Hurricane Fiona FAQ
FAQs for Fiona cleanup funding assistance
- What is the intent of Fiona cleanup funding assistance?
The intent of the assistance is to provide funding to help with Fiona cleanup efforts on privately owned woodlots. It is not intended to cover the total cost of cleanup, nor to reimburse landowners for lost wood value or revenue.
- How do I apply for Fiona cleanup funding assistance?
Visit the ASF website (www.asforestry.com) and click on the link which will take you to the Fiona Cleanup Assistance request form. The form can be filled out online and submitted, or printed out and mailed to ASF, PO Box 696, Truro, NS B2N 5E5. Once you contact us, we will reply and verify your request.
- How do I claim Fiona cleanup funding assistance?
Once your request has been approved and the site cleaned up to program standards, you can submit a claim online, together with an electronic shapefile of the completed cleanup area. The site will be inspected by ASF and payment will then be made.
- What does a cleanup claim consist of?
A Fiona cleanup claim consists of a claim form (available on the ASF website), a post-cleanup inspection report (completed by ASF staff), and an area measurement in the form of a digital shapefile.
- Is there a limit on how much cleanup assistance I can claim?
Yes, the funding cap for the Fiona Cleanup Assistance program is $65,000 per landowner or group of landowners associated with one or more Property IDs (PIDs).
- Is there a minimum size woodlot to be eligible for cleanup assistance?
The minimum size woodlot is 8 ha (20 acres) of forested area.
- Is there a minimum size of claimed area which is eligible for cleanup assistance?
Yes, the area of cleanup must be at least 0.4 hectares (1 acre) of contiguous area. Each shapefile polygon submitted for a claim must also be at least 0.4 hectares in area.
- Is there a maximum size of claimed area which is eligible for cleanup assistance?
No, there is no maximum area, but the maximum funding which is available is $65,000 per landowner associated with the claimed PID(s) on POL.
- Am I responsible for measuring the completed area myself?
The completed cleanup area can be measured by the landowner, a contractor or consultant hired by the landowner, or by ASF staff (fee charged). The area measurement must be submitted to ASF as a digital shapefile.
- Who receives payment for the cleanup?
The landowner has the final decision regarding payment. If the landowner chooses, payment can be made directly to a contractor whom the landowner has hired to do the cleanup. Where payment is to be made to a contractor, the landowner(s) must indicate on the claim form that the payment will go directly to the contractor.
- Is there a time limit on cleanup from the time I submit my request form?
Once your request is approved by ASF, you have 120 days to submit a claim. If more time is needed, please contact ASF.
- An area of silviculture work has been completed on my woodlot in the last few years, and is now over 50 percent windthrown. Am I required to repay the cost of doing the silviculture?
No, you are not required to repay the cost of silviculture if the impact was caused by a natural disturbance event such as wind.
- My woodlot contains an area of Category 7c treatment (uneven-aged management. Can I clean up this site and claim other silviculture treatments on the site in the future?
Yes, if the site was impacted by a natural disturbance event such as windthrow and more than 50 percent of the trees are blown down, the site can be cleaned up to program standards and other silviculture treatments can be claimed on the site in the future.
- Is there a funding cap for Fiona cleanup assistance on my woodlots?
There is a funding cap of $65,000 per landowner for Fiona cleanup assistance. The landowner must be the same name(s) as registered on Nova Scotia Property Online (POL). The claimed area per PID cannot exceed the area of the property associated with that PID on POL.
- My commercial maple sugar bush has been impacted by Fiona. Can I claim cleanup assistance?
Yes, you may claim cleanup assistance in a commercial maple sugar bush as long as the damage is not covered by insurance or another program and there is at least 50 percent blowdown.
- My commercial Christmas tree lot has been impacted by Fiona. Is this area eligible for assistance?
Yes, Christmas tree lots are eligible for funding assistance through ASF, provided they are not covered by insurance or another program and provided they contain more than 50 percent windthrown trees.
- What is considered to be a windthrown tree?
Any commercial tree species which is leaning more than 15 degrees from vertical is considered windthrown. Commercial tree species are listed at the end of this document.
- The area of impact on my woodlot is quite extensive. Can I make an interim claim to help with cash flow as the cleanup operation is in progress?
Yes, if the area approved for cleanup is greater than 20 ha (50 acres), you can make smaller interim claims as the work is progressing, provided that the total claimed area does not exceed the approved area for cleanup.
- I have cleaned up the maximum area approved for cleanup, but additional area has blown down since that time. Can I claim this additional area?
Yes, you can update your funding request to ASF and continue to clean up, provided your maximum funding ($65,000 per landowner) is not exceeded. Updated requests for further cleanup funding from ASF must be received by June 30, 2023.
- I have already begun cleanup on my woodlot. Can I claim areas already completed?
Yes, you can claim areas already completed, as long as these sites can be verified as having been impacted by Fiona. Satellite or other imagery may be used by ASF to verify impact. In addition, take plenty of photos of the impacted area and the cleanup operation, to back up your request.
- How long can I expect to wait for payment after submitting my claim?
Payment is usually made by ASF within 30 days of receipt of your claim form and digital shapefile(s). If ground inspection is required or more information is needed, payment may take up to 45 days in rare instances.
- Does ASF inspect my impacted site prior to cleanup?
In most cases ASF will visit the site and notify the landowner of the intent to inspect. ASF may collect data on-site through ground measurements and/or aerial drone imagery to better gauge the extent of the impact.
- Does ASF inspect my site during and/or after cleanup?
In many cases ASF will visit the site during the cleanup operation and may make recommendations for meeting cleanup program standards. Most sites will be visited after cleanup to verify claims and collect further data.
- Do I need insurance to work on other landowners’ properties?
Yes, ASF requires that you have a minimum of $5-million coverage for public liability and property damage, if you are not working on your own woodlot. In addition, if you have employees, you must also have Workers Compensation coverage. ASF will require proof of coverage prior to approving a funding request.
- Does ASF provide a list of workers or contractors for cleanup?
No, you can hire any contractor you wish, although ASF recommends the use of professional forest workers and contractors who are members of the Nova Scotia Forestry Contractors’ Association, and who have adequate insurance coverage.
- Can I use aerial drones to assess hurricane damage on my woodlot?
Yes. Some woodlots will require a more intensive assessment due to the haphazard nature of the damage. If ASF aerial drone imagery is required to conduct this assessment, a fee may be charged.
Nova Scotia Commercial Tree Species
Softwood: Black Spruce, Red Spruce, White Spruce, Jack Pine, Red Pine, White Pine, Balsam Fir, Tamarack (Eastern Larch, Hackmatack), Eastern Hemlock, Eastern White Cedar (Species at Risk), Scots Pine
Hardwood: White Ash, Trembling Aspen, Largetooth Aspen, Yellow Birch, White Birch, Red Maple, Sugar Maple, Red Oak, Beech, White Elm, Black Cherry, Ironwood, Balsam Poplar