Forest Practice Initiative

The forest practice initiative will assist resource managers, timber operators, Conservation Officers and auditors with planning, conducting or assessing forestry activities. It is an initiative led by the Forestry and Peatlands Management Branch of Sustainable Development.

The intent is to promote best practices by presenting guidelines and standards for sustainable forest management in Manitoba. These guidelines will be included in forest practice guidebooks that ensure all forest resource values are considered during forestry activities in Manitoba. They will present alternative procedures and standards. Specific guidelines are enforceable when included on Work Permits.

Sustainable Development holds meetings throughout the province to develop and discuss forest practice guidelines. Participants include representatives from Sustainable Development and the forest industry who co-operate in a consensus-seeking manner to develop forest practice guidebooks. Proposed forest practices will be discussed with First Nations by the proponents. Sustainable Development will consult with First Nations on activities that may infringe on First Nation treaty rights.

The following branches of Sustainable Development participating in the initiative:

  • Forestry and Peatlands Management, Wildlife and Fisheries
  • Crown Lands, Parks and Protected Spaces
  • Environmental Assessment and Licensing

Forest industry representatives are LP Canada Ltd., Tolko Industries Ltd.and Spruce Products Ltd. The Forest Industry Association of Manitoba represents timber quota holders.

committee members

Regional specialists are invited when meetings are held in their respective regions. Other resource management specialists may be invited to attend periodically.

Discussions will affect current planning, forestry operations and reporting. They will also provide new recommendations for publication in guidebooks.

Each specific forest practice will be covered by a single guidebook containing guidelines that have been developed, reviewed and consolidated. Each guidebook will feature recommended procedures and acceptable alternatives. References to legislation, policy, agreements and licenses will also be included. The guidebooks will be valuable references for all aspects of the specific forest practices they cover

Recommendations within each guidebook will:

  • be based on scientific evidence
  • contain practical advice and measurable outcomes
  • be flexible and applicable in a variety of ecological conditions
  • contain clear and concise information
  • use accepted terminology and definitions
  • be reviewed and amended as required

Periodic updates will document improvements in the understanding of forest ecosystems and reflect changes in forestry operations.

It is fundamental that forest practice guidelines are communicated consistently to forest management licensees, quota holders, non-government organizations, government agencies and other concerned parties. Published guidebooks may be supplemented with presentations, field discussions and training courses.

Sustainable Development staff will be available to conduct joint inspections of forest operations with regional integrated resource management teams, forest industry representatives, and Conservation Officers to evaluate forest practices, prevent conflicts and discuss issues.

Guidebooks can be found on the Sustainable Development Forestry Branch web site. The public is encouraged to submit comments and recommendations.


Forest practices - activities conducted during all stages of forest management. Examples are surveys, harvesting, road construction and silviculture

Guidebook - a collection of policies, guidelines, procedures and standards related to a specific forest practice

Guideline an alternative procedure or standard that can be applied to satisfy a principle the guideline is based on (Specific guidelines are enforceable when included in the conditions of a Work Permit.)

Policy a deliberately chosen course of action (Policy, in forest practices documents, refers to governing principles and corresponding procedures and standards of the provincial government.)

Procedure – a step, or series of steps, taken to implement a policy or guideline

Standards – descriptions of targets or goals (may be general or specific) used to measure the success of procedures

For more information contact:

Sustainable Development
Forestry Branch
200 Saulteaux Crescent
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3J 3W3
Phone: 204-945-7989
Fax: 204-948-2671

or by email

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