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Newsletter Contents
  • CFAC Update
  • Update on TIR and Road Closure
  • Bill No.4 Biodiversity Act
  • Locally Made Charcuterie Boards and Flights
  • The Great Rafts of Cumberland - Elderkin Raft
  • Did You Know...
CFAC Update

We have updated our webpage on the Cumberland Business Connector's website to include a list of CFAC members, links to past issues, and a contact form to get in touch with the committee. You can find these changes here: 
Update on TIR and Road Closure
Welcome everyone to spring weight restriction season! With the dreaded time of year for most wood producers and log haulers upon us, I would like to update everyone on the current status of the collaboration between Nova Scotia  Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) and the forest industry.

Prior to road closure, the NS government announced that they would work with the forest industry on a permit basis to allow the hauling of forest products after the road closure date. Thus began a period of confusion and a bit of frustration for most who attempted to apply for these permits, with a short time frame regarding the deadline of road closure. There were several issues in the application process in the beginning such as; where do I find the application, what info is required, why do they need this info, only trucking contractors could apply for the permit, etc. 

With a lot of input from the forest industry, Forest Nova Scotia, the CFAC, government bureaucrats from Lands & Forestry and TIR, most of the issues got resolved and the application process challenges were overcame.  Everyone’s help and ideas were greatly appreciated in order for everyone’s wood to get moved to market. It was remarkable for all these different people working together to solve these problems.

There were several permits granted in Cumberland County as well as through the Province. Permits were given out on conditional basis with weather and road situations in mind, normally on colder nights with a time frame of 9 pm until 8 am.

In a recent CFAC meeting it was discussed and decided upon to organize a follow up meeting in the near future with staff from TIR, deputy minister of TIR and Lands & Forestry as well as local MLAs to discuss further important  issues and work on building a better application process for next year.  Look for updates in our newsletter on this matter!
-Jeff Black
CFAC Co-Chairman
Bill No.4 Biodiversity Act
On Monday March 29th, the Law Amendments Committee met to review the Biodiversity Act. Just prior to the hearing, the government released their proposed changes to the Act. Some of these changes include the removal of emergency orders, offences, and fines, and limits the scope of the act to Crown land unless permission is given on private lands. After the Law Amendments Committee heard from more than 45 citizens, they voted to accept the extensive changes to the Biodiversity Act. You can find these changes, here. The Biodiversity Act is now moving to the Committee of the Whole. The CFAC will continue to monitor this legislation as it proceeds to the next step. The amendments have addressed many of the concerns raised by landowners but there are still some concerns with the Act.
Locally Made Charcuterie Boards and Flights 
Peter Spicer, woodlot owner of the year in 2017 and owner of Seven Gulches Forest Products, handcrafts charcuterie boards and flights completely sourced from Cumberland County. The wood used is mostly yellow birch from his woodlot and then milled locally. Peter has also used boards his own father had milled over 20 years ago. When Peter and his wife Pat Spicer were awarded woodlot owner of the year in 2017, they were applauded for their creative management and bringing innovation to the sector. The Spicer woodlot in Spencer’s Island has been in the family for seven generations and had even provided wood for shipbuilding years ago. 

These charcuterie boards and flights are the perfect gift for any occasion. Peter currently has been making them as donations to charity and fundraisers, but they have been so well received he intends to make more this Spring and Summer. If you are interested in these beautiful products, contact Peter at
In case you missed some of these forestry news stories, check out the links below. 
The Great Rafts of Cumberland - Elderkin Raft
Lumber was as important to the Parrsboro area, as gold in the 1800’s. It was the lumber that started the shipbuilding industry here. In the early 1800’s England was running out of trees to supply building lumber but Nova Scotia had lots. So the Englishmen sent people here to cut trees, build boats and bring the wood back to England. Soon other places started to buy lumber from Nova Scotia so more ships were built and more trees cut and more people moved into the area to work and build houses and stores. That is what brought many of your families here years ago.It cost a lot to build ships and hire sailors to transport the lumber so lumbermen decided to try building log rafts and towing them down to places like New York and Boston.

One of the first log rafts built in this area was built by a man from New Brunswick named Mr Robinson in 1888 in Joggins. It was 700 ft long, 30 feet tall on the end and 80 feet  tall in the center and weighed 15000 pounds. The first time they tried to launch it, it rolled and dug into the mud and they had to rebuild it. Finally it was launched but the hawser which attached it to the tug snapped and the raft burst into pieces. Another raft was built a bit smaller and towed to New York in 10 days.
In 1908 a big raft was built in Port Greville by a man named Mr.Elderkin. It had 7000 logs on it and was sent to New York. Some people say the raft was towed all the way but others say it floated on its own in the currants. Either way it had a crew of 7 men who rode on it and made it to New York where the lumber was used to build the wharfs in New York city.
These rafts meant a lot of lumber could be sent away for a much cheaper price and the men could make more money. A part of one of the chains from this big raft is at our museum in Port Greville. It was bought by Mr. Wagstaff who owned a big shipyard in Port Greville and he used the chain as a brake when launching smaller ships because it is so big and heavy. The big rafts  made moving lumber less expensive and became quite common in many areas because it was so much cheaper. Now a lot of lumber is moved by logging trucks like we see around here. On the pacific coast, in places like Washington state and parts of British Columbia. lumber rafts are still occasionally used to ship lumber along the coast.
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Did You Know...
In British Columbia this past November, they have started building condos utilizing mass timber. Referenced as a new sustainable future for condo construction, roughly one ton of CO2 is stored in every square metre of wood. Each home removes one vehicle from road. To read more on this project, click here
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