A woodlot licence is a small, area based forest tenure unique to BC. The licence provides exclusive rights to harvest timber in the tenure area. In exchange woodlot holders assume responsibility for managing the woodlot area, taking a long-term approach to the sustainable management of all resource values. In effect it is a social licence between the licence holder and the Province of BC to manage public and private forest lands.
Frequently Asked Questions
A ‘woodlot’ is a small parcel of private forest land managed for timber. A ‘woodlot licence’ is a small parcel of public forest land, often married with private land, managed for timber creating a unique forest tenure.
A woodlot licence is a replaceable tenure that is awarded for 20 years. Replaceable means the tenure will be renewed or extended, providing the terms and conditions of the agreement are being met. As such, woodlot licences are often passed on to generations within a family.
The maximum crown land portion for older woodlot licences is 600 (interior) or 400 (coast) hectares. Recent changes in forestry legislation increased the maximum allowable crown land portion to 1,200 (interior) and 800 (coast) hectares.
There are approximately 840 active woodlot licences (March 2023) in British Columbia covering roughly 525,000 hectares of public land with an annual allowable cut (AAC) of ~1.45 million cubic meters annually. This works out to ~2% of the provincial cut.
A woodlot licence is a small, area-based forest tenure managed by an individual, community organization, educational institution or First Nation which is closely connected to local interests and values. They are a form of small business, each one creating employment in local communities, including jobs in planning, harvesting, road construction & maintenance, reforestation, silviculture and value added forest industry.
Since woodlots offer ‘personal’ management on a small-scale, many have purposely been located in the wildland urban interface (WUI) close to communities or over areas with sensitive resource management issues.
Government is not advertising new woodlot licences at this time. Existing woodlot licences come available from time to time through the open market.