Ministry of Forests – Northern Interior Forest Region

Regional Guidelines to Transfer Cutting Rights
for Mountain Pine Beetle Management
under Section 18 –
Forest Act
Effective Date: 
May 1, 2005





This guideline describes the process for decisions under Section 18 of the Forest Act to temporarily transfer all, or part of the harvesting rights from one timber supply area (TSA) to another for mountain pine beetle management.




This guideline is designed for use by ministry staff and licensees in the Northern Interior Forest Region.




“agreement” means an agreement entered into under Part 3 of the Forest Act.

authorized cutting area” means an area described in an agreement or a cutting permit or road permit issued under an agreement.

“target area” means the TSA to which an agreement is being transferred.

area of origin” means the TSA from which an agreement is being transferred.




Section 18 of the Forest Act deals with:

ˇ        Transferring cutting rights to another TSA as authorized by the minister.


Note:    The minister’s responsibilities under this section have been delegated to the regional manager as per the Delegation Matrix approved by the minister in July 2004.   


With the approval of the regional manager and the consent of the holder of a forest licence, all or part of the cutting rights authorized under the forest licence may be transferred from one TSA to another for a term determined by the regional manager.



Parties considering a request to transfer cutting rights for beetle management should adhere to the following principles:

ˇ        As determined by the district manager, beetle infestation or damage should be sufficiently managed within the licensee’s (applicant) operating areas before undertaking a transfer of cutting rights to a target area.

ˇ        As determined by the district manager in the area of origin, consideration should be given to a licensee providing assistance outside of their operating areas and within the area of origin before undertaking a transfer of cutting rights to a target area.

ˇ        Transfers of cutting rights should be from an area of non-infested timber to an area that is or has been infested by beetles (the regional manager can approve transfers from lower priority to higher priority beetle areas in exceptional circumstances where forest stewardship is improved by doing so).

ˇ        Transfers of cutting rights should result in an incremental beetle harvest in the target area (i.e. higher volume than was harvested in the year prior to application in terms of the applicant’s operations).

ˇ        Transfers of cutting rights should minimize conflicts with approved or proposed operations of existing licensees in the target area.

ˇ        Application for a haul differential cost estimate will be administered as per the Interior Appraisal Manual (IAM).

ˇ        Ministry of Forests (MOF) staff and licensees should co-operate as much as possible in the early stages of the process in order to reduce unnecessary administration towards applications that have a low likelihood of success.


Application of Section 18


Section 18 transfers are a tool that can be used by the regional manager to increase harvesting of beetle attacked timber in a target area where the level of beetle infestation cannot be fully addressed by the existing licensees. 


In assessing the viability of beetle transfer requests, the following issues should be considered by the regional manager:


ˇ         forest health objectives;

ˇ         terms and conditions of the agreements;

ˇ         First Nations interests;

ˇ         feedback from public consultation (where required); and

ˇ         availability of volumes.

General Information Requirements


The regional manager requires the following information when reviewing transfer requests to beetle priority areas:


ˇ        The district manager's support of the transfer in the area of origin (i.e., has the applicant addressed the forest health issues in their operating area and also in other portions of the area of origin where needed?).

ˇ        The district manager's support in the target area (i.e., will harvesting levels of the applicant increase for beetle attacked timber in the target area while minimizing conflicts with existing and proposed operations of other licensees?). 

ˇ        The results of consultation with First Nations[1] in the target area. 

ˇ        The results of public consultation when required by the regional manager.


Note:   If the transfer is approved, the applicant will be eligible to apply for the haul differential cost estimate.  Refer to section of the IAM.


Application Procedures


Applications for a transfer of cutting rights must be submitted to the regional manager with copies to the respective district managers.  Upon receipt of all required information, the regional manager will evaluate the application for approval.  As a minimum, the application should include the following information:

ˇ        description of the area of origin with associated maps;

ˇ        description of the target area with associated maps and proposed volumes;

ˇ        rationale for the transfer; and,

ˇ        other relevant information to support the application. 

It is strongly recommended that the applicant meet with the appropriate district managers prior to submitting an application in order to obtain the necessary information to support the application.

Public Consultation


The regional manager will advise the applicant if any public consultation is required for the proposed transfer.  If public consultation is required, the regional manager will also advise the applicant of the type and extent of consultation required.  The regional manager will consider the district managers' and the licensee's input before making this decision.

Public Information


It is highly recommended that the applicant contact the interest groups in the communities involved to inform them about the transfer application and its potential impacts.


First Nations Consultation


The First Nations consultation policy was implemented in October 2002.  First Nations consultation is required prior to the approval of beetle transfers under these guidelines.  First Nations consultation must be completed to ministry standards.


The regional manager will prepare necessary consultation packages with support from the district manager.  Consultation is then undertaken by district staff in the target TSA. 


Upon completion of consultation, a summary report will be prepared by the district manager and sent to the regional manager.


Consolidating the Information


Once all the required information has been forwarded to the regional office, a regional tenures specialist will prepare a decision briefing note for the regional manager.



P= primary responsibility         S=support responsibility               


Regional Office

District Office


Time Frame

Licensee application and research information




With application.

First Nations Consultation




60 days unless otherwise determined by the regional manager.

Public and stakeholder consultation




As determined by the regional manager.

Briefing note and approval letter for decision




10-15 working days from completion of all required information.

* Licensee involvement in First Nations consultation is encouraged.  Licensees may be asked to provide detail regarding the reasons supporting their application to transfer cutting rights.


Transfers of cutting rights within a TSA


The regional manager may approve transfers of cutting rights for mountain pine beetle management within a TSA for the purposes of Section of the IAM.


The same principles/procedures described in this document apply to transfers within a TSA.  The only exception is that for replaceable forest licences and non-replaceable forest licences issued for the whole TSA, First Nations consultation is not required on the administrative decision.




Louis Gagné, Tenures Specialist, Northern Interior Forest Region, (250) 565-6163.

[1] Consultation may take up to 60 days depending upon agreements or policy in place at the time of application.