Compliance, enforcement, and inspections


The GNWT enforces land, water, environmental protection, wildlife and forest laws and regulations across the territory. Specialized staff are present across all regions to encourage respectful, safe, legal practices are followed by all.  

Officers and inspectors

Officers and Inspectors at Environment and Climate Change are employees tasked with enforcing land, water, environmental protection, wildlife, and forest laws.

These inspectors include:

  • Renewable Resource Officers
  • Resource Management Officers
  • Water Resource Officers
  • Forest Officers
  • Environmental Protection Officers
  • Chief Environmental Protection Officer

They are present and active in all regions across the NWT.


Officers make decisions about compliance and enforcement independently within the bounds of legislation and regulations.

Steps taken to gain compliance are at the Officer’s sole discretion. Their actions can be scrutinized by the courts.

Education-first enforcement

The first goal of compliance and enforcement is to prevent offences before they happen. All Officers practice an education-first approach to gain compliance.

That means they will work with people, governments, and organizations to educate, inform, or encourage compliance before issuing charges and monetary penalties when possible.

To achieve this, Officers:

  • Work closely with Indigenous governments and Indigenous organizations
  • Complete inspections to identify areas of noncompliance and ensure best practices are being followed by industry
  • Complete education and community outreach to build relationships with people and encourage respectful, safe and legal harvesting practices
  • Patrol, conduct inspections and investigate potential offences – including collecting evidence from sites and people
  • When warranted take enforcement action that may lead to charges through tickets or court appearance when laws have been broken.
  • Take other actions deemed necessary to prevent or minimize danger to the environment and the public, and prevent the misuse of land, water, wildlife, forest and the environment.

Report non-compliance

If you have information about potential offences under any land, water, environmental protection, wildlife or forest laws, report it.

Report poaching and unlawful hunting practices

Report unauthorized occupancy on public lands

Report intentionally set, carelessly set, or abandoned fires outside communities

*NOTE: IF THERE IS A FIRE IN YOUR COMMUNITY, CALL 9-1-1. This Is only for fires outside communities.

Report spills of hazardous materials

Report Illegal wood harvesting

Talk to an Officer in your region

Report something else


Find all legislation and regulations we enforce: