

In the fall of 2021, NSNRR issued a request for feedback on the Draft Old Growth Forest Policy, a lot was received (See Report, and items on NSFN ) but the final Old Growth Forest Policy reflected very little of that input, and has to be regarded as very weak on Old Forest protection. (It’s hardly controversial to protect genuine “Old Growth” in Nova Scotia because there is so little of it, something less than  0.3-0.5% of the total forest area.) So any Old Forest protection- Crown lands only – will depend heavily on the “the percentage allocation of Crown land dedicated to each pillar of the triad model of forest management“.  As expressed in a previous post (July 23, 2022),  I anticipate that every wiggle possible will be taken to avoid anything that seriously impacts the access of Big Forestry to remaining high volume Old Forest stands on Crown lands in Nova Scotia. But let’s see.

Implementing the Ecological Forestry approach still, according to earlier documents, requires consultation (“Stakeholder and/or Public Participation”) on (i) the “20-Year Forest Stewardship Planning Guide” (re: the as yet elusive Environmental Assessment process), and (ii) on “Values and indicators for outcomes-based forest management on Crown land” & “Options of models for implementation of outcomes-based forest management” (re: the as yet elusive Outcomes-based Forest Management).

Perhaps the consultation on (ii) has occurred and been restricted to “stakeholders” that do not include conservation oriented groups I work with, but surely we should expect some public consultation on the EA Process.

In general, the PC Government  appears to be communicating regularly with forest-industry folks, but is communicating little if at all with groups such as the Ecology Action Centre and the Healthy Forest Coalition which were actively and constructively involved with the Lahey process. The clear message so far from the PC Government: Forestry Comes First, not “protecting ecosystems and biodiversity”   (re  Lahey PDF p3-2nd paragraph).

So in the absence of other public consultations, this item, a Survey by the industry-led Nova Scotia Forestry Economic Task Force piqued my interest. I received it via Nature Nova Scotia; thankfully the survey is being distributed to a broader group of “stakeholders” than that cited on their website.

Subject: N.S. Forestry Sector Stakeholder SURVEY – Opportunities & Challenges
Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2022 15:52:25 +0000
From: Harvey Gray

Good afternoon,

The Forestry Economic Task Force (the “FETF”) is surveying key stakeholders of the forestry sector, and wants your feedback on the Capacity, Needs, Strategic Opportunities, Challenges, & Obstacles relative to sustaining or growing economic capacity in the sector.

FETF is a collaboration of Forestry Sector stakeholders ‘tasked’ with building an Economic Opportunities plan for the Forestry Sector in Nova Scotia. The plan looks to sustain the existing, traditional benefits of the sector, but also explore opportunities to unlock its substantial growth potential. For more information, please visit NSFETF.COM.

We would appreciate your feedback in the survey – your input will help inform our development of the Plan for the Sector.

The survey should take about 15-20 mins to complete, and will remain open until October 25, 2022.

Could I ask that you:

1. Please complete the survey, by clicking this link: SURVEY &

2. Please forward this email with the survey link to your members, or others within your network whom you feel could provide valuable input on those topics, along with your endorsement to complete the survey

In the event you encounter any issues with the survey or require any clarifications, please email for help, or reach out to me directly if you have any questions.

With thanks,

Harvey Gray
Executive Director
Forestry Economic Task Force

I did the survey & felt it is well designed and worthwhile doing if they actually follow up. There are opportunities to express opinions and to be involved in follow-up consultations. They clearly want to distinguish which responses came from which group of stakeholders, information that can be insightful and useful from a public policy perspective, but also could be manipulated to ‘get the results we want’ – I hope that the Forestry Economic Task Force will publish an objective,  comprehensive report on the results. That could go some way towards garnering more trust and constructive dialogue pertaining to forestry in NS.

When I did the survey this a.m. (Oct 7), there were 23 questions. I was able to access it again a few hours later, and then there were 39 questions. (I did not fill out the survey again.) I assume they will put a block on repeating it twice from the same Hostname. The 39 questions I viewed the 2nd time are copied below (it may be helpful to view questions ahead of time).

1. Which of the following segments would you consider to be representative of yourself?
Please select all that apply.
Forest industry (e.g. manufacturing, supply chain, sales, etc.)
Private woodlot owner
Christmas tree grower
Forestry sector association or cooperative
Equipment, parts, tools
Professional services (e.g. legal, accounting, etc.)
Economic development partner (e.g. Invest NS, ACOA, etc.)
Accelerator/innovation hub
Advocacy group (e.g. CFIB, Chamber of Commerce, etc.)
Infrastructure (e.g. airport, port, rail, etc.)
Non-forestry businesses (e.g. restaurant, retail, car dealer, etc.)
Other association or cooperative (e.g. ATV association, TANS, gun club, etc.)
General public
Other (please specify)
Prefer not to answer

2. Do you work in the forestry sector, either directly as an owner or employee of a forestry company or organization, or indirectly in a job that supports the forestry sector in any way?

3. In which of the following Nova Scotia counties do you or your organization operate in?
Please select all that apply.
West – Annapolis
West – Digby
West – Yarmouth
West – Shelburne
West – Queens
West – Lunenburg
West – Kings
Central – Hants
Central – Halifax
Central – Colchester
Central – Cumberland
Central – Pictou
East – Antigonish
East – Guysborough
East – Inverness
East – Richmond
East – Victoria
East – Cape Breton
All of the above
None of the above

4. Which of the following areas are important topics to you or your organization’s relationship with the forestry sector in Nova Scotia?
Please select all that apply.
Sources and uses of wood products (e.g. paper, packaging, tissue, building products, etc.)
Sustainability of the sector (e.g. economic, environmental, etc.)
Forest health and diversity
Access to resources/wood supply
Social license/social acceptance
Forestry innovation (e.g. advances in technology, products, processes, forest bio-economy, etc.)
Research opportunities
Stability of the industry
Generating economic growth and jobs
Supply chain
Growing the forestry industry across Nova Scotia
Availability of financing
Investment incentives
Diversified markets
Other (please specify)
None of the above

5. When it comes to decision-making within your organization, specific to forestry, do you:
Make the final decision
Participate in the decision-making process, but not the final decision maker
Not currently part of the decision-making team

6. What percent of your organization’s effort or activities are related to the forestry sector?

7. How long have you been in business or operating?
Less than one year
One to five years
Six to ten years
Ten years or more
Not applicable
Prefer not to answer

8. Which of the following best describes the size of your department, company, or organization?
I’m an owner/operator
Less than 5 employees
6–10 employees
11–30 employees
31–50 employees
51–100 employees
101+ employees
Prefer not to answer

9. How long have you been working within the forestry sector or working with the forest industry as part of your job?
Less than one year
One to five years
Six to ten years
Eleven years or more
I don’t work directly with this sector
Prefer not to answer

10. How would you describe your operating level as a % of capacity?
Less than 50%
Not applicable

11. Is access to, or availability of, fibre an issue for you?
Don’t know
Not applicable

12. How do you typically learn about Nova Scotia’s forestry sector activities or new information?
Please select all that apply.
Mainstream news
Social media
Conversations with private sector/business (e.g. mills, contractors, etc.)
Conversations with other forestry professionals
Industry publications (e.g. Atlantic Forestry, Canadian Biomass, etc.)
Internet research
Traditional knowledge (e.g. Mi’kmaq, L’nu, other generational knowledge, etc.)
Association communications
Conversations with government officials
Word of mouth
All of the above
None of the above
Other (please specify)
Prefer not to answer

13. Who do you consider to be an authority or key influencer within the forestry sector?
Please select all that apply. If someone is missing, please tell us under “other”.
Association for Sustainable Forestry
Athol Forestry Cooperative Ltd.
Canadian Woodlands Forum
Cape Breton Private Land Partnership
Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia
Conform Ltd.
Department of Natural Resources and Renewables
Ecology Action Centre
Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners
Forest Nova Scotia
Forestry Economic Task Force
Forestry Sector Council
Government of Nova Scotia
Mi’kmaq Forestry Initiative
Maple Producers Association of Nova Scotia
Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN)
North Nova Forest Owners Co-op Ltd.
Nova Scotia Forest Technicians Association
Research Nova Scotia
Medway Community Forest Co-operative
Mersey Tobiatic Research Institute
Nova Scotia Community College
Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producer Association
Nova Scotia Innovation Hub
Verschuren Centre
Nova Scotia Harvesting Contractors Association
Western Woodlot Owners Co-op
Wood products manufacturing and/or pulp and paper companies
Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association
Registered Professional Foresters Association of Nova Scotia
Other (please specify)
None of the above

The following questions relate to your perspective on the growth, diversification, and stability of the forestry sector.

14. Growth is defined as increasing the size or amount produced.

To what extent do you support the growth of the forestry sector in Nova Scotia?
1 – Completely oppose 2 3 4 5 – Neither oppose nor support 6 7 8 9 10 – Completely support Don’t know/not applicable

15. Diversification is defined as a strategy to empower companies who wish to grow differently. This could include expanding, differentiating, or introducing new products or services.

To what extent do you support the diversification of the forestry sector in Nova Scotia?
1 – Completely oppose 2 3 4 5 – Neither oppose nor support 6 7 8 9 10 – Completely support Don’t know/not applicable

16. How would you rate the current stability of the forestry sector in Nova Scotia?

1 – Unstable/in need of support 2 3 4 5 – Neither stable nor unstable 6 7 8 9 10 – Stable/thriving Don’t know/not applicable

17. Specific to your company/organization, are there any short- or long-term obstacles or challenges that are in any way related to the forestry sector?
Please select all that apply.
Yes, short-term challenges
Yes, long-term challenges
No challenges related to the forestry industry

18. Specific to your company/organization, are there any short- or long-term strategic opportunities that you would be interested in, or that are available to you or your company?
Please select all that apply.
Yes, short-term opportunities
Yes, long-term opportunities
No opportunities related to the forestry industry

19. Which of the following does Nova Scotia’s forestry sector need to promote to support growth?
Please select all that apply.
Social license
Diversified markets (having multiple options for forest product sales)
Improved marketing/promotion
Access to skilled labour
Access to fibre resources
Increased silviculture investment
Improved forest practices
Full implementation of Lahey recommendations
Incentives (e.g. innovation rebate program)
Access to capital/financing
Support from government
Support from others
All of the above
None of the above
Other (please specify)
Don’t know/unsure

20. Is there an opportunity to grow, diversify, or expand your company or organization?
Don’t know
Not applicable

21. In one sentence, please describe Nova Scotia’s forestry sector.

22. In your opinion, how important is the forestry sector to Nova Scotia’s economy?
1 – Not important at all 2 3 4 5 – Neither important or unimportant 6 7 8 9 10 – Critically important Don’t know/not applicable

23. How important do you believe the forestry sector is to each of the following areas?
1 – Not at all important 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 – Very important Don’t know
My local economy
The rural economy
The Atlantic Canadian economy
The Canadian economy
The overall image of Nova Scotia

24. In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing Nova Scotia’s forestry sector?

25. In your opinion, what is the biggest opportunity available to Nova Scotia’s forestry sector?

26. Do you feel industrial forestry has a place in Nova Scotia?

27. Do you have any concerns about using forest products or where/how they are sourced?
I haven’t thought about it.

28. In what way do you use the forest or forest products?
Please select all that apply.
Household items (e.g. toilet paper, book, paper, paper towel, cutting board, wooden spoon, etc.)
Construction items (e.g. lumber, plywood, etc.)
Home heating (e.g. pellets, firewood, etc.)
Landscaping and other maintenance (e.g. bark mulch, chips, shavings, etc.)
Harvesting (food items, medicinal ingredients, traditional/ceremonial items, etc.)
Other (please specify)
None of the above

29. Are you familiar with the Lahey Report?

30. As a key stakeholder, what type of information do you want to receive on the Nova Scotia forestry sector? Box

31. In your opinion, what does sustainability mean for the Nova Scotia forestry sector? Box

32. Thinking of the entire forestry sector in Nova Scotia, over the next 5–10 years where do you believe the sector is headed? Box

33. Please share any final comments or suggestions you would like to share Box

34. In which Nova Scotia county(s) do you reside?
Cape Breton
East Hants
West Hants
Outside of Nova Scotia
Prefer not to answer

35. Do you identify as First Nations or Indigenous?
Prefer not to answer

36. Which of the following age category best represents you?
65 or above
Prefer not to answer

37. How do you identify your gender?

Trans man
Trans woman
Other (please self-identify)
Prefer not to answer

38. We will be holding additional one-on-one interviews and niche workshops to better understand stakeholder perspectives on sustaining and growing their economic capacity. Would you be interested in participating? If so, please share your name and email address. This information will only be used to invite you to participate in these sessions.

39. Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. You have the option to identify your organization, or you may submit your feedback anonymously.
Prefer to submit anonymously
Prefer to identify my organization

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