Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) Forest Related Laws

This list includes selected statutes administered by MNR that regulate the management of natural resources and may govern aspects of forest management.


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Aggregate Resources Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. A.8


Aggregates Resources Act replaces the Pits and Quarries Control Act, Beach Protection Act and Part VII of the Mining Act (in force January 1,1990). Regulates the operation of pits and quarries in designated parts of Ontario and the disposition of Crown owned aggregate.


Algonquin Forestry Authority Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. A.17


Algonquin Forestry Authority Act establishes a Crown corporation known as the Algonquin Forestry Authority to harvest Crown timber in Algonquin Provincial Park and public lands adjacent to the park, to sell the logs and also to carry out such forestry, land management and other programs and projects as the Minister of Natural Resources authorizes.


Algonquin Provincial Park Extension Act, 1960-1


Algonquin Provincial Park Extension Act adds the public lands in the Geographic Townships of Bruton and Clyde in the Provincial County of Haliburton to the park, subject to hunting.


There is no electronic version for this act.


An Act for the Settlement of Certain Questions Between the Governments of Canada and Ontario Respecting Indian Reserve Land, 1891


An Act for the Settlement of Certain Questions between the Governments of Canada and Ontario respecting Indian Reserve Land permitted the Lieutenant Governor in Council for Ontario to enter into an agreement with the Government of Canada for the settlement of certain questions relating to the provision of Indian reserve land in the area that was the subject of the Northwest Angle Treaty (Treaty No. 3).


There is no electronic version for this act.


An Act to Confirm the Title of the Government of Canada to Certain Lands and Indian Lands, 1915


An Act to Confirm the Title of the Government of Canada to Certain Lands and Indian Lands is the Act by which the Government of Ontario transferred to the Government of Canada certain lands to be set apart as Indian reserve lands in the area that was the subject of the Northwest Angle Treaty (Treaty No. 3).


There is no electronic version for this act.

Arboreal Emblem Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. A.25


Arboreal Emblem Act adopts the Eastern White Pine as the arboreal emblem of the Province of Ontario.


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Beds of Navigable Waters Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. B.4


Beds of Navigable Waters Act is declaratory legislation relating to title in the beds of navigable waters. It followed the decision in the 1911 case of Keewatin Power versus the Town of Kenora. By the Act, the beds are deemed not to have passed to the grantee of bordering Crown land in the absence of an express grant.


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Conservation Authorities Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.27


Conservation Authorities Act provides for the establishment of conservation authorities for the purpose of establishing and undertaking in the area over which they are given jurisdiction, programs designed to further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources. Conservation Authorities Act authorizes conservation authorities to pass regulations regulating construction and placement of fill in areas which the regulations identify as areas which are subject to flooding.


Conservation Land Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.28


Conservation Land Act provides for the establishment of programs for the payment of grants to promote the recognition, encouragement and support of the stewardship of conservation of certain lands. The Act also provides for the making of easements for conservation.


Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994, S.O. 1994, c. 25 (CFSA)


Crown Forest Sustainability Act (CFSA) defines forest sustainability and provides mechanisms to ensure the sustainability of Ontario’s Crown forests. More information on the CFSA.


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Endangered Species Act, S.O. 2007, c. 6


Endangered Species Act provides for the conservation, protection, restoration and propagation of species of flora and fauna of the Province of Ontario that are threatened with extinction.


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Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997, S.O. 1997, c. 41


Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act deals with the conservation and management of wildlife and fish resources, including the protection of game wildlife and specially protected wildlife as defined in the Act. It provides for a licensing regime, safe and humane hunting and trapping practices, controlled commercialization of wildlife, and limited keeping of game wildlife and specially protected wildlife in captivity and enforcement by conservation officers. It authorizes regulations which have been developed in the following main areas: areas for hunting or trapping, fish licensing including aquaculture, buying and selling of wildlife, hunting, trapping, open seasons and wildlife in captivity.


Forest Fires Prevention Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.24


Forest Fires Prevention Act applies to the two fire regions divided into 36 zones set out in regulation. The fire season from April 1st to October 31st, may be extended by regulation.

By regulation establishes where and when fire permits are required.


Areas may be established as restricted fire zones in which fires for cooking or warmth will be restricted or as restricted travel zones in which a travel permit will be required except on public roads, in municipalities and supervised camping grounds.
The Minister may declare emergency areas and may make orders for fire suppression and the safety and evacuations of persons.


Forestry Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.26


Under this Act the Minister enters into agreements with landowners such as municipalities and conservation authorities to manage the forest lands;
The Minister, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, may establish programs for the encouragement of forestry.


Forestry Workers Lien for Wages Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.28


Forestry Workers Lien for Wages Act creates a lien for the benefit of persons performing labour on logs or timber and establishes a procedure to enforce these liens.


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Indian Lands Act, 1924


Indian Lands Act was passed by the Legislature of Ontario and the Parliament of Canada to deal with certain questions relating to the administration and control of Indian reserve land, surrendered Indian reserve land in Ontario and mineral rights on reserve.


There is no electronic version for this act.


Indian Lands Agreement Confirmation Act, 1989


Indian Lands Agreement Confirmation Act confirms the 1986 Indian Lands Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. The agreement authorizes the parties and any Indian band to enter into specific agreements relating to a number of matters including any matter dealt with under the Indian Lands Act, 1924, disposition of lands or natural resources, minerals and hydro powers.


There is no electronic version for this act.


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Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. L.3   Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act provides for the use of the water of lakes and rivers and regulates improvements in them. The Act requires Ministry approval for some construction in lakes and rivers. The Minister is given discretionary powers relating to the repair, reconstruction and removal of dams, maintenance of water levels, and regulation of use of waters or works. Top of Page



Mining Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.14,


Mining Act sections 99 to 102 (oil and natural gas) and section 154 (brine wells) are administered by the Minister of Natural Resources.


Ministry of Natural Resources Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.31


Ministry of Natural Resources Act created the new Ministry of Natural Resources by amalgamating the former Department of Lands and Forests and Department of Mines and Northern Affairs and repealed the provisions of a number of Acts on which the departments depended for administrative authority. In 1985, a separate Ministry of Northern Development and Mines was again established. Effective October 30, 1973, the Act provides for the appointment of a Mining and Lands Commissioner and advisory committees.


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Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. N.2
Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act provides for the maintenance of the Niagara Escarpment and land in its vicinity substantially as a continuous natural environment and to ensure that only such development occurs as is compatible with that natural environment. Establishes the Niagara Escarpment Plan and Commission.


North Georgian Bay Recreational Reserve Act, 1962-3


North Georgian Bay Recreational Reserve Act established the North Georgian Bay Recreational Reserve and provides for the planning and development thereof and the appointment of a committee to advise the Minister therein.


There is no electronic version for this act.


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Ontario Geographic Names Board Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.16


Ontario Geographic Names Board Act provides for the establishment of a Geographic Names Board for Ontario having the duty to gather information respecting the names of places and geographical features, make recommendations, collaborate with the Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographic Names, and provide information to government departments, etc. The Minister may approve a recommended name and thereupon it shall be used by all government departments and agencies in the preparation of maps and other publications.


Ontario Tenure Modernization Act, 2011


The Ontario Tenure Modernization Act, 2011 (OFTMA) permits the Lieutenant Governor in Council, on recommendation of the Minister, to incorporate by regulation one or more Ontario local forest management corporations (LFMC’s).


The OFTMA sets out when LFMCs may be established, their objects, provides for their board of directors, and their operations. The first object of an LFMC includes holding forest resource licences and managing Crown forests in a sustainable manner in accordance with the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994.


Local forest management corporations:

  • Manage their affairs to be a self-sustaining business entity and optimize the value from the Crown forest resources.
  • Provide for economic development opportunities for Aboriginal peoples as well as recognize the importance of local economic development.
  • Market, sell, and enable access to a predictable and competitively priced supply of Crown forest resources.
    Other objects may be added by regulation.

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Professional Foresters Act, 2000, S.O. 2000, c. 18


Professional Foresters Act regulates the practice of professional forestry in Ontario. The practice of professional forestry is the provision of services in relation to the development, management, conservation and sustainability of forests and urban forests where those services require knowledge, training and experience equivalent to that required to become a member under this Act.


Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006, S.O. 2006 c. 12


Provincial Parks Act provides for the establishment of provincial parks and their management and for certain employees having the authority of the OPP in a provincial park. Advisory committees for one or more provincial parks may be appointed by the Minister with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council. Parks may be classified as a natural environment park, a nature reserve park, a wilderness park, a recreational park, a waterways park or a historical park. Any of these classes may be zoned with controlled use in zones.

Mining is prohibited in provincial parks except as provided in the regulations. The regulations on mining were revoked in 1956 but rights and interest existing at the time were preserved.

Hunting is prohibited in provincial parks except as provided in the regulations under the Game and Fish Act or where the prohibition is removed by designation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council under the Provincial Parks Act. This does not apply to the Townships of Bruton and Clyde (added to Algonquin Provincial Park as a Special Act).


Concession leases are granted under the Act. The province calls for tenders for buildings and facilities.


This act does not apply to any park under the management of the Niagara Parks Commission, the St. Lawrence Commission, or the St. Clair Parkway Commission.


Public Lands Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.43


Public Lands Act provides for:

  1. The disposition of Crown land for a variety of purposes by sale, lease or licence, and by auction or tender;
  2. The management of Crown land by the Ministry by zoning for land use, setting apart for public use, research, etc., and through agreements with municipalities on beaches and water lots;
  3. The administration of roads on Crown lands including the designation of public forest roads and agreements with occupiers of private forest roads respecting the use by the public of private forest roads;
  4. The administration and control of the construction and maintenance of dams;
  5. The granting of water powers and privileges.
    Link to Act

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Surveyors Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S.29


Surveyors Act establishes the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors; regulates the practice of professional land surveying; and, prescribes the rules governing membership and conduct. The Surveyor General is a member of the Council of the Association.


Surveys Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S.30


Surveys Act prescribes the methods and monuments to be used in performing surveys of land. The Minister may, on his own volition or upon application of land owners, order surveys to re-establish lost or disputed boundaries.


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Wild Rice Harvesting Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. W.7


Wild Rice Harvesting Act regulates the harvesting of rice on Crown land.


Wilderness Areas Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. W.8


Wilderness Areas Act was passed on March 26, 1959, to preserve areas having some unique feature. Development or utilization of the natural resources in an area more than 260 ha (640 acres) in size is not affected by this Act.


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