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:



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.

Section Title Relevance


Exemption from forest stewardship plans

is exempt in respect of the outside area from the requirement for a forest stewardship plan, but only for the following purposes

12 (1)

Woodlot licence plan required

Exempts the need for a woodlot licence plan prior to obtaining a cutting permit or road permit:

17 Approval in emergency cases

Sets out conditions where emergency approval of FSP, WLL plan or amendments can be made to harvest threatened or damaged timber.

25 Sanitation exemption

The minister may exempt a person in writing from specified provisions of this Act, the regulations or the standards if the minister considers it necessary or desirable so that the person may follow a course of action specified by the minister for the purposes of limiting or mitigating or both limiting and mitigating the spread of forest pests.

26 Control of insects, disease, etc.

Sets out the conditions in which the minister can order a private land holder or licensee holder to propose reasonable measures within a specified timeframe to control or dispose of unwanted pests.

27 Forest health emergency

Describes the conditions for declaring a “forest health emergency” (note that this is different from the Emergency Bark Beetle Management Area).

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 Allows the restriction of movement of infested timber (i.e., hauling restrictions) and also defines the opportunity for cost recovery. 
108 Government may fund extra expense or waive obligation

Set out the conditions in which relief may be granted either by government funding or waiving the obligation if the obligation cannot be met due to a damaging event.

118 Power to enter into agreements

The government can enter into agreements to control or dispose of insects, diseases, animals and abiotic factors and to provide forest health services.   

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

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the following:

(e) 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.  

Section Title Relevance
4(1.1) Authorization to Cut     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  (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.
16(2) Stocking standards In specifying a stocking standard under this section, a person who prepares a forest stewardship plan may consider the factors set out in section 6 [factors relating to stocking standards] of Schedule 1.
20 Providing notice Public notice for a FSP or amendment submission can be reduced from 60 days to 10 days if all or a substantial part of the timber to which the plan pertains is dead, infested with pests or otherwise damaged, or is required to be harvested to facilitate the removal of dead, infested or damaged timber, and must be harvested expeditiously to prevent the spread of pests, or a significant reduction in the economic value of the timber due to a deterioration in the quality of the timber.  Exemptions for publishing notifications are also described.
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 Exempts the requirement to establish a free-growing stand that was harvested for the purpose of felling and removing trap trees
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 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 Relief from the obligation to establish a free-growing stand may be give if the District Manager is satisfied that extraordinary circumstances exist which, due to their nature, would make it unjust if the agreement holder were not relieved.  “Events causing damage” that are considered extraordinary circumstance are limited to fire, Dothistroma (redband needle blight)(if the stand was established before July 31, 2006 – before the hazard areas were identified), and “a landslide, or a flood, that makes it impossible to establish within 20 years of the commencement date a free growing stand on the area affected by the flood or landslide”.
109 Bark beetle management powers

NOTE:  This section has now been repealed.

The power of the minister to designate an emergency bark beetle management area under section 2 [designation of an emergency bark beetle management area] of the Bark Beetle Regulation, B.C. Reg. 286/2001, as it was immediately before its repeal, is continued under this regulation.

The power of the coordinator to designate an emergency bark beetle management area as an emergency management unit under section 3 [designation of an emergency management unit] of the Bark Beetle Regulation, as it was immediately before its repeal, is continued under this regulation.