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Nova Scotia nears full implementation of new forest practices guide

May 2, 2022  By CFI staff

Photo: Annex Business Media

The Nova Scotia government says it is close to fully implementing its new forest practices guide, a component of a larger plan to revamp forest management in the province.

By June 1 most practices in the new Silvicultural Guide for the Ecological Matrix will be required. The guide, which applies to Acadian forest on Crown land, uses a “triad model of ecological forestry” that prioritizes conservation through lower impact forestry.

“We are moving ahead with a fundamental shift in how forestry is done in this province, placing a higher priority on biodiversity and protecting healthy ecosystems within our provincial forests,” said Tory Rushton, Nova Scotia’s minister of natural resources and renewables. “We’re supporting that shift through broad-based training for our staff and forestry operators and projects that help private woodlot owners explore how they can adopt ecological forestry.”

Beginning June 1, most harvest plans in the province will need to follow practices in the new guide.


Grandfathering for some plans approved under old guidelines will occur if blocks are being actively harvested or have fewer than 10 hectares remaining.

The next step, according to the province, will see more industry training as well as the development of software to translate proposal data into final harvest prescriptions that follow the guide’s practices. The government is also working to define how and where high-production forestry can take place on Crown lands.

“The ecological forestry training sessions are informative and a good balance between infield and in class time covering operational best practices, better understanding of the new prescriptions, the importance of biodiversity and supporting ecosystems throughout the forests,” Carl Tingley, trainer and owner of Forest Liaison Inc., said in the government news release.

Jamie Caddick, owner of Jamie Caddick Logging Limited, said,”The harvests in the ecological matrix are not meant to be strictly for fibre but more designed to create an uneven-aged stand to promote biodiversity, maintain or increase wildlife habitat and more closely resemble what happens in unmanaged forests. I enjoyed working with this new prescription because it shows the importance of what we are leaving behind when we are done.”

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