Forests are important to Nova Scotia for many reasons including cultural, economic and social.
Seventy-five percent of the province is forested, for a total of about four million hectares (10 million acres). Over 33,000 small private woodlot owners own 59% of this woodland. This means the role of the small private woodlot is becoming increasingly important to the health and well being of Nova Scotia woodlands.
Over 1 billion dollars in revenue is generated by the lumber and pulp and paper industries each year; 30 million by the Christmas tree industry; 3 million by hunting and fishing. Other significant industries include maple syrup, fuel wood, and less traditional products such as mushrooms and ginseng. Eco-tourism is also becoming important.
Other benefits of the forest equal the economic value. Healthy forests make a major contribution towards providing clean, fresh drinking water and good air quality. As trees store carbon and absorb carbon dioxide they help reduce the greenhouse effect. Forests also represent a valuable recreational resource by providing both aesthetic and spiritual values.