Proposed regulatory changes under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act for the harvest of Crown forest resources for personal use

ERO number
019-4922
Notice type
Regulation
Act
Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994
Posted by
Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
January 25, 2022 - March 11, 2022 (45 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:
January 25, 2022
to March 11, 2022

Decision summary

We are implementing a new approach that will make it easier for individuals to harvest Crown forest resources for certain personal, non-commercial, use (e.g., collection of firewood, Christmas trees, tree branches).

Decision details

The regulation was filed with the Registrar of Regulations on April 19, 2022.

Establishing a new approach to streamline the approval process for the personal use harvest of Crown forest resources required amendments to the general regulation under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994.

The new streamlined approval process for personal use harvest includes:

  • rules in the regulation to allow limited personal use harvesting without an authorization
  • authorizations for all other personal use harvesting
  • exemption of persons who are harvesting for personal use pursuant to an Aboriginal or treaty right protected by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982

Approved rules in regulation approach

We have approved the following rules in the regulation that are allowed without an authorization, annually on a per household basis:

  • collection of up to 10 cubic metres of downed wood (fallen trees and parts of trees)
  • cutting of one Christmas tree, up to 2.5 metres in height, north of the French and Mattawa rivers
  • transplanting of up to 5 trees that are no larger than 1.4 m in height
  • cutting of branches of standing trees of no more than 7.5 cm in diameter provided that the harvesting is not likely to kill the tree
  • collection of firewood (downed wood or cut standing dead trees) while Crown land camping or carrying out other recreational activities (e.g., fishing, hunting)

Approved authorization approach

Authorizations for all other personal use harvesting, allowed annually on a per person basis with payment of crown charges to the ministry, include:

  • cutting or gathering of up to 20 cubic metres of standing trees or downed wood (fallen trees and parts of trees)
  • transplanting trees that are no larger than 1.4 m in height, to a maximum of 20 trees

Additional requirements apply to harvesting for personal use under the rules in regulation and authorization approach, the regulation includes the requirements individuals must follow.  

The new approach will offer consistency, flexibility, and enhanced efficiency. A modern, streamlined regulatory framework will allow the ministry to implement a digital approach that better serves individuals and reduces burden for government. The rules in regulation can now be used by individuals harvesting for personal use. Authorizations will be available beginning October 1, 2022, the current Forest Resource licencing approach will be used until authorizations are available.

Final Analysis of Regulatory Impact

The social, environmental and economic consequences of the regulatory amendments are expected to be neutral to positive.  

The amendments are focused on personal use, non-commercial authorizations. The regulatory changes will not have a direct regulatory or financial impact to businesses.

The rules set out in regulation will provide requirements for a number of activities that are currently not licensed by the Ministry. The rules set out in regulation will also allow for the collection of downed wood up to 10 cubic metres, this will utilize trees already cut by forest industry or fallen by natural processes. The Ministry will require an authorization for all other harvesting activities for personal use with a new requirement of 20 cubic metres or less, of forest resources.  

The regulatory changes are part of the ministry’s ongoing modernization efforts and would help meet objectives to streamline approvals and find digital efficiencies for clients. The rules in regulation will save individuals money, time and effort of getting an authorization from the local Ministry District office when using the rules set out in regulation.  

The regulatory amendments allow for the continued use of forest resources by persons who are harvesting for personal use pursuant to a right protected by Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982

Comments received

Through the registry

18

By email

12

By mail

0
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

Rules in regulations approach

Several comments were submitted regarding the rules set out in regulation outlined in the proposal notice. Concerns were raised regarding the ability to cut standing trees within the rules in regulation approach and the potential for an overall increase in harvest as a result of the new approach. While others raised concerns that the rules in regulation did not provide enough opportunities for the cutting of standing trees or enough volume of downed wood. Additional concerns were received that the rules in regulation may result in an increase of wood theft from forest industry.

The regulation was modified as a result of the comments received. The final approach for rules set out in regulation does not permit an individual to cut up to 5 small standing White Birch (Betula papyrifera) with a diameter of 10 cm or less at a height of 1.4 m. Individuals looking for small white birch for craft and decorative uses will still be able to cut branches for a similar purpose. Clarification was added that you may gather or cut wood for campfires anywhere in Ontario provided you are lawfully Crown land camping. Individuals will continue to have access to standing timber or additional downed wood through the authorization approach. A new condition was also added to clarify that the collection of downed wood would not include wood stacked by forest industry licensees and permittees. This additional condition will help clarify that downed wood does not include wood stacked by forest industry.

Authorization approach  

Questions were submitted regarding the authorization approach. Authorizations will continue to provide the Ministry with the ability to review applications, carry out any required consultation and accommodation with Indigenous communities, identify additional terms and conditions, confirm charges owed and approve (or deny) the authorization. The regulation would also allow for additional terms and conditions to be added to authorizations as specified by the Ministry of Northern Development, Mining, Natural Resources and Forestry such as a specific harvest location, species, or tree size restriction.

Requirements applicable to both the “rules in regulation” and the “authorization”

Several comments were submitted regarding the requirements applicable to the rules in regulation and authorization approach. Concerns were raised regarding adequate compliance, environmental impacts, including species at risk and invasive species and the geographic requirements.  

The requirements set out in the regulation will provide new standardized and consistent requirements for personal use harvest. These requirements will provide clarity on the process for individuals and compliance by the Ministry. The Ministry may add additional terms and conditions to an authorization to address additional local considerations.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

NDMNRF - CFLPB - Forest Planning Policy Section
Address

70 Foster Drive
Suite 400
Sault Ste Marie, ON
P6A 6V5
Canada

Connect with us

Contact

Karry Anne Campbell

Phone number
Office
NDMNRF - CFLPB - Forest Planning Policy Section
Address

70 Foster Drive
Suite 400
Sault Ste Marie, ON
P6A 6V5
Canada

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Original proposal

ERO number
019-4922
Notice type
Regulation
Act
Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994
Posted by
Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry
Proposal posted

Comment period

January 25, 2022 - March 11, 2022 (45 days)

Proposal details

The proposed new regulatory approach governing personal use harvesting would include rules set out in the regulation which would allow some limited personal use harvesting without any authorization from the Ministry (e.g., collection of small amounts of downed wood, one Christmas tree per household, transplanting of five or fewer trees etc.)

For harvesting that does not fall within the parameters of those rules, an authorization must be sought from the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF). Authorizations would provide the Ministry with the ability to review applications, carry out any consultation and appropriate accommodation with Indigenous communities, identify additional terms and conditions, confirm the final amount of charges ($) owed and approve (or deny) the authorization. 

The proposed regulatory amendments would support the continued use of forest resources by persons who are harvesting for non-commercial purposes pursuant to a right protected by subsection 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982. These activities would be exempt from the rules in regulation for personal use harvesting and the requirement to seek an authorization.  If a person harvesting for non-commercial purposes pursuant to a right protected by subsection 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982 chooses to apply for an authorization, there would be more flexibility regarding the conditions applicable to the authorization, and no payment required.

The proposed new approach would streamline the approval process for personal use harvest by allowing some activities without an authorization, while maintaining NDMNRF oversight for all other personal use harvest activities.

Currently, the licensing requirements to harvest Crown forest resources for personal, non-commercial use are the same as the licensing requirements for industrial or commercial use. Amendments to the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994 to reduce red-tape were enacted December 2, 2021. These amendments enable the Ministry to develop a streamlined authorization approach for the harvest of Crown forest resources for personal, non-commercial use.  

NDMNRF is proposing amendments to Ontario Regulation 167/95 under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994  to apply a new approach for personal use harvest of Crown forest resources. Provided the rules in the regulation are complied with, this new approach is intended to support individuals to conduct limited harvesting for personal use without approval from the Ministry. The Ministry would continue to provide authorization for all other personal use harvesting activities.

Rules in regulation approach

The amendments would set out rules in the regulation, which would allow some limited personal use harvesting without any authorization from the Ministry.

The following personal use harvest of Crown forest resources activities are proposed to be allowed annually on a per household basis under rules set out in the regulation:

  • collection of up to 10 cubic metres of downed wood (fallen trees and parts of trees)
  • cutting of one Christmas tree, up to 2.5 metres in height, north of the French and Mattawa rivers
  • cutting up to 5 small standing White Birch (Betula papyrifera) with a diameter of 10 cm or less at a height of 1.4 m
  • transplanting of up to 5 trees that are no larger than 1.4 m in height
  • cutting of branches of standing trees for creating decorative or artistic works
  • collection of firewood (downed wood or cut standing dead wood) while Crown land camping or carrying out other recreational activities

Additional conditions are proposed that would require individuals carrying out personal harvest to:

  • not damage any living tree or part of a living tree other than the trees or branches being harvested for the purposes of harvesting a Christmas tree, small White Birch or cutting of branches for creative or artistic works
  • be lawfully camping to harvest forest resources for personal use while camping
  • be, at least 16 years of age, or under the direct and immediate supervision of a person who is at least 16 years of age

Authorization approach

All other harvesting activities for personal use would require an authorization. Authorizations would require that individuals submit an application to the Ministry and provide payment for authorizations. Individuals would also be required to pay Crown charges based on the quantity of forest resources harvested.

Authorizations would provide the Ministry with the ability to review applications, carry out any required consultation and accommodation with Indigenous communities, identify additional terms and conditions, confirm charges owed and approve (or deny) the authorization. The regulation would also allow for additional terms and conditions to be added to authorizations as specified by NDMNRF such as a specific harvest location, species, or tree size restriction.

The following personal use harvest of Crown forest resources activities are proposed to require an authorization, and would be eligible on an annual basis per person:

  • cutting or gathering of up to 20 cubic metres of standing trees or downed wood (fallen trees and parts of trees)
  • transplanting of more than 5 trees to a maximum of 20 trees

Requirements applicable to both the “rules in regulation” and the “authorization”

The proposed regulation would include a number of conditions on personal use harvest of Crown forest resources under either the rules in regulation or the authorization, these proposed restrictions would include:

  • harvesting of Crown forest resources on Crown lands
  • no harvest in provincial parks and conservation reserves
  • no selling, trading or barter of harvested forest resources
  • no harvest south of the managed forest (consisting of all designated management units)
  • no use of heavy equipment
  • no work in-water
  • no harvesting in active forest operations, where forestry personnel or any equipment are present, or where any signs are posted indicating forest operations are scheduled to occur
  • no building of new, extensions or enhancements to trails or roads to access forest resources
  • no transporting of forest resources outside of Ontario
  • no leaving of trees or other material in the road right-of-way, a road surface or in a ditch

The proposed regulatory amendments would support the continued use of forest resources by persons who are harvesting for non-commercial purposes pursuant to a right protected by subsection 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982. These activities would be exempt from the rules in regulation for personal use harvesting and the requirement to seek an authorization.  If a person harvesting for non-commercial purposes pursuant to a right protected by subsection 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982 chooses to apply for an authorization, there would be more flexibility regarding the conditions applicable to the authorization, and no payment required.

Regulatory impact analysis

The anticipated environmental consequences of the proposal are expected to be neutral to positive. The rules set out in regulation will provide requirements for a number of activities that are currently not licensed by the Ministry. The rules set out in regulation will also allow for the collection of downed wood up to 10 cubic metres, this will utilize trees already cut by forest industry or fallen by natural processes. The Ministry will require an authorization for all other harvesting activities for personal use with a new requirement of 20 cubic metres or less, of forest resources.

The anticipated social consequences of the proposal are expected to be positive. The rules in regulation approach does not require individuals to register or pay, they simply need to read the rules online and follow them as they are completing the activity. This saves individuals money, and time and effort of getting an authorization from the local Ministry District office.

The proposed regulatory amendments would support the continued use of forest resources by persons who are harvesting for non-commercial purposes pursuant to a right protected by subsection 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982.

The anticipated economic consequences of this proposal are intended to be neutral. This proposal is focused on personal use, non-commercial authorizations.

The proposed regulatory changes are not anticipated to have a direct regulatory or financial impact to businesses.

The proposed regulatory changes proposal has been identified as part of the ministry’s ongoing modernization efforts and would help meet objectives to streamline approvals and find digital efficiencies for clients.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

NDMNRF - CFLPB - Forest Planning Policy Section
Address

70 Foster Drive
Suite 400
Sault Ste Marie, ON
P6A 6V5
Canada

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from January 25, 2022
to March 11, 2022

Connect with us

Contact

Karry Anne Campbell

Phone number
Office
NDMNRF - CFLPB - Forest Planning Policy Section
Address

70 Foster Drive
Suite 400
Sault Ste Marie, ON
P6A 6V5
Canada