Crown Land Forestry

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is the lead ministry for the management and regulation of forestry in Ontario. About 90 per cent of forested lands in Ontario are Crown land which is provincially owned and managed.

In Ontario, forest management includes activities such as forest management planning, forest resource allocation and licensing, forest harvest and renewal operations, forest protection, consideration of wildlife and social values, compliance and enforcement, inventory and monitoring, auditing and public reporting.

The Crown Forest Sustainability Act provides direction for the sustainable management of forests on all Crown lands. In addition, Ontario has forest management manuals and guides that provide operational direction for forest planners. These regulations and policies provide direction on renewing the forest and requirements to conserve wildlife habitat, including species at risk.

The goal of forest management on Crown land is to ensure the long-term health of Crown forests. Healthy forests can continue to provide benefits such as wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities for the people of Ontario, as well as timber and commercial products. The forest management planning process considers all of the forest interests and values to help make the best balance possible.  Forest management planning must also consider the health of Ontario’s forests as impacted by forest insects, disease, invasive species, fire and severe weather.

The Ministry’s Forests Branch within the Policy Division, develops policies and programs that guide the sustainable management of the forest. The Ministry’s Regional Operations Division oversees the development of forest plans, monitors operations and reports on forest level activities.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry uses forest management directives and procedures to direct staff in their day-to-day work related to forest management activities. In addition, these directives and procedures can apply to business partners involved in administering forest management related business programs.

Most of the directives and procedures are to be applied independently. However, a number of them are inter-dependent and should be applied together to understand the progression of thought from philosophy and principles to action through day-to-day business practices.

A more comprehensive outline of Crown Land Forestry can be found at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry website. Ontario's Forests - MNRF