Why they are important

Forest management guides are:

  • a key component of Ontario’s sustainable forest management framework
  • used by forest management planning teams to develop forest management plans and to plan operations
  • tools to achieve healthy sustainable forests and help Crown managed forests look and function like natural forest ecosystems

How they are developed

Forest management guides are:

  • produced by ministry in consultation with the public, the forest industry and other interested parties
  • based on the available science
  • regularly reviewed and updated

Current guides

Landscape

These guides direct the amount and arrangement of different types and ages of forest on the landscape. This helps forest managers find a balance of habitat for all life forms (wildlife, birds, fish, plants) and measures for protection of specific habitat features, e.g. bird nests, species at risk.

Stand and Site

This guide gives direction on modifying forest operations to retain special features such as decaying trees and fallen logs, protect sensitive habitats such as bird nests and woodland pools, and ensure the conservation of water and soil resources.

Silvicultural

These guides provide the most up-to-date scientific and technical information on growing and cultivating trees. These guides cover harvest, renewal and tending methods for a variety of forest types.

Tourism

This guide assists forest managers and tourist industry operators plan forest operations in areas that are used for both forestry and tourism.

Cultural Heritage

This guide helps protect archaeological sites, archaeological potential areas, cultural heritage landscapes, historical Aboriginal values and cemeteries during forest operations.

Technical References

Technical references for current guides.

Former guides

An independent review of the forest management guides resulted in a number of guides being rewritten and/or replaced.

These guides are still in use by some forest management plans during their operational period, and for independent forest audit purposes.

Status summary of the Forest Management Guides (2018)

Forest management guides are regularly reviewed and updated. Draft products are posted on the Environmental Registry to allow public input.

Forest Management Guide for Conserving Biodiversity at the Stand and Site Scales (2010)

  • Date released: 2010
  • Date of last review: 2016 (revision required)
  • Date of next review: To be determined
  • Status: Revision underway

Forest Management Guide for Cultural Heritage Values (2007)

  • Date released: 2007
  • Date of last review: 2012 (no revision required)
  • Date of next review: 2022
  • Status: Current

Forest Management Guide for Boreal Landscapes (2014)

  • Date released: 2014
  • Date of last review: Not applicable
  • Date of next review: 2024
  • Status: Current

Forest Management Guide for Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Landscapes (2010)

  • Date released: 2010
  • Date of last review: 2015 (no revision required)
  • Date of next review: 2025
  • Status: Current

Management Guidelines for Forestry and Resource-Based Tourism (2001)

  • Date released: 2001
  • Date of last review: 2011 (revision required)
  • Date of next review: To be determined
  • Status: Revision underway

Forest Management Guide to Silviculture in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence and Boreal Forests of Ontario (2015)

  • Date released: 2015
  • Date of last review: Not applicable
  • Date of next review: 2025
  • Status: Current

Silvicultural Guide to Managing Southern Ontario Forests (2000)

  • Date released: 2000
  • Date of last review: 2010 (revision required)
  • Date of next review: To be determined
  • Status: Revision underway