Forestry Law

Forestry is a highly regulated industry. That level of regulation gives rise to broad range of administrative, litigation and arbitration disputes dealing with a variety of forestry related subjects including:

  • opportunities to be heard under the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Forest Act,
  • stumpage and other regulatory appeals,
  • complaints to the Association of BC Forest Professionals,
  • contract disputes,
  • aboriginal rights and title disputes,
  • compensation claims against the government, and
  • arbitrations under the Timber Harvesting Contract and Subcontract Regulation.

Our forestry practice is headed by Mark Oulton who has been recognized as a leading practitioner in this area by Lexpert and Chambers Canada. Mark has been representing clients in the forest sector in litigation, administrative and regulatory matters since joining the firm in 2004. He regularly represents licensees and other companies and individuals in the forest industry in these matters appearing regularly before the Forest Appeals Commission, all levels of the British Columbia Courts and the Supreme Court of Canada. In addition to its industry specific knowledge, the firm’s forestry practice draws extensively on its experience and strengths in commercial litigation, administrative, regulatory and public law and its appellate practice.

Some of our firm’s representative cases from the forest sector include:

Chingee v. British Columbia, 2016 BCSC 760: Successfully obtained a summary dismissal of a claim that logging activities carried out under a valid timber sale licence constituted a private nuisance and/or gave rise to a claim in negligence.

Gormac Developments Ltd. v. Teal Cedar Products Ltd (Arbitration, 2015): Successfully defended a dispute regarding the interpretation of a replaceable road construction agreement. The claimant has sought leave to appeal the arbitration award.

Behn v. Moulton Contracting Ltd., 2013 SCC 26: Acted for the intervener Council of Forest Industries in an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on the issue of abuse of process.

Canadian Forest Products Ltd. v. Sam, 2013 BCCA 58, 2011 BCSC 676: Successful appeal from an interlocutory injunction obtained by a First Nations group precluding Canfor from harvesting under one of its cutting permits in Northern British Columbia.

Teal Cedar Products Ltd. v. British Columbia, 2013 SCC 51: arbitration award for compensation arising out of creation of park – determination of availability of compound interest in B.C. arbitrations

British Columbia v. International Forest Products Ltd., 2012 BCSC 746; affirming Forest Appeals Commission Decision No. 2009 – FA - 007: Obtained and successfully defended an appeal of a decision of the Forest Appeals Commission setting aside a stumpage determination issued by the Province under the changed circumstance provisions of the Coast Appraisal Manual.

TimberWest Forest Corp. v. Campbell River (City), 2009 BCSC 1804 and 2010 BCSC 466: successful challenge to the validity of increase in municipal taxes upon holder of private forest land

Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. v. British Columbia, Forest Appeals Commission Decision No. 2009 – FOR – 006(a) – Successfully appealed a determination that Ainsworth had contravened s. 105.1 of the Forest Act in making the appraisal data submission in respect of one of its cutting permits.

Western Forest Products Limited v. British Columbia, 2009 BCCA 354: Successfully appealed a challenge brought by the Crown to a decision of the Forest Appeals Commission. The principal issue was whether it was unsuitable to appraise a licensee using an appraisal log dump that was unavailable for use by any other licensee.

Canadian Forest Products Limited v. British Columbia and the Forest Appeals Commission, 2009 BCSC 1040: Successfully appealed a decision of the Forest Appeals Commission relating to the authority of the Minister to retroactively change stumpage rates for timber that had already been scaled.

British Columbia v. Foster Forest Products Limited and others, 2008 BCSC 1514: successfully represented two licensees in a summary trial relating to the scope of the lien created in favour of the Crown by s. 130(1)(d) of the Forest Act.

Hayes Forest Services Limited v. Weyerhaeuser Company Limited, 2008 BCCA 31: appeal from decision setting aside arbitration award concerning a timber supply execution agreement