Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Forest Tenure Modernization

What is Forest Tenure Modernization?

Background

Forest Tenure is about who manages Crown forests and how companies gain access to wood. Forest tenure modernization is a long-term commitment, that carefully considers the interests of local communities, the forest industry, Indigenous peoples (First Nation, Metis, and non-status Indians), and other stakeholders.

Forest tenure modernization is a part of the efforts to create a strong and flexible northern and rural economy that gives the people of Ontario more opportunities for jobs and economic prosperity.

Brief Overview

The global financial crisis of 2007-2008, combined with the increasing interest from Indigenous and local communities in the management of local forests revealed a need to modernize some aspects of the current forest tenure system.

In 2009 the government announced the initiation of a comprehensive review of Ontario’s Crown forest tenure system.  Dialogue with the forest industry, rural and northern communities, Indigenous people, stakeholders, and the public confirmed the need for change.

In 2011 the Ontario Forest Tenure Modernization Act was passed which enabled the establishment of local forest management corporations (LFMC) through the passing of a regulation.  This Act also describes the key attributes of LFMCs.

Modernization is intended to make Ontario’s tenure system more resilient and responsive to today’s changing economic environment, to provide meaningful participation by local communities and local Indigenous communities, to protect and create jobs while maximizing the use of Crown wood and to uphold sustainable forest use for future generations.

In 2013, the MNRF was directed to review all new and existing forest tenure models by 2016. The multi-party Forest Tenure Modernization Oversight Group (Oversight Group) was formed; a consultant was hired to undertake a review of the existing forest tenure models. Using the findings from the review, the Oversight Group submitted a report to the minister supporting eight recommendations directed at the tenure system. These recommendations were approved by the minister in September 2017. MNRF now has an approved action plan that responds to the recommendations. Currently MNRF is implementing this action plan. There will be annual progress reports to provide information on what has been completed and how milestones are being met.

This presentation has information about all of Ontario’s current forest tenure models.

 
1 From “Aquatic Ecosystems of the Far North of Ontario: State of Knowledge” 2011, page 5
2 Ontario’s interests are represented in community based land use planning, joint planning teams and preparation of the Far North Land Use Strategy, by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF)
3 MNRF represents Ontario’s interests on joint planning teams
4 Under the Far North Act, 2010, if a community based land use plan is made or amended after a mining claim, mining lease, patents or license of occupation for mining purposes is issued in an area to which the plan applies, nothing in the plan shall affect the validity of the mining claim, mining lease, patents or license of occupation (see section 14(3) of the Far North Act, 2010)
5 Pauingassi and Little Grand Rapids are communities located in Manitoba but with areas of traditional use that span into Ontario.
6 Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Provincial Policy Statement: Under the Planning Act, April 30, 2014, p.40 http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=10463
7 Colombo, S.J., D.W. McKenney, K.M. Lawrence and P.A. Gray. 2001. Climate change projections for Ontario: Practical information for policymakers and planners. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Climate Change Research Report CCRR-05, Sault Ste. Marie, ON pg. 49
8 Sustainability in a Changing Climate: A Strategy for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, pg.9
9 Colombo, S.J., D.W. McKenney, K.M. Lawrence and P.A. Gray. 2001. Climate change projections for Ontario: Practical information for policymakers and planners. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Climate Change Research Report CCRR-05. Sault Ste. Marie, ON.
10 For further information on peatlands, see box “Peatslands – Carbon Sink vs Resource?”.
11 Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan 2007 and “Climate Ready”, see http://www.ontario.ca/ministry-environment
12 “Sustainability in a Changing Climate” (MNRF, 2011)
13 Canadian Wetland Classification System, Second Edition, By the National Wetlands Working Group / Edited by B.G. Warner and C.D.A. Rubec, 1997, pg 1 http://www.gret-perg.ulaval.ca/fileadmin/fichiers/fichiersGRET/pdf/Doc_generale/Wetlands.pdf
14 “Science for a Changing Far North”, April 2010, page 68
15 The Guide for Crown Land Use Planning sets out designations used in planning south of the Far North boundary. The Guide for Crown Land Use Planning does not apply in the Far North, however the designations and other policies in the Guide can help inform the development of designations and guidance for use in community based land use planning in the Far North.
16 These prohibitions are in keeping with international standards for protected areas
17 The Far North Act, 2010 provides the Minister with the ability to regulate categories of protected area to provide greater certainty about the categories and the permitted/non permitted uses.
18 The Far North Act, 2010 requires that community based land use plans must specify a review timeframe, which shall not be more frequently than once every 10 years after the plan is approved. (Section 9(9)(f)).