This is the nineteenth annual report on forest management in Ontario. This report provides information on forest management activities in Ontario’s Crown forests covering the period April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. Crown forest resources within the Area of the Undertaking (AOU) are the focus for this annual report. This report does not include Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) programs that deal with private land or provincial parks.

This annual report on forest management addresses legal requirements outlined in MNRF’s Class Environmental Assessment Approval for Forest Management on Crown lands in Ontario (MNR-71). This is the last report that will be prepared under MNR-71, as future reports will be prepared on a biennial basis under MNRF’s Environmental Assessment Requirements for Forest Management on Crown Lands in Ontario (MNR-75).

The report is prepared consistent with the principles and intent of the Crown Forest Sustainability Act (CFSA). It contains in part a summary and analysis of 42 management unit annual reports.

For the official management unit annual reports, please refer to the forest management planning page.

The report includes the most recent data and information; however, changes in data may occur as the dataset undergoes continuous improvement. Minor rounding errors may occur due to the precision of the numbers. Annual report spatial layers have received some level of error correction and spatial adjustment. All spatial layers have been moved to a consistent projection, and exceptionally small areas have been moved into adjacent areas or have been eliminated. As well, several layers have been compared to previous years and duplication in accounting has been eliminated where it occurs. The impacts of these adjustments are exceptionally small.

More information about MNRF’s forest programs is available at ontario.ca.

Executive summary

Ontario’s Crown forests are managed in a sustainable manner to ensure long-term forest health while providing environmental, economic, and social benefits to Ontarians. The Annual Report on Forest Management 2013-14 provides information on how Ontario’s Crown forests are being managed. The report summarizes forest management activities for the period April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. The following is a summary of key forest management activities for 2013-14:

Natural Disturbances

  • Natural disturbances affected 4.0 million ha
  • Weather and drought affected 3.5 million ha
  • Fire impacted 53,911 ha
  • Insects and diseases impacted 428,641 ha

Forest Harvest

  • Forest harvest occurred on 124,967 ha
  • Harvesting generated 13.5 million cubic metres of wood
  • Natural disturbances affected more area than harvest

Forest Renewal

  • Renewal activities occurred on 192,865 ha
  • 55,202 ha regenerated artificially (tree planting and seeding)
  • 51,724 ha regenerated naturally
  • $49.8 million spent on forest renewal

Silviculture Effectiveness Monitoring

  • 173,595 ha were surveyed for regeneration
  • 95% met an acceptable regeneration standard

Forest Industry

  • Ontario’s forest industry had $10.5 billion in revenues
  • Employment in the forest industry was 43,800 direct jobs
  • Crown charge payments totalled $97.7 million
  • $45.8 million contributed to the Forest Renewal Trust

Forest Access Roads

  • 3,915 km of new road construction
  • Access controls established on 1,118 km
  • 1,004 km of roads were decommissioned
  • Roads funding: $50 million

Forest Compliance

  • There were 2,606 inspections
  • 2,077 inspections were conducted by the forest industry
  • 529 inspections by MNRF
  • 98% compliance rate

Forest Audits

  • 3 independent forest audits were conducted
  • All Sustainable Forest Licences (SFL) recommended for extension
  • 45 recommendations for improvement and 1 best practice

Forest Compliance

  • 28 of 41 units were certified
  • No new forests were certified for the first time
  • Several units successfully re-certified

Aboriginal Involvement in Forest Management

  • Aboriginal communities engaged in forest management and economic development activities across the province

Ontario’s forests

Area of the Undertaking or AOU (MNR-75)

Map showing the Area of the Undertaking

Ontario is 107.6 million hectares (ha) in size.

  • 87% of Ontario is publicly owned (93.2 million ha);
  • 66% of the province is forest (71.1 million ha);
  • 52% is productive forest (56.1 million ha); and
  • 4% of the productive forest is within existing and proposed parks and protected areas.

Forest management on Crown land is practised in the AOU, as defined under MNR-75 (previously AOU MNR-71 and Whitefeather Forest MNR-74), an area covering 45.0 million hectares of forest, water, wetland and other land classes that stretches across Ontario from Kemptville to Red Lake.

Land Classes are summarized below and further detail can be found in the Forest Resources of Ontario 2016 report available at: ontario.ca.

Total provincial area by land class (area in hectares)

Land classCrownParks and protected areasOtherTotal
Water16,967,051 1,943,058 525,370 19,435,479
Wetland8,137,549 1,100,620 239,219 9,477,388
Field/Agriculture34,434 8,172 5,358,927 5,401,533
Other Non-forest698,842 448,111 993,518 2,140,471
Treed Wetland12,685,193 1,202,999 1,083,755 14,971,947
Productive Forest44,128,288 5,846,953 6,118,363 56,093,603
Total82,651,356 10,549,912 14,319,153 107,520,421

Total area within the AOU (MNR 75) by land class (area in hectares)

Land classCrownParks and protected areasOtherTotal
Other Non-forest282,80083,247290,591656,638
Treed Wetland1,403,805190,239182,4831,776,527
Productive Forest27,793,5593,245,6574,578,83835,618,055

Source: Forest Resources of Ontario 2016

Chart showing the breakdown of area by land class

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Natural disturbances (fire, weather, and insects)

Forest losses due to insects, fire, and weather were significant, with 3,979,939 ha of damage scattered across the province in 2013-14.

  • Jack pine budworm disturbance (91,865 ha) was concentrated in Sioux Lookout District, causing some mortality (8,790 ha) outside of the AOU;
  • Forest tent caterpillar infestation in Northwest Region has increased to four times greater than 2012, indicating a new outbreak is underway with potential to reach several million ha;
  • Blowdown damage mapped in 2013 (5,276 ha) was comparable to 2012 (5,326 ha) and was half as extensive as in 2011 (9,082 ha); and
  • Snow damage made up the majority of damage from weather, impacting an area over 3.2 million hectares.

For a more detailed summary of forest health conditions in Ontario please refer to the Forest Health Conditions in Ontario Reports available at ontario.ca.

Details on forest fire conditions in Ontario are available at ontario.ca/forestfire.

Area and estimated volume loss of natural disturbance in Ontario 2013-14

DisturbanceOntario area (ha)Crown AOU mortality area (ha)Crown AOU mortality volume (m3)
Jack Pine Budworm 91,865 - -
Spruce Budworm 348 34 -
Blowdown 5,276 2,328 75,137
Drought - - -
Fire 53,911 3,854 600,000
Weather Damage 3,492,112 1,478,448 15,130,981
Other Diseases 2,892 - -
Forest Tent Caterpillar 204,135 - -
Other Insects 106,840 862 1,421
Poplar/Birch Complex 22,561 - -
Total: 3,979,939 1,485,527 15,807,539

Chart showing area of significant natural disturbance and harvest

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Harvest area

Forest managers report on the level of forest harvesting activities on Ontario’s Crown forests annually. Harvesting levels remained consistent with recent years but still well below historic levels.

  • Total area harvested on Crown land was 124,967 ha;
  • 85% was harvested under the clearcut silvicultural system (106,343 ha);
  • 9% was harvested under the shelterwood silvicultural system (10,652 ha);
  • 6% was harvested under the selection silvicultural system (7,972 ha); and
  • Harvest levels in 2013-14 were 45% of the allowable harvest area prescribed in approved forest management plans.

Picture showing an aerial view of a harvest block

Clearcut size

Management unit annual reports were analyzed to determine size and frequency of areas harvested under the clearcut silvicultural system in 2013-14. This report uses landscape guide regions to report on clearcut size, consistent with the landscape approach to forest management planning.

Boreal Forest Landscape Guide Region

A total of 1,584 active clearcut harvest areas occurred in the Boreal Forest Landscape Guide Region. Of these clearcuts, 1,484 (94%) were less than 260 hectares in size. The average clearcut size was 80 hectares and the maximum clearcut was 1,916 hectares.

Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest Landscape Guide Region

A total of 102 active clearcut harvest areas occurred in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest Landscape Guide Region. Of these clearcuts, 102 (100%) were less than 260 hectares in size. The average clearcut size was 19 hectares and the maximum clearcut was 115 hectares.

Management Unit Annual Reports are available online at MNRF’s electronic Forest Management Planning Website ontario.ca/forestplans. Additional details regarding clearcut size under the clearcut silvicultural system can be found in these reports.

Chart showing harvest area by system

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Harvest volume

MNRF tracks volumes of wood harvested annually by species and product type in its scaling and billing system. Stumpage charges and renewal contributions are also tracked through this system.

  • 5 million cubic metres of wood were harvested on Crown land with the majority being spruce and jack pine;
  • The 2013 volume being harvested for biomass cogeneration more than doubled from 2012 levels, from 130,365 cubic metres to 306,648 cubic metres respectively; and
  • The total volume harvested is lower than the total mortality volume (15.8 million cubic metres in the AOU) caused by insects, severe weather, and fire combined.

Picture showing a harvest on the Gordon Cosens Forest

Volume harvested by species 2013-14

Tree speciesVolume (cubic metres)
White Pine334,357
Red Pine209,826
Jack Pine3,374,302
Balsam Fir377,362
Other Softwood83,504
White Birch309,419
Yellow Birch43,444
Other Hardwood44,670

Volume harvested by product 2013-14

Product typeVolume (cubic metres)
Biomass Cogeneration306,648



Chart showing harvest volume by species

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Forest renewal and maintenance

Forest managers report the level of forest renewal and maintenance on Ontario’s Crown forests annually. This includes regeneration, tending, and protection activities.

  • Natural regeneration occurred on 48% of renewal areas totalling 51,724 ha;
  • Planting and seeding was implemented on 52% of renewal areas totalling 55,202 ha;
  • Tree planting was the main method of assisted regeneration with over 63 million trees planted, 58% of which were spruce and 35% of which were jack pine;
  • No protection activities occurred in 2013-14;
  • Forest Renewal Trust Fund revenues increased, while silviculture expenditures stayed approximately the same as the previous year;
  • Planned levels are based on projected activities in the approved forest management plan (FMP) for each forest. Actual harvest occurred on 44% of the FMP planned harvest area; and
  • Several types of regeneration occurred and can be compared to their planned level on the chart Forest Area Renewed – Proportion of Planned vs. Actual

Renewal and maintenance operations 2013-14

Natural regeneration

ActivityArea (hectares)
Clearcut System38,894
Shelterwood System4,892
Selection System (uneven-aged)7,938

Assisted regeneration

ActivityArea (hectares)
Trees Planted (millions of trees)63.4
Seeds Used (millions of seeds)591.9

Site preparation and tending

ActivityArea (hectares)
Site Preparation35,438
Tending – Cleaning42,591
Tending – Improvement7,910
Protection -

Chart showing forest area renewed - clearcut silviculture system

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Forest renewal trust fund expenditures and contributions 2013-14

SourceExpenditures (million $)Contributions (million $)
Forest Renewal Trust Fund49.8045.80
Forestry Futures Trust Fund18.4018.80

Chart showing forest area renewed comparing the proportion of planned area versus actual activities

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Chart showing forest renewal trust expenditures and contributions

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Chart showing forest are renewed for selection and shelterwood systems

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Chart showing forest area renewed for site preparation and tending

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Silviculture effectiveness monitoring

Silviculture effectiveness monitoring (SEM) determines the outcome and effectiveness of forest regeneration activities. Forest managers use regeneration assessments to verify if an area has successfully regenerated and to classify those areas as Free-To-Grow (FTG).

On a province-wide basis, “silviculture success” includes the FTG area that has achieved the projected or planned forest type. “Regeneration success” consists of the FTG area that has reached an alternate but acceptable forest type.

  • FTG area assessed in 2013-14 was 173,595 ha, higher than the long-term average;
  • Regeneration success was higher (95%) than the preceding five-year average; and
  • Silviculture success was higher than the five-year average (64%). Some of the assessed areas not achieving FTG status could be re-treated in the future to achieve silviculture success.

Photo showing a regeneration assessment on the Abitibi River Forest

Area assessed for regeneration success 2013-14

Natural Disturbance Area

AssessmentArea (ha)
Area FTG3,651
Area not FTG59
Natural Disturbance Total Area Assessed3,710

Harvest Area

AssessmentArea (ha)
Area FTG to Projected Forest Type (FU)111,544
Area FTG Other Forest Type (FU)54,111
Total Area FTG165,654
Area not FTG7,941
Harvest Total Area Assessed173,595

Harvest Success Ratio

AssessmentArea (ha)
% Achieving Silviculture Success64.3%
% Regeneration Success (Including Silviculture Success)95.4%

Adjustments have recently occurred in defining and evaluating silviculture success. This may create inconsistencies if comparing the levels from this report to those from previous year’s reports. Percentages compare regeneration and silviculture success to the total area assessed for that year.

Chart showing harvest area assessed for regeneration success

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Ontario’s forest industry

Ontario’s forests supply the basic resources for a variety of products including lumber, structural board, pulp, paper, and newsprint. They have also been used for producing new products, such as bio‐fuel. Reduced demand and a high value of the Canadian dollar in 2013, affected Ontario’s forest industry. Information in this section is based on the availability of data from Statistics Canada.

  • Sales revenue from Ontario’s forest product sector reached $10.5 billion;
  • Statistics Canada’s Annual Survey of Manufacturers estimated employment in the broader forest industry was 43,800 direct jobs in 2013; and
  • Crown charge payments by the forest industry totaled $97.7 million. The average stumpage charge was $2.45 per cubic metre.

Number of active licences in 2013-14 by licence type

Licence typeTotal
Sustainable Forest Licence32
Forest Resources Licence (commercial)584
Forest Resources Licence (personal)2,792

Crown charge payments by the forest industry in 2013-14

Stumpage categories$ millions
Consolidated Revenue Fund33.14
Forestry Futures Trust18.80
Forest Renewal Trust45.80
Total payments97.74

Chart showing the value of forest industry shipments

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Forest access roads

Forest managers report annually on forest access road construction, maintenance, abandonment, and controls.

  • 3,915 km of forest access roads were constructed. The majority of the roads constructed were operational roads at 3,399 km. Construction of primary roads amounted to 86 km and branch roads to 430km;
  • 26,618 km of roads were maintained (e.g. road brushing), with the majority occurring on primary roads;
  • 1,118 km of primary, branch, and operational roads had access controls (e.g. gates, signage) established; and
  • 1,004 km of primary, branch, and operational roads were decommissioned by physical (e.g. road ditching, planting) or natural (e.g. natural regeneration) means.

Photo showing a forest access road with a 'caution logging' sign

Roads funding programs

  • Forest Access Capital Roads Program spending was $1,329,544. These funds must be used towards roads that are the responsibility of the province, that are defined in MNRF’s district road use strategy, and that are located on Crown lands but are not the responsibility of sustainable forest licence holders;
  • MNRF’s provincial forest access roads funding program incurred costs of nearly $50 million on the construction, maintenance, and monitoring of primary and branch roads, and the construction/repair/replacement of stream crossings;
  • $41.8 million was spent on primary roads;
  • $7.7 million was spent on branch roads; and
  • $0.5 million was spent on administration costs.
  • Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) roads expenditure was $2,602,005. These funds must be used towards the maintenance of roads in Northern Ontario that provide multi-use access on Crown lands; and
  • The forest industry incurred 100% of the costs of constructing and maintaining all operational roads within harvest blocks on Crown lands.

Chart showing road construction by class

Forest operations compliance

The Forest Operations Information Program (FOIP) stores information collected through forest compliance monitoring for analysis and reporting to MNRF, the forest industry, and the public.

  • The average compliance rate across all operations (access, harvest, renewal, and maintenance) for both industry and MNRF was 98%;
  • Reduced levels of forest operations activity have resulted in an accompanying decline in the overall number of inspections over the past several years;
  • Certified forest operations compliance inspectors submitted 2,606 inspections during 2013-14;
  • The ratio of inspections undertaken by industry and MNRF was relatively consistent with previous years; and
  • A total of 75 remedy and enforcement actions were taken, 22 of which resulted in penalties and fines totaling $94,831.

Forest operations compliance inspection reports summary 2013-14


Compliant Reports688126814
Non-Compliant Reports10515


Compliant Reports1,2163191,535
Non-Compliant Reports101626


Compliant Reports11752169
Non-Compliant Reports000


Compliant Reports36844
Non-Compliant Reports033


Compliant Reports2,0575052,562
Non-Compliant Reports202444

Remedy and enforcement actions taken 2013-14

Written Warning43n/a
Orders – Stop/Limit/Amend0n/a
Orders – Repair6n/a
Orders – Compliance4n/a
Administrative Penaltyfootnote 112$45,831
Offence Chargefootnote 210$49,000
Licence Suspension and Cancellation0n/a
Total Actions75$94,831

Chart showing forest operation compliance inspection reports

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Pie chart showing compliance inspections by type

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Independent forest audits

Independent Forest Audits (IFAs) are a requirement of the CFSA, a condition of MNRF’s Class Environmental Assessment Approval for Forest Management on Crown lands in Ontario, and a licence requirement for all SFLs. All management units are audited at least once every five to seven years, to review operations and examine forest management activities carried out since the previous audit.

  • IFAs were completed on three management units in 2013;
  • The results of the 2013 IFAs were generally positive. All three audits concluded that, during the term of the audit, the forests were managed in compliance with legislation and policy requirements, licence requirements, and with the principles of sustainable forest management; and
  • The three forests received licence extension recommendations.

The audit reports included 45 recommendations and one best practice. The list below summarizes those recommendations and best practices. For more information on independent forest audits and specific details on audit recommendations go to ontario.ca.


  • Improve Local Citizens Committee function by updating the Committees’ Terms of Reference;
  • Meet with First Nations and Métis groups to discuss benefits from the forest and implement monitoring programs;
  • Improve the development and accuracy of long-term management direction;
  • Improve MNRF’s delivery of new Forest Resource Inventories;
  • Examine and improve residual tree retention practices to ensure wood is not unnecessarily left behind while protecting values;
  • Improve the implementation of management direction for species at risk and confidential values;
  • Improve the process and performance of MNRF and industry compliance programs;
  • Improve the compliance monitoring relationship between the SFL and MNRF; and
  • Improve the reporting process for assessing silviculture effectiveness.

Best management practices

  • Use of special First Nation meetings on the Dryden Forest is noted as an innovative and effective approach.

Independent forest audit results 2013-14

Management unitIn complianceSustainably managedSFL extension recommended
Ottawa ValleyYesYesYes

Independent forest audit and associated auditors for 2013-14

Management unitAuditor
DrydenArbex Forest Resource Consultants Ltd.
KenoraArbor Vitae Environmental Services Ltd.
Ottawa ValleyCraig Howard R.P.F.

Forest certification

A number of management units in Ontario have received certification by independent third party organizations. Forest certification recognizes forest management planning and forestry practices that have met a forest management standard.

  • Ontario had more than 24 million hectares of Ontario’s Crown forests certified in 2013-2014;
  • There were no new forests certified in 2013-14; and
  • A number of management units are certified to more than one standard, receiving dual certification. In 2013-14, 26% of management units were certified to both FSC and SFI; and
  • A number of management units went through re-certification audits during the year, based on certification audit cycles, and were successful in maintaining forest certification.

For more information on forest certification, view the fact sheet.

Forest certification in Ontario March 2014

Map showing forest certification within Ontario by certification system for March 2014

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Chart showing management unit area by certification system

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Science, research, and policy development

MNRF, in cooperation with its partners, makes advances in scientific programs, technical developments, and policy related to forest management. This practice demonstrates MNRF’s commitment to continually evaluate and improve the forest management program.

Forest management guides

Forest Management Guides are developed and revised to provide forest managers with current direction and best practices based on the latest scientific knowledge. A continual program of scientific studies contributes to assessing the effectiveness of Forest Management Guides related to forest management. This information assists in the review and revision of guides. Advances included:

  • Completion of the Forest Management Guide for Boreal Forest Landscapes;
  • Completion of revisions for the Forest Management Guide for Great Lakes-St Lawrence Forest Landscapes and Forest Management Guide for Conserving Biodiversity at the Stand and Site Scales;
  • Reviewing the Forest Management Guide for Cultural Heritage Values concluding the guide did not require revision;
  • Continuing with revisions to the Management Guidelines for Forestry and Resource Based Tourism; and
  • Developing the Forest Management Guide to Silviculture in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence and Boreal Forests of Ontario to replace several existing silvicultural guides.

Forest compliance monitoring

Forest management operations are monitored to ensure that they conform to approved plans and permits. In response to recommendations provided by the Auditor General of Ontario, MNRF enhanced the forest compliance program by:

  • Promoting use of risk management which had been incorporated into several procedures in the Forest Compliance Handbook; and
  • Improving the consistency and effectiveness in applying remedies for compliance.

Silviculture Effectiveness Monitoring

Silviculture effectiveness monitoring determines if forest managers are conducting forest regeneration activities and if those activities are producing expected results. In response to recommendations provided by the Auditor General of Ontario, MNRF initiated a Silviculture Enhancement Initiative (SEI) that includes:

  • Reviewing the silvicultural program in Ontario; and
  • Exploring opportunities to improve the policies guiding the silvicultural program, including silviculture effectiveness monitoring.

Photo showing forest soil research study

Information management

MNRF continues to collect, manage, and deliver digital data for forest management planning. Advances made in digital data and the applications used to store and distribute digital data included:

  • Adding of new land information data dealing with aggregates, railway networks, fire emergencies, and forest genetics;
  • Incorporating hydrological data with existing forest resource inventory data; and
  • Reviewing the technology used to share forest management planning data with forest industry.

Analytical methods

Analysis supports forest management planning to address social and economic considerations, wildlife habitat supply, biological diversity, and landscape management. Developments and improvements included:

  • Investigating methods to improve regard for spatial and economic considerations in planning by conducting several case studies applying different approaches;
  • Conducting policy analysis related to the Endangered Species Act (ESA); and
  • Ongoing development of tools for modelling to improve inputs including growth and yield and natural succession in forest management planning.

Professional and technical training

MNRF maintains professional and technical training programs to continually develop and update the knowledge of those involved in the planning and implementation of forest management activities. Training activities included:

  • Ongoing training, certification, or licensing of forest operations inspectors, scalers, and tree markers;
  • Ongoing training on all guides as well as operator specific training for the Stand and Site Guide; and
  • Ongoing training for forest management through training sessions and online modules.

Photo showing staff in the forest for technical field training

Public education on forest management

MNRF participates in public education regarding the management of Ontario’s forests, both directly and through partnerships. The principle public education activities included:

  • Publishing educational material on MNRF’s website; and
  • Participating in international tradeshows to highlight Ontario’s forest products, the Ontario Wood initiative, and sustainable forest management.

Wildlife population monitoring

Provincial wildlife population monitoring determines if healthy populations of forest wildlife continue to exist and contributes to an understanding of how forest management affects wildlife populations. Wildlife population monitoring activities included:

  • Ongoing monitoring of small mammals for Algonquin Park in partnership with the University of Guelph;
  • Implementing Multi Species Inventory and Monitoring protocols to collect data on wildlife; and
  • Ongoing migration monitoring and bird surveys through the Boreal Science Co-operative partnership.

Ecological land classification

The Ecological Land Classification (ELC) program establishes a consistent province‐wide framework for ecosystem description, interpretation, and inventory. Ecological Land Classification program accomplishments included:

  • Ongoing implementation of the ELC in forest inventory data collection across the province; and
  • Ongoing ELC user and practitioner workshops.

Growth and yield

The Growth and Yield Program improves understanding of the growth, productivity, and dynamics of Ontario’s forests. Growth and yield activities included:

  • Establishing new sample plots and re-measurement of existing plots; and
  • Ongoing analysis on forest succession to generate information for use in forest management planning.

Full tree harvest and biomass

The full-tree harvesting project, initiated in 1991, examines ecosystem processes and the changes occurring in response to varying levels of biomass removal. Advances related to the studies included:

  • Completing the twentieth year of a trial examining nutrients, understory ecology, and tree growth; and
  • Ongoing research and analysis on various methods of biomass removal.

Invasive Species Centre

MNRF partners with the Invasive Species Centre (ISC) to contribute to research and awareness of invasive species in Ontario. The ISC is critical to addressing the challenges in preventing, detecting, responding to, and controlling invasive species. MNRF contributed to several projects delivered by the ISC including:

  • Developing and testing new detection methods for invasive forest insects; and
  • Building a GIS data layer to capture and share information on invasive species.

Aboriginal involvement in forest management

MNRF’s Class Environmental Assessment Approval for Forest Management on Crown Lands in Ontario, requires district managers to conduct negotiations at the local level with Aboriginal communities. These negotiations identify and implement ways of achieving a more equal participation by Aboriginal Peoples in the benefits provided through the forest management planning process and implementation.

The involvement of other parties is critical to successful implementation, including participation of Aboriginal communities, the forest industry, and other government bodies (e.g. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and Natural Resources Canada). Arrangements and agreements take different forms and attempt to accommodate the unique needs, capacities, and situations of individual Aboriginal communities.

Access to forest resources

On a district-by-district basis, MNRF helps the forest industry and Aboriginal communities negotiate access to resources through various mechanisms. For example, issuing harvest opportunities through licences to Aboriginal communities or community members.

Silvicultural opportunities

Forest renewal and tending includes growing nursery stock, planting, seeding, spacing, cleaning, thinning, and site preparation. District managers have sought specific agreements between the forest industry and Aboriginal communities for silvicultural contract work. Agreements may also provide other key forest management activities, such as wood hauling, road construction and maintenance, and information gathering.


In 2013-14, participation levels of Aboriginal people working in all aspects of forest management varied, largely due to reduced activity by the forest industry because of market conditions. As noted above, Aboriginal people were engaged in harvesting, as well as silviculture and other activities. Aboriginal people were also employed at forest resource processing facilities (mills). Business entities established may be affiliated directly with Aboriginal communities, may be run by individuals who are members of an Aboriginal community, or may be operated by non-Aboriginal parties.

The forest industry often provides the training, recruitment, hiring, and business opportunities for independent contractors.

Aboriginal access to forest resource 2013-14

DistrictTenure typeEstimated total allocation (000 cubic metres)Number of aboriginal communities affected
Algonquin ParkContract55.22
CochraneContract, Licence370 
Fort FrancesContract, Licence371.88
Red LakeLicence22.22
Sault Ste. MarieConditional Commitment19.4 
Sioux LookoutLicence1502
Thunder BayLicence147.72

Aboriginal access to silvicultural contracts and other opportunities 2013-14

DistrictEstimated size of contracts industry & MNRFTypes of activities
Algonquin Park278 haTree Marking
 146 haTending
Chapleau Road Construction
  Beaver Control
Dryden5.4 M SeedlingsSeedling Production
 108 haThinning
 $8.6 KRoad Maintenance
Fort Francis$175.4 KSeedling Production, Cone Collection, and Tree Planting
 $65 KThinning and Spacing
 $66.2 KForest Management Services
 $918 KRoad Construction and Maintenance
 $56.5 KWater Crossings and Inspections
 $129.6 KBiomass Hauling
 $2 KBeaver Control
Hearst Road Maintenance
  Tree Planting
  Beaver Control
Kenora Road Construction and Maintenance
  Slash Piling and Burning
  Beaver Control
Kirkland Lake Road Construction and Maintenance
Nipigon Road Construction and Maintenance
  Water Crossing Inspection
  Biomass Grinding and Hauling
North Bay Tending
  Tree Marking
Pembroke Road Construction and Maintenance
  Tree Marking
Sault Ste. Marie Seedling Production and Cone Collection
Sioux Lookout$1 MRoad Construction and Maintenance
  Beaver Control
  Cone Collection
Sudbury80 K SeedlingsSeedling Production
 100 haTending
Thunder Bay40 K SeedlingsTree Planting
Wawa Road Construction and Maintenance

Training and development

District managers have helped co-ordinate programs to assist Aboriginal communities in preparing for increased participation in forest management activities. In some instances, MNRF helps foster Aboriginal training by providing funding, facilities, or equipment. Sometimes, districts provide direct training services, or leadership to training initiatives.

The most common training received by Aboriginal Peoples has been MNRF’s forest management planning workshops. The benefits of this program are reaching more communities as Aboriginal members become increasingly involved. In addition, MNRF and the forest industry support a range of forest-related training and development initiatives for the benefit of Aboriginal people. Examples include:

  • The First Nations Juvenile Spacing Training and Employment Program (Dryden);
  • The Forest Ecosystem Tech Program (Red Lake);
  • Herbicide Alternative Program (Chapleau); and
  • First Nations Ranger Program and Stewardship Youth Ranger Program (Sioux Lookout).

MNRF’s Aboriginal Youth Work Exchange Program (AYWEP) and the First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program are examples of larger, comprehensive training programs. Through AYWEP, districts arrange eight-week summer employment for Aboriginal youth for up to three summers in a row. AYWEP work placements may be with MNRF and/or with an Aboriginal Community or organization. They focus on resource management projects, job skills readiness training, and personal development training.

The First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program is a program employing and training youth from First Nations communities, providing hands-on work experience related to forestry and resource management. Confederation College administers this program and receives support from MNRF, other ministries and government agencies, and industry partners.

Role in planning and management

In addition to efforts to achieve more equal participation by Aboriginal Peoples in the benefits of forest management activities, MNRF districts seek effective forums for Aboriginal communities to have a greater say in the planning and management of forest resources. In many districts, Aboriginal Peoples are members of Local Citizens Committees and are represented along with forest industry, government, and public on forest management planning teams.

Forest management plans include detailed Aboriginal Background Information Reports and maps of Aboriginal values. These reports summarize natural resource features, land uses, values, and forest management-related concerns of the communities. Districts have provided financial assistance to some communities to prepare these components.

MNRF has also been investigating, creating, and encouraging new business models and tenure arrangements. First Nations and Métis have been active participants and are increasingly pursuing opportunities for involvement in forest management and the forest sector. For example, MNRF has entered into a multi-year agreement with Rainy Lake Tribal Resource Management Inc., which provides the community with forest management responsibility for the Sapawe Forest.

MNRF also works with Aboriginal communities in the Far North to respond to their interests in forest management, including:

  • Working with Cat Lake and Slate Falls First Nations to prepare a request for Environmental Assessment Act coverage for forest management on the Cat-Slate Forest. EA Act coverage will enable forest management opportunities identified in an approved community based land use plan; and
  • Issuing a Sustainable Forest Licence to the Whitefeather Forest Community Resource Management Authority in 2013. This followed the completion of a forest management plan in 2012 for the Whitefeather Forest, the first forest management plan in the Far North.

Aboriginal involvement in planning and management 2013-14

DistrictAboriginal communities represented on LCCs - Active memberAboriginal communities represented on LCCs - Non-active memberAboriginal communities represented on planning teams - Active memberAboriginal communities represented on planning teams - Non-active memberBackground information reports on file for a forest
Algonquin Park10905
Fort Frances103015
Red Lake002012
Sioux Lookout17265
Thunder Bay26436

Photo showing a participant during a forest education program on the Whitefeather Forest

Annual report on forest management – final word

Ontario’s forests provide a variety of environmental, economic, and social benefits to the people of Ontario. The “Annual Report on Forest Management 2013-14” provides a summary of forest management activities, along with the associated benefits.

This report has provided key information on the results of sustainable forest management in Ontario and addresses the legal requirements outlined in MNRF’s Class Environmental Assessment Approval for Forest Management on Crown lands in Ontario (MNR-71). The report has also been prepared consistent with the principles and intent of the CFSA.

Your feedback is appreciated. To provide any comments on this Annual Report on Forest Management, or for more information about MNRF’s programs, please visit.

For the year April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014

Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry of the Province of Ontario

To his Honour
The Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Ontario

May it please your Honour

The undersigned begs respectfully to present to your Honour the Annual Report on Forest Management for the fiscal year beginning April 1, 2013 and ending March 31, 2014.

Bill Mauro


January 2016

This page represents the accessible version of the Annual Report on Forest Management 2013-14. For a copy of the official tabled report, please contact Phemie Hunter at phemie.hunter@ontario.ca.


Forestry reports