New group of private woodlot owners and contractors in SW Nova Scotia challenge WestFor deal

Western Crown lands, modified from CPAWS map (2012). The province handed over cutting rights and management of these lands to WestFor, a consortium of 13 mills, in 2015 but has not yet signed a long term agreement.

An article by Brittany Wentzell in LighthouseNow reports on a meeting “held on July 19 in the Forties to address issues woodlot owners, foresters and contractors say they have faced since the consortium of 13 mills formed and began cutting on over 500,000 hectares of Southwestern crown land, most of which is former Bowater Mersey land.”

The meeting was hosted by Gerald Keddy, well known and respected as the MP for South Shore – St. Margaret’s for 18 years, also a woodlot owner, and Colin Hughes, owner of G&C Hughes Enterprises Ltd and Colin Hughes Forestry.

“This is our resource, this isn’t a resource to be owned by 11 sawmills and have a complete monopoly on it, this is a resource that belongs to all of the people of Nova Scotia,” said Keddy…Keddy says he suspects the reason cutting on crown is desirable is that it is “subsidized” because the province pays WestFor to manage the land and because the stumpage fees are lower than on private land. However those numbers are not available to the public and Keddy says “it’s very difficult to find real numbers.”

Read more in LighthouseNow


Colin Hughes spoke at length about the WestFor issue in a CBC Information Morning interview on June 27, 2017. There were follow-up interviews with Markus Zwicker, General Manager of WestFor Management Inc; Julie Towers, Deputy Minister of NSDNR; and forest ecologist Donna Crossland

Tip of the hat to MP for directing me to this story, and kudos to Brittany Wentzell/LighthouseNow for their continuing, in-depth coverage of the WestFor issue.

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