Language selection


Indicator: Forest area with long-term management plans

Of Canada’s 347 million ha of forest land, more than 200 million ha are managed with a long-term (10 years or longer) management plan. This is an increase of 8% since 1990. 

  • In Canada, a “managed forest” is often considered to include only areas managed for timber production. However, to align with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, this indicator also includes forest lands managed in protected areas.
  • Forest areas without a long-term management plan may include areas with short-term management plans, private land or areas for which no management plan is developed.
  • This is a new indicator for The State of Canada’s Forests Annual Report. The reasons for changes in the area reported are being investigated and will be discussed in future reports.
  • Management plans help ensure that public forests are managed sustainably.
  • Their development follows a strict process.
  • Input from industry, government agencies, First Nations, the public and other stakeholders is usually required.

Forest with long-term management plans (thousands of hectares) in Canada

Table showing in thousands of hectares the forest area with long-term management plans in Canada for the years 1990, 2000, 2010, 2015 and 2016.
Year 1990 2000 2010 2015 2016
Forest area 185,013 188,103 187,844 188,656 200,086

Why is this indicator important?

  • In Canada, forest management planning is one of the primary tools used to ensure that the country’s publicly owned forests remain healthy and vibrant and are managed sustainably.
  • Key to this approach is that public lands managed for forestry must, by law, have a forest management plan approved by the government before harvesting can take place. As well, parks and protected areas must have a government-approved management plan to guide conservation.
  • Public participation ensures that the planning process is transparent and gives Canadians real influence in decision making.

What is the outlook?

  • The forest area covered by a long-term management plan is expected to remain stable or increase slightly in the near future.
  • Some increases may occur as plans are developed for new areas, including areas managed by Indigenous peoples, or as plans are developed for new parks and protected areas.

What reporting frameworks does this indicator support?

  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG):
Sources and information
  • Natural Resources Canada–Canadian Forest Service. 2018.
    • Provinces and territories supplied the data for the total forest area with a long-term management plan, which were compiled by Natural Resources Canada–Canadian Forest Service. The data were adjusted to align with the total forest area as reported in Canada’s National Forest Inventory and in the sustainability indicator Forest area in The State of Canada’s Forests 2019.


Table of contents — The State of Canada's Forests Report

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: