Forestry Ink: Tenure reform through expansion of the woodlot program

In contrast to replaceable forest licences with a few large corporations controlling over 50 per cent of the Allowable Annual Cut (AAC), there are approximately 865 active woodlots in British Columbia with an AAC of 1.579 million cubic meters annually — or 2.3 per cent of the provincial cut.

As described on the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations website, woodlot licences are small area-based forest tenure partnerships between the license holder and the Province of B.C. to manage public and private forest lands. For older woodlot licences, the maximum crown land portion was 600 (interior) or 400 (coast) hectares of Crown land. This was later increased to a maximum allowable Crown land portion of 1,200 and 800 hectares, interior and coast, respectively. Despite being small in terms of area and the amount of timber harvested, woodlot licenses make significant economic, environmental and societal contributions. Woodlot licences feature a high standard of sustainable forest management. They are often located in hard-to-manage, even controversial areas, where personal attention to management leaves a light footprint on the land.