We will no longer be supporting IE7 and below as a web browser effective June 1st 2020. Click here for more information.

Sign In
Skip Navigation LinksSimcoe County > Departments > Forestry > Forest Conservation By-law

Forest Conservation By-law

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Forest Conservation By-laws have traditionally been referred to as tree cutting by-laws and have existed in Ontario for over 50 years.  These by-laws are intended to ensure that privately-owned forests are harvested on a sustainable basis and to regulate the clearing of forests.

The Forest Conservation By-law regulates:

  • properties at least one hectare (2.47 acres) in size
  • commercial harvesting
  • clearing of forests
The Objectives of the By-law are to:
  • conserve the forest landscape and prevent over harvesting
  • protect Sensitive Natural Areas
  • encourage 'good forestry practices'
  • ensure a sustainable supply of timber for industry and landowners
This By-law Does Not:
  • regulate properties less than one hectare (2.47 acres) in size
  • regulate or restrict cutting in order to erect a building where approvals or permits are in place
  • prevent landowners from cutting wood on their own property for their own use providing the forest remains a woodland

Conservation Forester
Telephone: (705) ​721-6242
forestry@simcoe.ca  ​



Forest Conservation Bylaw Permit ProcessForest Conservation Bylaw Permit Process<p>​​​It is necessary that appropriate permit applications be submitted at least 5 days prior to the planned start of any harvesting.  Note that an <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Application for an Exemption to Remove Woodlands</span> requires submission at least 3 months prior to the planned start date.  There are no fees charged for application submission.  Please refer to the <a href="/Forestry/Documents/Forest%20Conservation%20By-law%20No.%206894.pdf" target="_blank">Forest Conservation By-law #6894</a>​ for further details.  Information on specific permits can be found below.  </p><p><br></p><p> <br></p><p> <strong class="ms-rteFontSize-4">Good Forestry Practices Permit</strong><br><a href="/Forestry/Documents/Good%20Forestry%20Practices%20Permit%20Application%20-%20July%202021.pdf" target="_blank">Good Forestry Practices Permit Application</a> </p><p>This is the preferred option for landowners with an interest in improving the long-term value of their forests. An assessment by a <a href="https://opfa.ca/contact-us/consultants-list/#%21directory/map" target="_blank">Registered Professional Forester</a> and tree marking by a qualified individual ensures that the forest and landowner are protected. This can provides an opportunity to have several loggers bid on trees to ensure that a fair market price is received for the timber. </p><p> <span class="ms-rteFontSize-4"><strong>Conifer Plantation Permit </strong></span></p><p><a href="/Forestry/Documents/Conifer%20Plantation%20Harvest%20Permit%20Application%20-%20July%202021.pdf" target="_blank">Conifer Plantation Permit Application</a>​<br></p><p>This is a simplified process where standard thinning is proposed in a conifer plantation. </p><p> <strong class="ms-rteFontSize-4">Harvesting Permit </strong> <br><a href="/Forestry/Documents/Harvesting%20Permit%20Application%20July%202021.pdf" target="_blank">Harvesting​ Permit Application</a>​<br></p><p>This provides an option to harvest trees which have attained a minimum diameter limit, provided that a minimum density of trees remains following the harvest. Note that this is not considered a good forest management practice. In the long-term, it can result in reduced diversity, quality, and productivity, as the best and fastest-growing trees are normally removed in each successive harvest. This often leaves only the poorer quality trees to grow further and as the source for future regeneration. </p><p><strong class="ms-rteFontSize-4">Exemption to Remove Woodlands</strong><br><a href="/Forestry/Documents/Application%20for%20an%20Exemption%20to%20Remove%20Woodlands%20July%202021.pdf" target="_blank">Application for an Exemption to Remove Woodlands</a>​​<br></p><p>An exemption is required prior to the removal of woodlands unless the clearing is already exempted under conditions within the <a href="/Forestry/Documents/Forest%20Conservation%20By-law%20No.%206894.pdf" target="_blank">by-law</a>​. </p><p>It is recommended that applicants​ contact the Conservation Forester prior to completing an application.   Applications must be submitted a <span style="text-decoration:underline;">minimum of 3 months prior to the proposed removal of woodlands</span>.  </p><p>Conservation Forester​<br>Telephone: (705) ​721-6242<br><a href="mailto:forestry@simcoe.ca"><font color="#0066cc">forestry@simcoe.ca</font></a>    </p>