Almost two-thirds of Ontario is covered by forests, stretching from Hudson Bay in the north to Lake Erie in the southwest. Our forests contain hundreds of plant and animal species, from the iconic moose to the endangered drooping trillium. Forests supply us with many of life’s necessities, including clean air, fresh water and food. They also offer hundreds of thousands of visitors beautiful places to hike, paddle, hunt, camp and connect with nature.

Almost all of Ontario’s forests are on publicly owned Crown land. Commercial timber harvesting takes place across the vast middle swath of the province, within a zone known as the “Area of the Undertaking” that covers about 438,000 square kilometres. The forestry sector contributes billions of dollars to the provincial economy and employs thousands of Ontarians, making it a significant financial driver in many communities across the province.

Crown lands and forestry are managed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), which is responsible for ensuring forest sustainability under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994.

Key Outstanding ECO Recommendations
  • In our 2014/2015 Annual Report, the ECO recommended that the MNRF publicly commit to the end of commercial logging in Algonquin Provincial Park. Ontario’s most beloved and most visited provincial park is still being logged, resulting in serious impacts to the park’s ecological integrity.
  • Also in our 2014/2015 Annual Report, the ECO urged the government to assess whether the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994, and the regulatory and policy regime it supports, are producing the desired social, economic and environmental outcomes. No comprehensive assessment has ever been conducted to determine if the total forest management system is working – the Ontario government must ensure that our forests, one of our most important natural resources, are being managed based on the best possible information, practices and policies.
ECO Reporting on Forestry

The ECO’s reporting on forestry includes issues related to: forestry law and policy; planning and operations; biodiversity and ecology; forestry in Algonquin Provincial Park; and biofibre. Below is a selection of the ECO’s reports and articles on forestry. You can also use the search bar at the top of this page to search our website and reports for a particular word or phrase.

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