Energy, Mines and Resources

Fact Sheets

Timber on mining claims

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Why is it important to consider timber when carrying out work related to mining?

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 cutting trees to use for mining-related work or clearing vegetation in order to carry out another mining-related activity, 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 clean-up obligations.


Do I have the right to cut down trees on my mineral claim so I can carry out mining activities?

Yes. Both the Quartz Mining Act and the Placer Mining Act authorize a claim holder to cut timber for mining purposes, including any purpose necessary to the operation of a claim. A claim holder may only use timber for the working of a claim and may not cut timber for commercial sale or personal use not directly related to operation of the claim. Under the Quartz and Placer Mining Acts, a claim holder may only cut timber where timber rights have not otherwise been granted prior to the staking of a claim. Standard operating conditions contained in mining land use regulations require a claim holder to salvage and stockpile timber suitable for sale when it is economically feasible to do so.


Can I use the trees once I have cut them down?

Timber harvested during mining activities may be used for purposes directly related to mineral exploration, development or production. Harvested timber that will not be used for mining purposes remains the property of the Yukon government unless permitted.Otherwise, contact your local Compliance Monitoring & Inspections office for disposal of unwanted timber on your claim. If you are interested in retaining the timber for purposes not related to mining, you must apply for a Forest Resources Permit or a timber harvesting licence depending on the use of the timber. This can be done through your local Compliance Monitoring & Inspections office.


As a claim holder, do I have the exclusive right to the timber on my claim(s)?

No. In staking a claim, you have the right to use the timber for mining-related purposes on your claim but you do not have the exclusive right to all the timber on that claim other than timber used to directly support mineral exploration, development or production. Mining legislation does not confer rights to surface resources such as trees.


As a claim holder will I be notified when EMR initiates a planning area that encompasses my claim(s)?

Yes, you will be notified and given the opportunity to comment on the draft Timber Harvest Plan.

In addition, timber use associated with mining does not inhibit the government’s ability to manage forest resources. The Department of Energy Mines & Resources may develop an area for timber harvesting and timber rights can be issued under the Forest Resources Act on existing mineral claims. It is important to note that public notification and planning may be required prior to issuing these rights.


As a claim holder, will I be notified when an application is received by EMR for cutting timber within my claim area?

Yes. Once a third party indicates an interest in the timber on a claim, the Mining Recorder will contact the claim holder and request a mine plan indicating timber requirements. The claim holder will need to provide the Mining Recorder with specific details on what their timber requirements are in respect to the mining operations, reclamation program, camp locations, settling ponds, what species of timber is required and where on the claim the timber is located. The claim holder will also be asked the volume of timber and the timing when the timber will be utilized for mining purposes.


Can I stake a claim on top of a Harvesting Licence or a Forest Resources Permit?

Yes. However, the exclusive rights to that timber will have already been assigned to another party. If you require timber for your mining work, you will need to apply for a Forest Resources Permit to harvest timber at another location. Your local Compliance Monitoring & Inspections office can provide more information on applying for a Forest Resources Permit.


If I have a Land Use Permit to clear and develop a site such as a road leading to my mineral claim, do I have the right of ownership to the trees I cut?

No. The trees remain the property of the Yukon government unless you are issued a Forest Resources Permit transferring ownership to you and allowing you to remove the timber from the site. If you do not obtain a permit, the Forest Management Branch will try to ensure the utilization and/or the fair and equitable disposal of salvage timber. This is usually done by issuing timber rights to a commercial forest industry client and/or to the public for personal use.


What if I want to cut the timber on my mineral claim or on vacant public land for purposes not related to mining?

The Quartz Mining Act and Placer Mining Act only allow the harvesting of timber for miningrelated purposes. Clients who wish to harvest wood for other purposes can apply for a licence and/or permit under the Forest Resources Act subject to the applicable fees at your local Compliance Monitoring and Inspections office. This process allows for integrated forest planning and resource development to be carried out in advance of harvesting activities. More information on commercial and personal harvesting of trees can be found in Fact Sheets 1 & Fact Sheet 2.


Are there any fees associated with a Harvesting Licence or 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. If you are applying for a commercial harvesting licence, application fees range from $10 to $100 depending on the volume of wood you wish to harvest and stumpage fees will also apply. See Fact Sheet 4, “Forest Resource Fees,” for more information on application and stumpage fees.

If a person is authorized to harvest timber on a mineral claim or if a claim is staked over a timber disposition, there must be some discussion and/or agreement between the two parties prior to activities commencing with regards to timing of work taking place, cleanup and/or reclamation.

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