Forest Health legislation

Forest Health legislation and regulations guide forest health management practices.

Relevant Acts and regulations related to forest health: 

These two Acts each contain key sections describing the roles and responsibilities of both the B.C. Government and forest licensees in managing forest health in the province.

Ministry of Forests and Range Act

See Section 4 (a) and (b). These subsections describe the purposes and function of the Act as they relate to forest health.

Forest Act

See Section 8, which describes the considerations that the Chief Forester must make when determining an annual allowable cut. Forest health affects productivity estimates (subsection (a)(i)) and the likelihood of abnormal infestations (e).

Contents of licences to dispose of Crown timber — Sections 14(1)(e) to 45

The sections below describe the contents of licences, which may include other terms and conditions consistent with this Act and the regulations, with the Forest and Range Practices Act, and with the regulations and the standards made under that Act. Forest health is included or implied in some of these terms and conditions:

Licences to dispose of Crown timber


Forest Licence


Timber Sale Licence


Timber Licence


Pulpwood Agreements

45(1)(f) iv-D)



Community Salvage licences

45(1)(f) iv-D)


47.6(2) Forest Licence to Cut
52 Christmas Tree Permits and Government Use

Section 14.1  describes the mountain pine beetle salvage area and the special provisions occurring within this area as established by regulation.

Section 72 describes the conditions for removing dead or damaged timber using a Timber Sale Licence within a Tree Farm Licence. Section 73 describes removal conditions within a TSA.

Section 109(3)(b) enables BC Timber Sales to use funds for forest health.

Several sections of the Forest and Range Practices Act apply to forest health management in British Columbia.

Sections of the Forest and Range Practices Act
Section Title Relevance

4 (1)

Exemption for forest stewardship plans

4 (1) (d) (i) The Forest Stewardship holder of a license is exempt from the requirements of a forest stewardship plan for an area outside of a forest stewardship plan that has been identified of being in danger of significant value loss or to be destroyed by insect, fire or disease - this area can be harvested provided the timber removed does not exceed 500m3

12 (3) (a)

Woodlot licence plan

The Minister may determine that a woodlot license holder maybe be authorised to obtain a permit to cut timber to deal with a forest health emergency

17 Approval in emergency cases

The Minister sets out conditions where timber, that is subject to a forest stewardship plan, can be harvested without delay if that timber is in danger of being damaged, significant reduction in value or lost.

25 Sanitation exemption

The Minster may provide an exemption from specific provisions in the Act, for the purposes of limiting and/or mitigating the spread of forest pests:

  • Control of insects, disease animals and abiotic factors
26 Control of insects, disease, etc.

If the Minister determines that on Crown and private forested land the forest is being damaged by insects, diseases animals or abiotic factors, a proposal from the landowner may be required that controls or disposes of the insects, diseases, animals, or abiotic factors.

27 Forest health emergency

If the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers that a forest health emergency exists on crown land or private land the area maybe regulated as a forest health emergency management area.

The Minister may order the holder of an agreement under the forest Act to carry out measures in an emergency management area to precent or contain or limit the spread of forest health factors.

29 Free growing stands

Identifies the requirements for establishing a free-growing stand and the prescribed requirements (as set out in the FPPR) and also any standards that must also be met. There is a key forest health standard.

77 Power of Intervention: General

77 (1) (a, b, c, e)– The Minister may require an agreement holder to remedy, mitigate or stop any prescribed event that will result in a free growing stand not being established.

77 (2) (a) The Minister can stop the shipment of beetle infested timber

108 Government may fund extra expense or waive obligation

The Minister must grant relief where an event causing damage to establish the free growing stand cannot be met without significant extra expense. 

118 Power to enter into agreements

An official designated by the minister may enter into agreements for the control and disposal of insects, diseases, animals and abiotic factors on forest land and for sharing costs of control and disposal. 

153 Practices and planning -- community forest agreements, woodlot licences

 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations requiring persons to carry out actions for maintaining or improving forest health.

The following sections  have some direct and indirect relevance to forest health management in British Columbia.  Consult the actual wording of the regulation to get the complete context.  

Forest health management in British Columbia
Section Title Relevance

Authorization to cut


4 (1) (1.1) - An agreement holder and the timber sales manager may cut, damage or destroy Crown timber as necessary for the purpose of carrying out silviculture treatments, stand tending treatments or forest health treatments

6 Objectives set by government for timber  The objectives set by government for timber are:

(a)  maintain or enhance an economically valuable supply of commercial timber from British Columbia's forests,

(b)  ensure that delivered wood costs, generally, after taking into account the effect on them of the relevant provisions of this regulation and of the Act, are competitive in relation to equivalent costs in relation to regulated primary forest activities in other jurisdictions, and

(c)  ensure that the provisions of this regulation and of the Act that pertain to primary forest activities do not unduly constrain the ability of a holder of an agreement under the Forest Act to exercise the holder's rights under the agreement.

12(8) Specifying results and Strategies A person who is required to prepare a forest stewardship plan is exempt from the requirement to prepare results or strategies for an objective set by government for timber.
20 Providing notice

20(1)(i) - Before a person submits to the minister for approval a forest stewardship plan notice of 60 days must be given to the public for comment. However, where a substantial part of the timber is dead, infested with pests or otherwise damaged, or is required to be harvested to facilitate the removal of dead, infested or damaged timber, then only 10 days of notice are required.

26 Minister's consideration of stocking standards

The minister may request information under section 16 (2.1) of the Act in respect of stocking standards if the information is relevant to the factors in section 6 of Schedule 1 that were applied, if any, (see factors below).

The minister must approve the regeneration date, free growing height and stocking standards referred to in section 16 (3) if the minister is satisfied that the regeneration date and the standards will result in the area being stocked with ecologically suitable species that address immediate and long-term forest health issues on the area, to a density or to a basal area that, in either case, is consistent with maintaining or enhancing an economically valuable supply of commercial timber from British Columbia's forests, and is consistent with the timber supply analysis and forest management assumptions that apply to the area covered by the plan on the date that the plan is submitted for approval, and the free growing height is of sufficient height to demonstrate that the tree is adapted to the site, and (3(b)) is growing well and can reasonably be expected to continue to do so.

41 Modification of insect behaviour An agreement holder or a timber sales manager who uses trap trees or pheromones to concentrate insect populations must ensure that the insect brood is destroyed before the insects emerge.
44 Free growing stands generally

44(3)(g) – A person who has an obligation to establish a free growing stand are exempted from this obligation, where felling and removing trees that have been or will be treated to facilitate the entrapment of pasts.

46.2 Requirements if free growing stand cannot be established If a free-growing stand cannot be established to the original standards and requirements, then the person who holds the obligation must provide a rationale to the Minister for the failure and may propose a revised stocking standard, minimum height, and latest date when free-growing status will be achieved.
96 Relief or funding the District Manager is satisfied that extraordinary circumstances exist (fire, Dothistroma leaf disease, landslide or flood) which, due to their nature, would make it unjust if the agreement holder were not relieved.