Forest resources

Forest Management Agreements

What are Forest Management Agreements?

Forest Management Agreements (FMAs) are enabled under Section 9 of the Forest Management Act. The agreements allow for a partner to have long term rights to harvest wood from a defined area for the purposes of forest industry business development and growth. 

FMAs are a recent development in the Northwest Territories (NWT). They are a made-in-the-north solution to provide business development opportunities to residents by offering:

  • a sustainable supply of timber for harvest
  • a viable commercial use for the wood
  • the ability to secure financing for equipment
  • an opportunity to participate in a range of forest management activities

Benefits to Northerers

FMAs are intended to provide these key benefits to northerners:

  • Development of a new, sustainable forest industry sector.
  • Development of local and regional job opportunities and training.
  • Promotion of biomass energy substitution for fossil fuels.
  • Indigenous participation in forest management planning.

Restrictions, accesss and approvals

FMAs are restricted to authorization for use of timber resources. FMAs do not include land rights and do not impact ongoing land use planning processes. Timber harvesting adheres to all existing land use zonation and restrictions, such as those found in land use plans. 

FMAs do not include land use or access authorization, which must still be obtained through the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board. Once the land use permit is approved, the FMA holders must adhere to all the terms and conditions of the permit. They are committing to be responsive to issues or concerns raised by regulators or the public.  

FMA holders are required to receive annual approval on a detailed harvest plan that identifies the location of timber harvesting and provides detailed information on block volumes, harvest methods, equipment, structure and advanced regeneration retention, and silviculture planning.

Current agreements

The first two agreements were signed in 2015 with Timberworks Inc. in Fort Resolution, and Digaa Enterprises in Fort Providence. Both companies are Indigenous development corporations jointly owned by local Indigenous organizations. 

Timberworks is owned by the Deninu Kue First Nation and the Fort Resolution Metis Council. Digaa Enterprises is owned by the Deh Gah Got’ie First Nation and the Fort Providence Metis Council.

Forest resource assement

A Forest Resource Assessment was completed around Fort Providence and Fort Resolution to calculate an Annual Sustainable Harvest Limit (ASHL). The ASHL identifies the volume of wood that can be cut each year. It takes into account forest growth and regeneration to make sure the forest is not depleted and sustainability is maintained. Each FMA was assigned a portion of the ASHL.

Map - Timber harvest planning area for regional forest management agreements - NWT