Timber Tenure Transfers and Dispositions

Persons who hold forest tenure agreements can dispose of them to another party, with notice given to the Ministry of Forests.

All dispositions undergo ministerial review to assess the impact on the public interest, Indigenous communities and the marketing of fibre in B.C.

Dispositions can occur in three ways:

  • the transfer of an agreement,
  • a change of control, or
  • an amalgamation of a corporation that holds an agreement.

A transfer of an agreement means to change the holder of the agreement by any method and includes assign, give, sell, grant, charge, convey, bequeath, devise, lease, divest, release and agree to do any of those things. The disposition of a forest tenure agreement through a transfer requires prior written approval to proceed, and must undergo a review of the effect of the transfer on the marketing of fibre in British Columbia and the public interest. Some types of agreements, such as woodlots, first nations woodland licenses, or community forest agreements, can only be transferred to a person or corporation that is eligible to hold that type of agreement. In the case of bankruptcies and trusteeships, where an intermediary must hold the agreement before it is disposed, prior approval is required for the final disposition of the agreement.

The “Disposition of an Agreement Administrative Guide” (link below) provides detailed information, guidance, and procedures regarding the disposition of an agreement that has been entered into under current or previous versions of the Forest Act. A template document to request approval for an intended transfer is also provided below.

A change of control results from the change in ownership of the corporation that holds the agreement. An amalgamation is when a corporation holding an agreement is affiliated with a holding corporation and is merged into the holding corporation.

Prior written approval is not required for a disposition that results from a change of control or an amalgamation. However, a corporation that holds an agreement must give written notice to the minister within 30 days after a change of control of the corporation or an amalgamation of the corporation. A ministerial review is then conducted after this notice is received. A number of administrative actions are available to the decision maker under certain circumstances, and these actions include suspension of the rights under the agreement and cancellation of the agreement. Therefore, it is very important that business owners understand the possible consequences associated with a change of control or amalgamation of a corporation that holds a forest tenure agreement.

Learn more about the consideration of the public interest for proposed tenure agreement transfers.

Woodlot Licence Transfers

Woodlot licences are small area-based tenures that are held and managed under the provincial Woodlot Licence Program. Specific guidance for the disposition of woodlot licence agreements and a template to request approval for an intended transfer are provided below.

Learn more about the provincial Woodlot Licence Program.


For more information on Requests for Transfer Approval, please contact the Forest Tenures Branch.