Our Forestry Law group is one of our longest-standing practice areas. We advise and represent clients across Canada and abroad on virtually all issues affecting the forest sector. Particularly, we advise on developing policy for legislative initiatives and education programs.

Our group is bolstered by a professional forester and former in-house counsel for a major forest products company in British Columbia; a professional forester and former forester/lawyer with the Government of Alberta; and lawyers experienced in forestry, First Nations legal issues, arbitration, environmental law and administrative procedures and corporate/commercial transactions. 

Corporate and Commercial Matters

  • Forest operations agreements, fibre supply contracts and forest management agreements
  • Acquisitions, dispositions, takeover bids and corporate restructuring
  • Labour and employment matters, including pension, benefits and Workers Compensation issues
  • Joint ventures involving the forest industry and other industrial operators; First Nations and other parties assisting First Nations with timber resources; lumber and pulp conversion facilities and users of wood waste for power generation or value-added products; and financings

Forest Law

  • Timber, land and forest tenure transfers, and rights and obligations under forest tenures
  • In British Columbia, administrative dealings with the Ministry of Forests at the district, regional and provincial levels
  • The BC Timber Sales Program − Compliance and changes to logging agreements as a result of the Timber Harvesting Contract and Subcontract Regulation
  • Regulatory compliance and administrative matters involving Alberta Sustainable Resource Development and advice to Delegated Administrative Organizations

Forest Policy

  • Land use and forest practices
  • Preparation of position papers on policy and legislation, and analysis of legislation, regulations and policy
  • Professional ethics and standards of forestry practice
  • Environmental and land claim matters
  • Advising on aboriginal land and resource claims
  • Environmental litigation and administrative proceedings
  • Environmental reviews, audits and assessments
  • Advice and representation for effective corporate organization, governance and environmental management systems to monitor and ensure compliance with environmental forest practices statutes

Litigation of Forestry Disputes

  • Environmental challenges to forestry operations and the defence of environmental charges
  • Responses to aboriginal challenges to forest tenure
  • Land claims to forest tenure lands 
  • Stumpage disputes, and rate and other arbitrations under logging contracts
  • Administrative hearings in relation to forest practices
  • Injunction proceedings in land use disputes

Emerging Issues

The Canadian forest industry in undergoing a significant restructuring to address:

  • The emergence of new global competitors, both in conversion operations and fibre supply
  • Pressure on forest resources from other users
  • The resolution of land claims and the increasing role of First Nations in the forest sector
  • The de-integration of the forest industry and its consolidation within sectors
  • Globalization and free trade
  • Innovative and developing regulatory changes dealing with resource ownership, forest practices and timber pricing
  • The increasing focus on corporate responsibility for forest management and field operations
  • The potential impact of the mountain pine beetle on forest management and field operations