Energy, Mines and Resources

Fact Sheets

Incidental harvesting of timber

 Download the fact sheet  130 KB
Disponible en français  130 KB


What is incidental timber harvest?

Incidental harvesting is the cutting and/or removal of timber subsidiary to another land use activity. Examples include clearing trees to build or maintain a non-forest resources road, maintaining power lines and other right of ways, developing a gravel quarry or subdivision, and carrying out fuel abatement and FireSmart treatments.


Why is it important to consider incidental timber harvesting when carrying out other land uses?

Timber is a valuable public resource and the salvage and utilization of timber must be considered with any project involving the removal of trees. If you are clearing trees on public land for whatever reason, (regardless of where authorization to do so comes from), ensure you are familiar with any terms and conditions, standards, guidelines and operating procedures that apply to your timber harvesting activity including reclamation and/or cleanup obligations.


Do I need permission to cut down trees incidental to other land use activities?

Yes. The right to cut timber can be granted in several ways. It may be granted through a licence or permit issued under the Forest Resources Act. Visit your local Compliance Monitoring and Inspections office or contact the Forest Management Branch for more details. Authorization can also be granted through the Quartz Mining Act, Placer Mining Act, Territorial Lands (Yukon) Act or the Lands Act.

Please ensure you have the proper authorization prior to harvesting trees.

Forest Resources Permits only give the authority to cut and/or remove timber from a site. If the scope of work that you plan to undertake involves other activities, be sure to contact the appropriate government agency to acquire the proper authority.


Do I own the wood once I cut it down?

In most cases, no. Timber harvested incidental to other land use remains the property of the Government of Yukon unless permitted otherwise. An exception is timber to be used for purposes that directly support mineral exploration, development or production. Under the Quartz Mining Act and the Placer Mining Act, you are not required to have a Forest Resources Permit if you are using the timber for mining. Please read Fact Sheet 7, “Timber on Mining Claims,” for more details.


How do I gain ownership of the wood?

You can apply for authorization at your local Compliance Monitoring & Inspections office. Public notification of your application may be required. If your project is subject to an assessment by the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board, it must be completed prior to issuance of a Forest Resources Permit. In addition to this, if an authorization is required from another agency to authorize your activity, that authorization must be in place prior to Forest Management Branch issuing an authorization under the Forest Resources Act.


Are there fees for a Forest Resources Permit?

There is no application fee for a Forest Resources Permit but if you are awarded rights to the timber, stumpage fees will likely apply. See Fact Sheet 4, “Forest Resource Fees,” for more information on stumpage. If I don’t own the wood, what will happen to it once it’s cut down? The Forest Management Branch will try to ensure the utilization and/or the fair and equitable disposal of salvage timber.

Common scenarios for the utilization of salvage timber include:

  1. the client obtaining rights to the wood for use or sale through a Forest Resources Permit
  2. the timber rights remaining with the government to be issued to a commercial forest
    industry client through a competitive process, or
  3. the timber being issued to the public for personal use.

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
E-mail: forestry@gov.yk.ca