A timber quota is a type of forest tenure that lasts for 20 years. It is renewable so long as the quota holder is in good standing with the Crown.

Timber quotas can be area-based tenures or volume-based tenures, which give the tenure holder the right to:

  • a specified volume from a specific area, or
  • a percentage of the Annual Allowable Cut (measured in timber volume) within a specific area

Types of timber quotas

There are 2 types of timber quotas in Alberta:

A CTQ allocates rights to harvest coniferous trees such as pine and spruce. A CTQ allocates a specified volume, or percentage of volume, of coniferous timber or a specific area of coniferous timber that the quota holder may harvest. CTQs may be issued to a member of the Community Timber Program in the delivery of that program.

A DTA allocates rights to deciduous trees such as aspen and balsam poplar. A DTA allocates a specified volume, or percentage of volume, of deciduous timber or a specific area of deciduous timber that the quota holder may harvest.

Timber quota holders cannot harvest trees until they obtain a timber licence. The licence gives the quota holder the right to harvest trees.

Timber quotas can be issued within Alberta’s Green Area and White Area and can exist within (or on) the lands that comprise a Forest Management Agreement. Deciduous and coniferous quotas can overlap.

The size of timber quotas can vary. In Alberta, timber quotas range from less than 1,000 m3 to just over 1,000,000 m3. Currently there are no area-based timber quotas.

Planning and reforestation

Timber quotas holders are not responsible for forest management plan development, but are expected to participate in planning.

Timber quota holders with a combined Annual Allowable Cut of 10,000 m3 or greater are responsible for reforestation. Timber quota holders with less than 10,000 m3 can either do the reforestation themselves or pay a reforestation levy or fee to an authorized association, for example the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta, to do the reforestation.

The government sets reforestation standards and ensures reforestation is successful by carrying out inspections to verify reforestation obligations are fulfilled.


Timber quotas are governed by the department's Timber Quota Policy and the Timber Management Regulation, and are issued under the authority of the Forests Act.

There are currently 72 CTQs and 38 DTAs in Alberta.

Reference documents and maps:


For more information about timber quotas, contact Jennifer Koch, Acting Director, Forest Tenure Section:

Phone: 780-643-9260
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]


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