The law

By law, to use trees from Crown forests for commercial purposes, you need to have either:

  • a Sustainable Forest Licence;
  • a Forest Resource Licence;
  • a wood supply agreement from the Crown, or;
  • an arrangement to buy trees from an existing licensed harvester

Source law

You can find a set of rules related to the use of trees from Crown forests in the:

Sustainable Forest Licence

A Sustainable Forest Licence (SFL) allows you to harvest trees within a defined management area for a period of 20 years. SFLs cover large areas of land and come with a high degree of responsibility for forest management and forest management planning.

With a SFL, you:

  • can harvest and use all Crown trees available on the licence area with the exception of volumes that may be reserved for other users
  • are responsible for forest management activities on the licensed area, including:
    • forest management planning
    • forest renewal
    • compliance monitoring of harvest and renewal activities
  • must follow certain terms and conditions
  • must conduct harvest operations that are consistent with an approved forest management plan

How to get a Sustainable Forest Licence

To get started, contact the:

Timber Allocation and Licensing Section
Suite 400, 70 Foster Drive
Sault Ste Marie ON P6A 6V5

Phone: 705-945-5955

Forest Resource Licence

A Forest Resource licence (FRL) allows you to harvest trees, generally within a smaller area of land than a SFL for a period of up to 5 years.

With a FRL, you:

  • can harvest and use all Crown trees available on the licence area with the exception of volumes that may be reserved for other users
  • are not responsible for forest management activities other than harvesting and associated road construction
  • must follow certain terms and conditions
  • must conduct harvest operations that are consistent with an approved forest management plan

How to get a Forest Resource Licence

To get started, contact your local Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry District Office.

Wood supply agreement

A licensed facility (mill) can get trees through a supply agreement with the Crown.

A supply agreement:

  • is a legal arrangement between the Crown and a mill where a specific amount (volume) of Crown owned trees, from specific forest management units, are made available for use for a specified time period
  • provides access to a secure supply of wood to a mill
  • requires harvest licence (SFL, FRL) holders to make the specified trees available to the supply agreement holder (mill) through a mutually beneficial business arrangement
  • contains terms and conditions that must be met by the agreement holder

How to get a supply agreement

To get started, contact the:

Timber Allocation and Licensing Section
Suite 400, 70 Foster Drive
Sault Ste Marie ON P6A 6V5

Phone: 705-945-5955

Buy trees

You can enter into business arrangements with existing licence (SFL or FRL) holders to obtain trees through direct purchase agreements or contracts (short or long term). In this circumstance, the Crown is not involved in the transaction.

How to buy trees

To get started, contact a Sustainable Forest Licensee