Energy, Mines and Resources

Fact Sheets

Harvesting firewood and timber for commercial sales in Yukon


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How do I harvest firewood or timber to sell in Yukon?

The Yukon Forest Management Branch authorizes the harvest of firewood or timber for commercial sale by issuing harvesting licences and cutting permits to eligible businesses. Those wishing to harvest firewood to sell commercially can apply for a fuel wood licence. Those who wish to harvest timber for milling, processing and sale can apply for a timber resources licence. Application forms can be obtained and submitted at any of our Compliance, Monitoring and Inspections offices throughout the territory.

Are there eligibility requirements for commercial harvesting?

Yes, there are several requirements you must meet in order to be eligible to commercially harvest wood in Yukon. Harvesting must be done by registered businesses. As such, when you apply for a harvesting licence, you will be required to show a valid Yukon business registration number (or proof of exemption). The business applying must be in good financial standing with the Government of Yukon, and not have any outstanding field obligations based on previous harvesting authorities. In addition, your operational goals must be consistent with the timber harvest plan covering the area in which you are applying.

In addition, commercial harvesting must be consistent with the commercial timber allocation procedure. This procedure is performance based and ensures an equitable approach to allocating harvest volume to commercial licences. For more information on allocation of commercial harvest volume contact the Forest Management Branch or read the allocation procedure.

Where can my business harvest firewood or timber for commercial purposes?

The Forest Resources Act requires all commercial harvesting to be done under a timber harvest plan. To inquire about available wood in your area, please visit or call your local Compliance, Monitoring and Inspections office. The natural resource officer can help you find available wood under the local timber harvest plans. In addition, all timber harvest plans that are approved or are under review can be viewed online.

Once I have found a suitable area within a timber harvest plan, how do I apply for a licence and cutting permit?

There are a variety of methods for awarding licences such as a competitive process or direct award. Businesses may submit applications in areas approved under timber harvest plans. Should a business identify a potential area of interest outside of an approved timber harvest plan, they are encouraged to work with Forest Management Branch staff to determine whether it is possible to develop a timber harvest plan in that location.

Please note: The timber harvest planning process must be completed prior to harvesting approvals being issued.

Depending on the amount of interest in the timber harvest plan area, the Forest Management Branch will give consideration to the use of a competitive process to issue licences. In this case, media advertisements and our website will give specific instructions on how to prepare and submit a bid or application. All applications can be completed with the assistance of a natural resource officer at your local Compliance, Monitoring and Inspections office.

How long will it take to process my application?

There are many factors that contribute to the time involved in the application process, such as the availability of wood in the chosen timber harvest plan area, the environmental and socio-economic assessment process and your own business’ eligibility. Every licence application is also subject to a minimum 30-day period for public notification when those interested can submit comments relevant to your application. You can expect a letter from the Forest Management Branch shortly after you submit your application that will further outline the timelines involved.

What information will be included in my harvesting licence and cutting permit?

Your licence will establish the total allowable volume for harvesting, the annual maximum harvest limit, the timber harvest plan area and the timeframe associated with your operation. You will also be issued a cutting permit that will indicate specifics of your harvest site, including operational terms and conditions and stumpage rates. Maps which identify the permitted area(s) will accompany your licence and cutting permit documents.

Harvesting within the designated area(s) is one condition of your harvesting authority along with a schedule for harvest volume reporting and stumpage payments.

Does the fuel wood licence or timber resources licence allow me to sell my wood within my municipality?

No, the licence and/or cutting permit only provide authority for harvesting. You may still require additional permits or licences to operate as a business within municipal boundaries. You should contact your local municipal office to inquire about additional bylaws, regulations or responsibilities.

What are the fees associated with obtaining a licence and commercial harvesting?

At the time of application, you will be required to submit a non-refundable application fee. Application fees are calculated based on the volume of timber you are applying for and are outlined below.

Application Fees:

Harvesting Licences  
 under 100 m3  $10
 100 m3 to 1,000 m3  $50
 over 1,000 m3  $100

In addition to your application fee, the stumpage rate for your specific cutting permit will be calculated based on a per cubic metre basis and may include timber, reforestation, road use and development fees. Please refer to Fact Sheet #4 for information on fees that could apply.

You will be required to report and pay stumpage for harvest volumes at regular intervals. Late reporting and non-payment of dues is a contravention of your licence and may lead to compliance and enforcement measures.

What are the reporting requirements?

Timely and accurate reporting of timber harvest volumes is an essential element of sustainable forest management and will be enforced under the Forest Resources Act. Your cutting permit will specify the timing of submissions. Failure to report full harvest volumes may affect your eligibility for future licence applications..

A note on compliance and enforcement in Yukon’s forests

Compliance and enforcement are a significant part of managing Yukon forests for their long-term health and to ensure that we can continue to realize the many benefits forests provide. As a forest user, it is your responsibility to ensure you are complying with applicable laws, regulations and any terms and conditions outlined in licences and permits. For more information about your responsibilities and possible penalties for non-compliance read Fact Sheet #5, contact your local Compliance, Monitoring and Inspections office, or read the Compliance and Enforcement Operational Policy and Procedures.

Contact Us: 

Mile 918 Alaska Highway
Box 2703, Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6
Phone: 867.456.3999 / 1.800.661.0408 ext. 3999
Fax: 867.667.3138