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Ecological Forest Equipment Program

A harvesting machine moves trees in the forest.

NSCC is supporting the shift to ecological forestry in Nova Scotia with a new funding program to help businesses offset the costs of adopting more sustainable forestry practices. The Ecological Forest Equipment Program distributes grants to forest sector businesses to help with the costs of buying or retrofitting equipment for sustainable harvesting operations. Total funding for this program is $9.85 million from the Forestry Innovation Transition Trust (FITT).

Program goals

  1. Advancing ecological forestry by improving sustainable forest management practices, decreasing environmental waste, adopting ecological supports and increasing the lifespan of equipment.
  2. Supporting private landowners in adopting ecological forestry by enabling sector diversification, increasing niche market opportunities, and funding equipment designed for sustainable harvesting on private woodlots.
  3. Scaling and expanding capacity of forest contractors by increasing harvesting efficiency, reducing equipment out-of-service time for repairs, and promoting economic development and employment in rural Nova Scotia.

Eligible applicants

To be considered for funding, applicants must meet all the following criteria:

  1. Sole proprietorships, partnerships or corporations registered to do business in Nova Scotia with an active Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Business Number (BN).
  2. Conducts forestry-related activities as the primary business focus, with at least 75% of revenue in the past 12 months generated from forestry-related activities.
  3. Is not associated through common ownership with any businesses primarily involved in the secondary processing of forestry products, including sawmill operations and pulp mills.
  4. Qualifies as an eligible beneficiary for funding from FITT as outlined in the Trust Indenture.

Read the full eligibility criteria in the EFEP Application Guidelines.

Eligible equipment

Only forestry equipment purchased on or after January 1, 2023 is eligible for EFEP funding. Used equipment must be from model year 2019 or newer and have been operated for less than 15,000 hours at the time of purchase.

There is a competitive review process and high demand for EFEP grants. Submitting an application for equipment that has already been purchased, even if it meets eligibility criteria, does not guarantee funding. All applications will be assessed against a scoring rubric by an advisory panel of experts.

Application dates

The 2024 application window for EFEP grants opens on May 1, 2024 and closes on May 31, 2024. Applications may reopen in the future, pending funding availability.

IMPORTANT: The requirements for the Ecological Forestry Equipment Program have been updated as of May 16, 2024. Program applications no longer require 12-months of audited financial statements. Instead, successful applicants will be required to submit proof of financing as part of the grant requirements.

Preparing an application

All applications must be completed in full to be considered. Please use the Application Guidelines document to ensure your application is properly completed.

How to submit an application

Please submit your completed application package, including all of the required supplemental documents, via email to . Make the subject line of the email: Your Company Name EFEP Application.

Please note: the current application window is May 1, 2024 to May 31, 2024. Applicants must submit their application packages within this window in order to be considered.

Decision criteria

Applications will be measured against the following evaluation criteria:

  • Confirmation of applicant and equipment eligibility.
  • Alignment with program goals in supporting the shift to advance ecological forestry in Nova Scotia and supporting economic growth in the forest sector.
  • Contribution to increasing productivity in harvesting operations.
  • Integration with ecological forestry principles and technologies.
  • Equipment fleet enhancement or replacement.
  • Cost-benefit and alignment with long-term objectives.
  • Productivity measurement and tracking plan.

Maximum grant amounts

EFEP grants cover only a portion of the total cost of purchasing or retrofitting equipment. Applicants are required to have proof of approved financing in place for all remaining costs. Grants support only the capital costs of the approved equipment.

Equipment Category Grant Amount
(% of purchase price)
Minimum Grant
($ excluding HST)
Maximum Grant
($ excluding HST)
New 35% $50,000 $250,000
Used 30% $50,000 $150,000
Renew / Retrofit 50% $15,000 $150,000

Maximum cumulative value: No applicant can receive grants exceeding a cumulative value of $500,000.

Application limit: Applicants are limited to a maximum of two applications to through the entire duration of the program.

Program contacts

For all inquiries, please contact

Document library

Program Application All applicants must fully complete this application form for the EFEP program. Use the Application Guidelines for assistance with completing the application.
Application Guidelines This document will explain program eligibility and assist you with completing the program application form.
Supplemental Section 2 Form Complete this document if you are requesting funding for more than one piece of equipment on the same application.
EFEP Grant Calculator This will download a blank copy of the grant calculator document to your computer or device. This form must be completed and submitted with  your application package.
Private Sale Purchase Form Complete this document if you are applying for funding for a piece of equipment that will be purchased from a private seller instead of a dealership.
Scoring Rubric This document describes the evaluation criteria that will be used in the decision-making process for funding EFEP applications.