Timber Harvesting Rights

Forest tenures are how the B.C. government transfers specific rights to use Crown land and its resources to private forest companies, communities and individuals through forest licences and permits.

A forest tenure can take the form of an agreement, licence or permit. Each is a legally binding contract that provides the contract holder with specific rights to use public forests over a specific period of time, in exchange for meeting government objectives, including forest management obligations and the payment of fees including stumpage.

Over a dozen forms of tenure reflect forest uses from timber harvesting and road-building to ranching. This diversity in tenures also reflects the needs and interests of tenure holders, whether they are large or small operators, First Nations, communities or individuals.

Tenures also vary in their duration. Many of the large timber harvesting tenures are replaceable, providing forest companies with a long-term supply of timber. Other forms of tenure, such as free-use permits or forestry licences-to-cut, are for a one-time, single use.

The B.C. government administers and maintains the forest tenure system and the legislation, regulations, policies and procedures that address the occupation of Crown land and harvesting of Crown and private timber.