We are an organization of  private woodlot owners who struggled successfully for the right and responsibility to negotiate prices for our wood and manage our forests to the highest environmental standards.

By campaigning from door-to-door throughout eastern Nova Scotia to gain 86-per-cent support of all private wood producers, the Association overcame all legal challenges to balance the interest of woodlot owners and the mills.

Woodlot owners changed an oligarchial system of feudal prices to the highest prices in the province for the same quality wood by bargaining collectively on prices, wood specifications and transportation of their now $12-15,000,000 annual business.

Although higher pulpwood prices also set a floor under studwood and log prices, adding in total hundreds of millions of dollars to woodlot owners, a greater benefit was raising the value of our woodlots and promoting interest in their improvement.

The Association withdrew from its collective bargaining role in 2012 to enter into greater responsibilities with governments and industry.  In 2006 the Association became an FSC®  certificate holder as a Group Manager for the Forest Stewardship Council®, offering forest certification to private woodlot owners in Eastern Nova Scotia.  The program currently has 231 woodlot owners and 26,075 hectares (ha).

Woodlot owners are participating actively in these programs because it’s the right thing to do. Their access to markets is protected by certification. They are selling at fair prices and improving their woodlots at the same time. They are attracted to programs embraced by landowners and industry with environmental concerns.

Because the programs are voluntary and not government-driven, they can be adapted quickly to changing conditions. Because they are not industry-driven, they are not viewed with suspicion by ENGOs and woodlot owners. The Association has three employees: executive director Wilma Stub in our Port Hawkesbury office and foresters Peter Burchill and Kari Easthouse working from their home.

None of this could have happened without thousands of mostly mom-and-pop woodlot owners who stuck together to defeat the old bureaucratic and technocratic interference by government and industry. The 86-per-cent support was so great in that first member and non-member plebiscite that the Association was registered to represent both under collective bargaining.