We're working on building a full-service cooperative that provides private woodlot owners the means to sustainably manage their lands.
The WWSC's purpose is to provide forest management services which meet the economic, environmental and social objectives of private woodlot owners throughout the seven western counties of Nova Scotia. In doing so, WWSC aims to deliver the following business objectives:
Increase the number of woodlot owners actively participating in forest management in western Nova Scotia.
Stimulate economic development and strengthen rural communities.
Support existing markets and promote the development of new markets for woodlot products.
Support and promote existing and new contractors to meet woodlot owner needs.
Maintain and improve the health and diversity of the Acadian Forest and its many values and benefits.
Increase woodlot values for the landowner (timber as well as non-timber values).
Work with partners (business, government, non-governmental organizations) to improve woodlot owner understanding of the forest its many benefits as well as ongoing challenges.
Small private woodlots comprise nearly half of the total productive forest area of Western Nova Scotia. Increasing the rate of woodlot owner participation in forest management over time will increase wood supply, create jobs and generate revenue for woodlot owners and government. Furthermore, high quality sustainable woodlot management, spanning decades, will raise the environmental profile of the forest industry, not to mention the ecological health of our forests in Nova Scotia.
The demographic of Nova Scotia woodlot owners is rapidly changing. As our population ages, fewer people are using forestry or agriculture as a main source of income. The capacity and confidence of woodlot owners to manage their forests according to a variety of values is in decline. Recent mill closures and general limitations of current wood markets have added to these challenges for small private woodlot owners.
The WWSC exists to build trust and bolster the economic and environmental sustainability of the private woodlot community in Western Nova Scotia. By working together, woodlot owners can build a sustainable and reliable supply for local mills and facilitate new market development both in wood and non-wood forest products.
Total Land Area in Western Nova Scotia
The WWSC serves the seven most Western counties of Nova Scotia including; Kings, Annapolis, Digby, Yarmouth, Shelburne, Queens and Lunenburg. Western NS is a forest-rich and biodiverse region, with Kejimikujik National Park and Historic Site, and a network of protected areas through its centre and coastal forests on its perimeter. The region is home to forest types associated with a high frequency of species at risk. WWSC will continue to benefit from relationships with people and groups that widen woodlot owner and staff understanding of social and environmental forest values and improve the public’s perception of forestry.
There has been a recent movement towards fostering regional woodlot owner cooperatives through Nova Scotia with support from the NS Department of Natural Resources. The WWSC will be learning from existing woodlot organizations to create a cooperative that will facilitate resilience for family woodlot owners in the west.