Forest Management Operating Plans

Within the framework of a long-term Forest Management Plan a Forest Management Licensee must also prepare Operating Plans (OP). Operating Plans describe in detail the timber harvesting, access development, and forest renewal activities proposed. They clearly identify where the activities will take place and how they will be carried out. The OP also identifies, in lesser detail, proposed activities for the following two years to provide a general projection of where the proponent operations will proceed.

Manitoba's Submission Guidelines for Forest Management Operating Plans

Manitoba's Submission Guidelines for Forest Management Operating Plans were developed in 2010 to replace the Planning and Submission Guidelines for Annual Operating Plans (1996). The guideline has been updated to accommodate the responsibility of the Manitoba government to conduct Crown-Aboriginal consultation pertaining to forestry operations. The updated guidelines will ensure the submitted OP is consistent with provincial policy, practices and standards for forest management.

Forest Management Operating Plans are submitted by the proponent to Sustainable Development and Water Stewardship. The OP is reviewed in the department by appropriate branches and regional Integrated Resource Management Teams (IRMT). The approval of a Forest Management Operating Plan is the responsibility of the Director, Forestry Branch, Sustainable Development and Water Stewardship.

Operating Plan Approval Process by Sustainable Development and Water Stewardship

The OP is submitted to Manitoba for review and approval. The IRMT will review the plan contents from a regional perspective. The regional review may involve information sharing with various stakeholder groups and will provide opportunities for Crown-Aboriginal consultation. The regional review will concentrate on operational concerns. Regional comments are then forwarded to the regional Director and the Director of Forestry Branch. The plan receives written approval from the Director of Forestry, including additional comments and approval conditions.

Operating Plan Amendments

During the term of an OP the OP may require amendments to modify an approved activity or request the addition of a new activity. The Forest Management Licensee must communicate the proposed amendment to the Regional Integrated Resource Management Team to determine if the amendment requires regional or Director approval. Significant amendments to an OP must be submitted in writing to the Director of Forestry for approval before the amendments are carried out.

In normal situations amendments to add harvest blocks, roads, or renewal blocks during the term of the OP will be considered. Crown-Aboriginal consultation may be required and may take up to three months.

Operating Permits and Conditions

Operating Permits are required to authorize the harvest of timber on Provincial Crown Land. Standard operating conditions may be indicated upon, or attached to a Operating Permit to identify special conditions or reinforce provincial practices for timber harvest operations.

Work Permits and Conditions

Work Permits are required by The Crown Lands Act to authorize any activity that is to take place on provincial Crown land. These permits are issued by regional or district Sustainable Development and Water Stewardship offices and may contain site specific operating conditions in addition to those that may have been identified in Environment Act Licences, provincial guidelines, Operating Permits or Operating Plan comments.