Forest Nova Scotia manages a gas tax/access road construction program for the industry, on behalf of the provincial government.

The program’s purpose is to:

  • Provide woodlot access for the sustainable harvesting and extraction of forest products.
  • Increase silviculture and stand tending activities.
  • Provide greater access for Christmas tree and Maple sugar operators.
  • Provide greater access and efficiency in overall forest fire protection.
  • Provide environmental and safety enhancement through the road maintenance program.

This program continues to be a highly visible and popular program. Since its inception in 1967, the program has delivered more than 10,000 kilometres of new roads and 10,000 kilometers of existing road upgrades in the woods of Nova Scotia (as of 2010).

Program Eligibility
Applicants must be a Forest Nova Scotia member in good standing for a period of at least one year prior to applying for road assistance.

Applicants must be:

  • A woodlot owner or forest operator and must have produced wood fibre for the forest industry within the past five years, and is planning to produce wood fibre within the next five year period


  • Actively engaged in silviculture activities for the purpose of sustainably managing fibre on their woodlot


  • A maple products producer or Christmas tree/woodlot owner, who is actively developing their woodlot.

Program Details

Download and complete the application form.

Assistance funding may be spent on roads not previously constructed under this program.

Associate members of Forest Nova Scotia are not eligible for funding under this program.

Requirements for the program are as Follows:

  • Applicants must own, occupy, or have lease control of a minimum of 20 forest hectares (50 acres). Woodlots of a smaller size with established or current forest fibre may be considered.
  • The proposed road location must be clearly marked on a map, aerial or satellite photo (like Google Maps) so it can be easily found by our staff.

A “Road Deposit” cheque for $231.75 + HST ($266.51), made payable to Forest Nova Scotia, must accompany your application.

If the application is approved, this money is non-refundable, even if a road is not constructed within the required two-year period. If the application is rejected, the $266.51 will be returned to the applicant.

Unless otherwise specified, applications for funding assistance must be received at the Forest Nova Scotia office on forms provided by Forest Nova Scotia, on or before March 31st of that calendar year.

Construction or maintenance work must be complete and a request for inspection must be submitted before October 15th of that calendar year by the applicant. No inspection/payment will take place until Forest Nova Scotia has been notified that work is complete and ready for inspection.

All roadwork must conform to the booklet entitled “Woodlot Roads Streams Crossings” by Glen C. Braithwaite, P.Eng., 1962.

A road must meet the Forest Nova Scotia construction standards. The road deposit is not refundable.

Road Classifications

Class D: Specifications: Roads must be ditched. Gravel must be provided where necessary. Road top width will be 3.0 to 4.0 meters (10 feet to 14 feet). The road will be one lane with a minimum of two turnouts per kilometer. Culverts must be a minimum of four meters (14 feet) in length with a minimum diameter of 38 cm (15 inches). The right-of-way shall be a minimum of nine meters (30 feet) in width. Turn-arounds shall be made near the end of the constructed road.

Class E: Specifications: Roads must be ditched where necessary. Minimum 8 foot top. Minimum Culvert Diameter must be 30 cm (12 inches). Turn arounds shall be made near the end of the constructed road.

Funding Assistance

The amount of funding available to any individual on a yearly basis will depend on the type of operation in which they are involved. Three separate categories of membership have been established for funding purposes.

They are as follows:

Level I: LARGE

  • Pulp and Paper Companies.
  • Fibre and Hardboard plants.


  • Commercial Forest Operator producing > 5,000 cords (10,000 tonnes) per year.


  • Large and small landowners.
  • Wood Producers producing 5,000 cords/year.
  • Christmas tree Producers.
  • Maple Products Producers.

The levels of funding (base, intermediate, or large) will be determined annually and will be based on available funds and the number of applications received.

The Committee will establish the levels of funding based on the following maximums:

Class D & E Roads:

  • 75 percent of cost of all work and trucked gravel, culverts, stream crossings and environmental safeguards up to the annual funding category maximum.

The maximum allowable assistance for bridge construction is included in the 75 per cent of the total cost of building the structure. This bridge is to be a part of the road assistance allocation. The total allowable bridge assistance may be spread over a number of years, to a maximum of 75 per cent of the total cost. Bridges are considered to be structures using 10 foot stringers or longer.

Maintenance & Upgrading

These are permitted under the program.

This category includes:

  • Repairing a culvert, bridge or washout.
  • Cleaning ditches and drains.
  • Removing obstructing vegetation on right-of-ways.
  • Graveling and upgrading road surfaces.
  • Widening and providing extra passing or turn out sites.
  • Improving road alignment and line of vision.

Maximum allowable assistance for maintenance or upgrading is 75 per cent of all costs. Invoices covering the completed work are required.

Program Notes

The applicant is responsible for notifying Forest Nova Scotia upon completion of work prior to October 15 of that calendar year. No progress payments or finance payments will be made until the road is completed and approved for payment by Forest Nova Scotia.

  • Invoices are required for bridge constructions costs.
  • Invoices are required for road maintenance work.
  • Payments under the program will be made on a first come, first served basis, until available funding is depleted each year. If your application has been approved in a given year, you complete your work in that same year and and funding is depleted in that same year, you will receive funding at the beginning of the following program year, once budget is approved for the program.
  • Forest Nova Scotia funding assistance for access road work will not be provided if assistance has been or will be provided through other programs for the same section of road.
  • The maximum annual assistance any individual may receive is $10,000.00.

Every application is considered separately and judged on its own merit.

To learn more about Forest Nova Scotia, its membership, and principles – contact Forest Nova Scotia.